5 fun, tried-and-true things you should absolutely do with your kids this holiday season
As an adult, by my late 20s, I started to feel a little bit “meh” about Christmas. Sure, it was a nice time of year, and I enjoyed seeing my family when I could, but I didn’t really understand the appeal of decorating, baking or most holiday-themed events. All of that changed, however, once I got into my 30s and had kids.
What’s that thing orbiting the Earth in 90 minutes? A guide to what the International Space Station is, does
This year, the International Space Station celebrated 20 years of having a continuous human presence on it. But what exactly is the International Space Station and what does it do? Over a 13-year period from 1998-2011, different modules were launched into space and attached to each other in orbit by astronauts. That mission was successful to create an initial base, and in subsequent years, other modules were launched into orbit and connected. The ISS is aging -- and if it’s not eventually destroyed or taken down by humans, space obstacles might arise, according to space.com.
What could Disney crowds look like when the park reopens? We take a guess at the numbers
ORLANDO, Fla. – Walt Disney World is set to once again open its gates to the Magic Kingdom following a lengthy closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with most families staying inside and not traveling, how crowded will the theme parks really be when they reopen? Park Capacity Capacity at 25% Magic Kingdom 57,000 people 14,250 people Epcot 34,093 people 8,523 people Hollywood Studios 30,843 people 7,710 people Animal Kingdom 37,671 people 9,417 peopleA park at 25% capacity would mean very minimal wait times. As we can all imagine, visiting a Disney theme park when it reopens will be a new experience for all -- no matter how many times you’ve visited. The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom parks will open first July 11, with Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopening July 15.
Cinderella Castles new look is picture-perfect as Disney World reopens
Guests flocking to Walt Disney World to soak up the magic will be greeted with a fresh-looking Cinderellas Castle to pair well with their selfies. The centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom underwent a royal makeover while the parks were closed during the coronavirus pandemic. The new paint job is a stark contrast to the pale blue and white castle guests were used to seeing. To honor the monumental milestone, Cinderellas Castle was adorned with polished gold trim and accents. When its time to remove the lights from Cinderellas Castle a crane is brought in to remove the twinkling bulbs.
Here’s everything you should know before heading to Walt Disney World’s phased reopening
According to Disney, buses and monorails will implement a combination of physical distancing and physical barriers to provide separation between guest parties. Ground markings will help promote proper physical distancing in attraction queues at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)In order to provide appropriate social distancing, Walt Disney World is only allowing a limited number of guests to visit each theme park per day. “Ground markings will help promote proper physical distancing throughout the parks, including attraction queues,” Disney said. Guests at Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., are encouraged to use cashless payment options whenever possible when making purchases as the parks begin their phased reopening July 11, 2020.
Heres how you can meet your favorite characters during Walt Disney Worlds phased reopening
ORLANDO, Fla. Families are gearing up for the phased reopening of Walt Disney World which starts on Saturday. With the phased reopening guests will notice that the theme parks look a lot different than when they left in March. For its phased reopening, Disney will be putting normal meet and greets on hiatus and instead implement new ways for families to interact with their favorite characters. Below is information provided by Disney on where you can meet your favorite Disney characters. Magic Kingdom ParkThe Royal Princess Processional Several times daily, favorite Disney princesses travel through the streets of Magic Kingdom.
Feeling like you should put together a disaster plan for the family? 3 unique methods you never considered -- until now
You don’t have to be a devoted prepper -- you know, those people who stockpile food and supplies for doomsday scenarios? -- to get your family ready to face potential emergency situations.
This virtual camp includes 1,200 videos and experiences -- and they’re all free
Summer camp might not be an option this year, but YouTube has created a free #CampYouTube, so as to re-create common camp experiences through YouTube videos. These include arts and crafts, sports, writing workshops, photography tutorials, mental health exercises, exploring the outdoors and SO much more — seriously, there are about 1,200 videos in total. Any interest in learning how to make a ping pong ball float? Plus, YouTube uses resources for its videos from partners like the BBC, Imagination Library, Code.org, Breakthrough Junior Challenge, Google Arts and Culture, National Geographic Society, Sesame Street and others. “These resources are not meant to replace homework assigned by teachers, but meant to complement that work,” YouTube states on its camp website.
How to watch the historic astronaut launch with your children: There’s an invaluable lesson here
If it goes off as planned, this will mark the first mission involving astronauts from U.S. soil since 2011. Still, NASA astronaut Bob Behnken has said he and Doug Hurley are “really comfortable” with the risks. So you’re making educated guesses, at best.”It seems there’s just more uncharted territory when it comes to space travel. “The first astronauts really started out as test pilots,” Garfinkle said. But assuming this launch goes well, “It would be great for kids to see a successful, triumphant moment of science,” Fink said.
Pixar’s YouTube channel shares cooking tutorials inspired by its movies
“Cooking With Pixar” is a new series featured on the Pixar YouTube channel. Each video shows a step-by-step process for making easy recipes that kids of all ages can help out with. Cook alongside Forkey from “Toy Story 4” as you create a Pizza Planet pepperoni pizza with bell pepper rings. It’s important to note that Pixar’s cooking videos don’t include ingredient portions or measurements. So, if you aren’t comfortable cooking that way, it might be a good idea to keep a similar recipe handy to compare.
All your favorite children’s books, reimagined for the age of COVID
A mother of two mindlessly picked up a paintbrush in late March, and started painting the cover of one of the books she had read to her children earlier in the day -- and said she incorporated some “cartoonified” coronavirus themes, to try to make the situation less scary.
With Will Smith’s help, kids ask Dr. Fauci their top coronavirus questions
Thankfully, with the help of actor Will Smith, some of America’s little people are getting a chance to ask Fauci those big questions. “Can the tooth fairy still come if I lose my tooth because of coronavirus and can she catch the virus?” Ava asked Fauci. Fauci guaranteed Ava that the tooth fairy is pretty much immune to the coronavirus. I don’t think you need to worry about the tooth fairy," Fauci replied. Another little one asked Fauci what COVID stands for, while others asked how long they can expect to have to stay home and whether it’s safe to go out or a walk.
Seminole County sees an increase of 911 calls from children during stay-at-home order
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Dispatchers in Seminole County reported Sunday that they received an increase in the number of 911 calls from unattended children during Florida’s stay-at-home order. Seminole County leaders urge parents to sit down with children to ensure they are educated on the following:How and when to call 9-1-1. Make sure children are prepared to communicate their name, address or location, what happened and who needs help. If the home doesn’t have a house phone, ensure children have a fully charged phone on hand. Also make sure children have an emergency contact list readily available.
You can call your child’s favorite furry monster for a kid-oriented PSA
Leave it to our favorite furry monsters to lend a hand. Some of your kids’ favorites from “Sesame Street” are on the other end of the phone with kid-oriented PSAs. Phone numbers are provided to use so that your kids are really getting on a phone call with their favorite “Sesame Street” character. And of course, because “Sesame Street” is as fantastic as it is, there are other great tools the folks there have offered up for kids, as well. Or just a reminder to our children that they are loved and to stay safe and healthy -- that’s what their favorite furry monsters are doing.
10 fun, educational websites your kids will love to visit while stuck at home
Nat Geo for KidsSite address: www.kids.nationalgeographic.comWhat it does: Kids learn about geography and fascinating animals. Into the BookSite address: www.reading.ecb.orgWhat it does: Through playing games, kids can practice reading strategies. SuessvilleSite address: www.seussville.comWhat it does: Allows kids to hang out with Dr. Seuss and his friends, all while playing games and reading. PBS KidsSite address: www.pbs.orgWhat it does: Kids can learn while hanging out with their favorite PBS characters. Highlights KidsSite address: www.highlightskids.comWhat it does: Allows kids to read, play games, learn random facts and do activities such as crafts and recipes.
What to watch on Netflix with your kids: 7 fresh ideas
We asked around for some of the best parent-endorsed picks when it comes to Netflix offerings. So, not only are you providing good entertainment for your kids, but you’re instilling a love of classic rock, as well. Although this one isn’t new or new to Netflix, we were surprised just how many parents hadn’t seen this one yet. "Masha and the Bear""My kids think this is the funniest show ever," one father of three said. I’m not suggesting you plop your kids down in front of a screen all day -- or even every day.
National treasure Dolly Parton will read bedtime stories to save parents everywhere
How can you not love Dolly Parton? Starting April 2, Parton will be reading children’s books from the comfort of her bed in a 10-part video series. The first book Parton is reading is the classic “The Little Engine That Could." So while parents are working from “9 to 5,” Parton is here to offer some relief and keep your kids entertained with books. Even if you don’t have kids that need a bedtime story, why not tune in to see just how adorable Parton will be cuddled up in bed with her pajamas?
Gauge your child’s knowledge of geography with this quiz
As the reins begin to tighten on ordinances to stay home and stay safe, we’re all probably looking for new ways to keep our kids’ brains active. Whether your elementary-aged child has excelled or struggled in geography, we’ve got a quiz that will help work his or her brain muscles. Let us know how your child (or you!) fared, in the comment section below.
The bolt of joy we all need in our lives right now: Penguins running free in aquariums
It all started at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, where employees let the penguins at the exhibit have free rein. They are a bonded pair of rockhopper penguins, which means they are together for nesting season. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/VdxN3oQAfe Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 16, 2020The video shows Edward and Annie exploring the atrium at Shedd Aquarium. According to the aquarium, the two little penguins are a pair of rockhopper penguins and theyre together during nesting season. #WheresWellingtonWednesday (1/2) pic.twitter.com/VlEeDzSoIV Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 18, 2020Shedd Aquariums penguin field trip has inspired other zoos and aquariums to let the penguins free, including the St. Louis Zoo.
Are you smarter than a 6th-grader? Take this quiz to find out
Has your kid ever brought their homework to you and all you could do was look it at with a blank stare, wondering, "Um, what the heck is this jibberish?" Sheena Jordan, who has taught the sixth grade, filled in some gaps, because lets face it, our brains have been cluttered with some other stuff since then. Do you think you remember the basics from sixth grade? Take our quiz to find out how you compare to a sixth-grader, educationally. Did you think the quiz would be that hard?