Just because all social activities here in Chicago have been cancelled and we’re homebound due to the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t mean we won’t have an entertainment blog this weekend! We’ll just take it online!!

Here are a few ideas on keeping the kids, and even the adults, busy while stuck inside. Put those laptops, iPads, and mobile phones to good use!

Let out your inner mad scientist! You may even have most of the ingredients lying around the house. The Museum of Science & Industry is providing hands-on science experiments for kids to try at home, such as making their own tornado, creating some slime, and so much more. The Kohl Children’s Museum also has some great experiments, which include: Bubbleology or Fabric Counts. Or, try out these nine home experiments! After all, science experiments are so much fun!!

Podcasts are a great option to showcase other forms of entertainment, especially if your child spends a lot of time in front of the screen! They can be enjoyed while doing chores or as a family before bedtime. Whether your child is interested in animals, reading, or science, there’s a perfect podcast out there for them, and probably yourself!

Free virtual classes for families are being held daily from Monday to Saturday by Bubbles Academy, Chicago’s premier early childhood arts enrichment center and preschool located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Classes include family music & movement, let’s make art, toddler circle time, songs & stories, and more! Families registered for the season and drop-ins for virtual classes will be provided access to these virtual classes.

The Field Museum also has online activities to keep you busy and entertained. You can chat with Máximo, the biggest dinosaur that scientists have discovered to date. He is a titanosaur Patagotitan mayorum reaching 122 feet across and standing 28 feet tall at the head. He is longer than a blue whale! Other virtual options include learning resources for pre-K through high school students. Or, check out their educational YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop. Each episode brings you along for a new journey into natural history, from interviews with scientists and tours of collections to expeditions and deep dives into the nitty-gritty work of preparing museum specimens!

Lastly, use your village! The whole family, or even your friends, can connect online. Play board games via Skype or FaceTime, set up a book club to meet in a chatroom, have your kids’ playdates over the Internet or have dinner on a call with relatives across the country. There are boundless ways to keep in touch and have fun while social distancing!

Sue Moss and Dean’s Team Chicago