Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Cool websites and 'virtual events' for Seattle families staying put amid coronavirus

New this week: Pacific NW Ballet. Check these sites for interesting lessons, videos and online events.

 

Are you (and your kids) bummed out about not being able to visit some of your favorite Seattle-area spots?

We all are! 

These are unusual and challenging times, but for the good of our community, we must stay put. You've heard the term "flatten the curve," and it requires effort by all of us.

It's only temporary, and here at Seattle's Child we will do everything we can to provide you with ways to pass the time while stuck at home.

For starters, lots of our local faves are taking their show online. And their content is educational, which will be great for all of you sudden homeschool families out there. Check our Seattle's Child Family Event Calendar for kid- and family-friendly events that have "gone virtual." People are doing some great, creative things to help us all stay busy and happy. Let's support them as much as we can!

Here's the latest in our updating list of ways to supplement at-home learning (and fun):

 

Arts/history

NEW: Pacific NW Ballet: A series of videos of PNB dress rehearsals and performances will soon be available for limited-time viewing on the ballet's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Seattle Art Museum's "Stay Home with SAM" promotion includes art activities, art lessons, interviews and even a dash of humor.

Explore more art with Tacoma's Art Museum's searchable eMuseum database. 

Fifth Avenue Theatre has taken its "Fridays @ the 5th" teen musical-theater workshop online. It "meets" at 4 p.m. Fridays via Zoom. Register in advance.

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) promises to offer historic tidbits and flashbacks via its social-media sites and also calls our attention to its Rainy Day History podcast, which is — bonus — researched, written and produced by the teens who are MOHAI's Youth Advisors. Here's part of the description: "Dive into the muddy and complicated waters of Seattle’s past, its struggles with inclusion and exclusion, and histories of community, survival, and belonging."

 

Animals

Fingers crossed that we'll be able to have a Washington State Fair (aka Puyallup Fair) in the summer, but in the meantime its website has a huge amount of fun and educational resources involving food, animals, agriculture, physics and more.

Seattle Aquarium is offering videos, "virtual field trips," animal fact sheets, coloring pages and more. The aquarium invites people to "be delighted by the animals in our care, be mesmerized by our exhibits, learn about the marine environment, and take action to preserve Puget Sound and Earth’s one ocean …"  

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek are offering the "Nature at Home" program that includes scavenger hunts, downloadable coloring sheets, animal facts and behind-the-scenes videos of animals and their keepers.

Keep up with Woodland Park Zoo's gorilla mom Uzumma and her new baby boy by checking the zoo's blog. Its YouTube channel is also full of cuteness and information. In addition, the zoo has launched "Super Snack Time," a weekly Facebook Live event in which a zoo keeper will talk about a different animal while giving it a treat. Check it out at 2 p.m. each Tuesday.

Oregon's Wildlife Safari also has gone online with Facebook live presentations and other educational activities.

 

Sports (new category!)

Major League Soccer's website is full of training and skill videos. (For more on this subject, read Coaches tips for kids whose spring sports were canceled.)

 

Science/tech/STEM

Seattle's Museum of Flight has launched an "At Home" program offering virtual tours with the Curator, 3D explorations, podcasts, flight facts, STEM family activities and more.

The Burke Museum has launched #BurkeFromHome, with offerings including virtual tours, art projects and emailed learning packets.

Pacific Science Center has a whole section on its website called Curiosity at Home, featuring streaming live science shows, hands-on STEM activities, tutorials, interviews and more.

A middle-school teacher pointed us to "Solve the Outbreak," an educational, interactive tool designed by none other than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The National Weather Service has a wealth of information that would make a great addition to science lessons.

 

Food/cooking

A food writer and her three children have created a cooking video series called "Key Lime Kids" in which they demonstrate a kitchen skill and then share a related kid-friendly recipe.

 

Characters/celebrities

Former first lady Michelle Obama will read has partnered with PBS Kids to do readings of kids books. She can be seen at 9 a.m. Mondays on the PBS Kids Facebook page and YouTube channel.

NBC News anchor Lester Holt has launched a "Nightly News" kids edition in which he'll tackle coronavirus, home-school topics and more. It's available on the NBC News YouTube channel, and new episodes will be posted Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Seattle's Charles the Clown is offering free video chats with kids ages 4-7. They will be short visits, with Charles taking his cue from the child as to content, whether it's talking about pets or their day or maybe showing off a trick or an art creation. Go here to learn how to set this up.

Where's Waldo has gone online with coloring sheets, matching games, design activities and even "Waldo Wisecracks."

Charlie Brown and Snoopy are here for us with online lesson plans including math, science, language arts and life skills such as persistence. Also, the new series “Snoopy in Space,” a collaboration with NASA, is available for free on Apple TV+. Both were created in collaboration with NASA.

The Music Factory in Seattle's Madison Valley has taken its classes digital, offering livestreamed lessons in voice, all sorts of instruments and even digital music production. Learn about its offerings here.

 

Travel/outdoors

Washington State Parks has taken the Junior Ranger program online with activity sheets ranging from word finds to "wacky weather" lessons and scavenger hunts.

Here's a fun one for the whole family: The travel website Jetsetter offers its "Ultimate Travel Bucket List: 10 Trips You Have to Take," and it's totally worth checking out for the photos alone!

Stunning virtual tours of 10 U.S. national parks, courtesy of website Travelzoo.

On the same topic, the National Park Trust has published "5 Fun Ways to Bring Parks to Kids," including scavenger hunts, art projects and outdoor-learning activities.

 

More ways to learn:

The at-home learning products company Hand2mind is offering free, daily learning activities for grades K-5 including math, literacy and STEM topics in the form of streaming lessons, downloadable worksheets and tips for at-home, hands-on activities.

And here's a master list of education-related websites offering free subscriptions and materials.