Can you think of something we missed? Share your tips!
1. Keeper Corner. The Lincoln Children’s Zoo has launched a digital “Keeper Corner,” posting a video every day at 3 p.m. to their social media sites with facts about an animal and an activity for kids and families. Search for Lincoln Children’s Zoo on Facebook.
2. Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is extending membership expiration dates for pass holders equivalent to the number of days the Zoo is closed to the public. Their animal care staff continues to work around the clock to care for more than 35,000 animals. Buy or renew your membership now through March 29 and save.
3. Old School. Pull out the board games, teach others your favorite card games, learn chess, play checkers. Teach or start learning an instrument or a new hobby.
4. Don’t Forget Birds! Try doing some bird-watching with some tips from midwestbirdwatching.com.
5. And Your Pets! Give your pets plenty of love, they can be a huge source of grounding and joy. Speaking of pets, shelters and foster organizations are as busy as ever. The Nebraska Humane Society continues to take in an average of 50 pets a day, who require care costing about $33 apiece. Send them some love if you can.
6. Saying “Stories Help,” Audible.com is offering free access to stories for kids for as long as schools are closed.
7. PBS offers a variety of free, high-quality learning activities with help for parents and educators, see pbskids.org/learn.
8. GoNoodle! If your kids are like mine they are missing their friends, playdates, school mates and parks…and they probably have quite a bit of pent up energy that seems bigger than your house can take. Check out GoNoodle! It’s a fun youtube channel for littles dedicated to getting them moving and helping get their wiggles out.
9. Scavenger Hunt! Keep kids excited and learning about the home they live in by challenging them to find five items that begin with the letter “A,” ten things that are red, three things you can wear on your head.
10. Lego Prompts. Online groups like Lego Quarantine Survival Challenge offer age appropriate prompts to create specific builds and submit your final product online. (SL)
11. Benson First Fridays Youth Engagement. Kids are invited to join fun, art-oriented events on their Facebook page.
12. Have The Kids Write the Week’s Menu. For older kids who understand ingredients well, have them “grocery shop” through the kitchen and plan what can be made from what you have. Teaches inventory assessment, budgeting, and home economy.
13. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt. In a group message or Nextdoor, arrange with area homes to put a daily signal in the window. Teddy bears, drawings, stickers, cut-outs, or draw pictures with chalk on the driveway. Take children on a walk daily to find as many of the designated items as you can.
14. Salt Dough Hand Prints. Little fingerprints end up on everything, but by mixing one cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, and 1/2 cup of water, you can create a permanent mold of their hand print to last you a lifetime. Add some food coloring to the dough, or let the children paint their own keepsake hand print.
15. Family band! Use pots and pans, a tissue box with rubber bands wrapped around it, glasses filled with water, wooden spoons, or an oatmeal box filled with beans or rice to make instruments for your baby Beethovens.
16. Round Robin Story Hour. Tell a story for one minute. When your time is up, the next member of the family picks up where you left off. You never know where your characters will end up, and the creative exercise is as educational as it is hilarious.
17. Get Reacquainted With Your Children. You’ll be surprised what they’ve learned behind your back. Go “speed dating” with your family and get to know one another a little better. Find out who they want to become, what they’ve been reading, and what they’re most excited about in the coming year.
18. Let Them Plan a Road Trip. Pull out a paper map and let your children plot out a path for your next family road trip. This can be a fun geography, cartography, and economics lesson! Who knows where the road less traveled will lead your family?
19. Invent a New Board Game. You have 14 games in your closet, each missing approximately 1/3 of the pieces. What happens when you mix and match? Throw out the rules and create a brand-new game!
20. Living Room Picnic. Lay a blanket on the floor and fill a cutting board with their favorite foods. A char-cute-erie platter with nuts, lunch meats, fruits, cheeses, and a handful of goldfish crackers can make yet another family dinner a fun, silly, relaxed adventure
21. Follow the Leader. Children are told what to do every hour of every day. Let them come up with the path, noises, and movements and then be silly enough to follow along! It’s an excellent workout, and a fine exercise in humility. Besides, according to a statistic I just made up, you burn up to seven times as many calories when you’re being ridiculous.
(Other contributors: B.J. Huchtemann, Beaufield Berry)