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Thalia R. Goldstein Ph.D.

Staying Home with the Kids? Some Dramatic Activities

Some Dramatic and Imaginative Ways to Fill The Social Distanced Time at Home

By now, most of us are in the midst of COVID-19 school closures, telework, and artistic closures. For some of us, this means a long time at home with children. I started a twitter thread with the hashtag #homewiththekids to gather in one place some artistic and fun activities you can do with your kids. Some are educational, some are just for fun, but all have a bit of a creative bent. For each activity, I've included age ranges that I think are appropriate. Please tweet me @ThaliaGoldstein with more activities to be included in this list!

1) Get outside once per day. Go to a big open space where your kids are unlikely to touch infected surfaces or interact with other kids in close contact and just... run around. The physical activity is really necessary. If you need to stay inside, try some yoga that's just for kids- story based with fun backgrounds. Cosmic Kids Yoga is an Australian channel that has something for every little one. (Ages 3-8).

2) Sign your children up to be part of a scientific study! Professor at Rutgers University, Dr. Elizabeth Bonawitz, has created a webform to put your name on if you're interested in having your kids participate in online studies. This list will be shared with researchers who have been approved by their Human Subjects Protection Institutional Review Boards to work with kids online in research that will help Developmental Science! Sign up here! (Ages 6mo-??)

3) Brown Bag Plays. Take 3-5 random household objects, put them in a bag. Kids have 10min to create a skit using all objects. Then, let them pick objects for you. (Ages 4+, depending on how dramatic your kids are)

4) Try an online game that also teaches about biology and conservation... March Mammal Madness! Created by Professor at Arizona State University, Dr. Kate Hinde, this twitter based (simulated!) game of animal battles is about to start round 2, but there's still lots of action to be had. Set up just like the (now cancelled) NCAA tournament for Basketball, animals are given rankings and chances of winning, and then a combination of scientific fact, chance, and fun narration combine for twitter fun, with follow up trash talk and youtube (rodent puppet) recaps the next day. F ind all the information here. (Ages 5- 99).

5) Make your own comics. Easy click and drag comic making website for kids to write and illustrate their own comics stories. Lots of great artistic possibilities. (Ages 5-12).

6) Online Story time by the narration experts, professional actors. Sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA foundation, and including education guides. Find the list of stories here. (Ages Birth- 8).

7) Kids Podcasts! My favorite science one, that includes quite a bit of skits, jokes, and acting, is Brains On! They also have a Corona Virus episode that is scientifically accurate (as are all their podcasts). There's a great series on Emotions for the Psychologists out there. Available on any podcast app, with tons and tons of back episodes. There's a historical sister podcast (Forever Ago). and a debate podcast (Smash Boom Best) made by the same group. (Ages 5-12).

8) Google Earth is a nice way to get research on the geography and cities of any place on earth, but also-- space! This may be old news to some, but did you know Google Earth has a tour of the International Space Station ? Lots of good info too.

OK, everyone stay safe and healthy and enjoy playing, listening, and doing art with your children!

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