Like a lot of our patrons, I am in the challenging position of trying to fill the roles of parenting, working from home, and taking the place of school for my children during this pandemic. While everyone’s motivation was high for the first few days, we are starting to struggle with staying engaged and active. Fortunately, one of the positive things to come out of this situation is that we have learned how to utilize technology for the things it was originally meant to do: connect, educate, and provide information and entertainment in a positive way. Many authors, artists, educators, and even celebrities have stepped up to bring us a multitude of free web-based ways to flex our thinking muscles and bring us joy during this time. Here are a few of my favorites that I think your family will also enjoy:
- LunchDoodles with Mo Willems – “When I became the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, I didn’t realize the most impactful word in that title would be ‘Residence’,” says renowned children’s author Mo Willems of his residency-turned-video-project LunchDoodles. Every weekday, Willems invites learners into his studio to “doodle together and explore ways of writing and making”. You may even catch a glimpse of our friends Pigeon or Elephant and Piggie. These videos can be streamed at kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/.
- Santat Online Survival School for the Pandemic – If you are struggling to explain a pandemic to your kids (or you need a better understanding yourself), author Dan Santat provides. His brilliant series explains the meaning and history of key pandemic concepts such as quarantine, rationing, and vaccine, and provides fun assignments that kids can complete to earn badges. Survival School is available as a downloadable PDF at dantat.com/.
- Science Max – Originally a Canadian children’s television series, Science Max is now streamable on YouTube. In each episode, host Phil McCordic asks the question, “What would this science experiment be like if it were huge?”. He thoughtfully explains science concepts such as friction, elasticity, and even boomerangs, then demonstrates how they work through turbocharged demonstrations. These videos will appeal to a wide age range and inspire both brain stretching and belly laughs.
- Koo Koo Kanga Roo – Another source with a wide range of appeal, this musical duo describes themselves as “Beastie Boys meets Sesame Street”. If that doesn’t draw you in, surely their song titles will, including “All I Eat is Pizza”, “Bubble Wrap Rap”, and “Pancakes for Dinner”. Their YouTube channel is a wealth of these saccharine sweet tunes paired with easy to follow dance moves that will get parents and kids off the couch and moving their bodies.
Lewistown Public Library wants you to know that we dearly miss our patrons and we greatly appreciate your support during this time. While the library building is closed, our phones are open from 10 am-4 pm Tuesday through Friday. Please visit our website and Facebook for up-to-date information and virtual programming, including Storytime, Magical Middles Story Hour, and Teen Writers. Stay well!