The Thinkery announced Friday that it will be closed at least until May 1, including all its programs. The children’s museum last week had announced it would be closed through March 22, but now that closure is extending and additional six weeks.
"We remain hopeful that we’ll be able to reopen by May 1," said Patricia Young Brown, Thinkery’s Chief Operating Officer, in a press release. "However, the health and safety of our staff, our guests, and the entire Austin community remain our foremost consideration. We will continue to follow the guidance of local, state and national officials and, if circumstances require this closure be extended again, we will do so."
The release continues:
Young Brown acknowledged the impact and upheaval that COVID-19-related closures are having on local parents, caregivers, educators and families, "Even through the museum itself is closed, we know the need is greater than ever," she said. "We’re doing all that we can to adapt our museum to meet the evolving needs of our community. Our team is actively exploring new ways to bring the Thinkery experience home and to the public, including posting activity videos and story times to our social media channels." All of this original content, along with links to other resources from around the internet, will also be available at thinkeryaustin.org/athome.
We published our own list of resources, including the Thinkery, in this week’s Raising Austin column:
Google Arts & Culture app allows you to virtually enter 500 museums to see famous artworks and exhibits right in front of you.
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History has teaching resources that include webcasts and videos. naturalhistory.si.edu/education/teaching-resources
The Wildflower Center's website offers a how-to for gardening, which could be an awesome project for the kids. wildflower.org
The Thinkery's blog offers 10 Great Hands-On Activities to Do at Home, which include taking apart toys, mystery boxes, stop-motion studio, color-changing milk and more. thinkeryaustin.org/blog
Girlstart offers a whole month of activities. Typically it's for DeSTEMber, but perhaps this March needs some STEM in it. Find it under the Events tab on girlstart.org. You'll get an activity you can click on for each day of DeSTEMber.
PBS Kids offers a daily newsletter of activities you can sign up for. Also, if you click on the Parents tab, you'll find the PBS Parents with resources including how to make a homemade snow globe and pizza fractions, the PBS Lab with games and technology it's working on and the PBS Learning Media, which has resources for teachers (but hey, you're now the teacher). PBSKids.org
For older kids, PBS has shows you can watch based on their interests. PBS.org
NASA offers STEM Engagement through its site, nasa.gov. You can make your own spacecraft, launch rockets and print out games.
You may run out of books and the Austin Public Library is closed — or is it? Yes, the physical building is closed, but your library card gets you ebooks and audiobooks, online learning classes and homework help that includes all kinds of resources for different school subjects. library.austintexas.gov