Playtime: Engage your kids with these online arts and science videos

Jennifer Marx

In the mid-2000s, I joined a message board for an online pregnancy magazine as recommended by my best friend in high school, who was several months ahead of me in terms of pregnancy. It’s about seeing what others are experiencing and also seeing the ‘if’ and ‘what is this?!?’ your pregnancy. Eventually, when the magazine folded and private message boards became too much of a business, the group took to Facebook. This group has survived divorces, two members’ marriage after one of the divorces, reunions, more babies, and the tragic death of some members. The current iteration of the group has about 40 people left from the original group, the total number of which I can’t remember.

Aside from my gratitude for this experience and its continued benefit, I say all this mostly to use the inspiration I got from one of those moms to share some online resources. Whether it’s using resources he finds on the internet or reframing recent episodes of “Shark Tank” that a homeschooler watched, it’s inspiring as something educational and not because it “does it all”, but in a way, it’s how it is. focuses on what really matters to them as a family. Now, am I going to talk about this? No, but I’ll use it as a starting point to share some online resources I’ve come across or shared with me while trying to call/take a break/not answer questions/hang out. .

Sidebar… Before I start, I received an email today from the Edmonds School District inviting us to the 2022-23 school year – the content can be found HERE. I don’t have a lot of juice for Back to School this week, but just wanted to point out that the county said they will send an additional email on August 19 explaining how parents can use ParentSquare to get information from the county and schools. In this additional email there will be an invitation link where you can choose how to receive the information and in what language. Be on the lookout for more information, and you can also find more about the service at ParentSquare.com.

Andrea Nelson on Instagram

I also have some links for online art education and fun and informative science videos. I googled some watercolor books, found two of them on Sno-Isle Libraries, it seems I started getting more art accounts on Instagram and found Andrea.Nelson.Art. Part of Nelson’s biography says: “It will be fine. I’m here to help” and that’s one of my favorite things right now. It makes it easy for kids and adults alike to do things with all kinds of paints, and my current favorite as a beginner is to keep my hands busy, making different watercolors and drawing shapes with ink after it dries. Seriously, he calls it a “brain relaxer” and it really relaxes my brain without the pressure of making it look like an object I’m painting. It looks like you don’t need fancy equipment, as one of the latest videos cheerfully explains how to paint white crayons. Also, when I saw a new video that one of my adult friends had already liked, I realized that when I reached out to him, he didn’t do the art, while he said Nelson’s posts were “guaranteed 0% bad news” and I don’t just agree, but when he gladly explained that you could do it, he also made me feel like I could. I will add! You can find Nelson on Instagram, his Crayola-sponsored basics video, or at ADreamoraDayArt.com.

My cousin’s 7-year-old is making art online, and his current selection of videos is from the Art for Kids Hub on YouTube. I scanned a few videos and found that these people gave cute art lessons and often included their kids making their own age-appropriate versions. Their videos are things like “How to Draw a Koi Fish” where they draw and also include a letter K or “How to Draw a Minion”. For more information, you can visit ArtforKidsHub.com.

Draw With Wendy Mac (New York Times bestseller and artist Wendy MacNaughton) is another online art option. You can find episodes described as “the show that is a classroom that is a club for kids” at DrawTogether.Studio or on YouTube – it looks a bit more comprehensive on the website at a quick glance, but it’s still a YouTube video. The show’s focus is “building confidence through imagination, community, and drawing,” as well as resources for parents and educators, and includes “the occasional silly dance.” The Mac is on a weird set and the video I scanned has a lot of indoor weather and wind, rain etc. it was about associating emotions with emotions that I loved, of course. I’ve been following him on his personal account for a while, but I can’t remember the beginning of this. The colors and fonts he chooses/creates are very similar to Nelson, soothing. Mac also does a Draw Podcast, which is described as a “bite-sized, no-experience interactive art adventure” where all you need is a piece of paper and a pen.

Hip Hop Doctor

If art isn’t appropriate, there are science options for kids too. You can find the Hip Hop Science Show I found on the recommendation of a mutual friend on YouTube! Hosted by Hip Hop MD and UW grad, Maynard Okereke, Hip Hop Science “aims to bridge the gap between music/entertainment and science by adding scientific elements to everyday pop culture.” Wearing a lab coat and thick black glasses, Okereke “takes you on journeys of discovery with music videos, epic failures, lyrics and new trends in all fields of science.” A video from a month ago titled “Geese are better than watchdogs,” a short, informative, funny, and great music-laden clip I hope my kids stumble upon on their internet travels – that’s right, geese are crazy scary. Find more videos from Hip Hop MD at YouTube.com/HipHopScienceShow, and more information and contact information about school presentations at HipHopScienceShow.com.

My nieces and nephews are enjoying Emily’s Wonderlab on Netflix, which only has one season but 10 episodes on Netflix. Science.Mom offers videos and projects, and if you only watch videos on the website where their own videos will be recommended, I certainly didn’t think it was important until it was a big event. Still, if you click on YouTube, I’ll say there are plenty of other suggestions. Science Mom “worked as a molecular biologist and a wilderness firefighter and did a few jobs between wearing a lab coat and using a chainsaw,” and I’m pretty sure my friend on the mom message board is taking care of her, which for me is just below the saw blade. Its site offers more than 100 free educational lessons, as well as activities and experiments. She’s even been known to take on her colleague Math Dad in a series of Science Mom vs Math Dad videos. For more information and all its content, you can visit Science.Mom.

— by Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, a mother of two boys in Edmonds, is looking for a fun place that gets the kids tired enough to always go to bed on time.

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