If you’re wishing you could rise above the coronavirus crisis’s endless ripple effects and take your kids with you … well, you can. Far, far above. Here are five great distractions to get your family through the week ahead.
Let’s go climbing
We’ll start at the base of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, thanks to an interactive tour at google.com/maps/about/treks. Scroll up to climb, and each time you see an “Explore” button, move your mouse to look in all directions from the towering granite face. When you come back down, read a true story of a man who climbed El Capitan with no rope and no gear, at st.news/climb. (But don’t try that technique at home.)
Make your own bagels
Whether you like your bagels with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or something else, you can start with this recipe at st.news/bagels and customize the toppings. Then mix your own schmear: cream cheese with a bit of raspberry jam, perhaps, or peanut butter with mini chocolate chips.
Grow salt crystals
Where does salt come from? You can tour a 700-year-old salt mine via Google Street View (go to google.com/maps and type in “Wieliczka Salt Mine”), then make your own colorful salt sculpture with basic ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen. Learn how in the Exploratorium Kitchen Lab at exploratorium.edu/cooking/seasoning.
Free yourself from a Hogwarts escape room
A wickedly wonderful librarian has created a Harry Potter-themed digital escape room. Test your wits and see if you can get out at ptlibrary.org/hogwarts-digital-escape-room. Potter fans might also like a virtual tour of the British Library’s “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibit at artsandculture.google.com/project/harry-potter-a-history-of-magic.
Create nature place mats
Go on a nature hike and collect nature’s beautiful little discarded items, from flower petals on the ground to pine needles. When you’re back home, lay out a piece of 16-inch-by-10-inch (ish) clear contact paper, sticky side up, and arrange your treasures however you like. Add strips of construction paper for the borders. Then very carefully smooth another, same-size piece of contact paper over the creation, sticky side down. (Contact paper is available online and at many craft stores.)