Everyday Learning Activities

Learning isn’t limited to academic tasks and workbooks. Children are learning throughout their daily routines and interactions with their environments.

For detailed information on curriculum components, please see core competencies and First Peoples’ Principles of Learning.


Activities to Consider:

  • Find reading opportunities in everyday life: labels on household items, recipes, directions for a craft or game, etc.
  • Have children read aloud to members of the family on a daily basis (a novel, news of the day, etc.).
  • Older children could take turns reading and listening to their siblings; younger children may enjoy reading to the family pet.
  • Engage in discussions where everyone in the family takes a turn to talk about what they’ve read.
  • Ask your child to review and create summaries of novels, picture books, games, movies or TV shows to read out to the family.
  • Storytelling is an excellent way for children to learn and develop skills.
    • Children learn by listening to stories being told or read to them.
    • Younger children could tell a story about what they did that day.
    • Older children could tell a story about an imaginary character.
    • Families can build stories together by everyone taking turns adding to the story.
  • Daily notes to siblings, friends, or family (similar to ‘daily messages’ teachers write to students).
  • A family “Stay Home” book where each child contributes based on ability and interest, (how life is different, reflections, COVID-19 science, drawings, photos, etc.)


Activities to Consider:

  • Play card or board games to help children practice math skills: e.g. Old Maid, Go Fish, Memory, War, Dominos, Checkers, Monopoly, BattleShip, SmartGames, etc.
  • Use real-life examples siblings can work together on:
    • How much dirt would be needed to fill the garden box (predict then measure)?
    • How many days does a loaf of bread last the family (observe consumption, create a chart of how many loaves needed a week)?
    • How much drinking water does our family use each day (predict then measure)?


Activities to Consider:

  • Learn something new: sewing, knitting, cooking, baking, woodwork, chess or other game, language, dance steps, technology, etc.
  • Create arts and crafts: beading, drawing, painting, sculpting, carving, etc.
  • Make music:
    • sing, alone or with others (in person or virtually)
    • drum or play a musical instrument (alone or for others)
    • set up a digital performance where everyone plays their part over Zoom or Skype
    • watch a free concert online, have a family discussion about what you thought of the performance
  • Act and perform:
    • play charades
    • recite poems or texts with expression
    • put on a play for family members
  • Have reflective discussions with your child, such as:
    • what school subjects they like best
    • how they feel about current situation
    • if anything is worrying them
    • what they hope will happen (short term and long term)
    • their ideas on how to make time with family at home fun
    • anything they’d like to talk about


Activities to Consider:

  • Daily informal, virtual chats with family, friends and classmates:
    • developing informal conversational skills
    • develop awareness of the needs of others (e.g. grandparents and other Elders).
  • Practicing patience and respect when speaking with others:
    • helps ease potential conflict
    • develops conversational skills

 Personal Awareness and Responsibility

Activities to Consider:

  • Review hand-washing and other prevention practices
  • Encourage children to be physically active:
    • it’s good to get outside for backyard play, a bike ride, walk, etc. (keeping appropriate physical distancing)
    • for inside, have a dance party or find an online exercise video to work-out to
  • Talk to your child about how they’re feeling.
  • Support children in establishing and maintaining their daily and weekly schedule. Have them consider questions such as:
    • When do I have the most energy to complete work that requires concentration?
    • How often do I need to take a physical body-moving break?
    • When would be a good time for me to do some leisure activities?
    • What are some skills I really want to learn but have never had the time to learn?

 Social Awareness and Responsibility

Activities to Consider:

  • doing daily chores
  • taking care of pets
  • helping with cleaning and organizing
  • helping with household and yard work
  • caring for younger siblings or an Elder
  • making a schedule that accounts for daily routines within the family

 Positive Personal and Cultural Identity

Activities to Consider:

  • Nurture relationships with grandparents and extended family through virtual conversations. Children can learn more about:
    • Children learn by listening to stories being told or read to them.
    • Younger children could tell a story about what they did that day or about an animal, toy or any item.
  • Create a scrapbook about your extended family including pictures, photos and stories about family members, etc.
  • Create a poster or story about the types of food your family likes including special occasions where you share certain foods.

Primary/Intermediate Years (Grades K–5)

Cooking and Baking
  • Numeracy: Have your child help with measuring; they can count the ingredients needed and work on sequencing (first, second, etc.).
  • Literacy: have them search for recipes based on 1 or 2 key ingredients, get them to read the recipes; have them make a list of all the ingredients you need to gather.
  • Applied Design Skills and Technologies: consider and discuss the design process that takes place. For example:
    • importance of heating the oven ahead of time
    • adding wet ingredients to dry
    • considering the audience for the items being created (e.g. no raisins for sister)

Cleaning, Organizing, and Daily Chores
  • Literacy: have your child make labels for storage bins, have your child create a family chore chart.
  • Numeracy: have them plan the design for storage of items. For example, what items work best in which location, based on the size of the item(s) and the space available?
  • Social Awareness and Responsibility: washing and maybe sanitizing the items before putting them away.

  • Numeracy: involve your child in determining how much money will be spent on food in a week:
    • provide your child with a list of food items and have them estimate how much it will cost to buy the items at the grocery store
    • provide your child with several different recipes and have them estimate how much it will cost them to make each recipe
  • Critical and Reflective Thinking: ask questions so children can learn to gather the necessary information to make informed decisions:
    • When picking recipes, what criteria should we consider with regards to our budget?
    • When buying an item what do we consider: (Local? Brand? Organic? In season? On sale? Size? etc.)

  • Personal Awareness and Responsibility: Children should play a part in determining what their daily and weekly schedule will look like. Have them consider questions such as:
    • When do I normally do things on a school day?
    • When do I have the most energy and should spend some time outside?
    • When would be a good time for me to sit quietly and read a book?
    • What are some skills I really want to learn but have never had the time to learn?
  • Numeracy: Children track time spent on tasks. Using an analog clock will help children develop math skills such as fractions (“we spoke for a quarter of an hour”).
  • Applied Design Skills and Technologies: Creating a schedule refines skills in table and chart-making.

Middle Years (Grades 6–9)

Cooking and Baking

Plan all parts of an actual (or dream/future) meal:

  • Literacy: look for recipes online or in books:
    • consider ingredients (use what you already have?), time and difficulty
    • analyze ingredients in the house for nutrition, grams of protein, fibre, fat, sugar, calories
  • Numeracy: work with the recipes by:
    • listing type and amount of ingredients (Do recipes need adjustments in quantities? If so, calculate the new amounts.)
    • determining costs for groceries through checking an online shopping service
    • creating a time schedule for preparing and cooking of each part of a meal
  • Applied Design Skills and Technologies: think about all the steps involved in making the meal:
    • list all the things that need to be done, in the correct order
    • add a little star to the steps that impact later steps (e.g. pre-heating oven, chopping vegetables, etc.)
    • Are there ingredients that were part of the original recipe that you had to substitute something else for?
  • Social Studies: consider the origins of the meal:
    • What country/region/people did it come from?
    • Are there different origins for different parts of the meal?
    • Is there a cultural significance to the dish (e.g. for a special celebration)?
  • Science: research some science behind cooking, things to consider:
    • What makes ingredients, or combination of ingredients, change from one state to another (e.g. melting fat: solid to liquid)
    • What happens when we heat different ingredients?
    • Why do different ingredients react differently to heat?
    • What are the differences between heating things: in an oven, on the stovetop, in the microwave?
    • What makes baking rise?

  • Science: plant and maintain a garden or houseplant:
    • determine best location
    • create a watering schedule
    • help with maintenance (fertilizing, weeding)
    • monitor, record and chart growth rates
    • if there are multiple plants, experiment with varying conditions (plant food, number of hours of sunlight, etc.)
    • prepare a gardening journal with recommendations based on the outcomes of each experiment

Cleaning, Organizing, and Daily Chores
    • Social Awareness and Responsibility: sort items in your room, a closet, or drawer into four piles:
      • what you want to keep
      • what to give away
      • what can go into recycling
      • garbage

Organize and put away the items you’d like to keep. Box/bag the items to give away, label who each box/bag is going to.

  • Critical and Reflective Thinking: what information do you need to make informed purchasing decisions:
    • List common considerations when buying an item: (price, size, colour, etc.)
    • List more detailed considerations (source, organic, brand, specifications, etc.)
    • What considerations are most important to you and why?