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This is normally the space I devote to 5 things to do under $5. But for at least the next few weeks, we are going to pivot and offer five things you can do with your kids while maintaining a safe distance. Feel free to send me your discoveries in the coming weeks.
1. See the Florida Aquarium animals: If you haven’t checked it out yet, the Florida Aquarium in Tampa has launched its first ever SEA-SPAN Facebook Live “to keep kids learning and adults entertained during these difficult times.” Their first video featured their famous lemurs, Lulu, Remy and Annie. They’ve also had story time with one of their educators and musicians playing tunes, and they started off this week letting their penguins waddle around the exhibits. It’s adorable. Visit the aquarium’s Facebook page at 10 a.m. daily. The aquarium also posts the SEA-SPAN sessions on its website and on YouTube so the shows can be watched on demand.
2. Learn sign language: An American Sign Language teacher is hosting free sign language classes that will run weekdays at 1 p.m. on her Instagram: @aslrochelle. All are welcome, but she says it is “especially great for school-aged kids.” She plans to run them every week until May 29 or until her kids go back to school.
3. Take a cooking class: Delish launched an Instagram Live series teaching parents and kids some fun and easy recipes they can make together. The session, hosted by editorial director Jo Saltz and her own children, features kid-friendly recipes such as pizza waffles and puppy chow. Episodes will air weekdays at 1 p.m. and last 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Learn how to doodle: Children’s author Mo Willems, creator of the Caldecott-winning Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, is live-streaming a doodle tutorial each weekday during the coronavirus outbreak. You can watch the doodle tutorials live at 1 p.m. on the Kennedy Center website: kennedy-center.org.
5. Story time: Josh Gad, the actor who played Olaf in Frozen, is reading children’s books on his Twitter feed @JoshGad every night. He began with Olivia Goes to Venice and has kept the trend going with The Day the Crayons Quit and The Giving Tree. Parents seem to be getting just as much of a kick out of it as the kids, posting positive comments for the #GadBookClub on his live streams. Gad said he realized that every night before he puts his daughters to bed, he reads to them to help relax and wind down from the day. “It is the one thing I can do while I feel so fundamentally helpless,” he wrote.
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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
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STORES REACT TO VIRUS: Some businesses adjust hours or announce temporary closings.
STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.
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