Keeping Kids Busy in Trying Times

by ih-chi admin

We know that times are uncertain and even scary right now with the ongoing escalation of the coronavirus. (More on Child Neurology Consultants of Austin’s take on the virus is here.)

As parents, let’s admit, the thought of several weeks ahead at home with no school, sports, or other structured activities to keep our kids busy can be scary too.

While extra time spent in pj’s snuggled up watching a movie or an extra generous dose of screen time both feel a-okay right about now, you may hit a point when your family is motivated to get up and moving a little.

Here’s a sampling of some online resources to try in and around our great city of Austin to keep your children and teenagers entertained:

             Visit the Thinkery at home:

Austin’s favorite children’s museum is closed for now, but their awesome exhibits and fun interactive games and activities are available online here.

             Bust into the Bob Bullock Museum:

Like the Thinkery, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is a favorite spot for kids. Discover their virtual tours and activities here.

             Catch an online concert with Mr. Will:

Mr. Will is a beloved local Austin musician who writes and performs songs for kids--but music lovers of all ages really dig his tunes. Listen to some of his great hits here and stage a family sing-along.

             Check out a book:

While the Austin Public Libraries are closed, you can still check out books and audiobooks from their virtual library.  Start your own family book club and nightly story hours. 

             Get your green thumb on:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has tips for fun planting projects as well as a beautiful virtual tour of all the spring flowers in bloom right now.

Other online options for learning and entertainment are plentiful around the web right now. PBSKids is a good one offering daily newsletters for parents along with a variety of activity ideas.

Virtual kid-friendly and family activities in Austin can also be found at Kids Out and About Austin.

When your kiddos need a break from devices (and they will), here are some “in house” or around the neighborhood things to try:

             Walk around the neighborhood (keeping a safe social distance) and go on a scavenger hunt for acorns, leaves, spring flowers, birds and insects

             Build towers and structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks

             Pitch a tent in your backyard and go “camping”

             Make a fort

             Have a dance party

             Hold nightly family board game competitions

Really, the possibilities – and your children’s imaginations – are endless. As much as you can, try and savor this time at home with family. 

We also know how important it is for our patients to continue seeing their neurologist or rheumatologist. During this time, our providers are continuing to see patients at the CNCA Cedar Park and South Austin clinics. Please also check our website for updates regarding our telehealth service.