How to Cope with Back-to-School Stress

Many students and families are relieved to be returning to in-person classes, but your child may be anxious about the upcoming school year. Atlanta Parent spoke to Dr. Stephanie Walsh, the Medical Director of Child Wellness at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life, about how you can help your child cope with back-to-school stress.

Dr. Walsh

How can you talk to your kids about back-to-school anxiety?

Regardless of a child’s age, start by asking open-ended questions to find out what’s on their mind and actively listen. Remove any distractions, like your phone, give them your full attention, and be careful to avoid statements such as “Don’t worry about that!” or “It’s going to be fine.” Even though you mean well, these types of responses minimize your child’s feelings and may make them less likely to share their thoughts or feelings in the future. Instead, let your child know you understand by repeating back what you hear and letting them know it’s OK to feel however they’re feeling. Once you know how they are feeling, help them work through those emotions rather than avoiding them.

How can you help your child prepare for school if this is their first in-person experience?

If your child is going to be attending school for the first time in the fall, you can help ease their anxiety by using the summer to prepare them for what to expect. If possible, you may want to:

  • Visit the school before the first day.
  • Meet the teacher.
  • Drive or walk the bus or drop-off route.
  • Have playdates with other kids that will be at the school.

How can you help your kids deal with the anxiety about COVID-19 if they’re returning to in-person school?

It’s important to ask kids open-ended questions to get a sense of how they really feel, rather than making assumptions. Dismissing or minimizing their concerns doesn’t help them feel better.  Instead, let them know it’s normal and OK to feel anxiety about in-person learning. Help your child learn to name, and work through, their feelings with healthy coping skills. If your child is feeling anxious about the unknown, help them focus on the facts and what we do know. If they are particularly overwhelmed thinking about the future and all the “what if” scenarios, try to shift their focus to what you know right now. Knowing what to expect can put their mind at ease.

How can you make the transition to back to school easier?

Create daily routines to help keep things predictable. Knowing what to expect can help create a sense of comfort and security. Although things can change from day to day, try to have some  consistency with bed- and wake-times to help your child transition back to school more easily. Encourage your family to prioritize healthy habits, such as drinking water, eating balanced meals  and snacks, being active, getting enough quality sleep and limiting screen time. Practicing healthy habits will help support your child’s mind and body as they transition back to school and can have a positive impact on their mood, focus and behavior.

How should you talk to your kids about COVID-19 safety precautions?

As much as possible:

  • Stick to the facts, and tell your kids only what they need to know.
  • Use language that is clear, simple and developmentally appropriate.
  • Help them understand that regardless of changing guidelines related to masking, they can continue helping to keep themselves and others safe by washing their hands, keeping their distance and  staying home if they are sick.

If you are more nervous about the return to in-person school than your child is, how can you keep them from picking up on your own anxiety?

As a parent, you are human and have your own feelings, too. It’s normal and understandable to feel worried about your child returning to school, but keep in mind that kids look to adults to see how they should behave or react. If you are showing signs of anxiety, your kids will think they should feel anxious, too. Try to share your calm, instead of your anxiety. Consider talking to friends, family and other caregivers about how you feel. If any confusion or uncertainty is causing anxiety, talk with the school to get your questions or concerns answered.

How can you teach your child to deal with their anxiety?

Here are some simple coping skills you can teach and practice with your child:

Find more helpful family and parenting resources at strong4life.com.

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10+ Ways to Celebrate Juneteenth

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Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state to ensure all enslaved people were freed. Celebrate Juneteenth with these events and virtual activities.

Atlanta History Center

Learn more about Juneteenth at home with these resources from Atlanta History Center, including blog posts, music, reading list and more. June 1-21.

OCAAHS & Montpelier Virtual Juneteenth

This celebration features performers, vendors, reenactors and historical information. June 1-30.

Juneteenth Celebration at William Root House

Commemorate Juneteenth with guided museum tours, living history demonstrations, poetry readings and more. June 12.

African American Museum of Iowa’s Juneteenth

This week-long virtual celebration includes new videos each day with history, trivia, readings, interviews and more. June 12-20.

Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival at Centennial Olympic Park

Listen to live music, see a car and bike show, shop the artist’s market, enjoy children’s activities and more. June 18-20.

Concert on the Green: A Juneteenth Celebration at Logan Farm Park

The City of Acworth will hold a concert from the Total Package Band. June 19.

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture

With the Juneteenth Virtual Community Day, learn about rich African American traditions and culture through art, storytelling, music and dance. June 19.

BrickFest: Juneteenth Celebration at Infinite Energy Center

Enjoy music and comedy from mainstream and upcoming performers while supporting the African American community. June 19.

Juneteenth Festival at Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain’s celebration includes fireworks, games, live music, vendors and more. June 19.

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7 Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War, and the holiday has become a time to appreciate Mexican culture and heritage. Here are seven ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at home.

Crafts

Create the Mexican flag with red and green paint, cotton swabs, white card stock and a pencil. Separate paper into three sections. Paint red and green in the appropriate segments using the cotton swabs to dot, finger painting or a brush to fill in the whole section. Print an emblem to go into the center section. Color the emblem, then cut and glue it to the center of the flag.

Make tissue paper flowers with tissue paper, green paper, pipe cleaner, a ruler, glue and scissors. Stack three sheets on top of one another, line them up and cut into 12×6″ sheets. Line them up and fold them accordion-style. Trim the ends of the tissue paper into a rounded edge. Place the green pipe cleaner in the center of the tissue paper, looping the stem around the middle of the folded tissue paper strip. Twist onto itself to hold the tissue paper strip in place. Open up the tissue paper, pulling apart evenly from both ends. Cut leaves out of the green paper and glue onto the stem.

Be Brave, Keep Going

Create Ojo De Dios with colored yarn, craft sticks, scissors and super glue. Hold two sticks together with your thumb and forefinger, or glue the craft sticks together in the center. Wrap yarn around the sticks diagonally 2-3 times, and then 2-3 times in the opposite direction. Wrap the yarn around one side of the cross. Carry it over the previously yarn-covered section, following the line of what you’ve already done. Wrap the yarn over each side and across diagonally. Continue wrapping until you reach your desired number of rows. When you’re ready to change colors, tie the two pieces of yarn together and continue wrapping. Once you’ve reached the desired color and combo length, take the yarn and tie it off.

Piñata Fun

Make your own Paper Plate Piñata with paper plates, glue, stapler, tissue paper and candy. Make fringe with the tissue paper. Place both paper plates together and staple one end. Glue the tissue paper decorations onto the plate. Let the glue dry before stuffing with candy. Staple closed. Hang with string.

Spaceships & Laser Beams

Celebrate with a sombrero-shaped piñata using crepe paper, tissue paper, paper cup, paper plate and candy. Trace the bottom of the cup onto the paper plate and cut with a craft knife. Cover the hole with tissue paper. Cut the outer rim of the plate. Fill the cup with candy. Center cup onto the plate and tape down. Cut strips of crepe paper and fringe. Glue the fringe to the outer rim until you completely cover the plate and cup.

Music

Learn a few Spanish phrases and words with music and fun videos. Learn the alphabet with Spanish for Kids. Calico Spanish for Kids goes through colors. Sing a nursery rhyme with HooplaKidz. Learn how to introduce yourself with “Sesame Street.” Check out RockAlingua for music-based Spanish learning.

Enjoy a Meal

Celebrate with On The Border with $5 ‘Ritas, $1 Gold Tequila meltdowns, Grand Marnier souvenir sidecars and more; or order Family Meals for takeout that serve 4-5 people.

El Azteca has takeout, curbside service and delivery for quesadillas, nachos, tacos and more.

Dine in or order Tin Lizzy’s for quesadillas, tacos, skillets and more. With OCHO Days of Cinco, enjoy $5 Herradura Margaritas, $3 Tecate Light & Dos Equis Ambar cans from May 1-8.

Superica has fajitas, enchiladas, tacos and more.

El Taco has fajitas, enchiladas, a Mexican pizza and more. They’re offering drink and food specials for the holiday.

Order from Tacos & Tequilas for chimichangas, skillets, burritos and more.

Raging Burrito has quesadillas, burritos, tacos and more.

Taqueria del Mar has seafood, burritos, enchiladas and more.

Order Frontera for burritos, tacos, quesadillas and more; get a Family Meal for takeout that serves 3-8 people.

Taqueria los Hermanos has nachos, quesadillas, tacos and more.

Order a cinco party kit from bartaco for tacos, sides, chips, salsa verde, stickers, temporary tattoos and more. Ordering open through May 4.

Abbotts Bar and Grill will have all day food and drink specials.

Enjoy Paella on the Patio and live music with Mojave Restaurant.

Chuy’s will offer drink specials all day long.

Events

On May 2, enjoy a virtual festival from Plaza Fiesta with singers, dancers and more.

Listen to a live mariachi band at Colony Square’s Cinco de Mayo lunchtime celebration featuring food and festive swag.

Playtime

Purchase a Fiesta Fun Boredom Buster Kit from Oriental Trading for beach balls, a piñata, bubbles and more for a festive celebration at home. $29.99.

Check out Artelexia Mexican and Latin American gifts, art, home décor, gourmet foods, toys, games and more. The site has stickers, puzzles, games, balloons, dolls, rattles and more from $0.50-$195.

Recipes

Slice of vegetarian tortilla casserole on a plate

Panning the Globe

Get creative in the kitchen with these Mexican-inspired meals and tools.

Make your own tortillas with the Red Cast Iron Tortilla Press and your own guacamole with the Molcajete with Tortilla Basket.

Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole

  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-oz. can stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-oz. can chopped mild green chilies
  • 2 c. frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese
  • Toppings: Salsa, sour cream or yogurt, scallions

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine beans, tomatoes, chilies, corn, scallions, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt in a large bowl.
  • Lightly oil a 2-3 quart casserole dish. Line the bottom with 6 tortillas, allowing them to overlap in the middle. You can cut off some of the round edges so the tortillas fit against the edge of your casserole dish. Scoop on half the bean mixture. Sprinkle half the cheese on top. Add another layer of tortillas; the rest of the bean mixture and the rest of the cheese.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
  • Cut into squares and serve with your favorite salsa and sour cream or yogurt to spoon on top.

Cheese Quesadillas

  • 2 8″ flour tortillas
  • ⅔ c. Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Possible additions: tomatoes, ham, scallions, black beans, cilantro, jalapenos, chicken.

Directions:

  • Sprinkle half of cheese over half of first tortilla. Fold tortilla in half, forming half-moon shape with cheese inside and press to flatten. Repeat with second tortilla and remaining cheese.
  • Use pastry brush to brush top of each quesadilla with 1 tsp. oil. Place quesadillas in 10″ nonstick skillet, oiled sides down. Brush second with another tsp. oil.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and cook until bottoms are crisp and well browned, 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip quesadillas and cook until second sides are crisp and browned, 1-2 minutes.
  • Let the quesadillas cool before cutting and serving.

Crispy Chicken Mini-Tacos

  • 1 c. finely chopped tomato
  • ½ c. finely chopped white onion
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and deveined
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bone-in chicken breast, with skin
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, plus 2 tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • ¼ c. Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 3 tbsp. queso fresco or mild feta cheese

Directions:

  • Salsa: Combine the tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a bowl. Mix well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the chicken on a small sheet pan and roast until fully cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to cool before shredding.
  • In a medium shallow skillet heat enough vegetable oil to come half way up the sides of the pan. Shred the chicken into small pieces and put about 2 tbsp. down the center of each corn tortilla. Roll up each tortilla like a cigar and secure them with a toothpick. Fry the tacos until golden brown on all sides, turning once, about four minutes total. Remove the toothpicks and cut each taco in half.
  • To serve: Top with shredded lettuce and freshly made salsa. Drizzle with Mexican crema and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco.

Sombrero Cookies

  • Sugar cookies
  • Can of white icing
  • Gum drops
  • Nonpareils or sprinkles

Directions:

  • Start by putting about half a can of store bought icing into a bag. Then cut off a tiny piece of one corner to make squeezing the icing onto the cookie easy.
  • Using your icing bag, squeeze a small bead of icing all the way around the cookie.
  • Pour your nonpareils into a shallow dish and then place the iced cookie face down in the plate of nonpareils.
  • Turn them back over and add a drop of icing in the center of the cookie.
  • Add a gum drop to the icing then sprinkle on a few extra nonpareils to cover any extra icing.

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20 Best Nature Walks and Hikes for Kids in Atlanta

Dunwoody Nature Center

Feeling a little cooped up at home? A nature walk or hike can be a great way to get outdoors while still avoiding large crowds of people. Pack your water bottles and your hand sanitizer and enjoy one of Atlanta’s many beautiful trails. Be sure to check ahead to make sure the park is still open to the public; also keep in mind that some areas may be busier at certain times of the day, so plan your outing accordingly.

Maintain social distancing and safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Check websites for their precautions.

For additional ideas for family fun, check out 250 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids.

Sweetwater Creek State Park

About 20 minutes east of downtown Atlanta, this park offers a wooded trail along a stream leading to ruins of the Manchester Textile Mill. Other trails wind through forests, ferns and wild azaleas. Try the red trail for the easiest route. Lithia Springs.

Fernbank Forest

Walk 1.5 miles of paved paths underneath a mixed hardwood forest at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This is a great trail for beginning hikers. Atlanta.

Dunwoody Nature Center

Hike around Wildcat Creek, the wetlands boardwalk or make your way through two miles of Piedmont forest. The awesome playground is an added treat with two climbing towers, a giant rope swing, tall slides and more. Dunwoody.

Island Ford Park Trail

Three miles of hiking trails following the Chattahoochee River with terrain along the path that is perfect for climbing with cave-like overhangs, scenic views of the water and loads of wildlife and wildflowers. Sandy Springs.

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve

An easy, less than 2-mile part paved, part dirt trail round trip takes you by the remnants of a stone springhouse (with moat) and Civil War-era trenches on this former battlefield site. Plus, there’s a small waterfall. Atlanta.

Constitution Lake and Doll’s Head Trail

An easy round trip half-mile hike has a fascinating surprise. The highlight of the park’s trail system is the quirky Doll’s Head Trail, filled with folk art created by local Atlanta artists and park volunteers. Atlanta.

Red Top Mountain State Park

This park boasts more than 15 miles of wooded trails. Even explore a reconstructed 1860s homestead. In the hot months, pack a bathing suit for the swimming hole at Lake Allatoona. Acworth.

Roswell River Walk

Go playground to playground, from Riverside Park to Azalea Park, and then on to boardwalks adjacent to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. This flat trail runs alongside the Chattahoochee River, giving up close views of the water and its wildlife. Roswell.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve

Mostly known for the Indian Seats natural rock formation at the peak of the mountain, Sawnee has an easy short hike best for younger children. The brief round trip leads to a tree house and a fairy houses trail. Another short, but steep, climb, leads to an observation deck. Cumming.

Stone Mountain Park

Explore 15 miles of walking and hiking trails including the one-mile trail to the top of the mountain. The Nature Garden trail is an easy walk around large oak trees. The hike to the top is more challenging, but includes great views of downtown Atlanta. Stone Mountain.

Big Trees Forest Preserve

This urban forest has three hiking routes, including a one-mile loop trail beneath white oak trees. Be sure to grab the nature trail guide at the entrance of the forest and try to clasp hands around one of the giant oaks. Sandy Springs.

Big Creek Greenway

Stroll your choice of flat, easy trails in Alpharetta or Forsyth with paved and boardwalk areas. Observe wildlife in the wooded and wetland settings. Alpharetta and Forsyth.

Atlanta BeltLine

Take the paved trails headed east or west and check out ever-changing outdoor artwork, exciting playgrounds and even tiny doors. A fascinating blend of nature and art makes a BeltLine walk a must-do to see the city from a new perspective. Multiple access points.

Hiking Trails and Nature Walks for Kids in Atlanta

Arabia Mountain Path

Amazing views await at the summit of the crater-filled Arabia Mountain. The trail is short, but along the way, plenty of unique land forms and plants entertain. Lithonia.

Cochran Shoals

More than three miles of gravel trails runs beside the Chattahoochee River. Check out both woodlands and marshes, and all the animals that inhabit them. Marietta.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

The Mountain Trail is steep with some level terrain that leads to the peak, where a panoramic view of Atlanta is the reward. Rocky sections make this best for more advanced hikers. There are also many easier trails and activities at this historic battlefield site. Kennesaw.

Reynolds Nature Preserve

Three choices of looped trails, all under two miles, make this a great spot for beginning hikers. There’s a wide variety of sights to see, too. Ponds, a butterfly garden, antique farm equipment and resident critters are all part of the landscape. Morrow.

Murphey Candler Trail

A pond is at the center of this moderate two-mile flat loop. Adjacent to a playground, this tranquil spot is a great place to see ducks, turtles, geese and other water fowl. Brookhaven.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve

This land in north Atlanta flourishes with nature and wildlife. Families can regularly spot a box turtle, a midland water snake or the carnivorous lady slipper orchid while walking on the easy two miles of trails. Kids especially love a replica of a teepee. Johns Creek.

Lost Corner Nature Preserve

Lesser known than other Atlanta nature centers,  the passive nature trails of Lost Corner have a lot to offer! Go in search of a host of native trees, plants and animals including (regularly sighted) birds of prey, deer, turtles, wild turkey, rabbits, foxes and more. Sandy Springs.

Morningside Nature Preserve

More than 30 woodland acres in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood surrounds South Fork Peachtree Creek. A cool suspension bridge over the creek connects the trails. Wade in the shallow water under the bridge along with visitors who bring their furry friends to “dog beach.” Atlanta.

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Walk through several different ecosystems on a 1.5 mile easy trail. This 28-acre sanctuary includes wetlands, upland forests and pine forests along a floodplain. This walk is ideal for kids learning about Georgia’s climate and native living things. Decatur.

Beyond Atlanta

In the mood for a day or overnight trip? These hikes are worth the drive!

Providence Canyon State Park

Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” is an amazing man-made geological formation, caused by water erosion in the 1800s. The stunning canyons, some as deep as 150 feet, can be viewed from the rim trail, or hike down for a closer view of the red, pink, orange, and purple formations. Lumpkin County.

Toccoa River Bridge

A 270-foot swinging suspension bridge is a highlight of the Benton McKaye Trail near Blue Ridge. The kid-friendly one-mile hike offers great views of the wide-flowing Toccoa River; stop at the cascades area for a mid-hike picnic. Blue Ridge.

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

This prehistoric American Indian site is loaded with history. From the Visitor Center, trails lead to the Earth Lodge, Trading Post Site, and the Great and Lesser Temple Mounds. The River Trail is handicap accessible. Other highlights include Civil War earthworks and a wetlands trail. Macon.

Brasstown Bald

It’s hard to beat the views from Brasstown Bald, the state’s highest point. A half-mile paved trail through the forest takes visitors to the 360-degree observation deck, with views that stretch to North and South Carolina and Tennessee. Explore the area’s other hiking trails, picnic areas, and visit the center’s museum. Hiawassee.

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Kid-Friendly Easter Crafts and Recipes

Celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring with these kid-friendly crafts and recipe ideas.

For more egg ideas and tips for planning an Easter egg hunt, click here.
Find 9 easy ideas for creating an Easter basket here.

String Eggs

These eggs are easy and fun for kids to make. You’ll need craft string, water balloons, white glue and water. Blow up the balloons in various sizes. Dip lengths of string in a mixture of equal parts glue and water. Wrap it around the balloon and let it dry for 2-3 hours. Pop the balloon and pull the pieces out of the egg.  Use another piece of string to make hanging decorations, or display them in a basket.
Source: craftwhack.com

Egg Carton Chicks

You’ll need an empty egg carton, yellow craft paint, glue and construction paper in yellow and orange to create these adorable chicks. Fill them with jelly beans, mini chocolate eggs or M&Ms. Cut 2 connected cups from the egg carton; paint them yellow. Cut wings, feet and beak from construction paper and glue them on. Use a marker to add eyes.
Source: onelittleproject.com

Mason Jar Chick

A small jar becomes an adorable treat holder when filled with Starburst candies. Tape on yellow cupcake holders for wings and draw a face on the glass using a sharpie marker, or if you’re feeling crafty, cut a beak and feet from construction paper. Sure, you have to pick out all the yellow candies from the bag, but since they come in red and pink, too, use your imagination and make another cute critter.
Source: masonjarcraftslove.com

Peek-a-Boo Bunnies

Bake refrigerated cookie dough in mini-muffin cups and frost with purchased or homemade frosting. Create ears with cut marshmallows; add eyes and noses with candies, mini marshmallows and sprinkles. You could also make these cute bunnies using cupcakes.
Source: pillsbury.com

Bunny Faces

Who could say no to these irresistible bunnies? With a little help cutting, they’re fun for kids to assemble. You’ll need purchased cheese rounds (such as BabyBel), carrots, celery and mini chocolate chips. Cut thin slices of celery for whiskers and slices of carrot for the ears and nose.
Source: meaninfuleats.com

Easter Egg Brownie Cookies

A brownie mix base makes these cute cookies easy to create. Add sprinkles to the batter and roll into balls. Gently press candy eggs on top of each cookie and bake.
Source: bettycrocker.com

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Best Family Movies and Shows Streaming in March

Pop some popcorn and pull up a movie or show for a family-friendly movie night that everyone can enjoy. Here are the best movies and shows streaming in March.

Disney+

On Feb. 26, watch the show “Pair of Kings,” where teenage twins find out they’re heirs to an island nation. See seasons 1 and 2 of “American Dragon: Jake Long” following a teenager who can magically turn into a dragon. Watch the short “Myth: A Frozen Tale” set in the world of Arendelle.

Every Friday, catch a new episode of “WandaVision.” The season finale is March 5.

On March 5, with Disney+ Premier Access, catch “Raya and the Last Dragon,” where warrior Raya is determined to find the last dragon. Watch “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties,” based on the comic strip.

On March 12, catch “Doc McStuffins: The Doc Is In,” as Doc McStuffins meets real kids, doctors and nurses. Learn more about animals from all over the world with eight seasons of “Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER.” See the adventures of a mysterious group of children in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

On March 19, watch the first episode of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” as these two heroes team up. Season three of “Big Hero 6: The Series” shows Baymax, teen Hiro and their friends as superheroes.

On March 26, view episode one of “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” where a hockey player forms a new team of underdogs. The Shakespeare classic gets a backyard update with “Gnomeo & Juliet.”

Netflix

On Feb. 26, watch “Bigfoot Family,” where a son works with a team to save his bigfoot father.

On March 1, catch the animated adventures of superpowered women with the first season of “DC Super Hero Girls.” Spider-Man has to stop the villains of New York City from destroying the city in “Lego Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom.”

On March 2, watch season five of “Word Party,” a kids’ animated series where four baby animals need help learning various skills.

On March 5, kids learn more about their city by talking to the ghosts who’ve lived there in “City of Ghosts.” In the final season of “Pokémon Journeys: The Series,” Ash tries to capture all the members of Pokémon.

On March 9, the third season of “StarBeam” is released following the adventures of Zoey as she transforms into a speedy superhero.

On March 12, two parents decide to say yes to all of their children’s requests in “Yes Day.”

On March 16, watch “Waffles + Mochi,” where whimsical characters from a supermarket travel all over the world to find new ingredients.

On March 19, see the second season of “Alien TV” where alien reporters try to figure out humans and their hobbies to report back to their planet.

Watch the four seasons of the musical adventures of the group “Big Time Rush” on March 26.

On March 29, seven girls learn life lessons in the first season of “Rainbow High.”

Hulu

On March 1, watch “Dolphin Tale” and the sequel, where a boy and a dolphin connect. See “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” where the group must rescue Sid after he’s been abducted by a dinosaur.

On March 6, see “Storks,” a look at the delivery service that drops off babies.

On March 18, catch season two of “Trolls: TrollsTopia,” following the musical adventures of the characters from the franchise.

HBO Max

On Feb. 26, see the premiere of “Tom & Jerry,” based on the antics of the TV show.

On March 1, watch a spider spin wondrous words into webs to save a pig in “Charlotte’s Web.” A vet can talk to animals in “Dr. Dolittle 2.” See author J.M.M. Barrie’s connection to a family that inspired “Peter Pan” in “Finding Neverland.” Grandparents are in charge in “Parental Guidance.” A shy groom practices his wedding vows and unknowingly commits himself to a ghostly bride in “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.”

On March 17, watch the adventures of Superman in “Superman: The Animated Series.”

Amazon Prime

On March 1, enjoy a blast from the past with “Back To The Future,” “Back To The Future Part II” and “Back To The Future Part III.” See the adventures of an alien who becomes friends with a boy in “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”

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Mommy Burnout: Helpful Ideas to Help You Cope

Atlanta Parent spoke to Monica DiCristina, a licensed professional counselor in Atlanta, about how moms can handle burnout during this time.

Monica DiCristina

As a therapist, what issues are you seeing in parents?

Parents, who already struggle with time to care for themselves and meet their own needs, are struggling even more with that. I am also seeing the weight of decision fatigue. Decisions as a parent already feel big, because you are trying to make the best path forward for the people you love the most in the world. Now, you are trying to balance different opinions and boundaries about the pandemic, the ripple effects of potential exposure to loved ones and not knowing how long you will be making each decision for.

What are your tips for dealing with anxiety or decision fatigue?

We often function like machines, rather than human beings. We are not wired to, nor capable of, giving out constantly. Exhaustion is cumulative, and so is burnout. Consider medication if that’s needed. Wholeheartedly accept your limitations. As parents, we live and breathe as if we can control everything because we want the best for our kids, but we are limited as humans. There’s a peace that comes with embracing your limitations: the ramifications of what other people decide are out of my hands, so I need to decide what feels comfortable to me and let the rest go. With decision fatigue, why is it so hard for you to say no? Instead of getting critical, get curious. Are you afraid of not pleasing someone, rejection, being judged by what people will think?

As a parent, when can you be honest with your kids about what you’re feeling?

It is really positive for your kids to see you model vulnerability and taking care of yourself. For example: “I am feeling really stressed today, which is normal when things are hard. So, I am going to do what I know really helps me and go for a run.” We don’t ever want to lean on our kids for emotional support. Being honest and human with your kids is one thing, but relying on them for emotional support is not part of parenting.

“Staying positive” is advice that’s often given during difficult times. Are there actionable ways to stay positive with yourself and your family?

I don’t think kids need a positive mom. The pressure for moms to be “positive” can have a negative impact on their mental health and confidence as a parent. I would encourage moms to focus more on connecting with and being present to their kids. Paying attention to your kids, listening to them, staying curious about what they are telling you, being involved in their everyday lives – these are much more impactful than positivity.

How can moms handle the extra responsibilities this pandemic has created?

Moms tend to carry the “mental load” for the family – meaning they are thinking of everything and what is next, even when not executing on it. This mental load can be exhausting. Let your partner in on the mental load from the teacher emails to the volunteer requests, and delegate decisions to your partner to help.

A lot of moms have the tendency to over-function, leaving the people in their life with the easy load of under-functioning. Reevaluate where you might be over-functioning in your roles. Set realistic expectations for yourself. This could look like saying no more, serving frozen pizza for dinner more, delegating more and not volunteering yourself for things.

What’s your advice for single parents?

Single parents are the heroes of the parenting world, and even more so now. Remember your context. Comparing what you are alone to a two-parent or two-caregiver household is just unfair and not helpful. Ask for support. As humans, and women especially, we feel pressured to present as though we are needless, and this is not true for any of us. Ask for the help that you need from a colleague or boss for more flexibility in your schedule. Ask a friend to give you time to recharge your batteries for a couple of hours. Evaluate and reevaluate your boundaries as needed.

What’s your advice for couples? (Disclaimer: This advice is not relevant in an abusive marriage.)

The context of what you are living through will put a strain on relationships. Relationships need to have extra support added when there is more weight put on it. We make the relationship strong through increased connection time, which doesn’t have to be an elaborate date night or weekend away. Connection is actually built on small moments. Prioritize these small moments to remember who you are as individuals and as a couple. Building in small moments of daily connection – coffee in the morning before the kids are up, a walk around the block holding hands while the kids ride ahead on their bikes, takeout dinner date after the kids are in bed – can be small wins for maintaining this connection during a stressful time.

After a fight, separate to get emotionally regulated. Create a calm space together, where you can talk about the different buttons that got pushed for each of you during the fight and to connect to yourself and your spouse in a vulnerable way.

Throw out the traditional division of labor you had as a couple. Give each other a break on what you need a break from, which can create compassion and break up the monotony of your daily routines.

What is your advice for essential workers, who are having to deal with the added stress of being out and about?

Don’t forget your context. You are on the frontlines of a global trauma, which has ramifications for compassion fatigue and mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. We’re all relying on essential workers, and they’re likely not getting the support they deserve or need. Reach out wherever you can get any support: from a family member or spouse, find discounted therapy or therapy funds, find therapists with flexible hours. Prioritize your self-care.

What are your tips for dealing with the guilt of juggling childcare and working from home?

Throw the guilt out the window. The last thing a working mother needs during this pandemic is a false sense of guilt for not being able to fulfill an unrealistic version of herself. The myth of balancing it all is just that—a myth. What works more realistically is prioritization. Work and staying employed is an essential priority, but after that, any of the extras need to be addressed and removed. Write a short list of what things take priority in your life, and therefore your time, and measure each extra request by that list.

Since this pandemic has been hard on everyone, do you have any tips for getting over your guilt about reaching out to other people and “bothering” them with your own issues when you need support?

When we show other people our vulnerability, we give them permission to do the same. When we allow ourselves to be honest with our support network, not only will we get the support we need, but we will send the message that it is ok for others to do the same. Reframe it from “bothering” other people to giving them and yourself the permission to be human and be there for each other. Allow yourself to receive the same love you would give to others.

How can you handle the guilt when you’re feeling tired of your family?

We have to be honest with ourselves without shame, which makes us better at loving others. Love does not mean you’re never annoyed. You can be annoyed and still be wholly devoted. The more permission we give ourselves to be human, the less shame we feel. When you’re feeling tired of your family, you have nothing to feel guilty about; you just need time alone. You need time away from people to recharge and time away from your kids to miss your kids.

8 Ways Moms Can Refresh:

It can be hard to remember that you’re a person, not just a list of responsibilities. Start incorporating time for yourself by making these small changes.

  • “Prioritize recharging moments for yourself, like 10 minutes of meditation, a short walk around the block, listening to your favorite songs or calling a close friend,” DiCristina says.
  • Make sleep a priority. Create a bedtime routine, and as much as possible, stick to it.
  • Get active. Take a walk, watch a yoga or exercise video, have a dance party with your kids. Try to get some movement in every day.
  • Clean up your social media. Unfollow negative friends or accounts that make you feel worse. Try to limit your time online.
  • Do mindfulness exercises, either alone or as a family. To help you start, download an app, like Smiling Mind, that offers daily meditation programs.
  • “Pause on daily tasks for a few minutes to do absolutely nothing!” Battle says. “Put the baby in a safe and secure place, close the door to your office, indulge in your favorite snack, or even take a few quiet minutes in the bathroom to take some deep breaths. Take some time throughout the day to decompress.”
  • Make a list of things you’re proud of to give yourself credit for all the amazing things you do.
  • Help the family become less reliant on you. Have the kids fix their own lunch one day a week.

The post Mommy Burnout: Helpful Ideas to Help You Cope appeared first on Atlanta Parent.

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What Will Overnight Camp Look this Summer?

Glisson Camp & Retreat Center

If your kids missed summer camp last year, now is the time to start researching camps and what they are doing to make the experience as safe as possible.

Since so many camps had to hit the pause button last summer, they are excited to welcome back campers. Atlanta Parent spoke to four camp owners and directors to learn more about how camps are approaching this summer.

What Plans are Camps Making for the Summer?

Camps are looking ahead to determine how they’ll handle summer this year, and organizations, like the American Camp Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are publishing tips and information for camps. CDC recommendations include guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting, ventilation, water systems and more. The ACA has shared tools to help camps prepare for 2021, and all accredited camps have access to their manuals. Camps are deciding how they’ll handle meals, social distancing, mask wearing, hand hygiene, drop-off and pick-up and more to create a safe camp experience.

WinShape plans to hold overnight camps at several locations in Georgia. Their cross-functional safety team includes their on-staff healthcare manager, who is researching and consulting information from Christian Camps and Conferences Association, Association of Camp Nursing, ACA, CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health and local government officials.

“We truly believe kids were made for adventure and making friends and epic moments. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to make in-person camp a reality this year, even if that means camp looking a little different. We’re evaluating every aspect to figure out how it can be done in the safest possible way,” Malone says. “June is still quite some time away, but we’re preparing for the most detailed measures with the hopes of being able to safely loosen those up as summer gets closer. If not, we can be confident in the stringent plans we have in place.” WinShape plans to communicate about social distancing measures and changes on a monthly basis with families leading up to June.

“We are full steam ahead,” Waldman says of Camp Blue Ridge. “We are spending every minute now preparing, as things are going to change month-to-month. From the minute we wake up to the minute we go to sleep, we are thinking about what is happening and what we’re going to do about COVID.”

At Camp Blue Ridge’s family camp last spring, families were tested before they arrived, and they agreed to quarantine for 10 days beforehand. “Parents understood the need to quarantine before camp and that played a huge role in bringing everybody to camp healthy,” she says. This year, Camp Blue Ridge plans to ask for campers to be tested before camp, when they arrive, and 10 days into the camp.

This summer, Camp Ocoee plans to run at 80% capacity, in order to maintain social distancing, but they are waiting until April to make final decisions on the safety policies for this year. “It’s a moving target every single day,” B.J. Davis says. “We’re planning to run a more regular camp, but we’ll reevaluate in mid-April what changes we need to make to make sure kids and staff are safe. We have to be fluid and flexible.” The changes they incorporated at last year’s summer camp allow them to have a blueprint for 2021.

Glisson has been monitoring information and guidelines from the CDC, ACA, Governor Kemp and the Georgia DPH since March 2020. “With conditions constantly changing and new understanding continually emerging, tracking these sources has allowed us to keep our policies, protocols and procedures in-line with best practices and to ensure we abide by government directives,” says Russell Davis. “Since last March, we’ve been working to adapt our programs so that we’re ready to open camp as soon as safely possible.”

At Glisson, campers have moved in small “living groups” for decades to help them develop communication skills, empathy, teamwork, self-awareness and leadership. “One of our fundamental strategies for social distancing will be cohort-based camper activities, a mitigation requirement of the governor’s executive orders and which happens to be something we’re really experienced at,” Russell Davis says. Their large group gatherings will be done differently and outside as much as possible, and parents and family members will remain in their cars during drop-off and pick-up.

Camp Blue Ridge

What About Cancellations and Refunds?

One of parents’ biggest concerns about camp this summer is losing deposits or fees. If you’re concerned about losing the money you deposit for a camp session this summer, pay attention to the camp’s financial policy. Many camps have changed their refund policies to ensure you’ll get your money back if the camp is unable to proceed.

“We want to ensure in all areas that we never lose parents’ trust, all the way down to finances,” Waldman says. If camp is canceled this year, they will issue refunds.

WinShape has changed their cancellation policy for 2021 to allow for flexibility when it comes to situations involving COVID-19. “This means that parents can secure their spot at camp without having to weigh the risk of losing their deposit if COVID-19 creates issues either at camp or at home,” Malone says.

To reflect the changing environment with the pandemic, Camp Ocoee’s refund policy now includes a full refund through May 14. “This gives parents the confidence they can register now, and pay monthly so it’s not a big chunk at the end,” B.J. Davis says. “If things change, they can get their money back.”

Glisson’s policy is to issue a full refund if they’re unable to provide one or more of their camp programs. “It has long been our policy that we are unable to refund camp fees should a camper become ill during the camp session, and that will continue to be true this summer and will apply to COVID-related illnesses as well,” Russell Davis says.

If your family is facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19, and you believe you’ll have to sit out of the camp experience this year due to economic hardships, look at camps’ assistance programs. “Many camps offer scholarship programs that can help cover some of the costs,” Malone says. “At WinShape, all first-time overnight campers receive a 50% gift toward the cost of camp. We continue to offer scholarships based on financial need. Many camps also offer payment plans so that you don’t have to pay it all up front.”

Camp Ocoee also offers financial help. “We offer financial assistance, so every kid has the chance to attend camp,” B.J. Davis says. The needs-based scholarship is open to everyone.

YMCA Camp Ocoee

What Should I Look for in a Summer Camp?

Start by thinking about what your kid would enjoy. Breaking out of comfort zones is one of the benefits of summer camps, but if your kid loves the arts, find a camp offering more of those activities.

Research recommendations from the ACA, CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics to help you understand the safety precautions camps should be making, as well as what you should do to help prepare your child to be away from home. With capacity limits, expect waiting lists to develop earlier, so start researching and narrowing down options now.

“Summer camps have spent the entire year speaking to professionals, and the ACA prepares field guides and updates as situations change,” Waldman says. “Get as much information from the camp as possible about what’s going to be put in place. Ask questions, go back and ask more questions, so you know you’re comfortable sending your child there.”

Malone also recommends asking questions, as well as learning about new safety precautions. “Camp has always been a place for kids to escape ‘the real world,’ even if for just a week. Not only will overnight camp be a place for your kids to reset and refocus, but it’s a chance for them to grow as a person,” he says.

B.J. Davis recommends looking at if they ran last summer and how it went. If they didn’t, ask them what their new protocols are. “Check websites to see what they’re planning to do to keep everybody safe and healthy while they’re at camp. Know what experience your kids are looking for,” he says.

“Parents should ‘follow their gut’ when it comes to the question of registering their children. If they aren’t comfortable with camp this year, don’t force it. Your camper will likely pick up on any anxiety you have, and it could affect their camp experience,” Russell Davis says. “Similarly, if the camp has a requirement, like wearing masks, like we do, with which you disagree, perhaps this isn’t the summer for your family to attend. This will be a different summer for all of us, and we’ll need to work together as families and camps to create safe experiences of growth for our campers.”

WinShape Camps

Reasons to Send Your Kids to Summer Camp

Summer camps, especially overnight camps, offer multiple opportunities for your child to grow. Not only will they experience new activities, such as archery, ziplining, kayaking and more, they will also gain independence, make new friends and craft confidence, all while having fun.

“Children have the experience of gaining independence, as they make their own decisions and realize they can stand on their own two feet. With COVID-19, parents have been nervous about children and family members, but sending them to summer camp tells them, ‘I trust you, and you can do this.’ It’s a great feeling for them to know that they’re trusted in these hard times to do the right thing,” Waldman says. “Camp is magical. No matter who you are at home – the dynamic with mom or dad or siblings or friends – you can always reinvent yourself at camp.”

According to Malone, parent surveys at the end of the summer focus on the four strengths of WinShape: new friends, being active and away from screens, growing in faith and fun. “We’ve often said that there are only three rules at camp: Have fun, have fun, and HAVE FUN. Fun is at the center of what we do,” he says. “While camp may look a little different for summer 2021, we promise that kids are going to have fun.”

“Summer camp is even more valuable now with kids in virtual school,” B.J. Davis says. “Screen time for kids is way up at home. We’re a no-screens facility, and we really believe in giving kids time away from screens, phones and social media. They’ll get to experience every single activity camp has to offer and be outside, be with peers, make friends that are different than them and are from different situations or cities. They get to create a new family with the group of kids in their cabin group. Kids are going to get the experience of a lifetime.”

Russell Davis believes deep connections and friendships are why campers return to Glisson. “The ziplines, climbing towers, waterfront, backpacking, kayaking and other activities may have precautions added but will still be fun, maybe even more so after a year stuck at home,” he says. “There is no more effective means of holistic growth for your child than the immersive experience of summer camp. Character, self-confidence, grit, empathy, teamwork and leadership are highly valued qualities that can be developed through quality experiences. Summer camps exist to help children and youth realize their potential individually and as a part of society.”

The post What Will Overnight Camp Look this Summer? appeared first on Atlanta Parent.

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At Home Online Learning Resources and Podcasts for Kids

Whether your kids are attending school virtually or back in the classroom, these fun resources can enhance their education and keep them enthusiastic about learning. Many are free, and some may be offering free access for a limited time during the pandemic.

Academics

Play games and watch educational videos at PBS Kids. Sign up for their newsletter for daily activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home. Design Squad Global has items you can build at home with things you have on hand.

Explore hands-on activities you can do at home and check out free printables at We Are Teachers.

Highlights Kids has recipes, crafts, jokes, games, podcasts, science questions and facts to keep your child entertained.

Get free learning workbooks with edHelper.

Fact Monster offers facts and homework help in subjects such as math, science and language arts.

ABCya offers educational games for PreK through grades 6+, with the help of Fuzz Bugs, Adventure Man and more.

With National Geographic for Kids, explore topics like the U.S., plastic, books, science, space and more.

Funbrain offers games, books, comics and videos developing skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy. Funbrain Jr. focuses on math and reading skills, while offering printables for keeping kids entertained.

Fuel the Brain has educational worksheets for preschool through 5th grade, math, reading and writing, and learning games like Bank It! and Math Match.

Mr. Nussbaum’s subjects include math, language arts, history, geography, science, people, holidays and the U.S.A. Learn about each state, famous people, animals and more.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids explores weather, animals, the stars, history and has a question of the day.

Browse arts, astronomy and space, biology, earth science, history, social science and more with the Exploratorium’s online Learning Toolbox.

Turtle Diary has educational games to practice skills, including addition, typing and money, along with videos, experiments, puzzles, coloring sheets and more.

e-learning for kids offers lessons in math, science, health, language arts, life skills and more.

Sesame Street offers games, videos and art activities, as well as printables and a YouTube playlist of fun at home activities.

The Smithsonian Learning Lab covers a variety of topics, including social studies, language arts, science, arts and more. Watch Smithsonian’s educational videos for free.

Grid Club offers educational games focused on English, science, history, design, health, math, languages and more.

Khan Academy is offering daily schedules for students ages 4-18.

Play free educational games and compete against other players with Arcademics.

How Stuff Works explores health, science, auto, tech, animals and more, as well as quizzes and podcasts, like Stuff You Missed in History Class, for more learning.

TED Talks offer intellectual lectures on all kinds of topics, and animated videos explore topics in five minutes or less.

Lakeshore Learning has free resources, including lesson plans, worksheets, crafts and activities.

KiwiCo has at-home activities for kids ages 2-12+.

Kohl Children’s Museum has remote learning videos with stories, activities and experiments.

Listen and discuss ethical topics involving animals, technology, school and more with the SHORT & CURLY podcast.

Brains On! offers podcasts about weather, dust, animals and more, with accompanying videos to help you learn more.

Listenwise offers a free 30-day trial for 3-6 minute stories for grades 2-12.

But Why is a podcast that answers the questions kids send in.

Ear Snacks discusses music, science, art and culture.

All Kids Network has crafts, worksheets, coloring pages, mazes, hidden pictures and more.

Bamboo Learning offers learning opportunities through your Alexa or other voice-powered technology.

Beanstalk is offering free interactive kids’ classes for ages 1.5-6.

Get free access for two weeks to BetterChinese for elementary through college aged students to learn a new language or improve their skills.

Clark Creative Education has free resources and instructional materials.

With Conjuguemos, practice French, German, Italian, Korean, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish skills.

Explore free videos in 13 subject areas with HippoCampus.

ABCmouse has curriculum for ages 2-8 and is offering a 30-day free trial.

Access free educational programming and accompanying digital resources with GPB.

Learn a new language with Duolingo.

Arts Break is a curriculum designed program created by The New Victory Theater.

Petersen Automotive Museum has videos, coloring activities and building activities.

Learn with Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang with lesson plans for grades K-8.

Take learning outdoors with TurfMutt’s lessons for grades K-8.

Show What You Know podcast gives three middle-grade contestants a chance to prove their knowledge with questions about the earth, the universe, ancient history and more.

English/Language Arts

Teach media literacy with The Paley Center for Media’s Zoom meetings, resource guides, online classes and more.

Read with Stay Home with Candlewick Press for activities, discussion guides, educational materials, videos and more, plus a free guide for young readers about coronavirus.

Starfall can help teach children to read with phonics and is for preschool through second grade students, as well as those learning the English language.

Storyline Online streams videos of children’s books, such as “A Bad Case of Stripes” and “Stellaluna,” with creative illustrations and read by celebrities.

Harper Collins has story times, read-alouds, activities and more each day at noon, a video series for ages 7-12, and book recommendations, charts, games and more on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Fun Fonix has worksheets and printable phonics workbooks.

Get your kids writing with The Story Starter, which provides a random sentence to write a story around.

Practice typing with TypingClub.

Build reading skills and comprehension with Squiggle Park for ages 3-8 or with Dreamscape for ages 8-15.

Lingokids’ Basic Plan allows you to learn English with three games, songs or videos a day.

Global Digital Library offers books for free to help kids practice their reading skills.

Libby allows you to access your local library’s ebooks and audiobooks.

Storynory offers free audio stories, including original stories, fairytales, classic authors, mythology and more.

Check out the language podcast, The Allusionist, for a discussion on words.

Book Club for Kids has a free podcast for middle schoolers to discuss books, and they’re offering free curriculum guides.

Classroom Cereal offers free grammar practice with printable short stories.

Try Homer for ages 2-8 with lessons on ABCs, phonics and sight words, letter tracing and more.

Enjoy storytimes with astronauts with Space Station Explorers’ Story Time From Space.

Check out downloadable activities to accompany Basher and Kingfisher children’s books.

Science

Check out High Touch High Tech’s online programs with a video presentation, guided questions and extending the lesson activities.

Make Me Genius offers science videos, facts and educational power points about science for kids in kindergarten through 7th grade.

NASA Kids’ Club for children pre-K through grade 4 offer games for STEM development, an image gallery and information about NASA.

Discover the science of earthquakes with USGS’s Earthquakes for Kids online programming.

Experiment with Steve Spangler Science, learning about air, chemistry, magnetism, weather and more.

The Happy Scientist discusses science topics, such as life, earth, chemical, space, physical and the process of science, and you can test your knowledge with a quiz.

Learn about space, including the solar system, gravity and black holes with Amazing Space.

Science Bob has videos and experiments for hands-on science activities.

Discover the purpose of cells, microbes and the immune system with CELLS alive.

Mystery Science is offering K-5 science lessons for at-home education, which include a learning activity.

The Show About Science discusses scientific research and discovery.

Shabam! blends fictional stories with real science for an interesting look at the progress humans have made.

Check out new discoveries in science and technology with Wow in the World.

EveryDay Earth has courses exploring earth science.

Exploring Nature covers life science, earth science and physical science with content, diagrams, activities, worksheets and more.

Get connected with nature and learn at home with Captain Planet Foundation.

Middle schoolers can sit in on daily science lessons with Natural History Museum of Utah’s Research Quest Live.

Science Mom is streaming lessons on YouTube.

Generation Genius has online science videos and lessons for grades K-5.

Check out National Girls Collaborative Project’s online learning resources for STEM.

“Global Problem Solvers” is an animated web series combining STEM learning with human skills, like teamwork, critical thinking and collaboration.

The Museum of Discovery and Science has virtual learning videos with accompanying activities.

History

Explore history in an interactive way with Mission US, where you can see what it was like to live in 1770, 1848, 1866, 1907, 1929 or 1941.

Help Jack and Annie of the Magic Tree House series solve missions as they travel through time.

Travel through time and history with What Was There to see what your hometown, state or country used to look like.

Check out the Who Was book series for a look at historical figures and see their sketch comedy show on Netflix.

History for Kids has articles, worksheets, quizzes and games to help make history relevant to kids.

Learn about the text, history and meaning of the U.S. Constitution at Constitution Center.

A Book In Time discusses the best historical reading books and offers crafts, games, maps and timelines for more historical exploration.

Travel to other countries and see famous places with GeoGuessr, which offers a free game.

Tour history with the British Museum’s virtual The Museum of the World experience.

Tour and learn more about the Great Wall of China.

Take a virtual tour of Yellowstone.

Follow Dr. Floyd on his adventures through history as he races against his arch nemesis, Dr. Steve.

Check out Revisionist History for an exploration of the historically misunderstood.

The Past and the Curious explores topics of historical relevance using stories and music.

Check out Big History Project for social studies curriculum for middle and high school students.

Fairfield Museum and History Center is sharing educational virtual activities and content.

Math

Cool Math offers pre-algebra, algebra and pre-calculus lessons, as well as fun games to help you practice.

With Crypto Club, crack ciphers, discover secrets and improve your math skills.

Get a free account on Prodigy to help your first to eighth grader learn and practice math.

Math Playground has learning games for grades 1-6.

SplashLearn offers a math learning program personalized for your child in grades K-5.

Start a free trial of Mathletics for an engaging online mathematics program.

Learn math skills for kindergarteners through eighth graders, as well as Algebra I and Geometry, with MathScore.

Take a personal finance class with AFSA Education Foundation’s MoneySKILL.

Learn financial literacy with Banzai!

Help children love numbers and grow their math skills with Bedtime Math.

Build math and computer skills with BlocksCAD, a specialized 3D CAD software.

Practice algebra and chemistry skills with FunBased Learning.

ST Math is a visual instructional program delving into concepts of math with free access through December 31.

The Arts

For a 360-degree look at famous artworks and sites, including the Uffizi Galleries, Carnegie Hall, Richmond Castle and more, explorations in color and more, check out Google’s Arts and Culture page.

Computer-based activities through the National Gallery of Art explore art and art history.

Learn and create music with Virtual Musical Instruments, which include the guitar, piano, panflute and drums.

Make art and learn about styles and artists with Tate Kids.

Artsology has arts games and investigations to explain artistic concepts.

Try SmartMusic for free for 30 days for music education tools.

The Kennedy Center has new releases, special series and original stories.

Go on a virtual tour of the Louvre.

Classics for Kids discusses the lives of classical musicians and offers games and lesson plans.

Watch Artageous with Nate, a YouTube show focused on traveling the globe to discover where creativity is happening.

Doodles Academy offers an art curriculum for grades 1-5 with free art projects.

Go through art lessons and learning activities with Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.

Animals

Aquarium of the Pacific has live webcams, an online learning center, videos with guest speakers and a podcast.

The New England Aquarium has virtual visits of the aquarium.

See live webcams of animals all around the world with Explore, and you can also view natural phenomena like the Aurora Borealis.

Shedd Aquarium’s YouTube channel has a video series for kids answering questions about animals.

Watch live cams and videos of the animals at the San Diego Zoo.

Reid Park Zoo has live webcams of elephants, giraffes, grizzly bears, lemurs and lions.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute has videos of naked mole-rats, lions, giant pandas and elephants.

Monterey Bay Aquarium has live cams of the aviary, coral reef, penguins, sea otters, sharks and more.

Take a virtual tour of the National Aquarium.

Go on a virtual field trip to the Seattle Aquarium.

Tennessee Aquarium has live streams, activity sheets, link to IMAX videos and more.

Download “Humane Heroes,” a series from Chicken Soup for the Soul about animals, that comes with 18 lesson plans.

Physical Education

Go Noodle will get your kids moving with videos and activities to help kids exercise and practice mindfulness.

Check out Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube for videos on yoga, mindfulness and relaxation for kids.

Carone Learning is offering free courses for elementary through high school students, including health, P.E. and nutrition.

Try family fitness workouts with Chuze Fitness.

Johns Creek Tumbles shares workout videos and STEAM projects for kids on YouTube.

The post At Home Online Learning Resources and Podcasts for Kids appeared first on Atlanta Parent.

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30+ Ways to Safely Get Out and About

If you’re looking for fun things to do with your kids, heading outside is a great way to entertain in a safe manner.

Scavenger Hunts:

Secret Doors of Decatur 
Discover this series of more than 30 miniature secret doors, each created a local artist and inspired by the idea of fairy doors. The doors are tucked in unexpected locations around Decatur.

Tiny Doors ATL 
Whimsical doors, created by local artist Karen Andersen Singer, are located throughout the city – everywhere from the Swan House to the Atlanta BeltLine.

Clue Town Books
This series of walkable hunts leads your family searching around Atlanta with clues. Use landmarks to solve puzzles and the solutions reveal how to get to the next checkpoint.

Scavenger Hunt Atlanta
Sign up for one of these adventures, which are custom designed for each family or group. Explore new neighborhoods, visit local landmarks and learn about Atlanta with the City Scavenger Hunt; solve puzzles and riddles with the Escape Adventure; or try survival challenges, geocaching and wildlife watching with the Wilderness Adventure.

The Urban Adventure Quest
This website offers another option to hunt around downtown Atlanta starting at Centennial Olympic Park. Follow clues from your phone, complete challenges and earn points, and since the challenge is guided by your phone, you can complete at your own pace.

The Rock Garden

Secret Gardens:

Sleepy Hollow
Enjoy Sleepy Hollow’s Whimsical Fairy Garden, which is filled with fairy cottages and gnome houses. Visitors can also purchase fairy houses, doors and other creations built by former Disney Imagineer Art Millican. Blairsville.

The Rock Garden
Located behind the Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Calhoun, this garden has miniature stone castles, bridges and buildings. Walk through this peaceful garden, and in spring, spot beautiful blooms. Calhoun.

Paradise Garden
Travel to Summerville to visit this unique attraction. Created by Howard Finster, this delightful display shows odd objects, tools, antiques and curios as artworks and sculptures. Summerville.

Enchanted Woodland Trail

Outdoor Exhibits:

PRISM: Winter Lights
This exhibit at Woodruff Park features light-based, water-inspired works by artists from around the country. Atlanta. Through Jan. 31.

Murmuration
This exhibition reflects Atlanta’s skyline and greenspaces inspired to help the viewer connect with nature. “Perch and nest” alongside the birds in this outdoor mesh canopy at Sifly Piazza. Atlanta. Through Feb. 7.

Enchanted Woodland Trail
View more than 30 miniature homes built by fairies and gnomes at Chattahoochee Nature Center. With 127 acres, this outdoor space has plenty of room to spread around, hike and explore. Roswell. Through Feb. 28.

Chattahoochee Bend State Park / Georgia Department of Natural Resources

The Great Outdoors

Sweetwater Creek State Park
This park offers a wooded trail along a stream leading to ruins of the Manchester Textile Mill. Other trails wind through forests, ferns and wild azaleas. Try the red trail for the easiest route. Lithia Springs.

Fernbank Forest
Part of Fernbank Museum of Natural History, this 65-acre old-growth forest has more than two miles of paths, perfect for spotting foliage, animals, flowers and more. Atlanta.

Dunwoody Nature Center
Hike around Wildcat Creek, the wetlands boardwalk or make your way through two miles of Piedmont forest. Stop by the awesome playground, practice music at the Play Me Again Piano named “Bennett,” enjoy the tree swings, spot all the colorful bee hive murals and more. Dunwoody.

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Walk along three miles of hiking trails with cave-like overhangs, scenic views of the water and tons of wildlife and wildflowers. In warmer months, paddle a raft, canoe or kayak. Sandy Springs.

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
Hiking the easy, less than two miles, part-paved, part-dirt trail round trip takes you by the remnants of a stone springhouse (with moat) and Civil War-era trenches on this former battlefield site. Plus, there’s a small waterfall. Atlanta.

Constitution Lake
This weird spot shows off quirky Doll’s Head Trail, filled with folk art created by local Atlanta artists and park volunteers. All of the art is made from natural items. Atlanta.

Roswell River Walk
This seven-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River offers trails, water access and multiple playgrounds. You can go on to boardwalks adjacent to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Roswell.

Big Trees Forest Preserve
This 30-acre plant, tree and wildlife sanctuary has has three hiking routes, including a one-mile loop trail beneath white oak trees. Be sure to grab the nature trail guide at the entrance of the forest and try to clasp hands around one of the giant oaks. Sandy Springs.

Big Creek Greenway
Stroll your choice of flat, easy trails in Alpharetta or Forsyth with paved and boardwalk areas. Observe wildlife in the wooded and wetland settings. Alpharetta and Forsyth.

Cochran Shoals
More than three miles of gravel trails runs beside the Chattahoochee River. Check out both woodlands and marshes, and all the animals that inhabit them. Marietta.

Reynolds Nature Preserve
Try the looped trails, all under two miles, and spot ponds, antique farm equipment and resident critters. In spring and summer, check out the Pollinator Garden and the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail to see the areas buzzing with activity. Morrow.

Murphey Candler Trail
A pond is at the center of this moderate two-mile flat loop. Adjacent to a playground, this tranquil spot is a great place to see ducks, turtles, geese and other water fowl. Brookhaven.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve
Enjoy nature, historical artifacts and wildlife. The outdoor animal exhibits include ducks, a rabbit, an African Spurred Tortoise, chickens and three Dwarf Nigerian Goats. Johns Creek.

Lost Corner Nature Preserve
Lesser known than other Atlanta nature centers,  the passive nature trails of Lost Corner have a lot to offer! Go in search of a host of native trees, plants and animals, including birds of prey, deer, turtles, wild turkey, rabbits, foxes and more. Sandy Springs.

Morningside Nature Preserve
More than 30 woodland acres in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood surrounds South Fork Peachtree Creek, and walk along a cool suspension bridge over the creek to try both of the trails. Bring your furry friends to try out the “dog beach.” Atlanta.

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
This 28-acre sanctuary includes wetlands, upland forests and pine forests along a floodplain, and a 1.5-mile trail perfect for kids learning about Georgia’s climate and native living things. Decatur.

Chattahoochee Bend State Park
With 2,910 acres, Chattahoochee Bend is one of Georgia’s largest state parks with 12 miles of trails and an observation platform for nice views of the river and forest. In the warmer months, enjoy boating, fishing, paddling and kayak and canoe rentals. Newnan.

Pickett’s Mill Battlefield State Historic Site
A preserved Civil War battlefield, see constructions built by Federal and Confederate troops and an authentic 1800s pioneer cabin. The site has four miles of trails. Dallas.

Don Carter State Park
Don Carter is on 38,000-acre Lake Lanier and features paved hiking trails, such as the 0.5-mile Parallel Trail, the Overlook Trail and the 1.5-mile Woodland Loop. You can also hike longer trails, go on a paddling trail, or go on a horseback riding trail. Gainesville.

Stone Mountain

Take in the View

Red Top Mountain State Park
This park boasts more than 15 miles of wooded trails, and you can even explore a reconstructed 1860s homestead. For seasonal fun in the hot months, swim, water ski or fish at Lake Allatoona. Acworth.

Stone Mountain Park
Explore 15 miles of walking and hiking trails, including the one-mile trail to the top of the mountain. The Nature Garden trail is an easy walk around large oak trees. The hike to the top is more challenging, but includes great views of downtown Atlanta. Stone Mountain.

Arabia Mountain PATH
Amazing views await at the summit of the crater-filled Arabia Mountain. The trail is short, but along the way, plenty of unique land forms and plants entertain. Lithonia.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
This 2,965-acre battlefield preserves a Civil War battleground. The Mountain Trail is steep with some level terrain that leads to the peak, where a panoramic view of Atlanta is the reward. There are also many easier trails and activities at this historic battlefield site. Kennesaw.

Panola Mountain State Park
Part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Panola Mountain is a 100-acre granite outcrop. The park has 25 miles of trails, including the .75-mile Outcrop Trail and 1.25 mile Watershed Trail. Stockbridge.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve
Mostly known for the Indian Seats natural rock formation at the peak of the mountain, Sawnee has an easy short hike best for younger children. The brief round trip leads to a tree house and a fairy houses trail. Another short–but steep–climb leads to an observation deck. Cumming.

Catch a Movie

The StarLight Drive-In
This drive-in theater shows the latest films and special features and boasts multiple screens. Shop the flea market to find fun goodies. Atlanta.

Plaza Theatre
Watch a variety of films from the safety of your vehicle. Atlanta.

The Springs Cinema & Taphouse
This theater also offers a drive-in movie experience on Friday and Saturday nights. Sandy Springs.

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