Creative ways to stay entertained while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo courtesy of CNN

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—As the COVID-19 pandemic drives more businesses to close and events to be canceled, we’ve compiled a list of activities and creative ways to stay busy while social distancing.

The National Association of School Psychologists also released a resource for parents on how to talk to children about the coronavirus. Read it here.

From learning a new skill to exploring faraway places, there are plenty of activities to try out while stuck at home.

  • NASA has a long list of free STEM activities and e-books available on its website
  • The Kansas City Zoo is offering a free 24 hour live stream of their penguin exhibit. Watch it here
  • Scholastic released a free website called “Learn at Home” with daily courses for pre-kindergarten to grades 6 and higher. Access it here
  • Khan Academy, an online academic resource, is offering free educational resources daily. Access them here
  • The Metropolitan Opera is offering free live streams of encore performances at 7:30 p.m. EDT each day starting Monday, March 16. More info
  • South Bend Venues Parks and Arts will host a “Virtual Experience” on Facebook Live every day at noon starting Tuesday, March 17. The videos will take viewers "behind the scenes" at local museums, ballparks, or physical activities, arts and crafts to encourage community building and healthy lifestyles. Visit their Facebook page here 
  • The National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian offers virtual tours through some of its exhibits. Visit the website
  • 12 museums worldwide that offer virtual tours - More info
  • For the school-age performers who had their plays and musicals canceled due to the pandemic, actress Jennifer Garner created the hashtag “HeyJenLookAtMe” asking for kids to show off their acting/ singing chops online by posting videos with the hashtag on Instagram. Broadway actress Lauren Benanti is also looking to see future stars sing their hearts out. Read her sweet announcement here
  • Take up knitting, start (and finish) a puzzle, or make homemade artwork to decorate the fridge. Unplug with these offline activities amid e-Learning and binge watching favorite shows.
  • Make a time capsule! As a family, put together a collection of photos, memories, and items to bury in the yard or hide away for opening years from now.
  • Tackle those home projects you’ve been putting off. Catch up on laundry, reorganize bedrooms, or clean out the pantry (and donate unopened non-perishables to your local food pantry).  [Tackling home improvement projects while in isolation]
  • Turn making meals into an event. Have your child host their own home cooking show while you make a meal, narrating the steps and finding ways to make it exciting. It might take a little longer, but the priceless video will be hilarious 10 years from now.
  • Tune in to the Cincinnati Zoo’s “Home Safari” on Facebook Live each weekday at 3 p.m. starting March 16. The first will feature Fiona the hippo! More info
  • The St. Joseph County Public library branches may be closed by you can still access its collections. Browse and read eBooks and eMagazines with your library card or borrow free digital music, movies, and comics with Hoopla. More info

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