It’s no secret that being stuck at home makes us all a little (or a lot) stir-crazy, especially kids who have a ton of energy and imagination. When toys lose their appeal and playing outside with friends isn’t an option, what can parents do to pass the time? Here are some fun ways to virtually educate and entertain kids while social distancing, from virtual art classes to printable coloring sheets and much more.
Virtual Art Lessons from the Experts
Virginia art museums and centers offer online tutorials and art activities to encourage families to tap into their creativity. Worst case, you’ll have some fresh artwork to brighten up your home, but best case, you’ll discover you’ve got a little Picasso in your midst!
The Taubman Museum of Art
- The Taubman Museum of Art posts artwork and exhibition spotlights on Facebook live each week, as well as at-home art tutorials and live-streamed children’s art classes.
- The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers several grade-specific hands-on activities for kids.
- The IX Art Park produces an original daily arts education video series on their Facebook page weekdays at 2pm, “The Daily Creature.” Each episode features stories and tutorials in sculpture and illustration themed around a specific animal. Projects are best suited for kids ages 6 to 12.
- Peninsula Fine Arts Center offers a virtual version of ArtStart through Facebook Live Wednesdays at 10:30am. Take part in a fun storytime followed by a related art activity.
- The Arts Center in Orange offers virtual art classes for children of all ages and skill levels including clay, drawing, craft projects and music learning sessions. Video sessions are available with each session with step-by-step teaching and activities that can be downloaded from their website.
- Students Obtaining Artistic Refuge’s Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center offers a new video series that features affordable art activities that families can do from the comfort of their own home. Using affordable household items, these crafts minimize cost and maximize creativity.
- The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is showing off not only the art on exhibition, but learning opportunities for more about the art and the artists through interviews, articles, videos and more. On Virtual Virginia MOCA, you can view the artwork from the current exhibitions, learn with the museum’s education team or visit again with the artists from past exhibitions.
Children’s Museums – Online Activities for Younger Kids
From online science projects to virtual storytime, Virginia’s Children’s Museums offer fun ways to engage younger kids with online activities.
- The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum posts daily activities including videos, hands-on science projects, art projects, book readings, physical activities and more – all-around a daily theme.
- Amazement Square’s Museum Anywhere program offers online art projects and weekly storytelling.
- Explore More Children’s Museum launched Explore More at Home, a collection of curated activities that explore a variety of themes.
- Roanoke’s Kids Square Children’s Museum airs live videos on Facebook featuring everything from science experiments, DIY activities, book reading and more.
Bust Out the Coloring Supplies!
Coloring is a great stress reliever for kids (and adults) and several Virginia destinations and attractions created coloring sheets based on their museum collections or area attractions and history.
Get a subtle dose of Virginia history with printable coloring sheets from the Virginia Museum of History & Culture and Westmoreland County Museum. Or, learn about world-famous art by creating your own masterpiece with the Chrysler Museum of Art’s collection-themed coloring pages which can be printed or imported into a tablet coloring app.
A little imagination is all you need to explore Virginia destinations through color. Kids can color their way through Virginia’s Blue Ridge via downloadable coloring pages for families, take an adventure through Montgomery County with Monty the raccoon with seven coloring pages for children or share a new Paint the Town postcard to be displayed at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center.
The Digital Earth-Art-Athon at Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center is a digital contest and art show in which all Nelson County students submit copies of art they create that relates to Earth Day, Arbor Day and the world. All entries will be entered into a raffle to win an Earth Day Nelson t-shirt and other prizes.
Looking for more virtual activities? We’ve got some ideas for learning history at home, exploring wildlife from home, and virtual tours at some of Virginia’s best attractions.