It's a challenging time across the globe in order to flatten the curve. That means staying home. As the mom of three, I know cabin fever can set in quickly when kids can't do their normal school, activities, and playdates/hanging out with friends, so I thought I'd put together a list of some activities if you are looking for things to do at your house.
Listen to a story. Storyline Online is where you can watch videos where books are read by actors. Book illustrations are shown with the words. There's a whole list of books to choose from so have your own story time at home! Click here!
Watch an aquarium's web cam. The Monterey Aquarium is closed, but you can watch their many web cams, including a live feeding as part of their animal feeding program. Hat tip to my friend Al for sharing this link. The feeding schedule is Pacific Time (PT.)
- Penguins 10:30 a.m.
- Sea Otters 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Open Sea 11 a.m.
- Kelp Forest 11:30 a.m.
They also have the following live cams: Aviary Cam, Coral Reef Cam, Jelly Cam, Monterey Bay Cam, Moon Jelly Cam, Open Sea Cam, Penguin Cam, Sea Otter Cam, and Shark Cam. Click here!
Explore learning opportunities. Scholastic Learn at Home offers “Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.” It's divided by grade levels: Pre-K to K, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6+. This one was shared to me by one of my readers on my Facebook page. Click here!
Do puzzles. If you don't have any jigsaw puzzles around the house, make your own digitally. Jigsaw Planet is free and easy to use. They have puzzles ready to use if you don't want to upload a photo. There's also a timer if you want to have a friendly competition. Click here
Cook together. Make preparing a meal or baking something tasty for all to enjoy family time. Take it a step further and make your own recipe!
Listen to Opera. The Met Opera will be offering “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” a free series of encore Live performances on their website. This is the first week's schedule (I will update as necessary.) For more info, click here!
- Monday, March 16 – Bizet’s Carmen
- Tuesday, March 17 – Puccini’s La Bohème
- Wednesday, March 18 – Verdi’s Il Trovatore
- Thursday, March 19 – Verdi’s La Traviata
- Friday, March 20 – Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment
- Saturday, March 21 – Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
- Sunday, March 22 – Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Tour an art museum. Travel and Leisure magazine has a great article with links to twelve museums that offer virtual tours: British Museum in London, Guggenheim Museum in New York, National Gallery of Art, Washington in D.C., Musée d’Orsay in Paris, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Uffizi Gallery in Florence, MASP in São Paulo, and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. For article and museum links, click here!
Listen to #sunshinesongs. Broadway star and actress, Laura Benanti, posted on Twitter asking students who had their productions cancelled or postponed to sing for her. Check out the performances using the #sunshinesongs hashtag. I've watched several. There are some talented peeps out there! Click here!
Color. If you don't have a coloring book there are many resources online for younger children. For older ones and adults, my friend Al posted about the free coloring books from 113 museums as part of this years #colorourcollections initiative sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine. Click here!
Do a STEM activity. NASA/JPL has many activities for students interested in STEM. Some are projects. Others are videos. You can search using grade or subject. Another hat tip to my friend Al. Click here!
Watch Liberty's Kids (or any other series you can binge.) Liberty's Kids is a cartoon about the founding of the United States. It originally aired on PBS. My kids watched this when they were younger and we homeschooled. The episodes are available via Wild Brain (they have many other kids' series available to watch besides this one) on their Liberty Kids – Wild Brain Channel. Click here!
Spring clean. Okay, not so much fun and you may get some groans suggesting it's time to clean or declutter, but being stuck at home can be the perfect time to tackle bedrooms, closets, dressers, and toy boxes. Make three piles: Keep, Toss (garbage), Donate. Turn the activity into your own HGTV show with before and after photos.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful and give you ideas of your own. I'll add to this list as I come across things. If you have something you want me to add, use the contact form to send me the info. Thanks!
As for my family, we live in Washington state. My two oldest attend different colleges on the eastern side of the state, and each will be doing their college classes online after spring break. My youngest's high school is closed through April 24th. Classes are supposed to begin again on April 27th, and we're waiting to hear what online learning there will be for her.