Hey, everyone! How’s it going? May is gonna be a little strange, huh? With Phase 1 (and potentially Phase 2) of businesses reopening in Texas, there might be a little more going on in terms of out-of-the-house stuff. Are we comfortable with it? Well, that remains to be seen. For now, we’ll keep things pretty virtual on this guide and see how it goes out there. Stay humble and stay well!
Reminder: Because we are living virtually lately, most everything on last month’s Guide to the Month of April still applies. Don’t forget to check there if you haven’t recently!
May through September :: Fun mail alert! The Big Tex Little Lone Stars Club is a free subscription services for kids 12 and under. It includes fun, fair-related activities delivered every month. See the link for more details and to sign up.
All Month :: Keep Texas Beautiful has a “Don’t Mess With Texas” art contest this month for ages K-12. You can even upload submissions online. See link for details. All entries due by May 29.
All Month, Thursdays :: If you’ve ever taken the kids to Showtime Saturday at the Galleria, see if they recognize Slappy & Monday from their interactive online show. Each week they use comedy to teach basic math principles. 1-2pm.
All Month, Fridays :: The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum does a weekly story time for toddlers, Pre-K and Kinder. On May 1 they’ll do The Jelly Donut Difference: Sharing Kindness with the World by Maria Dismondy. Register at the link. Story time is over Zoom, so space is limited. 9:30am.
May 2 :: Texas Outdoor Family will host the Texas Outdoor Family Camp In today from 1-8pm with park rangers streaming right to your house and taking your questions. Texas State Parks also have 30+ online events and instructional kid-friendly videos – camp cooking, fire building, indoor forts, and more!
May 2 :: The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards is this weekend. Victoria Justice hosts and tons of stars will stream in – it’s the first remote awards show, which could be pretty interesting. See link for details and how to watch. 7pm.
May 10 :: Happy Mother’s Day! You’ve earned a major merit badge for motherhood this year, clearly. Whew.
An annual tradition you can still do while safely social distancing: bluebonnet photos! Need a new spot? Try Texas Native Park, Bachmann Lake, Bluebonnet Trail in Plano, Toyota Headquarters, or Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.
We mentioned NTPA last month, but they’ve expanded their virtual offerings even more, with over 40 new online courses covering a wide range of topics. Classes start at $9.99 per session. They also have free evening storytime with Ms. Sara on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30-8pm.
If you miss Texas Discovery Gardens, head to their Facebook page for videos on butterfly releases kid-friendly talks on camouflage critters, activities you can do outside at home, and more.
Tinybop makes educational STEM apps for ages 4 and up. Now through July you can subscribe to their school bundle for free (no credit card required).
Take a virtual visit to Reunion Tower with 360° high-def zoom cameras on their Reunion Tower VR app.
Outside the Odditorium is an offshoot site from Ripley’s Believe it or Not with a schedule of live events hosted by the museum, educational activities divided by age group, and more.
Podcasts for Kids :: A potential break from screen time! Here are some popular ones if you want to explore the medium:
- But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids from Vermont Public Radio. Kids send in audio of questions about any and everything, and the podcast answers them. Some episodes/topics are better suited to older kids’ attention spans. You’ll be able to tell which ones.
- Brain’s On is conceptually very similar to But Why, but with kids hosting the show. Here’s a link to listeners’ favorite episodes to get you started. Best for slightly older kids.
- Noodle Loaf is an interactive music/science podcast with ~10-15 minute episodes. Perfect for a little brain break. I know this is a “no screen time” section but they do post video activities on YouTube if you want more. Good for preschoolers!
- Story Pirates is a comedy podcast featuring celebrity special guests and original stories submitted by real kids. If you dig it, you can explore their book series and other content.
- Circle Round is an NPR podcast made by parents of young children. Each episode adapts a carefully chosen folktale into a 10-20 minute radio play. Designed for children ages 4 to 10.
- Peace Out has short stories to help children calm down and relax, with visualization and breathing exercises. A great way for kids to practice mindfulness and self-regulation.
Epic Waters has daily contests, games, and activities on their Facebook page. Check it out to see how you can win prizes like a Family 4-Pack for when the park is back in business.
Did you know kids can call the Dallas Public Library and hear a recorded story on the story line? The number is 214-446-2222.
Amaze Your Brain at Home with the Perot Museum. They’ve posted five weeks of themed content so far, full of ways to explore science concepts from home using household objects. There’s also a virtual tour of the Origins exhibit!
The Dallas Children’s Theater has activities organized around their most recent performances: Schoolhouse Rock Live!, A Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
I sometimes listen to the Levar Burton Reads podcast to fall asleep. Right now he’s doing weekly livestream readings on Twitter. Kid’s stories air Mondays at 11am. Reading Rainbow-style!
Cooking with Pixar is a YouTube series featuring recipes inspired by animated movies. Could be a good way to get kids to eat something different? My son only started eating carrots because of Sven from Frozen. You never know what will work.
Ok, not kid-friendly, but… I’ve heard a lot of good things about Paul Feig’s (Freaks & Geeks, Bridesmaids) Quarantine Cocktail Time. He gets dressed up, tells stories, and makes a quarantine cocktail every night at 7pm.
Supercook :: Enter your ingredients and Supercook generates relevant recipes from popular cooking sites. Relatedly, I just read this article on “How to Get Out of a Cooking Rut” and it made a lot of sense to me! I definitely have a staple flavor palate.