WERS Companion Guides: For Families

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Your family here at WERS is with you during these uniquely challenging and stressful times. Now on our WERS Music Blog, we're providing our readers and listeners with a new series, called WERS Companion Guides, to bring you helpful resources to get you through whatever struggles you're going through right now. Check out our previous editions, where so far we've highlighted resources for struggling artists and ways to thank essential workers, right here!

This week on WERS Companion Guides, we're talking all about tips and resources for families. We've got some suggestions for the whole family because we know adults need to be entertained too! Here are some ideas and resources for you and your children that might be helpful for you as the quarantine continues in the coming weeks, featuring… Naked Mole-rats?:

Get your kids into reading with your favorite celebrities

Shake up your usual bedtime story routine! Visit storyonline.net to watch celebrities like Rami Malek and Michelle Yeoh read classic bedtime stories, like Goodnight Moon (a personal fave). While the kids are entertained with the action of the story, you'll get to see some of Hollywood's biggest names unleash their inner child and have loads of fun!

Play with all of your child's beloved PBS characters

PBSkids.org is full of fun and educational games, featuring all of the latest TV show characters featured on the channel. These are actually so fun that you might even find yourself huddled around your laptop in the wee hours of the morning helping Cookie Monster out at his food truck! 

Break out that old sidewalk chalk and make some art

This is a great way to get the kids outside while still practicing social distancing. Instead of going to a public outdoor space, break out some chalk and have a party in your own driveway or in front of your house. Get inspired by Easter coming up and draw some bunnies hopping on their way to deliver some goodies, or write out a positive message of hope and love for passersby trying to take advantage of the nice weather.

If you're running low on chalk or don't have any on hand, check out this article full of recipes, made with common household ingredients, to make your own chalk and other kinds of alternatives. Don't be afraid to get a little messy - make yourself into some art as well!

Tune into the Playground on 88.9

On Saturdays from 6 am - 10 am, and on Sundays from 6 am - 7 am, 88.9 is transformed into the Playground, a fun-filled escape for kids and kids at heart. During the Playground, we play the best of local, national, and international children's music for an entire morning of fun for the whole family. From Disney movie and TV show themes songs to nursery rhymes and classic tunes, we've got a great playlist handpicked specifically by our Specialty Programming Coordinator Anthony Cabrera, who's also been a long-time DJ on the Playground. Throw on your best jammies and have a dance party with us all morning long!

Start a Weekly Family Facetime

Social distancing is keeping many extended families apart not just for Easter and Passover, but for birthdays, other special occasions, and even just Sunday night family dinners for some. While you may not be able to be physically with your families at this time, you can always check in with them through Facetime and other video call apps like Zoom and Skype. Call up grandma and grandpa, all twelve of your cousins twice removed, your Great Aunt Sally - anyone who you and your kids have been missing - and get up to all of your antics over the phone!

If your schedule allows it, schedule a weekly time when everyone can call in and check up on one another. This is also a great way for kids to connect with their friends from school who they can't see: Have some online playdates!

Take a Virtual Visit to the Zoo

Lions, tigers, and bears - oh my, you can see all of these and more at the virtual zoo! Even though you can't take your kids to see these majestic creatures and more up close, you can watch them 24/7 in their habitats through live zoo cams. Both the San Diego Zoo and the Smithsonian's National Zoo have great live cams of some of their most active animals, including Lions, Giant Pandas, Polar Bears, and even Naked Mole-rats (I fully admit that, even as a Junior in college, I watched these little guys for a whole half hour, they are hilarious. So many shenanigans! - Lily Doolin, WERS Blog Editor)! In conjunction with their live cams, the Smithsonian also has an educational packet, full of fun activities about the animals on the live cams, for kids of all ages. Just throw on these live cams onto your TV and zen out for the night with the whole fam.

If you're looking for more animal-related content, check out Nat Geo for Kids for other interesting videos of exotic animals.

Bring the Science Lab to Your Home

Slap your Einstein mustaches on and bring the science lab to your own house with the help of some real-life scientists through the internet. Check out Science with Sophie, a hilarious YouTube series with fun for the whole family. Sophie Shrand trades in the typical lab coat for comedy to combine fun with learning! She has videos on everything from computers to food, and even animals!

You can also check out the Museum of Science's Facebook page. They have daily live streams (that are recorded if you can't tune in at the specific time it's being broadcasted) where you can interact with the research team at the MOS, as well as other guests! Kids and their parents can ask questions in the comments section, which the researchers try to answer in real-time.

Looking for more? Check out these other honorable mentions for other fun activities for the whole family!

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