Stuck at home with the kids? No, you’re not. Hurtle across the world and through history with some fun diversions, on and off your computer screen.
Tour the pyramids
Google has an amazing tour of the pyramids of Giza at google.com/maps/about/treks. Scroll down to travel back in time, zoom in to explore each pyramid and stroll around. Then take the BBC’s 360-degree journey inside a pyramid.
For some hands-on fun, try to build your own with LEGOs — but probably not the 24,000 of them that you’ll see at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Fly into space with the Hubble
The Hubble Space Telescope is hundreds of miles above Earth, changing our understanding of the universe as it orbits our planet 15 times a day. Move your mouse around to take the 360-degree tour at NASA’s Hubble Inspires page (nasa.gov/content/hubble-inspires-online-activities), where you can also explore the telescope’s discoveries and look up what Hubble saw on your birthday. Then zip back down to Earth for a virtual tour of NASA’s Missions Operations Room, where a team controls the telescope.
Go back in time with da Vinci
Young inventors can find inspiration in Kiddle’s page on Leonardo da Vinci, artist, scientist and inventor of seemingly everything but the kitchen sink. Boston’s Museum of Science walks you through how to design your own inventions, try da Vinci’s weird writing style and more at mos.org/leonardo/activities. Or just set up your own maker space with expendable household odds and ends, then see what creations emerge from it.
Don’t believe your eyes
Trick yourself with the wealth of optical illusions at rd.com/culture/optical-illusions. You can find a good explanation of how optical illusions work at optics4kids.org/illusions, along with a quiz that will make your eyes cross even more.
Race a lasagna car
Grab your pasta, hot glue gun and an adult, and get going on a lasagna (or spaghetti or fusilli) soapbox derby car. There is a Very Official Description at teachengineering.org, but kids just need to read enough to get the basic idea. Build your car, race it down a ramp and keep tweaking it if it doesn’t work. Hint: It helps to have round pasta.