Lowcountry Parent wants to help make life a little easier for families as they adjust to a new normal that doesn’t include traditional school. In place of our weekly weekend events blog, we’ll share helpful resources and activities to get you through the days ahead.
Many museums around the world are offering virtual tours you can take from your couch thanks to Google’s Arts and Culture collection which includes the Guggenheim in New York City, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the British Museum in London.
Kids can explore art, history and science without ever leaving their house. To view all participating museums, visit artsandculture.google.com.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is hosting daily Home Safaris via Facebook Live at 3 p.m. EST. Each weekday, a different animal will be featured and will include a complimentary activity you can do at home. Facebook.com/cincinnatizoo
Scholastic created a ‘Learn From Home’ website which is broken down into four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+. Each section is already equipped with one week of content for students with 15 additional days on the way. classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
For hands-on technology-free activities, we love following the Busy Toddler on social media. But, don’t let the name fool you. Due to current events, the former kindergarten and first-grade teacher turned stay-at-home-mom is expanding to include activities for kindergarteners and older children as well. The best part is that most activities only require things you probably already have lying around your home. www.instagram.com/busytoddler
All South Carolina students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch regardless of whether they normally eat for free. Each Lowcountry area school district has designated grab-and-go meal distribution sites. For hours and locations, visit your district’s website.
In addition to the school districts, several Lowcountry restaurants are providing free meals to students including Rico Chico Restaurant (Summerville), Ella & Ollie’s (Edisto Island), Eggs Up Grill (Knightsville, Ladson, Summerville, Mount Pleasant), Zia Taqueria (James Island), and Baroni’s Pizza (Mount Pleasant and West Ashley).
Charleston County Public Library has a variety of free digital resources including access to research databases and expanded e-book and audiobook selections on their website. They are also hosting a variety of online and activities. This week’s lineup includes weekday storytime on Facebook life at 10 a.m., yoga, art class, guided meditation and more. Charleston residents without a library card can apply for a temporary digital library card to get access during library closures. ccpl.org/learnathome
The Charleston Museum is offering live tours and lessons on various topics related to local history and natural history. They are also encouraging the public to submit questions for curators and any requests such as help with homework through Instagram @charlestonmuseum and Facebook.
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry has been sharing videos each day including craft lessons, storytime, and hands-on STEM activities. Be sure to follow along on their Facebook page where you can also find updates about their exciting renovation. Facebook.com/explorecml
Dorchester County Library’s digital collection is available through their website (dorchesterlibrarysc.org) and includes e-books, audiobooks, music and movies. They are also offering virtual storytime on Facebook as well as online stories on their YouTube channel.
The Gaillard Center has a variety of lesson plans and activities on its website that correlate with South Carolina Department of Education Standards and highlight arts-enhanced curriculum. They are also hosting free live classes on their Facebook page. This week’s lineup includes HipKidz (jazz-based hip hop) on Wednesday and ShowKidz (music and movement) on Friday, both at 9:30 a.m. gaillardcenter.org/outreach/educational-resources
Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens is hosting live z-learning broadcasts showcasing behind the scene views and of course, the animals. Check out the videos every weekday live on Facebook at 10 a.m. or catch the latest episode on their website riverbanks.org.
Last week, South Carolina Aquarium kicked off virtual visits at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each weekday on their Facebook page. This week, they rolled out a new video series called Family Nature Challenge which shows fun, active ways to get outdoors and enjoy nature with your kids while still adhering to social distancing guidelines. You can also find coloring sheets and online curriculum on their website, scaquarium.org.
South Carolina state parks remain open, but rangers are also offering virtual programming on their Facebook page including guided nature walks, behind the scenes tours, animal encounters. If you plan to visit one of the 47 state parks in person, keep in mind that all park programming and tours, including historic house tours, are suspended until April 1. Additionally, indoor spaces which include visitor centers, nature centers, and retail locations are closed to visitors. For updates regarding closures, visit southcarolinaparks.com.
Summerville Family YMCA is sharing various activities you can do at home as a family, including crafts, outdoor activities, exercise videos, and workout of the days that you can do from anywhere. facebook.com/sfymca/
White Key Studios is offering weekly music lessons on Facebook. Instruments will vary each week but may include acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keys, saxophone, percussion and more. facebook.com/WhiteKeyStudios
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