Being stuck at home with the family can make it easy to fall into a work – Netflix – cellphone rut. But the reality is that being stuck at home can be as fun and adventurous as you can dream up. Never underestimate the power of a child’s imagination, or the power of a creative parent’s will to nurture it. Here are five of our favorite ways to experience the world in a new way while social distancing at home.
Play Indoor Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek takes your familiar surroundings and forces you to look at them in a new light: one of possibility. In addition to being fun for all ages, the classic kid’s game also helps teach important cognitive skills such as problem solving, spatial awareness (size and volume), the concept of object permanence, and creative thinking. Plus, who doesn’t love exploring? As your kids play more often, their capacity to come up with new and unexpected hiding spots will increase. Perfect for winning the game! Though not so ideal come bathtime.
Have a Day at the Zoo!
Didn’t think it was possible to go on a safari from the comfort of your couch? Think again. A number of zoos and aquariums from around the world are offering virtual tours and behind the scenes videos for all the animal lovers out there. We definitely didn’t spend an hour watching the Atlanta Zoo’s Panda Cam “for research purposes” while writing this article. Want to make an evening of it? Set up a blanket in front of the TV and have a picnic dinner with the animals. How’s that for ambience?
Visit a World Famous Museum
If you thought a virtual zoo visit was cool, then we’ve got something even better: free, virtual tours of some of the most iconic museums in the world. Introduce your children to some of the greatest artists who ever lived, or a culture not their own, a time period from long ago, or maybe even the Sistine Chapel. It’s never too early to experience the wonders of human creativity! The Louvre, the Guggenheim, the Getty, MoMA, the Met, and the Van Gogh Museum are just a few of the hundreds of art museums waiting to be virtually explored.
If you’re looking to take a break from art, don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered. How about a complete, 360-degree tour of the entire Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History? When you’re done with that (which might take a minute), check out the museums of NASA; the National Women’s History Museum; the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City; and the British Museum, London, or any one of the 2,500 other museums and galleries that Google teamed up with to bring history, art, science, and culture to anyone and everyone from around the world.
That should keep the kiddos occupied for a while!
Discover a New City
Google Maps’ Street View is a godsend for those who frequently get lost. But it’s also great for “staycations.” Though a family trip might be out of the question for now, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a little sightseeing from home. Bonus points for breaking out the VR headset! Roam around the streets of Paris… or London… or Eyebrow, Saskatchewan. The world is your oyster! Or, okay, maybe you can skip the last city. Though its name certainly does raise some, uh…
…shoot, what’s that expression again?
Run Away With the Circus!
The incredible Cirque du Soleil has unveiled a new content hub called Cirque Connect, with hour-long specials featuring the excerpts of some of their most beloved shows. Be dazzled by the lighter than air skills of world-class acrobats, astonishing feats of strength and flexibility, and laugh yourself into a fit of tears over a clown who thinks he’s a cat. Remind you kids that some of these acts are not safe to try at home… but don’t be surprised if it inspires a sudden love of gymnastics.
Luckily there is one act that you can safely learn at home, following the opening number from KURIOS: juggling! More than being a fun skill to impress friends with, juggling helps you develop hand-eye coordination, improve focus, and is oddly meditative. Plus, it’s a heck of a workout! Don’t believe us? Spend thirty minutes chasing balls around your living room.
Unleash Your Imagination
Life in the time of Coronavirus doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. There is truly no limit to the fun activities you can do with your kids while being stuck at home. From the rainy day mainstays of a jigsaw puzzle or classic board game, to playing floor hockey with checkers, it’s all about perspective. So let your imagination run wild! There’s no reason to go stir crazy, because there has never been a time with more opportunity to experience the joys of play, learning, and creativity at home. Indeed, hundreds of articles have been written listing indoor activities you can do with the kids, and bring your family closer together. What’s your favorite?
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Check Out These References for Further Reading:
“Bored at Home? Here’s a Massive List of Museums, Zoos, and Theme Parks Offering Virtual Tours.” Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
“How Parents Can Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) in Quarantine.” The Atlantic. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
“Let’s stay connected • CirqueConnect.” Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 3 April 2020.