The downside of staying at home -- especially with an earthquake on top of a pandemic -- is that caregivers and kiddos alike are looking for new ways to get their brains and bodies moving while their usual social radius is contained. We polled our COLLECTIVE crew of employees and friends for their favorite forms of online engagement sourced from far and near. Find any new ones of your own? Tag us on social media with your younglings in their creative element.
See below for our list of quarantine- and kid-friendly activities!
1. Research Quest Live by the Natural History Museum of Utah: The NHMU’s online education channel (geared towards middle-schoolers or younger learners with a bit of help) has all kinds of fun interactives to virtually explore the museum’s collections and ask questions of scientists during live streaming events: https://nhmu.utah.edu/rq-live
2. PhET Interactive Simulations: With this platform from the University of Colorado Boulder, students can mess around with interactive simulations in earth science, biology, physics, math and more. Pertinent to recent geologic activity right here along the Wasatch Front is a very cool plate tectonics tutorial. https://phet.colorado.edu
3. Be a Backyard Scientist: Looking for signs of spring brings out the naturalist in all of us, and kids can contribute their own observations as collaborative Citizen Scientists by using the iNaturalist app. Capture photos of plants and animals around you on a phone or tablet, then use the app to identify and learn more about the species photographed. By uploading photos, users contribute their backyard data collection to scientific studies being conducted locally and globally on species migration, habitat change, and other environmental research. www.inaturalist.org
4. Be an Indoor Physicist: Physics Girl is a YouTuber (and MIT graduate) with a plethora of DIY science experiments that kids and parents (some absolutely require adult supervision) can try at home. You'll need basic supplies for some, but you likely already have them in the home, and this is a stellar way for your pups to stay curious and keep learning while they're cooped up. https://www.youtube.com/channel/physicsgirl
5. Salt Lake County Library: The County library is posting Facebook Live readings at 10:30am every day at https://www.facebook.com/events/1105671703127370/ and the stand-alone KidZone landing page includes reading interactives, tutorials, and games at https://www.slcolibrary.org/kidzone/index.htm
6. The King’s English Bookshop: SLC’s go-to for local literature love, TKE has instituted curbside pickup options and Salt Lake County delivery for all orders. They’re also hosting a virtual storytime every morning at 11:00am on Instagram and Facebook, and 2:00pm chapter book readings (as of this post, they’ve finished The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and started The Phantom Tollbooth). www.kingsenglish.com
7. Storyline Online: Childrens books that are read (very entertainingly) by actors and public figures, with added animations based on the original book illustrations. Harry the Dirty Dog read by Betty White, or Chris Pine reading Clark the Shark? Yes, please. https://www.storylineonline.net/
8. Animal Webcams: Who doesn’t love a good webcam? This resource collected by teachers of 25 webcams worth watching is a hoot, with feeds from zoos, wildlife trails, bird feeding stations, beehives, aquariums, and African safari trailcams. https://www.weareteachers.com/best-nature-webcams/
9. Utah’s Hogle Zoo: Posting daily Facebook Live at noon zoo keepers “interview” a new animal every day at https://www.facebook.com/HogleZoo/
10. Cincinnati Zoo: also on the Facebook Live scene with daily “Home Safari” animal visits at 1:00 (MST) daily. The FB page also has the full archive of videos about famed baby Fiona the hippopotamus https://www.facebook.com/events/2915534028492292/
11. Bringing the Aquarium to You: Every day at 3:00pm Draper’s Living Planet Aquarium checks in via Facebook Live with animal visits, science experiments, keeper talks, and animal feeding interaction with Q&A from live viewers. https://www.facebook.com/thelivingplanetaquarium/
12. Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems: Presented by The Kennedy Center, these 20-30 minute videos of author, illustrator and artist-in-residence Mo Willems are filmed in his home studio and are a fun glimpse into his creative process. They’re in equal parts charming and instructive, and you’ve probably got all the materials your child (and you’ll be mighty tempted, too) need to doodle along already on hand. https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/
13. DIY Music & Composition: One Motion offers a free online platform for basic music composition, with interactive drum machine app (with 18 possible kits), DJ turntable, keyboard, and chord generator that makes complicated concepts like music theory fun and approachable. https://www.onemotion.com
14. Cosmic Kids Yoga: This YouTube channel with perhaps the most cheery yoga instructor on the interwebs, Jaime, incorporates classic yoga poses with a little bit of in-place cardio and other physical activity. Think warrior pose, but pretending you’re surfing and dodging fish (along with the sing-a-long bridge from the Surfaris “Wipe Out”). Also check out the channel’s Zen Den for mindfulness activities and dance-along Yoga Disco. https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga