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Hotels Providing At-Home Programs for Kids Amid COVID-19 Isolation

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 2020-04-10 Laurie Baratti
a little girl sitting at a table: Kids doing arts and crafts. © iStock/Getty Images E+/damircudic Kids doing arts and crafts.

With children unseasonably kept out of school as part of worldwide efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, outside-the-home activities being unavailable amid community lockdowns, and even public parks and outdoor spaces closed off, how is one to prevent their kids from suffering from some serious cabin fever?

Several hotels and tourism organizations (with their own operations also shuttered in the coronavirus’ wake) have begun inventing ways for youngsters to engage in stimulating activities that can be carried out at home, with several possessing the power to mentally transport participants to destinations far away.


DIY Flower Paintings: From Westgate Lakes Resort & SpaOrlando, Florida

Orlando’s Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa presents an easy DIY crafting project to entertain the little ones. You’ll need a few items, including an empty water bottle, scissors, paint, and construction or just plain paper. Begin cutting the water bottle in half and save the bottom half (adult assistance might be required here). Next, dip the bottom half into some paint and press it onto the paper, creating impressions of a lovely spring flower, then repeat as desired. Kids can go on to decorate the flowers, adding stems and drawing in a surrounding scene with butterflies and ladybugs, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Homemade Maracas: From Royalton Riviera CancunCancun, Mexico

The Clubhouse KidsClub at Royalton Riviera Cancun typically encourages kids to explore their destination’s culture through daily activities that encompass arts and crafts, language, cooking, music and dance. To bring Mexican culture into your home in a small way, the Clubhouse Kids Club Director suggests homemade maracas to inspire creativity and movement. Instructions are to collect two plastic eggs, dry rice, tape and four plastic spoons. First, fill each egg with the rice and tape the seam shut. Next, tape two spoons onto each egg with the handles facing down, then tape the two handles together. Finally, put on the performance of a lifetime with your new instruments.


How To Produce and Perform An “At Home" Blockbuster Movie: From Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa RicaGuanacaste, Costa Rica

Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica’s Stars Kids Club Director suggests that the whole family get in on the production of a homemade film, using either a camera or phone to capture the action. Select a favorite story or invent your own, set the stage using sheets as backdrops and/or curtains, dim the lights to set the mood and create homemade tickets ahead of time that you can collect at the door. You’ll also need to source some wardrobe and props, raiding closets for old Halloween costumes or making them yourselves. Dress rehearsals can be half the fun of making a production, so stage as many run-throughs as you like before filming your final performance.


How To Build The Perfect S’more: From Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark—Monticello, New York

Touting itself as the S’more Capital of the World, The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark is sharing the art of making a perfect, ooey-gooey S’more with folks stuck at home. Head of Activities, TK Kopp, says “Gather six graham crackers, six fun-sized chocolate bars, and/or peanut butter cups and six marshmallows. Then, preheat the broiler, assemble the S’mores—without topping them with graham crackers—on the baking sheet, and place under the broiler for a few seconds until the desired level of toasting. Remove and top with remaining graham cracker, and enjoy!"

Montage Merits Program, At-Home Edition: From Montage Palmetto Bluff—Bluffton, South Carolina

A family-friendly resort situated in the heart of South Carolina Lowcountry, Montage Palmetto Bluff customarily offers its ‘Montage Merits’ program, encouraging kids to engage with the property via rewards for completing destination-specific experiences, such as 'catch a fish', 'hike a trail' or 'climb a treehouse'. However, it has just launched a special At-Home Edition, featuring a collection of badges that can be earned through accomplishments like 'build a blanket fort', 'spot a bird', 'write a letter', 'plant an herb' and 'help prepare dinner', to name a few.


Capillary Action: From the Challenger Learning CenterTallahassee, Florida

Education Coordinator, Layne Mikesell, at the Challenger Learning Center suggests a fun, DIY experiment. Using washable markers, kids will create a colorful design on a coffee filter sheet and then drop small amounts of water onto the filter, which will produce a subtle spreading effect that allows young scientists to observe and instance of ‘capillary action’: the ability of a liquid to flow upward, against gravity. Try it with a black felt pen and watch all of the various pigments separate!

Virtual Classrooms: From the Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital, and South Florida Science Center and AquariumThe Palm Beaches, Florida

To entertain and instruct kiddos (and parents) stuck at home, Discover The Palm Beaches’ area partners have adapted by creating virtual experiences, including digital underwater escapes and DIY science experiences. The Palm Beaches’ 47 miles of golden coastline are nesting grounds for sea turtles between the months of March and October.

So self-isolators don’t have to miss out this season, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital are broadcasting live (and archived), daily lessons from its Virtual Coastal Classroom to feed eager young minds, and offering conservation-themed coloring pages and crafts.

The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is also running virtual classrooms with daily ‘science shorts’, weekly virtual exhibit tours, live marine biology lessons, DIY at-home experiments, future scientist story-time and even a virtual science fair.


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