Virtual Family Resources

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Centers for Disease Control 

Summer rECsources

Tag us on social media to share your family fun! #rECsummer20


Smithsonian’s National Zoo Webcams

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Webcams

Grand Canyon National Park’s Webcam (at the Yavapai Museum of Geology on the South Rim)

Shedd Aquarium Underwater Beauty LiveCam  

San Diego Webcams - 10 Different Live Feeds!

Aquarium of the Pacific Live Feeds

Shetland Webcams - the most northerly network of live webcams in the UK, located in key viewing points throughout Shetland. 

International Space Station on UStream

EarthCam - International Virtual Tourism with hundreds of live streams from around the world and throughout the US!

Live from NYC’s Times Square!

Santorini’s Caldera 

Africam Channels - LIVE  African wildlife safari channels


Family game night: Have a weekly game night, and rotate who chooses the game. 

Family movie night: Show a movie on the main television in your home.

Camp out in your backyard: That travel is limited this summer doesn’t mean you can’t mimic experiences at home. Pitch a tent in the backyard for a few nights. 

Have a s’mores night outside: Chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows are a perfect combination, and you don’t need a fire pit to set a marshmallow on fire. 

Nighttime tag: Play flashlight tag in the backyard or in the neighborhood. If the other side’s flashlight "gets" you, you’re out. 

Glow-in-the-dark treasure hunt: Try a nighttime treasure hunt with glow-in-the-dark items.

Family dance party: Host a family dance party to all sorts of different music and show the kids you can boogie (or salsa). Invite more guests via Zoom.  

House or neighborhood scavenger hunt: Set up a scavenger hunt with clues at the end that involve a prize such as a favorite dessert or the winner’s choice of movie night pick. 

Lego challenges: Give everyone a bag of Lego pieces and charge your crew with building a house, a store, a park, their school or a castle in the sky — and then set the timer. Creativity wins! (There are great 30-day Lego challenges to be found online.) 

Create a splash pad: Before there were nearby pools or even living in a beach town, we’d turn on the hose in the backyard to cool down. 

Grow herbs, lettuces and flowers: Plant cilantro, basil and parsley. Or have everyone plant sunflower seeds and patiently see whose will sprout first.  

Smash the virus: Make a coronavirus piñata, fill it with candy and whack the heck out of it. 

Chalk art museum: Chalk the neighborhood to make outside your kids’ art museum.

Map the neighborhood: Walk your neighborhood and see if your family can make a map from your house to another location. 

Pantry challenge: Pick an ingredient out of the pantry or refrigerator and cook from it. You can look at cookbooks for recipes or check online for guidance. 

Historic recipe hunt: Call a relative or friend and ask them to walk you through a longtime family recipe. Then make it.

Take a happiness class: Yes, you can learn happiness — and for free — from Yale University psychology professor Laurie Santos. Her wildly popular class is online. 

Thank-you notes: Write thank-you cards to your teachers and other school staff, aftercare workers, neighbors, first responders and essential workers.  

Hand out snack bags: Gather shelf-stable snacks, bottles of water, socks and wipes into bags to hand out to people who need them. You can spot people from more than 6 feet away, wave, leave bags for them and walk away so they can safely pick them up. 

Signs of thanks: Make signs for your yard or front window that thank anyone you’re grateful for.

Head to Hogwarts: Listen to a chapter of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" together, and then do a Chapter Challenge to collect house points. (Yes, audio books count.) 

Plan a photo shoot: Choose a theme, select a location and get creative with props and costumes. Use a film camera or disposable camera to limit the number of shots and to work in an element of surprise with how they will turn out.