As much of the world shuts down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many venues and organizations are moving their programming online so families and individuals can still participate from the safety of their homes. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Rhode Island and Massachusetts organizations that are offering online activities to keep you and your family entertained during this difficult time.
Keep in mind that many of these activities have dates and times to participate live, but Facebook videos usually stay up on an organization’s page long after they’re filmed, so you can watch them at any time.
Go to Zoo School
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m., Roger Williams Park Zoo is hosting Zoo School on Facebook where families can learn from zookeepers about their amazing animals. Each segment comes with an activity and an opportunity to post photos and feedback in the comments. The first segment featured Delilah the red-rumped agouti, who enjoys eating sweet potatoes and working with her zookeeper, Jen. Visit their Facebook page to participate. Visit their Facebook page to participate.
Read a story with librarians
Local libraries are bringing storytime to you. With most libraries closed to the public for the time being, librarians at Blackstone Public Library and Woonsocket Harris Public Library are hosting video storytimes on their Facebook pages to keep the educational fun going. Recent storytimes have included favorites like “Pigs Make Me Sneeze” and “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.” Visit these libraries’ Facebook pages to learn more, and don’t forget to check out all the free E-books and audiobooks available through your local library’s website.
Become a citizen scientist
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Fish and Wildlife recently launched an app that allows residents to submit photos of reptiles and amphibians they find outside. This information helps compile a record of the species in Rhode Island and is essential for effective conservation and management of these secretive animals. The app includes photos to help ID animals, and anyone can participate by simply observing the wildlife they find outside. Visit the website here to learn how to download and use the app.
Check out the Providence Peregrine Falcon Cam
The Providence Peregrine Falcon Cam is back, just in time for all of us cooped up at home to enjoy. The live-streaming camera is sponsored by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and trained on the nesting box atop the Superman Building in Providence. Currently, the box is home to two falcons – a male and a female – and viewers can watch the birds make regular trips to the nesting box as the female prepares to lay her eggs. You can also sign up to get email updates so you’ll know when the chicks are ready to hatch. The live stream is available here.
Visit the aquarium
Who needs to drive to Boston to go to the aquarium when you can take a virtual tour from home? The New England Aquarium is hosting daily virtual visits on its Facebook page featuring all your favorite aquatic wildlife, including turtles, lobsters and sea lions. They’re also posting games and activities that families can follow along with from home. Visit their Facebook page to learn more.
Join a paint party
Everyone’s seen the paint parties where you get step-by-step instructions on how to create your own masterpiece. For the rest of this week, Mermaid Masterpieces in Newport is offering free live paint parties on their Facebook page at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day. Families can gather up a few supplies and log on to follow along from home. On Friday night at 9:30, they’re hosting an adults-only paint party for everyone who needs a little relaxing after this week. Visit their Facebook page to join in.
Flex your creative muscles
The Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art is posting daily activities on its Facebook page to prompt learning and exploration at home. These activities are designed to use simple materials that should already be available at home and are ideal for children ages 11 and older. Most of them are taken from the museum’s outreach and on-site programs. Visit their Facebook page to learn more.