District News

Keep Kids Engaged with Virtual Programming

May 19, 2020
Keep Kids Engaged with Virtual Programming

If you’re a parent or guardian quarantined at home with kids, you may be running out of activities that help everyone stay active, intellectually stimulated, and creatively engaged. Lincoln Square’s businesses and cultural organizations are here to help with virtual programming for children of all ages. Check out some of the online content below to bring some family fun to your home!

Sesame Workshop's Caring for Each Other initiative is supporting families during the coronavirus pandemic with new content featuring Sesame Street friends sharing messages of love & kindness, playful learning activities and virtual play dates. Click here for free resources designed to help provide comfort, create routines, and keep families physically and mentally healthy. The New York Public Library (NYPL) also offers a variety of tools for kids and parents to utilize online. Click here to view all the tools and resources available for parents and kids of all ages. Use your time inside as an opportunity to catch up on your reading or to share a book or learning experience with your children or loved ones. NYPL also has free online tutoring daily from 2:00pm – 11:00pm in core subject areas. Tutoring is available in both English and Spanish and is applicable for kids in early elementary to high school.

Many of Lincoln Square’s performing arts institutions have online programming for children and families. At Kaufman Music Center, check out Orli Shaham’s Bach Yard Playdates. The internationally acclaimed pianist Orli Shaham brings her interactive classical concert series for children to your home with Season One of a new, 10-episode online series presented by Kaufman Music Center. Posted every Sunday at 11:00am on Kaufman Music Center’s website and social channels, Orli’s Bach Yard Playdates introduces musical concepts, instruments and the experience of concert-going to children. Each 5-10 minute episode features story times, interactive works in which your children can join in from home, and selections designed to develop listening skills. 

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, through their initiative Lincoln Center at Home, is streaming a #ConcertsforKids series, teaming up with a remarkable group of artists who will bring world-class performances and diverse musical perspectives straight from their homes to yours. New concerts are released on Wednesdays at 4:00pm and Sundays at 11:00am, then available on demand.

Each week, the Met Opera will be offering one opera specially selected for our young audience members around the globe, along with opportunities to learn more about the production and hear from some of the artists who helped make it happen. Designed to support teachers, students, and families working and learning remotely during the Covid-19 crisis, this program offers daily live events between Monday and Wednesday that are aimed at deepening your understanding of the opera. Then, between Wednesday and Friday, you can tune in to view the opera—and apply everything you’ve learned! Click here to check out the Met Opera's Free Student Streams. 

Symphony Space has launched many different virtual activities and programs for kids. Every Friday, Symphony Space releases a Family Friday mix of songs recorded at the organization by some of the best musicians for kids. If you’re looking for a virtual summer camp option for your kids, check out Thalia Kids Book Club Camp. The camp is for kids ages 9-14 who love to read. The camp will have interactive visits with authors, book-related games and activities, and more conducted over Zoom. Click here to register.

It can be difficult for kids to get enough exercise while at home, but the West Side YMCA is here to help keep everyone in the family moving! With YMCA @ Home, kids of all ages can keep happy and healthy with fun videos, learning resources, kid-friendly workouts, swim activities, and more! And, the New York City Ballet (NYCB) has introduced Ballet Breaks, a series of lively Saturday and Sunday morning movement activities, powered by Zoom. Beginning at 11:00am, each 20-minute Ballet Break Workshop will be taught by a NYCB dancer and will include a warm-up and choreography inspired by some of the Company’s most beloved ballets. No prior dance training needed.

Are you looking for more unique arts & crafts to do with your children? Color Me Mine is now offering Pottery To Go Kits for curbside pick-up or delivery! Kits include: ceramics, as many paint colors as needed and any stencils or images for tracing on the piece along with detailed instructions on how to do each project. Color Me Mine also has free coloring sheets available on their website. Why not unleash your inner artist right in your living room!

While your family might not be able to physically enjoy all the great institutions that Lincoln Square has to offer, there are plenty of ways that everyone can come together for music, art, exercise and more during this time at home!

Photo credit: Dario Treviño, 123 Andrés