As the “stay at home” order continues (although hopefully not for much longer), many Murphy, North Carolina families are running out of ways to maintain some degree of sanity. Flipping through the cable channels and Netflix provides little inspiration, and your list of lockdown projects has gone by the wayside. To compound the situation, out-of-school children are likely bored and looking for ways to get into mischief.
So, switch gears and take some virtual trips outside your home’s four walls. Or, re-discover the great outdoors without leaving your property. Chances are that school-aged kids and adults will all find these family-friendly diversions a pleasurable experience.
Popcorn-Worthy Indoor Activities
If you’re looking for mind-enriching pursuits rather than mind-numbing escapes, these three options might pique your interest. As an added bonus, these activities can add new dimensions to your home schooling program. So, whip up some popcorn, settle down on the couch, and take some virtual trips that will engage your senses.
Virtual Museum and Cultural Landmark Visits
Museums and cultural landmarks are currently off limits. However, many of these destinations have stepped up and opened their virtual doors to travel-hungry viewers. Tour over 100+ intriguing destinations, courtesy of the Travel + Leisure virtual tours resource.
Sample Museums, Music, and Theatre
The Louvre in Paris
12 Free Museum Tours
Metropolitan Opera Shows
Free Broadway Musicals
Sydney Opera House Music
Sample Virtual Tours
Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough
Famous European Castles
Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal
The Northern Lights
Virtual African Safari
Sample Virtual Activities
Epic Walking Trails
Virtual Train Rides
Digital Dog Sled Trip
Seattle Botanical Garden Livestream
Virtual NASA Space Tour
Tune into Virtual Concerts and Operas
If you’ve missed the electric energy of a real live concert, take this opportunity to enjoy a virtual concert (or two) on your computer or TV. Tune in to your favorite musicians or musical events, and turn up the sound for a more authentic experience.
For starters, Insider.com offers recaps of live performances from artists of varied genres. View these concerts via YouTube and Instagram. In addition, National Public Radio (NPR) offers a frequently updated list of classical, jazz, and opera performances.
Enjoy Sweet & Savory Cooking Demonstrations
You’ve rifled through your recipe resources, and browsed numerous cooking websites, to find enticing new meals that don’t break the bank. And right now, you’re running out of menu ideas. Get out of your recipe rut, and gain creative inspiration from culinary experts. View the Travel + Leisure food recipes resource for details.
If you want to learn traditional Tuscan cooking techniques, a premier Italian chef offers classes on Instagram. Celebrity chefs offer online cooking skills demonstrations. Or, learn to cook just like an “Iron Chef” with your pantry staples. You’ll also get the official recipes for iconic desserts such as Dollywood’s cinnamon bread and DoubleTree by Hilton’s famous chocolate chip cookies.
Redefine Your Backyard
First of all, get outside and breathe the fresh air. While you enjoy the sunshine, take a fresh look at your familiar backyard. Whether you’re nestled in the woods, or perched on a mountain ridge, your property is likely ideal for three family-friendly activities.
Bird Identification Contest
Our mountain habitat provides safe shelter for dozens of bird species. During the springtime months, our resident birds are beginning their nesting seasons. Migratory birds are passing through enroute to their seasonal homes.
Get a snapshot of our bird population by launching a Bird ID Contest during a defined time period. Ask every family member to identify as many bird species as possible, and keep a bird guide handy to confirm the sightings. Offer a prize for the person who sights the most different species.
Vegetable Garden Launch
Our region’s May 10 frost date means it’s almost safe to plant this season’s vegetable seeds and seedlings. So, get your garden supplies ready, and round up your young garden helpers (if applicable). Assign age-appropriate tasks, and keep the camera handy as you watch them enthusiastically help the garden take shape.
While you supervise the planting operation, tell your young helpers about the vegetables’ benefits. Highlight the tastiest ways to serve the veggies, and include them in upcoming menu plans. Consider including these interactions in your home schooling program. Finally, regardless of the finished product, thank your young assistants for a job well done.
Capture the Constellations
With reduced light pollution, our mountain region is a great location for viewing the night sky. Find a clear night, and gather the family in the best backyard viewing spot. If possible, have a constellation guide handy, and research special events such as meteor showers or planetary alignments.
As an added bonus, design a constellation viewing contest. Award a prize to the family member who correctly identifies the most constellations. Continue the contest to take advantage of constellations’ changing positions and the appearance of varied night sky phenomena.
Kids’ Learning Activities
Finding enticing activities for bored, rambunctious children is a never-ending challenge. Here are 15 intriguing ideas, with many more available, courtesy of YakTriNews in Yakima, Washington.
Crafts and Games
Make a handmade thank-you card for a community hero
Craft intricate origami animals from paper
Hold a paper boat race in the bathtub
Hold a house-based scavenger hunt
Play National Geographic Kids educational games
Virtual Field Trips
Visit beautiful Yellowstone National Park
Take a Discovery Education virtual field trip
Join Farm Food 360 for virtual tours of varied farms
Watch the animal live cams at major zoos and aquariums
Take a virtual trip to Mars without leaving home
Lively Learning Opportunities
Visit the Smithsonian Learning Lab
Make a science project with the San Francisco Exploratorium
Enjoy The Old Farmers Almanac for Kids
Get on board with the NASA Kids’ Club
Take a free online Scholastic kids’ course
Take advantage of these virtual and backyard experiences at your Murphy, North Carolina home. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, keep these suggestions in mind for enjoyable family diversions that won’t cost a dime.
The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team