If your children have finished all their school work and are now cruising the house looking for ways to bomb your next Zoom call (nothing says professional working from home like a child appearing in shot clad in just a pair of undies and a superman cape), then try these great links to keep them entertained.
From taking doing some volunteer work in Kenya from your sofa through to learning from a palaeontologist, or watching a short pantomime, Stratford Press editor Ilona Hanne has collated a list of some great websites for you and your children to enjoy from the comfort of your living room.
Just because we are all stuck at home, doesn't mean we can't be volunteers. Older children, and adults, might enjoy helping Wildwatch Kenya with their work identifying types of wildlife in a conservation area there. Volunteers worldwide are helping Wildwatch Kenya by looking at photographs captured from a network of 100 motion-activated trail cameras, which automatically take photos of animals as they pass by them. The site is easy to navigate, and don't worry if you don't think you can tell your bok from your buffalo, the site is set up to help you. You can click on tabs offering help with identifying the different shapes of antlers, etc, on various animal to help narrow down what the animal might be. Give it a try, and don't be surprised if suddenly three hours have gone by while you nature watch and help a great cause at the same time.
There's nothing like a pantomime, but with the Covid-19 pandemic, plenty have been cancelled across the globe. BASE Productions' "A Tale To Tell" is a short film musical that is worth getting the popcorn ready for. The story imagines a world where the fairy tale characters we see in pantomimes live in the real world like everyday celebrities, and pantomimes are their life stories told on stage. The story shows what happens when these fairy tale celebrities return from their normal day to prep for their role in this year's pantomime only to find out that it has been cancelled. The original script features two original songs as well as plenty of comedy, singing and dance, and makes for an enjoyable 40 minutes of viewing. Find it on YouTube on the Twist and Pulse channel, just search for A Tale To Tell.
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It's been a long time between flights overseas for many of us, but that doesn't mean we can't still explore the world out there. How about taking a trip to the USA and "walking" some of the many paths around the Grand Canyon?
Thanks to Google Earth you can explore the Grand Canyon and many other parks and reserves around the world. Try visiting Egypt and looking at the Great Sphinx of Giza or maybe a trip to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. Just visit www.earth.google.com/web and type in the name of place you want to visit, or try their "I'm feeling lucky" option to be taken on a mystery tour.
If you have a budding palaeontologist living with you, then they might enjoy hearing exactly What it is like to find a 155 million year old dinosaur. Award-winning palaeontologist Dr Mark Loewen is just one of the many experts featured in the Natural History Museum of Utah's educational programmes which are available as videos on their site. The site has a wide selection of Q&A sessions with experts including Dr Loewen. If they are finding living in isolation hard, they might benefit from some tips from an expert at living in a very small bubble - an astronaut such as Scott Kelly. Check out www.nhmu.utah.edu/research-quest/research-quest-on-demand for a wide range of topics guaranteed to enthral and engage as well as educate.
If listening to astronaut Scott Kelly whetted their appetite for all things space, then they might like NASA's Space Center Houston app, which is free to download. From taking a selfie with an astronaut filter, testing their knowledge on a range of trivia quizzes, covering everything from space food to astronaut training, or even taking a virtual reality tour of a Skylab or the NASA 905 cockpit, they will find a range of activities and tours to keep them busy. Download it from Google Play or the Apple APP store, just search for Space Center Houston app. Even adults might enjoy the personality test which offers to determine which type of space mission would be suited to your personality.