It’s me, Deanna, the teacher with 20+ years experience who, like you, is practicing social distancing at home with my child. I have decided to use my training and experience to develop a daily list of activities for you to do at home with your kids.
Note: I completely forgot that today was the Spring Equinox (for Northern Hemisphere) and Fall Equinox (Southern Hemisphere). The day is of equal length. Take a minute to talk about this with your kids. Here is a list of simple activities.
If your family is like mine, you are getting tired of seeing the same set of rooms over and over again. Luckily we live in the Internet Age, so we can use our computers and devices to at least look at the rest of the world.
I have gathered a list of virtual field trips, but before I start, you should spend a bit of time trying to figure out how to show these on as big a screen as possible. Use a wire to link a laptop to your TV. If you have a smart TV, link your device via your wireless network using something like Bluetooth or Apple TV. If you have a projector, hook up the laptop to the projector. Then these will be much better.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden – Every day, while the zoo is closed due to COVID-19, they are hosting a “home safari”. They are about 20 minutes long and you can access today’s and all the previous ones at the link above.
Granby Zoo – Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, this small zoo is having visits with their animals on their Facebook page. These presentation is in French, so this would be a great activity for the second language learners in your house.
Animal Cameras – A variety of facilities have live webcams that you can watch. They are static but still cool. If I watched this with my kid, I would have them try to identify the animals in the webcam. We would do some research on the web to see if we are right.
- Ripley’s Aquarium – Canada – Shark Camera
- Georgia Aquarium Webcams
- San Diego Zoo
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Webcam
- Panda Cam – Zoo Atlanta
- Houston Zoo – Webcams
National Museum of Ireland – this is an extensive collection of specimens. You can tour multiple floors of the museum.
Carrickfergus Castle – Virtual tour of an Irish castle in Northern Ireland.
The Louvre – One of the most famous buildings in the world, you can tour its Egyptian antiquities exhibit and the Galerie d’Apollo. There’s even a tour of the remnants of the Louvre’s moat. Did you know the Louvre used to have a moat? I did not. (Requires flash to run)
VanGogh Museum – brought to you by Google Arts and Culture, you can tour the museum exhibits and see the art of this great master. Make sure to click on the photos along the bottom to access the different floors.
Google also has virtual tours of the National Parks available on Google Expedition and the Google Arts and Culture ap. They were designed for use by teachers in the classroom, but since you are homeschool during our period of social distancing, you might as well use them.
Google Maps – This is honestly one of the best ways to see the world from your couch. You’ve used it before to get directions, but now use the streetview to see what it looks like. You can also visit locations that you might never make it to, like the Adélie Penguin Rookery in Cape Royds, Antarctica or the Roman Colosseum. Google also has a gallery with the places they are featuring. This article has even more places listed. You can also go to space and visit the International Space Station and Pluto, Why not have your child pick a place they wish to visit and then start at your house and use Google Street View to virtually navigate to your destination.
Google Earth is also another great place to go. Once it launches, you can go to the Voyager section where you can find articles, games, quizzes and other interactive features. Or just explore the world.
And if you really want to go for a virtual field trip, check out the Slow TV offerings on YouTube or your favourite streaming app. Coming out of the Norweigan broadcasting service, you can literally enjoy every minute of a seven hour train ride or canal boat trip. There are shorter one too, so don’t be intimidated
If you need more places to look at, this article has links to MANY cultural institutions that have opened their virtual doors.
And finally, remember, unless you have recently returned from abroad, are in a high risk group or are actually sick, you don’t have to stay indoors. Try and go for a walk once a day. Try going around your neighbourhood or the local nature area. Bring a water bottle and a sensible pair of shoes. Just remember to keep your distance. Explore new areas, as long as you are safe.
And if you have made it this far, there is a movement to hang a silly face in your front window tomorrow, March 20, 2020. Have your kids make some silly faces for tomorrow. Make them big so they can be seen by the families going for walks.
This post was made with the research help of the following people
- Tabbatha Capehart Higginbotham
- Andrea Laliberte
- Ann Arden
- Ryan Furlong
All great teachers. Thank you for your help.