Whether you’re rocketing away from Earth on a virtual tour or staying here to embrace our Northwest trees and rain, there are plenty of fun ways to stretch your kid’s brain (and your own) at home this week.

Make tree-mendously cool art

One of the first things you notice at the Seattle Art Museum is “Middle Fork,” a giant sculpture of a Western hemlock made from reclaimed old-growth cedar. Artist John Grade and his team spent weeks up in a real, 140-year-old tree to prepare. After you watch the video on how “Middle Fork” was inspired and created, at samblog.seattleartmuseum.org/2020/03/middle-fork, follow the directions on making your own mini version.

 

Embrace the rain and make your own

Rain, rain, don’t go away … because we’re making rain gauges. Find an empty soda bottle and follow the directions at wikihow.com/Build-a-Rain-Gauge. You can also make a rain cloud in a jar; read how at scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/experiments-2.

Slooooow down with the sloths

Sloths are the world’s slowest mammals, according to National Geographic, but that might not be the most interesting thing about them. Their sounds will crack you up; watch and listen in a Discovery video at youtu.be/aaqzPMOd_1g. Then spy on a pair of sloths through a webcam at a Mississippi zoo: hattiesburgzoo.com/sloth-cam.

Go aboard the International Space Station

You can see the International Space Station from your backyard if you know how to look. Find out at spotthestation.nasa.gov. What would it be like to live inside? Take a look around via Google Earth at earth.app.goo.gl/KsiQCu (click through the slides to see different parts of the station and move your mouse to turn). Then visit NASA’s mission page at nasa.gov/mission_pages/station to see what’s happening up there now.

Make spaghetti bread

If you’re a kid, the only thing better than spaghetti might be bread. Combine the two with this not-too-tricky recipe for braided spaghetti bread at rhodesbakenserv.com/braided-spaghetti-bread. Any basic bread dough should work. Customize the fillings however you like.

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