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04 Dec, Sunday
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Montreal Families

Try new family activities during lock down

Is your family going stir crazy trying to find ways to fill the hours each day? If so, keep reading as your days of boredom during this pandemic are over!

Access Mars allows you to see the real surface of mars, as recorded by NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Local company, All Aboard Games, is offering a lending service of its board games for kids and families. It also has build-your-own board game kits for older children. These games give students the opportunity to learn through play, intellectually and socially, using board-game programs.

Arthives.org has put together a list of FREE weekly virtual art hives that families can take part in. Join in and get creative.

A local artist and owner of Art Will Studio is hosting Doodle Art Challenges – free online art workshops for children every Monday and Thursday at 11 a.m. Adults can enjoy their own class on Fridays at 11 a.m. The only materials needed are something to draw with and paper. Visit the Facebook Page for Zoom links and passwords.

Audible, an online, subscription-based audiobook service, is now offering hundreds of children’s titles for free during the pandemic. Check out Harry Potter (including a special Wizarding World), Dr. Seuss, Disney stories, popular young adult titles, and many others.

Bibliothèque des Amériques offers thousands of digital French books for FREE. There is also an educational area to help parents guide children in reading, writing and oral comprehension.

Another popular game is Bingo! Why not host a bingo night at home. You can find FREE, customizable and printable Bingo cards at Bingo Baker and you can use a FREE online Bingo caller at Let’s Play BINGO!

Boston Children’s Museum has a FREE virtual tour that allows families to enjoy innovative exhibits and programs that have made this institution a leader among children’s museums worldwide.

CHECK THIS! Canada’s Wonderland is now offering virtual rides at home. Read this blog post to see how you can take a spin on 16 coasters, 11 thrill rides and seven family rides. For those of you who would NEVER get on a roller coaster – this might be just the activity for you!

The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa is hosting a variety of events on its Facebook page. Nature sleepovers for families, photo challenges and educational videos.

Pull out those pencil cases and crayon boxes and head over to Colour Canada for a large library of colouring pages and crafts that help kids explore the Great White North. Learn some historical facts about our country’s provinces, holidays & festivals, icons and people.

Common Sense Media has a variety of resources to help families cope with an extended period of time at home. There are entertainment & media recommendations such music apps and games for kids, new TV shows, movie reviews, book recommendations, etc.

Crayola has many FREE colouring pages for kids, teens and adults, with a variety of themes, including Easter. There is also a Home Learning tab that has links to an educational webinar, lesson plans, and parent resources.

If your kids are Disney character fans, head over to the Disney Parks Blog and take part in a drawing lesson by an animator to see how these characters come to life.

Everblast Connects offers interactive games for groups of kids from various households. Using Zoom, an animator will entertain your kids and get them socializing with others (online only). There are scavenger hunts, team challenges and more. Sessions are approximately 45 minutes and cost $12.

Explore.org is the world’s leading philanthropic live nature camera network and documentary film channel. Enjoy seeing wild animals such as gorillas, pandas, grizzly bears, eagles, elephants, lions, sharks, and many others in their natural habitats.

Country music’s leading lady now has a new gig. Imagination Library hosts Goodnight with Dolly, a series of bedtime stories for children, all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time. There are also activity sheets and parent reading tips.

Geordie Theatre has launched an GTS Online that offers GTS play dates (for ages 6-9 or 10-12), weekly challenges, and all kinds of fun-filled festivities via social media. There is a full schedule on its website and sign-up is required for some activities.

Girl Guides of Canada has made its Guiding@Home platform available to all, free of charge, in an effort to support families by providing activities for young people on the topics of nature, arts, science and more.

Check out Hogwarts Digital Escape Room game that was launched by the University of Pennsylvania. This game can be played by alone or as a family – learn some Hogwarts’ magic, solve clues and the ultimate mystery.

The Montreal Science Centre’s IMAX®TELUS theatre is treating the public to a previously released documentary that can be watched from home. These movies are free and a new one will be released each week!

The Jewish Public Library Youth Space is offering a variety of live, online programs on its Facebook Page. So far, they have weekly storytimes, craft projects, cooking fun and a scavenger hunt.

Card games are a great way to spend some time together and pass some time. Kidspot has instructions and helpful videos to either teach you new games or remind you of the rules to 12 classic card games.

Our local library – La Grand Bibliothèque – has a wonderful selection of e-books in both French and English. Sign-up to access their library.

Laurus Summer Camp is offering various activities for every member of the family. At 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., take part in yoga, drawing, crafts, dance, making smoothies, workouts and more.

Be creative while getting some fresh air … try these 10 Sidewalk Chalk Ideas That’ll Keep Kids Entertained for Hours by Life As Mama. There are art projects, games and more. You can make learning fun by practicing spelling or math.

Mo Willems invites you into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Students can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s virtual studio. So grab some paper and crayons and join the fun weekdays at 1 p.m. Learn more

Head to Marianne Dubuc’s Instagram page for some live, weekly drawing classes that also tell a story to viewers.

The Montreal Science Centre is offering a variety of online games, experiments and crafts for kids to do at home. Time flies when you’re having fun!

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto is sharing learning activities that people can do at home related to its current programming. Geared to all ages, there are thought-provoking and crafty exercises that can be done with few materials.

National Geographic Kids allows children to learn facts about animals, science, history and geography, along with fun competitions, games and more.

To give kids a special musical day, head to the education page at the Orchestre symphonique de Montreal website. Children can watch concerts geared to young people, watch educational videos and test their knowledge with a musical quiz. The site also has educational resources for kids and adults.

Families can escape from their home by taking a virtual trip to some of the best museums around the world. Check out this article from Parents.com for quick links to virtual tours at museums such as the Guggenheim in New York, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and the British Museum in London.

PBS Kids offers online games, videos, interactive play, parenting resources, and more. You can also sign up for their FREE newsletter and get daily activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home.

You can now enjoy a variety of virtual Disney-theme rides, thanks to fans who have shared videos of themselves on the rides. Thanks to popsugar.com for sharing this news.

Take a trip to explore our capital city! Quebec City Tourism invites you to be a tourist from the comfort of your own home with 10 ways to visit the city virtually: visit museums, national parks, popular events & attractions, and more.

Scouts Canada has launched Scouting at Home, an initiative that encourages families to stay connected and active. Each week, youth organization shares a list of tips and activities for kids to do at home or online. Learn how to create care packages for at-risk communities, create hand-washing stations, safely purchase groceries for vulnerable neighbours, make thank-you cards for healthcare workers, or sew masks.

The Smithsonian Museum and Zoo offers fun facts, activities and games for children about animals, nature and science.

Spotify Kids offers a huge playlist that is fun and educational, and includes songs made by companies such as Disney and Nickelodeon. The app is FREE for Spotify Premium Family subscribers or you can sign up for a one-month free trial.

At stories.audible.com you will find hundreds of books to entertain, engage, and inform young people up to the age of 18. These stories offer a screen-free option that can break up the day for families. This is being offered FREE – no log-ins, credit cards, or passwords required. Just click, stream and listen.

Storyline Online provides a free literacy program where actors read books to children. Each book includes supplemental curriculum to strengthen verbal and written skills. And while you may LOVE to read to your children, after hours and days of it, you just might feel like a little break.

Although YMCAs are closed, the organization has recently launched The Y at Home, a website with activities to keep people active and engaged. Enjoy workout videos, craft projects and other activities for kids.

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