Even as safer at home orders start to ease in our area, summer is almost upon us and kids will have more free time on their hands. Many traditional summer activities, like overnight and day camps, have been canceled or postponed out of an abundance of caution. If you’re looking for ideas to keep your kids engaged and active this summer, here’s a list that can help get you started. Almost all of these resources are free too!
- American Family’s Dream Bank – Under normal circumstances the Dream Bank offers free interactive experiences for kids (and the whole family) on “Family Saturdays” each week. While in person event have been put on pause for now, there are a number of live streaming events via their Facebook Live feed. Activities range from kid’s bootcamp to interactive story time. Learn more at https://www.amfam.com/making-a-difference/dreambank/events/#events-nav
- Madison Children’s Museum – While the museum remains closed for now, the MCM at Home program brings learning and interaction to your children at home with virtual events. New events are offered regularly and can be accessed via their website or Facebook group. As an added bonus their Facebook group will connect you with a network of other families navigating our new socially distanced world. For more info, check out their website: https://madisonchildrensmuseum.org/programs-and-events/mcmathome/
- Madison Public Library – Libraries are now online and offering curbside pick-up/check out services. A number of events and learning opportunities are available online. These range from story and music time to interactive art and creative projects. Learn more and find a schedule of activities at https://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org
- Bring Hogwarts to Your Home – With Harry Potter at Home, the wizarding world is within your reach. The site offers a number of activities for the Harry Potter fans in your home. Listen to chapter readings (some read by the characters themselves), learn to draw a Niffler, discover your house, and much more. To experience the magic for yourself, check out https://www.wizardingworld.com/collections/harry-potter-at-home
- MSCR Safer At Home – Stay active, and even get outdoors, with MSCR’s Safer At Home activities. Join a live virtual exercise class, print out materials and head outside to explore the natural world, or complete creative art projects with online guides and resources. Find activities and materials at https://www.mscr.org/about-mscr/public-information/stay-active-and-saferathome
- For Your Top Chef Junior Hopeful – If you’ve got kids who are interested in cooking and/or baking, there are plenty of online resources to help hone their skills. For cooking lessons for kids (or beginning adults) check out Chop Chop Cooking Club. The site America’s Test Kitchen has a section just for kids too. Kids can learn and master basic cooking skills, and try out full fledged recipes too. The best part about both of these programs is that they’re FREE!
- For the Tech-Oriented – Whether they want to design video games one day, or just like playing around with skills that can serve them well down the road. Google offers Grasshopper – a free app that will teach interactive coding for beginners. This isn’t just for kids either – any curious adults out there that want to learn a new skill will get value from this app too.