In the months since the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, we’ve had to make adjustments to our way of life. With in-person events canceled, playdates off limits, and museums and movie theaters closed, we’ve also found new ways to have fun. At SA, we take joy very seriously, and we know that our families do too, so we asked them to share their tips on having fun at home. The most popular suggestions — and some of our favorite photos — from across the SA network are featured below.
Become a master baker or chef!
From grilling outdoors to roasting s’mores over an open flame to baking the perfect birthday cakes, SA families are honing their at-home cooking and baking skills. Inspired by the Netflix show Nailed It!, SA Hell’s Kitchen mom Patricia Stern, fourth grader Eli, and family compete to see who can decorate the most scrumptious cupcakes. SA Lafayette Middle School sixth grader Jaleel Richardson-Odimgbe uses recipe cards and his imagination to cook up delicious meals in what his family has dubbed “Jaleel’s Delish Kitchen.”
SA Harlem 6 first grader Kaylee Esparza and SA Bronx Middle School fifth grader Nila Roberson, bakers extraordinaire!
Have a family movie night
SA families are bringing the movie theater home in the most creative ways! Tatiana Walker, mother of SA Far Rockaway first grader Tameya Hamilton, and family hold a movie night every Friday. “We transform our living room into an actual theater,” Walker explains. “We have popcorn in the traditional popcorn buckets, create concession stands, and label our seats. We’ve even created movie tickets!” SA Crown Heights mom Jasmine Mendez makes family movie night a learning opportunity, challenging her kindergarten and second-grade scholars Alexandria and Annabelle to practice their math skills at the family’s “concession stand.”
SA Bushwick first grader Hunter Sencion Hemmings and family sit back, relax, and enjoy the show — in their own living room!
Arts and crafts are a favorite among our families! “We’ve been painting a lot more,” SA Far Rockaway mom Tatiana Walker explains. “So much so that Tameya started her own paint business with her sisters. They offer paint classes in the park for children every Sunday. We provide the canvases, easels, paint, paint brushes, aprons, and snacks and only charge $10!”
SA Williamsburg mom Kathy Yeung and first grader Gavin also love to get creative with crafts. “We do evening craft projects together. After dinner, we select a project and do it together as a family. I use YouTube to show the kids videos of anything that they want to learn about, then we craft a project that relates to what they learned in the video. For example, I taught Gavin about the solar system through a few videos, then we worked on a solar system-inspired craft project.”
Siblings Christian (second grader at SA Springfield Gardens) and Charlie (sixth grader at SA Springfield Gardens Middle School) display their under-the-sea paintings!
Enjoy the magic of music!
Singing and dancing are popular activities for letting loose, blowing off steam, and sharing a laugh! From learning and recording TikTok dances to competing during family karaoke night, SA families know how to put on a show — and they don’t take themselves too seriously. Parents’ most common response when asked about the last thing they laughed about as a family? “My dancing!”
For some SA families, music is more of a production! SA Upper West dad Nimesh Nagarsheth and his kindergartener Alina have been recording original music. “Alina thinks of a topic she wants to sing about, and we help her write down her thoughts and create lyrics. From there, we use computer programs Superior Drummer and Pro Tools to lay down the tracks and mix the song!”
SA Upper West kindergartener Alina Nagarsheth is a budding songwriter!
It’s no secret that SA scholars love to investigate the world around them, and some of them just can’t get enough science! SA Hudson Yards mom Monika Kosior makes science part of home life for first grader Nathan. “We invented daily experiments that bring science to life while supporting our son with videos and fun science readings. He created his own videos where he shares his experiments and teaches science to others!” Mom Neke Whitmore brought the science lab home for SA Harlem North Central fifth grader Zion and SA Harlem 5 first grader Zuri. “We have done some really cool science experiments together,” she shares. “We even purchased a small microscope to do some of our observations!”
SA Bergen Beach kindergartener Mahlaya Clarke and SA East Flatbush Middle School sixth grader Matthew Clark get just the reaction they were looking for!
Let it grow, let it grow!
SA scholars may dress in orange and blue, but their thumbs are green! SA Bronx 2 first-grader Elijah Perez and mom Jennifer planted an urban garden at home, starting out with tomatoes and basil. “We have so many different plants now. Elijah loves watching them grow and helping to water them. The other day he even got a chance to help harvest some basil and oregano leaves for our dinner!”
For SA Bed-Stuy 1 mom Sassy Ma’at and second-grade scholar Isi, gardening is all about community. “We joined a community garden. We rented a garden bed and planted various fruits and vegetables, including eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and watermelon. We’ve spent the summer tending our garden and harvesting the food we planted.” Ma’at continues, “We also uprooted weeds and planted a flower garden for our downstairs neighbor. Where once it was a yard full of weeds, it’s now a garden filled with zinnias and bees.”
SA Harlem 3 second grader Charley Moore and SA Bronx Middle School sixth grader Kelly Nelson care for their plants.