9 things to do (at home) with kids in Pittsburgh this week

Time to play, learn and create with these nine fun options for kids this week in Pittsburgh.

1. Learn Andy Warhol’s marbling technique

Educators at The Andy Warhol Museum put together a simple demonstration of Andy’s marbleizing techniques. These kid-friendly instructions are adapted for home use. Instead of messing with oil paint and smelly turpentine, the supplies include shaving cream (thanks, Dad!) and food coloring.

2. Hear a story and add to your family library

Tucked into bed in her cozy pajamas, Dolly Parton reads a storybook every week as part of “Good Night with Dolly” from her Imagination Library. The first, “The Little Engine That Could,” debuted on April 2. Expect a new episode every Thursday through June 4. And don’t forget this great offer. All Pittsburgh kids from birth to 5 years can enroll in the free City of Pittsburgh Imagination Library. They’ll receive a book every month to build their personal library of childhood classics.

3. Just say ‘Hi!’

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh invites kids to show the fun, creative ways they are saying “Hi!” from a social distance. Some kids post pictures in their windows, others use sidewalk chalk, and some send videos while holding signs. To be a part of the “New Ways to Say ‘Hi!’ Challenge,” shoot a photo or short 10- to 15-second video by April 15. The Children’s Museum will gather your greetings in a compilation video. To participate, email hi@pittsburghkids.org, message or post in a comment on any challenge post on Facebook.com/pittsburghkids, or tag @pghkids on Instagram or Twitter. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

4. Make a Pocket Bunny

Cut up an old T-shirt and craft a cool, no-sew Pocket Bunny with this Cultural Connections series from  Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The virtual learning comes from Trust education teaching artists. Activities also include movement, theater and music for a well-rounded arts diet.

5. Be an outdoor leader

Kids ages 11-14 can learn what it takes to be an outdoor leader through Venture Outdoors’ virtual experiences at home. The Youth Outdoor Leadership Series challenges kids with eight different components, such as learning styles and emotional control. Each part includes an intro question, an activity, discussion questions and a short film. Once all eight are completed, kids receive a certificate and a special prize.

6. Just hit print

More and more fun printable pages are being added by Pittsburgh organizations every week. Download coloring pages from the Pittsburgh Zoo or follow learn-to-draw tips to sketch an elephant, polar bear or tiger. At the Fort Pitt Museum, kids can add a message to a wampum belt, design a city seal or add color to 18th-century cultural symbols. The Dependable Drive-In’s collection of Scooby-Doo coloring pages comes with a bonus: Shoot your finished image and post to comments on Facebook. Five will be chosen to win free passes for the 2020 season.

7. Count your kids

Download paper dolls, puzzle placemats and coloring pages through the We Count! campaign. While kids are playing and reading with toolkit activities, parents can check out all the reasons it’s so important to get their kids counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. Learn more about the census with this recent story.

8. Build and decorate a bunny hutch

There’s no reason to confine gingerbread houses to the Christmas season. So, when we found ourselves surrounded by too much Easter candy, we reached for another way to use up of all those empty calories. Instead of gingerbread, we used graham crackers glued together with a simple powdered sugar “cement.” Kids can put their engineering skills to the test by designing the bunny hutches. Then they’ll draw from their artistic sides to decorate with color and creativity. Here are the instructions for one of our favorite Maker Monday activities.

9. Take part in recording history

Graphic designer Natalie Long of Long Creations created free, downloadable worksheets to help kids record their experiences. “My 2020 COVID-19 Time Capsule” includes questions to get started, writing prompts and spaces for family handprints and recording feelings.  It’s a wonderful addition to tuck away with news clippings, family photos, videos and other keepsakes gathered during this time of social distancing. The Cleveland-based mom gave Kidsburgh permission to share her “Time Capsule” with our readers. Download it here.