Although all branches of the Greater Joliet Area YMCA are currently closed, we are dedicated to supporting families who are looking to keep their kids active and engaged through this closure. That is why we are excited to announce our Keeping Kids Connected Initiative.
Each day, we will be posting new challenges and activities for kids of all ages using everyday materials families can find around their home. Be sure to follow the Y on Facebook and Pinterest to learn more and to take part in these fun activities…Let the games begin!
Day 1: At-Home Treasure Hunts
Help kids sharpen their skills ahead of Easter with exciting treasure hunt activities! You might just find something you didn’t know was lost!
Day 2: LEGO Challenges
LEGOS are a great way for kids to use their minds and imagination and you can also use them as tools for various learning activities.
Let your kids explore their creative side in more ways than one! Start off with a craft activity, then make your own music!
The worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math can be explored through many everyday items in your home. Challenge kids to think outside the box.
Day 5: UNO Card Fitness
Play UNO in a brand new way by adding a fitness challenge element to gameplay! This is great way to make fitness fun and exciting for kids.
Day 6: At-Home Obstacle Courses
A fun activity that can help kids staying moving while enhancing their problem skills. Use couches, pillows, chairs, etc. as physical tasks and add puzzles or riddles to include critical thinking stages.
Save your extra paper rolls for a fun arts and crafts project! Decorate your creation with your favorite colors and accessories.
Day 8: Cotton Swab Painting
Here’s a great way to do paintings without store-bought brushes. It can also be used as a language activity for kids learning to read.
What do you get when you combine some extra toothpicks with a bag of marshmallows? A great engineering experiment! Check out these ideas for fun projects and mini-structures.
Day 10: Interval Training Workout
Kids can get antsy when stuck inside on a rainy day. Here’s a great set of physical activities they can channel their energy into.
Day 11: Journaling Prompts
This is an important time for children to reflect and address their emotions. Journaling is a great way to help them succeed on those fronts and here you’ll find a set of topics to get them started.
Day 12: Paper Plate Ring Toss
A great craft activity for a rainy day. Kids can build their own carnival game out using paper plates and paper towel tubes!
Day 13: Egg Carton ‘Flowers’
Finished with your dozen eggs? Recycle the carton for a special arts and craft project! Personalize your flower with your own designs.
Day 14: Giant Word Search
A combination of language and artwork can bring an exciting challenge to a traditional kids activity. Design word searches for your child or have them create their own to test you!
Day 15: Thank You Cards
This is an opportunity for kids to help strengthen the community. Send a thank you card or inspirational messages to those in area healthcare facilities working to keep so many others safe.
Day 16: Kids Cardio
This is a great 30 minute fitness activity from our #LivewiththeY series for kids to follow along with.
Day 17: YMCA Easter Egg Design Contest
Learn how kids can participate in this fun art activity with a chance to win a $30 gift card from an area restaurant!
Day 18: Pasta Jewelry
Check out some fun crafts you can do with pasta from the cupboard.
Day 19: Spring Wind Sock
The fresh spring air is out in full force and now is a great time to create and decorate you own wind sock! When finished, set it outside and see your design flutter on the breeze!
Day 20: Cereal Box Book Report
This activity combines reading comprehension with arts and crafts! After completing a story, use a leftover cereal box as the core of a book report display.
Day 21: Unicorn Yoga
Exercise can also inspire the imagination! These simple yoga poses give kids an opportunity to stay fit while opening up the possibilities of a fantasy world.
Day 22: Strawberry Ladybugs
Want to make eating fruit a fun time? Make an art project out of it! Learn how kids can help make ‘ladybugs’ out of strawberries, blueberries and dark chocolate chips.
Day 23: Paper Mache Volcano
Check out this step-by-step breakdown of a fun art project/science experiment that you can do at home.
Day 24: DIY Bouncy Balls
Are your kids bouncing off the walls while stuck inside? Help them channel that energy into a project that will give them a new toy to bounce around.
Day 25: Soccer Ball Bowling
This is a fun game you can play in the hallways of your own home! Set up a makeshift bowling lane using household items as pins and a soccer ball as a bowling ball.
Day 26: YMCA Fitness Bingo
Use the family fitness board posted with our YMCA Fitness Bingo Challenge and start completing tasks to make a bingo!
Day 27: Balloon Rocket
Help your kids unleash their inner astronaut with a great STEAM activity that you can do at home!
Day 28: DIY Fidget Toys
If your child is showing some signs of anxiousness or struggling with stress there are plenty of do-it-yourself crafts that can help them relax.
Day 29: Kite Flying
Flying a kite is a great spring activity that families can do together. Now you can learn an easy way to make your own kite before sending it through the air!
Day 30: LEGO Math
Putting together toys is not only a fun problem-solving activity, it provides some instant tools to help kids learn math!
Day 31: Sidewalk Chalk Boardgames
Spend some time being creative outdoors! Check out some ideas for games kids can design with sidewalk chalk or encourage them to draw up a brand new game.
Day 32: Friendship Keychains/Bracelets
Take out some beads and string and put together a message of hope and encouragement!
Day 33: Coffee Filter Monsters
Have kids try this quick and easy craft if you have some extra coffee filters around the house. Make your monster as wacky and colorful as you like!
Day 34: Bird Feeder Perch
Spring is in full bloom and now your kids can help out the birds in your neighborhood. Make a design that you’ll enjoy looking at just as much as the birds!
Day 35: Recipe Book
Let your kids play a role in the home-cooking process by encouraging them to write down the recipes! Try out new ideas they might be inspired to cook up.
Day 36: Paper Plate Marble Maze
This is a fun craft that also helps kips with their problem solving skills. Use construction paper, pipe cleaners and more to make amazing array of mazes!
Day 37: Do-It-Yourself Playdoh
For kids who want to have just as much fun making their toys as they do playing with them! Try a homemade spin on the classic squishy clay.
Day 38: YMCA Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest
Spring is in full bloom and now kids can show off their creativity with a chance to win a cool prize!
Day 39: Jelly Bean Math
You can use simple items like jelly beans to help kids do math activities ranging from pattern recognition to addition and subtraction!
Day 40: Balloon Tennis
Here’s a fun way to have some friendly competition! Serve up an ace after making your own paper plate rackets.
Day 41: Coffee Mug Sharpie Art
This activity allows kids to use a unique canvas! Decorate a coffee mug using sharpie markers.
Day 42: Thankful Journal Activity
Have your kids take a moment to write down the things that they have been thankful for over the last few weeks. You can also ask them to draw a picture of these people, places or experiences.
Day 43: Bringing the Zoo to You
The Brookfield Zoo is hosting daily chats on Facebook at 11 a.m. Get a glimpse of some of their wonderful animal friends.
Day 44: Kids’ Fit
Another fun edition of our #LiveWithTheY series that can help your kids get out and moving!
Day 45: Fruit Salsa Recipe
Have your kids help put together this healthy twist on traditional chips and salsa!
Day 46: Fun With Bubbles
Spend some activity time outdoors by blowing bubbles. Add in a game element for even more fun!
Day 47: ‘Underwater’ Artwork
Have your kids draw an underwater scene in firm crayon and then go over the design with light blue water colors. You’ll be amazed by the oceanic result!
Day 48: Roll the Dice Workout
Help your kids get moving with a workout based on what they roll! Exercises can be adjusted to age appropriate levels.
Day 49: Paper Bag Puppets
Use an extra paper bag you may have around the house to make your favorite film/TV/literature characters in this fun arts and crafts activity!
Day 50: Free Reading Resource
Are your kids running out of books to read at home? Find free downloadable stories at First Book Marketplace.
Day 51: Creative Writing Prompts
Give your kids an opportunity to think outside the box with these creative writing ideas!
Day 52: Story Time With the Y
This exciting Y program, designed for kids ages 2-6, starts on Tuesday, May 26 and will feature Y volunteers reading stories through Zoom!
Day 53: YMCA eSports League
Register for the YMCA’s new eSports League through GG Leagues by June 2. Leagues will be available in 7-9, 10-13 and 14-18 year old age divisions.
Day 54: #LiveWithTheY Kids’ Fit
Another exciting edition of our special youth oriented virtual workout classes. Parents can also join in on the fun!
Greater Joliet Area YMCA Facebook Pages:
The Y also knows planning can be a tough task for families in these challenging times, so we wanted to share a basic schedule that can help keep parents and kids organized. We encourage families to make adjustments to their needs.