Transitioning to life inside as we stay safe at home during the coronavirus pandemic is an adjustment for the whole family. And as parents and children work through the challenges (and small victories) of distance learning, it’s important to break up the day with kids' activities that are engaging, light-hearted, and fun. Whether your son or daughter needs a break from digital learning—or you need a break from working from home after four back-to-back Zoom calls—enjoy some quality time together with these kid-friendly livestream activities:
Visit the San Diego Zoo Via Live Cam
One of the biggest barriers in setting up livestreams for your children is the logistical and technological hazard of it all. And the last thing you want when setting up these kids activities is to wait 20 minutes for the experience to load. The San Diego Zoo live cams page is super easy to navigate. They have multiple live cams; one for polar bears, another for penguins, a koala live cam, giraffe live cam, and so on. And they have pre-recorded footage of two pandas, Bai Yun and her son, Xiao Liwu, filmed at the San Diego Zoo within the last three months.
Take a South African Safari to Spot the Big Five
To visit the plains of South Africa with your children, you can watch 24-hour livestreamed footage of the most famous game reserves in the country, from Kruger National Park to Sabi Sands and Balule Nature Reserve. But as a more interactive experience for the kiddos, we recommend tuning into WildEarth TV’s online safaris. They stream at sunrise and sunset South African time (which is six hours ahead of EST) and have adventures led by rangers and game keepers who take viewers out on land cruisers to scout for wildlife, recreating the full safari experience. Sunset in South Africa coincides with lunch time on the east coast and breakfast time on the west coast; Make sandwiches with the kids and then enjoy a “picnic” while on virtual safari.
Take “PE Class” With a Kid-Friendly At-Home Workout
The at-home workout trend has really taken off in the last few weeks, but of course, most yoga and pilates livestreams are geared toward adults. Nonetheless, if your kids are missing the physical activity that’s often built into their day at school, why not get a workout in with them during the day? At Joe Wick’s YouTube channel, Body Coach TV, he’s doing daily short-form interval training workouts for kids. It’s very reminiscent of a physical education class the kids would take at school—though arguably even more fun.
Spend the Evening Exploring Caves of Japan Lit Up With LED Lights
We experience the magic of LED lights only around the holiday season, but in Japan, LED lights are a year-round spectacle. With your children, you can explore the limestone Makido Cave, a Natural Monument of Setouchi’s Okayama Prefecture. You’ll use the interactive map to choose the cameras you want to follow as you delve into the magnificent depths of the Makido Cave. Visit the underground lake, which is lit up with green, pink, and purple LED lights after nightfall. Watching the lights dance across the water and jagged cave walls is exceptional, even from the comfort of your living room.
Visit the Dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is offering virtual tours of their current exhibits. And that can only mean one thing: dinosaurs. Explore the David H. Koch hall of fossils virtually for all the dinosaur knowledge the kids could ever want. And if no one in your family is a dinosaur lover, there are plenty of other wings of the museum to explore, like the Butterfly Pavilion and the Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt exhibit.
Take a Midday Field Trip to the Kennedy Space Center
Nothing breaks up the day quite like a good field trip to the Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center has optimized their Instagram and Facebook to provide educational and interactive content for you and your kids to enjoy. The IGTV posts are just a few minutes long, and Kennedy Space Center has been posting them with some regularity about once a week. Visit the IGTV tab on their Instagram to catch up. You can also follow their Facebook page, where they post videos and will give you a heads up about upcoming live events to stream via Facebook.