Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting many spring events on hold, there are plenty of opportunities to stay involved with organizations across the Brazos River basin and the country. From virtual tours to educational games, there are numerous ways for your kids and yourself to stay engaged with the outside world.
Here are some great online activities to try and enjoy from home:
- Join Ranger John from Texas Outdoor Family by Texas Parks and Wildlife for a Facebook Live on May 1 from 6 – 6:45 p.m. Whether you are in the backyard or your living room, Ranger John will show you how to create the best family fort or home-based shelter. For more fun events from Texas Outdoor Family, click here.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sparks environmental awareness with well-designed games on Planet Arcade. From picking up trash with “Trash Smash” to NOVA’s Energy Lab, each game addresses the key concerns of our planet and demonstrates solutions that can work in the real world.
- The National Education Association offers the Sights and Sounds of Spring, an educational program with a variety of curriculum resources for all grade levels. With focuses on bees, the changing seasons, myths and haikus, the program offers a series of videos, lessons and activities. The program is hosted by Phil Nast, a retired schoolteacher and freelance writer.
- NASA is offering a slew of STEM activities for grades K-4. Activities range from building foam rockets to solving space station emoji puzzles. Parents can also download coloring sheets and books for younger children.
- Take a virtual tour of Children’s Museum of Houston. With several virtual events available, families can take part in virtual story-times in English and Spanish, toddler playtime and more. Mr. O offers “O Wow Moments,” which allows you to become a scientist at home with experiments and demos.
- Have a virtual adventure at the Grand Canyon while remaining in Texas. You can view the Grand Canyon via 360-degree photographs on a virtual archeology tour, go on a virtual hike past layers of earth to the famous Phantom Ranch, or float down the Colorado River on a rafting trip. For more virtual tours of National Parks, click here.
- The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, home to more than 125 million artifacts, is one of the most visited history institutions on the planet. Visit the exhibits from your desktop or mobile device on a virtual tour. You’ll be able to click on the blue arrows as you navigate through each exhibit, located on the ground, first or second floors.
- Take a virtual dive with sea lions and see their habitats. Through real-time video and underwater communication feeds, witness marine wildlife through national marine sanctuaries.
- Missing the Dallas Zoo? You can still experience its wildlife from the comfort of your living room. Visit with lemurs and lions through a series of web videos or print out fun activity packs. Or you can access the Georgia Aquarium with virtual field trips and live cams of the beluga whales, African penguins, jellyfish and more.
- The American Museum of Natural History in New York City offers virtual tours that are led by museum guides and takes viewers through collections in the museum. A collection of the museum’s educational materials for children and adults has also been made available to the public for free.
- PBS is a great educational resource for a variety of topics. If you are interested in learning how to read world weather maps, track hurricanes, predict the weather and reporting weather reports on television, PBS offers quality resources for aspiring meteorologists.
- Even with schools going virtual, you and your class can still go on a field trip! Take an Oceanographic Center Field Trip and discover coral reefs, sort shrimp by their physical properties and even track a tiger shark!
- Interested in a fun family activity involving birds? Learn how to make hummingbird nectar in a few easy steps by clicking here. Audubon even offers activities for children to learn how to draw birds, how to create bird-friendly yards and what types of native plants you can plant in your backyard.
Do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. For information, go to https://www.coronavirus.gov.