5 Atlanta museums, attractions offering virtual programs for kids

The Center for Puppetry Arts is hosting its annual production of the classic television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” through Dec. 30. CONTRIBUTED BY CLAY WALKER

The Center for Puppetry Arts is hosting its annual production of the classic television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” through Dec. 30. CONTRIBUTED BY CLAY WALKER

With many families staying indoors together for at least a few weeks, it’s completely normal to be running out of ideas of fun, creative activities. Whether you want to supplement your child’s schoolwork or are just looking for a way to pass time, local organizations have created great kid-friendly content to encourage social distancing. Many of these organizations are offering content that allows you to turn on a video and let your child have virtual storytime while you finish working, while also offering opportunities to experiment and explore inside and outside. (Most of them are also accepting donations to help them stay open through the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Here are five local places that are offering online programming for kids:

Center for Puppetry Arts at Home

The Center for Puppetry Arts is publishing free content on Facebook to keep families entertained until they can reopen. The content ranges from a 45-minute digital showing of Aesop's Fantabulous Fables to a six-minute video about making a puppet from found objects. The organization, which publishes at least two videos every weekday, posts the weekly schedule on puppet.org.

Children’s Museum of Atlanta

The Children's Museum has launched daily programming titled #CMAatHome to help families stay entertained during social distancing. Every weekday, the museum releases a series of content, including an interactive activity, vocabulary list, song list or book recommendation. A recent post included an experiment and vocabulary list about chemical reactions. The museum plans to post videos that encourage storytime and singalongs soon. childrensmuseumatlanta.org

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Museum of Design Atlanta

The Museum of Design Atlanta spent the first few weeks of social distancing adjusting to offering online programming. Now most programs, which were available for free during the prototyping period, will cost $15-$25. Museum supporters are asked to donate to a scholarship fund to support kids who cannot pay the registration fee and wish to attend an online class. Programs are for students ages 8-18 and focus on topics such as 3D Design, architectural design and coding. museumofdesign.org

Zoo Atlanta

The local zoo doesn't have much virtual programming, but it is offering a few PDFs that encourages kids to interact with nature in their own neighborhood (while adhering to social distancing guidelines). Backyard Bingo allows kids to identify clouds, worms, birds and more, while an Explore the Outdoors PDF encourages them to identify the various colors, textures and sounds of nature. The website also has storytime content if you're looking for a family-friendly activity to do indoors. zooatlanta.org

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Fernbank Museum

Whether you’re looking to replicate experiments with your kids or have them watch others demonstrate them, Fernbank Museum offers content on their website. YouTube videos feature volcano and air pressure experiments. The museum also offers videos featuring animals (Eastern Box Turtle, Australian Bearded Dragon and Corn Snake) and storytime, as well as a nature scavenger hunt.