2020 was…a lot. Thankfully, some good did come out of all the chaos. Our staff shifted gears to help kids and families stay engaged and keep playing and learning at home, creating dozens of video activities (all accessible on our YouTube channel!) Here is a countdown of the TOP 10 activities of 2020—we hope you’ll give them a try! There is much more to come in 2021.
10. Head Out on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
As a part of our Earth Week celebration back in April, we encouraged kids to go on a nature scavenger hunt in their yard or neighborhood. All that is needed is a pen, paper, and the nearby great outdoors just past your front door. Spending time outside is fun for all and beneficial to our overall health, so get out there and see what you can find. Watch here.
9. Make a Stop Motion Movie
What do the classic movies Wallace and Gromit, James and the Giant Peach, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have in common? They are all stop motion movies! Stop motion movies are made by piecing together a LOT of photographs (like a lot, a lot). In this activity, Michelle shows you how to create your own stop motion movie at home with help from the app Stop Motion Studio. Find it here.
8. Join Our Virtual Drum Circle
Back in March, we made music with things found around our homes. We invite you to join our drum circle and make music with us using things in YOUR home. What will you use to make music? This activity also includes a quiet alternative for those looking to avoid a lot of noise while still exploring rhythm and music. Join the drum circle here.
7. Storytime: “Harold and the Purple Crayon”
In a twist on traditional storytimes, Steve reads us “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson, but instead of showing you the illustrations, he draws them himself! As Steve reads, he’ll draw out the scenes that are happening in the story. We invite you to do the same and see how your illustrations compare with Steve’s! Follow along here.
6. Wiggly Water
This popular activity is called Wiggly Water – and you’ll quickly see why! Watch as Alissa combines droplets of colored water to find out what new colors she can make. This is an easy activity to try out at home with just a few household materials. Can you predict what colors will appear when you combine the others? PS: We are loving the Bob Ross vibes coming from this! Watch here.
5. Storytime and Activity: “Rosie Revere, Engineer”
This storytime and craft activity come courtesy of Boston Children’s Museum Director of STEAM Melissa Higgins. After the reading, Melissa guides us through making our very own dropcopter using only paper. Also included is a link to NASA astronaut Kate Robins reading the book from the International Space Station—no big deal! Explore things that fly with us here.
4. What are the Three Branches of Government?
Back in November, Boston Children’s Museum shared a series of videos exploring civic engagement called #KidCivics. In the most popular installment of the series, we learned all about the three branches of government and how they work together in a healthy democracy. Check it out here.
3. Healthy Habits: Feelings Masks
Feelings are complicated. It can be hard for kids to find the right words to express them, which is why facial expressions are so helpful for communicating how we feel—but when wearing a face mask, this isn’t always easy! In this video, our Health and Wellness Educator Saki demonstrates a fun activity to express emotions while simultaneously helping get accustomed to wearing masks. Watch here.
2. Storytime: “Julian is a Mermaid”
In the penultimate spot is a storytime of “Julian is a Mermaid,” written and illustrated by Jessica Love. The story uses words and stunning illustrations to tell the story of Julian, a young boy exploring his individuality and freedom of expression. We LOVE this book! Check it out here.
- Psychedelic Milk
Taking the top spot is one of our earliest and most favorite STEAM activities, Psychedelic Milk! Science Program Manager Alissa conducting the experiment and invites kids to follow along at home. All you need is whole milk, a shallow container, food coloring, toothpicks, water, and dish soap. What do you think will happen when we touch the soap to the colors? Get experimenting here.
While these are our top 10 activities of 2020, there are over 100 more to explore and new ones coming every single week. We invite you to check them all out on our Activities Archive page where you can easily search for at-home activities for kids that fit your interests, including STEAM experiments, storytimes, music activities, articles and podcasts for parents, and more. Click here to visit the archive.
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