One bright side of being stuck at home for weeks: all the treasures we’re uncovering, from deep underground to high overhead. Here’s a mix of virtual tourism and active, full-body fun to keep your kids happy (and out of your hair).
Fly underground with the bats
Today we’re tunneling 750 feet underground to explore the mysteries of the Carlsbad Caverns, which are about 265 million years old. Watch a Google video from this otherworldly place at artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/national-parks-service/parks. It takes you airborne to find out how thousands of bats zoom through the caverns in total darkness. (Want to know more about these fascinating creatures? Head to natgeokids.com and search for “bats.”) You can finish the Google tour by standing in the middle of a giant cavern and spinning around to see the weird forms on all sides.
Make your own fizzy lemonade
How do drinks get so bubbly? Find out in a fun, tasty experiment from Scientific American. The recipe is at scientificamerican.com/article/make-your-own-fizzy-lemonade.
Draw like M.C. Escher
Escher plays with perspective to create optical illusions, including the famous artworks you’ll find at mcescher.com, the website of the M.C. Escher Foundation. YouTube abounds with lessons on how to draw Escher’s impossible shapes.
Make your own tornado
How do hurricanes and tornadoes happen? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s SciJinks page provides an animated explanation at scijinks.gov/hurricane, and you can click on the Games tab to find a simulator that will let you create your own tornado. If you’re tired of staring at a computer screen, grab a few simple supplies and make your own tornado, following the directions at sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/makeatornado.html. (We recommend adding food coloring.)
Get some exercise
Jump, squat, turn around. Tennis star Madison Keys has a game to get you moving at gonoodle.com. Get there by clicking on “Good energy at home,” which will also take you to other free activities to boost healthy habits and mindfulness.