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 social distancing. Feel free to send me your discoveries in the coming weeks.
1. MOSI in Motion: Though Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry remains closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, MOSI is continuing its online programming via its virtual MOSI platform, airing weekdays at 1:30 p.m. on its MOSI In Motion Facebook page (facebook.com/MOSIinMotionTampa) as well as its main MOSI Facebook Page (facebook.com/mositampa). Last Friday’s field trip showed the museum’s health and wellness area, and how surgeons use robotics to perform surgery.
2. Drag Queen Story Hour: Drag Queen Story Hours have spread from San Francisco to New York in the past four years, featuring people in drag reading children’s books to kids ages 3 to 8. St. Petersburg’s Community Cafe hosted a popular one as well. The cafe has stopped doing them in person but has posted some story hours on its Facebook page. At 2 p.m. Thursday there will be a story hour streamed from New York called DQSH: Livestream With Harmonica Sunbeam. The story hour will also be hosting a costume contest. “Dress up like your favorite story book character, don your best royal apparel, or just wear your favorite PJs — and post a photo using the hashtag #spiritofstoryhour to Facebook or Instagram.”
3. Take guitar or ukulele lessons: Fender, the world-famous guitarmaker, is offering free lessons for the first 100,000 users who create an account for Fender Play, its online learning platform. Those users can get three months of free online lessons. While you will need to provide your own instrument, the lessons are available for acoustic and electric guitar, as well as bass and ukulele. Unlike more traditional classes, Fender Play lets users learn how to play guitar with lessons based around popular songs. try.fender.com/play/playthrough.
4. Art Break With the MFA: The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg has set up a page on its website called Art Break With the MFA, where families can find the directions for half a dozen art projects inspired by pieces in the museum. Each is connected to the MFA Collection and its special exhibitions. You can learn to make shadow puppets or costumes and learn more about the museum’s Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney exhibit. It looks at how artists work with writers and performers to bring stories to life through theater, ballet, opera and cinema. Or you can make bright red paper poppy flowers inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting that hangs in the museum. The Art Break activities were designed with students in kindergarten through sixth grade in mind, the museum said, “but we think they are fun for all ages." Use #MFAFromHome to share your creations with the MFA online. mfastpete.org.
5. Celebrity story time: The Screen Actors Guild Foundation has created the children’s literacy website storylineonline.net, which features videos of actors reading children’s books alongside produced illustrations. Each book has a recommended grade level and activity guides. Among the readers: Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog, author Janell Cannon reading her book Stellaluna and Rose Byrne reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
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