Play dates are out.
Schools are closed.
And you’re stuck at home.
It’s only been several days of social distancing because of the coronavirus, but you’re looking for things to do.
Here are some ideas:
Visit virtual libraries
Brick-and-mortar libraries are closed, but resources are still available online.
The York County Library System offers online resources, such as ebooks and audiobooks through Axis 360, with a library card. It also has been sharing new items that are available and tips for fun family activities on its Facebook page.
Many educators, such as York Suburban Supt. Timothy P. Williams, have been sharing ideas of things to keep students actively learning. And many work for adults, too.
How about some classics, such as “Little Women,” “Heart of Darkness” and “Don Quixote”? Project Gutenberg offers more than 60,000 books to download for free, and no registration is required. The books are available in many languages, including Spanish, Greek and Chinese.
Also try the International Children’s Library. Its mission is “to support the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community — who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge,” the website states. Registration is optional.
Scholastic is helping pre-school and primary grade students continue working on their skills while school is closed through a free digital hub called Scholastic Learn At Home. It will help children with English Language Arts; Science Technology, Engineering and Math; Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning, according to a news release.
Dive into the sea, watch zoo animals
Aquariums and zoos might be closed, but you can still watch sea creatures and animals in real time through web cameras and learn more about their habitats.
And the Philadelphia Zoo is doing a live broadcast at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to educate the public about its animals.
While you’re visiting these sites, you can learn more about the animals and their habitats.
Take a virtual tour of a museum
Many museums are offering free virtual tours of their exhibits.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Lancaster County offers virtual tours of its trains and other equipment.
Learn more about science at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Who knew that rice thrown at weddings years ago really didn’t hurt birds?
The Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh is offering a chance to learn through a variety of exhibits, such as the legacy of Fred Rogers and innovations made in western Pennsylvania. Watch a video about toys from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.
The York County History Center in York offers a virtual tour of the Colonial Complex, access to the African American collections, and activities for children.
Plan for the summer
It’s a few more months until summer, but you might want to start making plans (and hope this virus doesn’t stick around) for things you can do.
Did you know there’s a park in eastern Pennsylvania where you can use a hammer to hit rocks and make them ring? How about taking a ride on the Duquesne Incline? Jim Cheney of Uncovering PA offers a wide variety of places to visit throughout the Commonwealth.
Perhaps you’re thinking of a getaway to the beach? Take a virtual trip there now. Ocean City, Md., offers web cameras to view the boardwalk, the beach and the inlet. Watch as a boat motors in and waves crash along the surf.
The York Daily Record’s coverage of coronavirus is being provided for free to our readers. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing at ydr.com/subscribe.
Step outside to enjoy some fresh air. Seriously.
Take a hike at a park. Walk around the neighborhood. Play with your children in the yard.
GoNoodle offers exercises on its website, including lessons in “bunny breaths” to help calm down.
An indoor obstacle course could help children burn off energy, too. Toss balls into a basket. Climb through a homemade tunnel. Use a rolled up towel as a balance beam.
Do you have other ideas of what do? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read or Share this story: https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2020/03/20/coronavirus-pa-how-families-can-stay-busy-while-social-distancing/2867154001/