While Atlanta’s showing signs of returning to its normal hustle, many of us are choosing to still stay safer at home—which means you’re in luck! We’ve pulled together blueprints for epic backyard obstacle courses, selected our very favorite cardboard box transformations, and even tracked down scientists who would just love to Skype with you, for free. Staying safe at home can be anything but boring. Read on for our favorite ways to play from home, below.

photo: Gustavo Fringfrom Pexels

Hands-On Home Activities

Turn Cardboard Boxes into Epic Creations
No matter how shiny the gift inside, time and time again kids want to play with the box. Check out these 17 epic transformations of an ordinary cardboard box that will make you forget its humble past. From mini-golf to airplanes to castles, you’re guaranteed to get inspired.

Set Up a Backyard Obstacle Course 
Get little warriors moving (and tire them out) with these 11 clever obstacle courses for kids. Participants will break a sweat and the best part? Each one of these DIY obstacle courses can be easily set up inside or in the backyard. From an all-star athlete adventure to easy sidewalk chalk, these are winners.

Try 20 Easy Ways to Play
Whether you’ve got five minutes or 30, here’s a list of crafts, experiments and activities that will ensure that every minute counts. Click here for ideas you and the kiddos will love.

Build a Fairy Garden
Your little one is no stranger to enchantments: from peering under rocks to fashioning wings and wands, the kingdom of the fairy is a magical place perfect for budding imaginations. What better way than to combine a love of the fae with a little small-scale gardening, of the little people, by the little people and for the little people! Check out these tips to make your own.

Play Twilight Games
Let them enjoy this Atlanta spring weather—and lack of mosquitos—and stay up late playing these twilight games.

Get Messy with Outdoor Art
The great outdoors were made to accomodate children’s creativity — and their art. Let the messy stuff stay outside, and as the weather warms, your kids won’t mind when you use the hose to spray ‘em down when they’re done. From painting with water to using salad spinners to contain the mess, check out these 10 ideas that are big on creativity, but easy on cleanup.

Take a Hike
Get outside and take a deep breath of fresh air. There are plenty of spots to let the kids run outside. Check out this roundup of our favorite hikes for toddlers, or perhaps even check out the Department of Natural Resource’s home page for info about State Parks nearby.

 

Virtual Adventures

Ride Amazing Theme Park Rides Virtually
Now that all of our favorite theme parks are temporarily closed, you and your kids can get the same experience at home by checking out these fan-uploaded ride experiences on YouTube from Disney, Universal and Busch Gardens—to name a few.

Exploring Our Feelings Family Yoga
You and your family are invited to join me and my 6 year-old son, for a fun, livestream “Exploring our Feelings” Family Yoga Event. In the comfort of our own homes, we will explore our emotions using fun yoga poses, mucic & games. We will end class with breathing and a guided relaxation. All ages and abilities are welcome. For more info and to register, click here.

Skype a Scientist
In these uncertain times, Skype a Scientist is here to help! Chat with a scientist over video chat for free about anything that makes you curious. With lots of different scientists to choose from, you can pick someone who is knowledgeable about your interests. Click here for more info.

Fernbank at Home Field Trip Fridays
Take part in Atlanta’s Field Trip Fridays virtual event on social media starting at 10 a.m. each week on Facebook and Instagram. Discover a world of WOW filled with dinosaurs, artifacts, live animals, hands-on science, giant screen movies and 75 acres of outdoor adventures. Check it out, here.

Have Fun with Children’s Museum of Atlanta at Home
To help families keep their little ones engaged in the current landscape, Children’s Museum of Atlanta is offering a virtual program called #CMAatHome. Each weekday at 11 a.m., the Museum will provide an interactive activity, vocabulary list, song list or book recommendation to help parents and kids stay engaged with education—including live singing and story time with the Imaginators, Q&A sessions with Professor Labcoat and more. Find all the details here.

Take a Design Class with MODA Online
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t create new spaces and live in them for a bit! With Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), kids ages 8 & up have daily class offerings that range from Minecraft Meetups (a workshop for Minecrafters interested in storytelling, film, and game design) to Skatepark Design (learn about the history of skateboard architecture and how skateparks are designed, then design your own skateboard obstacles), and more. For more info, click here.

Atlanta Public Library Virtual Storytime
While our libraries are closed please join the Atlanta Public Library online. They are hosting Streaming Storytime Monday – Friday at 11 a.m. via Facebook Live. Tune into @FulcoLibrary on Facebook to join the virtual storytime.

Catch a Live Performance at Center for Puppetry Arts
Center for Puppetry Arts is expanding its Digital Learning platform to include live streaming, and it’s all for free. Now you can enjoy curriculum-based workshops and Digital Learning interactive puppet shows from the safety and comfort of home. Just jump onto to Facebook. They’ll be streaming live daily! If you miss the live show, check out their other offerings for inspiration.

—Shelley Massey

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