OK, maybe it’s not quiiiiite midwinter yet. But a girl can dream! How’s everyone doing out there, in our eleventh month of pandemic-induced perpetual survival mode? Like everyone, our family is yearning for a less fearful, freedom- and fun-filled time in the not so distant future. Until then, I wanted to pull together a guide to help families stay safely connected with local people, places, and services. This post is for the homeschoolers, unschoolers, and anyone who hasn’t yet hit the proverbial virtual learning wall. From playgroups and speed-friending to baking classes and virtual museum tours, I hope you find something that floats your family’s boat!
ICE BOX, the Department of Illumination’s wonderful winter festival, is back! It’s happening February 20-28, 2021 – in a safe, pandemic-friendly way of course. Bring the fun home with “Ice Box in a Box”, join daily Zoom dance parties (and a physically-distanced flash mob!), and more.
The HUB’s Early ON Playgroups continue to run virtually every day of the week. Themes include nature exploration, music & movement, mindfulness (all things we could use a bit more of these days!), and more. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for up-to-date schedules.
The Prince Edward County Public Library is offering an array of children’s and youth programming, including Baby Rhyme Time, Science Class, Storytime, and Minecraft World Building (best suited to ages 8+). The Discover YOUth! group for 2SLGBTQ+ youth ages and their allies (ages 12-30) is running virtually – to join, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also ask call your local branch and ask for a “book bundle” on a specific topic, or leave it up to chance (i.e. your friendly librarian)!
For a unique Throwback Thursday (like, way back – to 1830) experience, join the County Museums’ virtual tours for homeschoolers. Participants will get an introduction to the County’s history and a glimpse into the life of the Macaulay family during a Macaulay House tour. The tours will take place on February 4th and March 4th (both Thursdays) at 10 am (geared towards ages 6-8) and 2 pm (ages 8-10). Parents of kids of all ages are welcome to register by emailing Jessica at email@example.com. To attend and/or receive the accompanying activity sheets, donations to the museum (sent to Shire Hall) are encouraged but not required.
In other County Museums news, for Family Day (Monday February 15th) they are partnering with a theatre company to offer a Virtual Online Mystery! The 11 am and 1 pm showings are family-friendly. Grab your tickets here ($20 for individuals, $50 for families).
Youth to Youth Hastings Prince Edward is running a Virtual Speed Friending event for youth aged 13-17 on Monday January 25th from 4-6 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register by this Friday the 22nd.
The County Crumb, a local at-home bakery, is running beginner-friendly online baking classes. This Friday’s Puppy & Kitten Cupcake Decorating class might be right up your kid’s alley! The February schedule has me salivating. Classes are $15 each or $10 each if you purchase 3 or more. Video recordings are available if the timing doesn’t work for you.
Draw some inspiration for your outdoor outings from Melanie of That Blue Barn. She’s been posting some wonderful videos from her Remote Senior Kindergarten curriculum that explore the County’s natural world.
Do you have a budding birder at home? The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory offers lots of bird and nature themed learning resources on their website, and kids can also join their Get Out! Kids Club membership program.
Finally, a friendly reminder of some lockdown-inspired PEC Parents resources: