Opinion

BC families: Education boosters and activities for your kids

For BC families struggling to cope with the teachers strike, here are some activities to keep your kids busy.

BC-teachers-strike-kids-activities

Photo: iStockphoto

The British Columbia teachers strike may be top of the news out west, but it’s the reality of what that means for parents across the province that is really hitting home this week. The summer is well over and kids everywhere are bored, while parents are pulling their hair out to find child care so they can get to work, or inventing more things to do with the kids after an already extended summer of the same.

Read more: BC teachers strike: How families are suffering>

As the Today’s Parent west coast editor (and one of the frazzled BC parents mentioned above), I may be slightly biased when I say that our publication has always been (and always will be) a tremendous parenting resource. So it should come as no surprise that we’ve compiled a great batch of activities you can do with your kids until school (hopefully) resumes again.

Some are things we rarely have time to tackle in our busy lives (teaching kids to be charitable, teaching life lessons) to tips for helping with core subjects like math and grammar to plain old fun.

How far does a dollar go? Turn your everyday errands (since you now have to take the kids along) into learning experiences.

When patience is low, our character can take a hit. Try to be an example to kids by teaching empathy and compassion. A great life skill that there isn’t always time to stop and do.

Most of us are raising a very eco-aware and green generation but when you are all at home, there might be time to really set things up for success so you are all helping the planet together.

Take some of your time to give back. There are many ways to teach children to be charitable. This is a favourite of mine!

Surely you are hitting the streets and the parks, so it’s never a bad time to review stranger danger and this article helps you communicate in an effective, age-appropriate manner.

My kids love to help bake with the hopes of licking a spoon, but lately they’ve pitched in with the guacamole, the salad dressing and more.

Read more: Check out our Cooking with Kids videos!>

Most parents are eager to develop keen readers. This reading guide is an excellent way to put something concrete into place for your kids while they have extra time to fill.

And of course, a great list of books is always priceless!

Some parents have been noticing many grammar rules being ignored by teachers. Simple YOUR vs. YOU’RE should be a core concept. Hone up on how grammar is taught so you can keep an eye out for pitfalls.

It seems there is an article every week in the paper questioning the way kids are taught math these days. I think one thing we can all agree on is if we can make it fun and engaging, they want to learn. Here are some great ways to do that.

Apps… the way to a child’s heart. Math… the way to a parents heart. Here—they come together.

Finally, when you just have to get something done or take that phone call, we’ve found 30 fabulous websites for kids that are safe and fun.

Tina Barkley was born and raised in Vancouver where she still lives with her husband, Michael and their two daughters, Jill and Pippa. Follow her on Twitter @TinaBarkley.