A Pandemic with Kids…
With Fall less than 30 days away – the air is typically filled with great expectation. After surviving the long, hot summer, parents, teachers, and even children are excited about the first day of school. NOT this year! Anticipation has been replaced with anxiety.
Spring didn’t bring in warm weather and fun outdoor activities. Instead, 2020 ushered in the COVID-19 pandemic, changing daily life as we know it. Parents began to work from home and became teachers overnight. Gasp!
As school districts struggle to bring students back to class safely, parents are forced to make hard choices. How do you keep your child occupied, entertained and educated during a pandemic? We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we do want to offer a few suggestions.
Whether you choose virtual, e-learning or in-person classes, let Greenville fill in the gaps.
There are plenty of fun, educational activities to enjoy with your youngsters when they’re not in school all day.
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – TCMU is Greenville’s hotspot for education. Check out their website for information on the Museum School with Greenville Explorers. “Full day Museum School classes will provide guided assistance for eLearning curriculum…” I know a few (hundred) parents who might welcome the help! They’re open to the public too, with safety measures in place.
Falls Park – Main Street’s main attraction is a favorite hang-out for kids. The Reedy River is flowing with South Carolina history. On your next visit, describe how the Falls were once fertile hunting grounds for Catawba and Cherokee Indians.
Greenville Gemstone Mine – Most grade levels study rocks and minerals in some fashion. Here’s your chance to mine for gems without heading to the mountains.
Greenville Zoo – We recently took our crew and had the best time! Aside from masks, Covid didn’t really affect much. You do need to visit their site to make an appointment. They’ve done an excellent job with redirecting traffic and reminding visitors to social distance. Throughout the park you’ll find tips, stories and even quizzes, making The Greenville Zoo an educational experience for the whole family. Be ready to drop your coin in their Quarters for Conservation stop at the entrance!
Linky Stone Park -The Children’s Garden – Introduce your child to classic literature with a walk through this storybook park. Read The Secret Garden in this secret garden! (Too corny?)
McPherson Park – This recently renovated park offers tennis and basketball courts, covered picnic shelters and 18 holes of FREE miniature golf – BYOB (bring your own balls & clubs.)
South Carolina Botanical Gardens – Just a short drive down the road, this beautiful spot in Clemson is a wealth of information about plants and rocks/minerals indigenous to our state. Take a picnic lunch and spend the day.
Upcountry History Museum – Kids’ Book Clubs, homeschool days, Lunchbox series and rotating history exhibits are just a few of the educational opportunities at the museum. Check out their website for more details and be sure to follow their Instagram page for updates and events.
This is NOT a complete list, but it should be enough to get you started!
Hopefully your children will have a blast and have no idea they are learning. Teachers dream of having time in class to teach curriculum in new, expressive ways. Time restraints make most ideas impossible. The silver lining to the 2020-2021 cloud is that learning outside the classroom is not tied to a strict schedule. Relax and enjoy spending time with your children. Be prepared, but don’t hesitate to “go with the flow”. Sometimes veering from the planned path leads to the most exciting adventures.
You can check out more from 360 writer Andrea Beam here.