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8 things to do this week with kids (at home) in Pittsburgh, from spin art to hockey drills

Sally Quinn
April15/ 2020

Another week, another fun-filled to-do list! Pull out your salad spinner for a cool painting project, look out the window for an art appreciation lesson and take a quiz to discover your inner rebel. We’ve got you covered with these 8 things to do at home with your kids this week.

1. Make spin art with a salad spinner

This is such a cool activity! Dr. Alison Francis of Fox Chapel School District has been posting daily hands-on projects. This one is an art experiment that uses Mom’s salad spinner. No paint? No problem. The video includes instructions for making Flour Paint with a mix of flour, salt, water and food coloring. Other projects include making sidewalk paint and stirring up a recipe for modeling clay.

2. Practice deck hockey drills

The deck hockey rinks are closed in Allegheny County Parks, but Coach Brandon offers video hockey drills that kids can practice at home. Siblings are handy partners during family isolation, but these lessons in agility and speed can be followed solo, too. Hockey at Home Part 1 begins with basic skills. More advanced drills will be added throughout April. It’s great exercise and a perfect time to develop talent.

3. Draw your neighborhood

This all-ages activity from the Carnegie Museum of Art begins with a look at Edward Hopper’s “Cape Cod Afternoon.” The painting shows Hopper’s style of working with light, shadows and geometry. Discussions include identifying shapes and how shadows define those shapes. Prompts suggest ways kids can sketch houses and the landscape in their neighborhood by following Hopper’s perspective. It’s a terrific lesson in art appreciation. While they’re at it, consider looking at other Edward Hopper landscape paintings to reinforce the ideas.

4. Just hit print

With viruses and germ constantly in the news, little kids will gain a better understanding with a free download of the “Little Book of Germs.” The editorial team at Schiffer Publishing developed this informative booklet with a matching quiz, word search and other activities.

If your little monsters have a mania for mazes, head over to the Joe Wos MazeToons website where you can download and print a collection of fun and challenging mazes.

Kids can stay in touch with farmers and learn more about their food sources with printable coloring books and activity pages from the American Dairy Association. Find dairy puzzles, a color-by-number sheet and a Farm-to-Fridge coloring page.

5. Write like your favorite writer

Book nerds like us were so disappointed when the teen-focused Bookish in the Burgh festival had to be canceled. But the YA authors who were scheduled to be featured guests are still making connections with their fans. Young writers can try their hand with at-home workshops through writing prompts from authors like Natasha Diaz (“Color Me In”), Heather Demetrios (“Little Universes”) and Kit Frick (“All Eyes on Us”). They offer tips and guidance to keep the inspiration flowing through your keyboard or pen. And if your reading supply is running low, check out these recommended books.

6. Make time for music with Fiddlesticks

The Pittsburgh Symphony mascot shines at the heart of the orchestra’s Celebrate Spring family outreach. Watch a video of Fiddlesticks racing through Pittsburgh along with “Flight of the Bumble Bee,” make a Seed Drum Shaker and paint a field of tulips. Follow along with the Sounds and Sights of Spring instructions for a full appreciation of the day-to-day “music” that fills our world.

7. Discover your inner rebel – or hero

Heinz History Center challenges kids to take a quiz that asks, “Which Pittsburgh Historical Figure Are You?” Through a series of choices, you might find you share traits with Martin Delany, Fred Rogers or Rosie the Riveter. Each answer includes background information and the opportunity to learn more about the historical character. Other quizzes include Pittsburgh innovators, classic toys and influential women.

8. Jump into STEM

Sign up for the daily Science Tots livestream of STEM lessons for all sorts of activities, including exploring computer programs, creating a math puzzle, building a junk boat or taking a virtual field trip. Every night at 8:30 p.m. connect for a STEM-based story hour with books like “The Rainbow Story” and “Simple Machines“ that offer science lessons along with an entertaining end to a busy day.

Looking for more fun stuff? Visit the Kidsburgh Activities page or check out these additional guides:

9 things to do (at home) with kids

6 cool things to do (at home) with kids

5 things to do with kids (at home)

7 things to do with kids (when everything is canceled)

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is an award-winning writer and editor who has been covering her favorite city for more than 30 years. She appreciates all that Pittsburgh offers families and has a blast guiding her 10 grandkids to new discoveries. Sally welcomes your comments and story ideas for Kidsburgh.

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