Resources to Keep Busy from Home

With students, teachers and families at home due to COVID-19, we thought we would pull together some resources to help you keep busy! Click the red titles to get to the resources!)

The resources are divided into the following categories:

  1. Education Tools
  2. At Home Sensory/Leisure Activities
  3. Virtual Museums
  4. Social Narratives
  5. Self Care Resources

Education Tools

Creating an At-Home Learning Space
This site offers suggestions on how to help parents plan and develop at home learning spaces for their children with ASD. It would be a great guide for those who want to continue with schooling during the closure of school programming. It will also help keep the structure and routine for the kids so that when they do return to school that the transition is smoother.

Scholastic Learn From Home
Keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video.

Vivyfy STEM Resources
Vivify has created a handy resource guide that includes the best website, games, and phone apps. We carefully searched for high quality activities that are not only fun and engaging but educational and promote STEM careers.

Pobble 365
Starting with a weird, wonderful and/or thought provoking image, you and your family will be inspired to write creatively. There are 365 images to choose from.

BrainPop
(Free access during COVID-19) A trusted learning resource supporting core and supplemental subjects, reaching millions of learners worldwide.

Theta Music Theory Course
Learn about basic audio, scale and pitch in this free introductory course.

At Home Sensory/Leisure Activities

Sensory Activities At Home
The Kids Konnect Blog offers some great activities parents can do with their children at home but also stimulate and have a purpose. They have identified 7 things that they found  were appropriate for kids with Autism. As always we would encourage parents to use proper hand washing when completing any activities.

Structured Play Activities At Home
Raising Children offers suggestions for structured play activities at home. The article targets children between the ages of 2 to 8 years.

Movement and Mindfulness
GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home is a free online resource for parents, caregivers, teachers, and kids. It offers free movement, yoga, and mindfulness videos, downloadable curricular activities, and off-screen home activities. These resources span a variety of abilities, interests, ages, and subjects.

LEGO
The Stem Laboratory offers 22 different LEGO STEM activities that give children a fun hands-on practice with science, technology, engineering, and math. LEGO also has an official Youtube channel with a variety of build tutorials if you’re looking to try something new.

LEGO on YouTube

Coding
Scratch is the program ASNL currently uses for the BlueDrop Coding Club. With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations. There are also plenty of tutorials for beginners! Our friends at Brilliant Labs have some great Coding resources as well. 

Video Game Creating
Sploder is a place where anyone can create games online. Make your own platformer games, space-themed shoot-em-ups, retro arcade games, and even complex physics-based puzzle games. No programming skill is necessary. All you need is a good imagination and a desire to be creative.

Online Dance/Yoga Classes
CLI Studios: free live classes under #keepdancing from dance professionals
DANCIO: offering a two week free trial of ballet and modern online classes
STEEZY Studios: 7 day free trial of hip-hop dance classes
Comic Kids Yoga: Free on YouTube
Kids Bop Dance: Free on YouTube
Ballet Nova Centre for Dance: Posting free live dance classes

Circle Time Fun
Circletime sessions are dynamic and interactive. You have an opportunity to spend time with your child, as the educator leads you through developmentally appropriate hands-on activities. Sessions are age-specific with no more than 10 parent-child groups to a session. The educator is there to show you and support you.  (Code: homefun1)

Printable Comic Sheets
Let your creativity flow and create your own comic!

Virtual Musical Instruments
Missing out on your music lesson? Maybe you have always wanted to try an instrument? Click this link to try instruments such as the piano, violin and bongos.

MotherCould
A blog with numerous ideas for activities to do at home.

Ignite Circus Live Videos
Thursday evenings 6:30pm NL time via Facebook Live. Learn circus skills with Danielle from home – activities include making and practicing juggling, hula hoops, poi and flower sticks.

Active for Life
Active for life is an online resource to help parents and caregivers promote physical literacy. Check out their page to discover ways to keep your child’s mind and body active while at home.

McHarper Live Art Tutorials
This Facebook page will go LIVE at 2:30pm NL time for daily art tutorials to keep spirits up, family engaged, & creativity flowing.

Virtual Arts and Culture
This website is full of live streams of theatre and music productions.

Spoonful of Sugar Princess Interactions
Keep an eye on their Facebook page to see some story times and interactions from some of your favourite princesses.

The Little Gym St. John’s – Facebook Live Classes
The Little Gym has graciously posted a few videos of their instructors facilitating some activities you can do right at home.

Crafts
Check out some of these crafts our Leisure Exploration staff hand-picked for you that involve little materials and prep:

Virtual Museums

New England Aquarium
Located in Boston, the New England Aquarium is globally recognized as a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation.Even though their doors are closed, they are offering live presentations, new videos and activities to try from home.

The Louvre
As one of the world’s largest art museums, the Louvre has some unique exhibits such as its Egyptian Antiquities, in addition to rare artifacts. Take a 360-degree tour at the museum.

National Museum of Natural History
Take a 360-degree walking tour of one of the most-visited museums in the world. Exhibits including the Hall of Mammals, Dinosaurs, Insect Zoo and Hall of Paleobiology.

NASA
Are you a fan of space? NASA offers free virtual tours of two of their centers, as well as a Space Center Houston app that has augmented reality experiences, videos and audio stories about space exploration. Tour NASA Glenn/ Tour NASA Langley 

San Diego Zoo Live Camera
Watch a variety of animals such as koalas, penguins and polar bears interacting in their exhibits at the San Diego Zoo!

Yellowstone National Park
Explore areas such as the Mammoth Hot Springs, Mud Volcano and Yellowstone in 3D.

Mars
Check out a digital view of the surface of Mars.

The Rooms
Scroll down the page to ‘virtual exhibits’ and look at some of the fantastic local exhibits. Maybe even plan a trip to the Rooms when they re-open!

Boston Children’s Museum
Explore some of this amazing museum and check out some of the learning resources available online as well.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are.

Social Narratives

COVID-19 Easter Seals Social Story
COVID-19 What is it? Visual Story
Cartoon Video Explaining COVID-19
Social Narrative Explaining COVID-19
Centervention – Free Social Emotional Learning

Self Care Resources

We cannot emphasize enough the importance for all our caregivers to practice good self- care. Especially when things are interfering with our day to day routines.  Here are some ways to ensure that you practice some good self-care while experiencing the change in routine.

Exercise
Exercise has many benefits not just for our physical health but our mental and emotional health as well.

Consider this:

  • If your child enjoys the park, walk there or walk laps around the play structure while he/she plays
  • If your child is younger, consider more stroller walks as opposed to driving or even a stroller exercise group
  • If your child is older, suggest an after-dinner walk as a family
  • If your child is energetic, play sports outside with them, have a silly dance party, or create a fun, active game

15-minutes of “me” time
Hopefully there is more where that came from but if not, treasure this time.  Make time to listen to your favorite podcast. This time could be spent at a caregiver support group or connecting with a friend over the phone. Maybe you “stock up” those minutes and schedule an hour-long trip to yoga or to meditate. Thinking differently about the time you have alone, even if it’s just 30 minutes to watch a TV show you’ve been thinking about or take that bubble bath to relax.

Autism Speaks – COVID-19 Resources
Autism Speaks has compiled a list of resources and tips specific to ASD and COVID-19

Jack.org
This mental health organization will be sharing daily practical tips and positive stories from their network that will help cultivate wellness, maintain perspective and stay connected to one another in a meaningful way. They have posted various social media posts that talk about practicing media literacy, adapting your self-care routines and embracing the good.

Kids Help Phone
Call or text their service to obtain mental health support during COVID-19. They also have great resources to help keep emotional health a priority on their website!

Bridge the gApp
An online resource through the Government of Newfoundand and Labrador designed to support mental wellness through supports such as mindfulness, anxiety and self care. 

Feel free to reach out to our Information Officer, Ashley Gosse, at agosse@autism.nf.net if you require any further assistance or information. Ashley is a Registered Social Worker.