Weekend Family Fun (At Home): Saturday Storytime, Escape Rooms, Bubbles and More

Happy weekend, everyone! As we continue to social distance and spend lots of time at home, you can never have too many activities on hand to keep everyone engaged. Here are some of the best things we’ve found locally and around the web.

Beginning this Saturday at 10:00 AM, Succeed2gether and the Montclair Literary Festival will host a free Saturday Storytime series via Zoom. This week’s event will feature Michael Rex, author and illustrator of more than 40 children’s books. He’ll read his recently released picture book Fact vs. Opinion vs. Robots, as well as another of his books, Eat Pete. The readings will be followed by an interactive drawing activity. This event is suitable for children ages 4 to 8. Registration is required via Zoom. The series will continue next Saturday (6/20) and the following (6/27), so mark your calendar!

Escape rooms are all the rage, but you can build your very own at home using common household items. It will take a little work to set up, but it can provide for a fun afternoon once it’s done. You don’t need to lock a room, but you will need to put together a series of clues. The last clue will signal the end of the challenge. Younger children will probably need help to navigate the clues, but older children likely will not. This can also be a great way for older siblings to work together with younger ones. This blog post gives some easy ideas for how to set up clues as well as three different ways to string them together.

This activity is so easy, so low prep, and so adaptable, it almost sounds too good to be true! It’s called Alphabet Find, and it basically involves sending your child to go find a letter. Write the letters of the alphabet on paper, one page per sheet. Then tape them around the house at random. You call out a letter and your child has to find it, touch it, then run back to you for the next one. You can also try this with numbers, words, colors, or anything else you can think up. You can also try posting a simple activity, like 5 jumping jacks, with each letter and your child will have to do that before they can come back to you.

This next one requires undivided, supervised attention while the kids play, but they will have a blast. Using tarp, duct tape, and a fan, you can create a giant bubble for your kids to play inside. Add balloons, glow sticks, a black light, and other objects and you have a disco bubble you can use indoors or out. This blog post gives you all the instructions you need. You can also opt for a clear tarp for a totally different experience.

Remember lava lamps? Recreate the nostalgia of your childhood while adding in some science fun for your own kids. You’ll need a water bottle, vegetable oil, food coloring, water, and Alka-Seltzer tablets. This super simple activity is easy enough for little hands. You’ll find instructions as well as an explanation of how the science works in this blog post.

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