Many people are stuck at home during this pandemic. It may be a new and unsettling situation since we all live at a frenzied pace most of the time. So what can you do for yourself, and what can you do to keep your children or grandchildren busy during this time? I’ve come across some ideas.
The most interesting is that Audible is making certain audiobooks available free to children as long as the schools are closed. That’s right, you and your kids can listen free to books for children who are only a few years old up through the teen years. Categories include “Little Listeners,” “Elementary,” “Tween,” “Teen,” “Literary Classics,” and “Folk & Fairy Tales for All,” as well as books in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese. The books they’ve chosen are not obscure books that they can’t sell, they’re books that will enrich the lives of the children (or adults) who hear them. Books include Timeless Tales of Beatrix Potter, The Wheels on the Bus (21 songs for children), Anne of Green Gables, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Reluctant Dragon, White Fang, The Mystery of Alice, Brave New World, Roots, Pride & Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet. These are only a few of the hundreds of books that are available. You don’t have to be an Audible member, you don’t have to sign in, you just go to the Audible link above, click, choose a book, and listen.
I am proud to be a member of the Audible community. What they are doing shows that they truly care about enriching the lives of others. I salute them, and highly encourage you to give these books a try. And if you haven’t listened to audio books before, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy them.
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Architecture Digest lists (with links) 10 of the world’s leading museums that you can explore online. They include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Palace of Versailles in France, The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
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USA Today has a list of 100 things you can do while you’re stuck inside. The list is wide-ranging. You might read one of those huge books (like Les Misérables) that you’ve been meaning to read for many, many years, watch films that won the Oscar for Best Picture, spend some time coloring in an adult coloring book, video chat with your far-away friends, or simply “text all your exes just in case you have one more thing you wanted to get off your chest.” You might even make a list of all the things you want to do when this is finally over.
How about listening to Music on the Sunny Side on WBRH (90.3 FM in the Baton Rouge area or wbrh.org on the internet) every Sunday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Central Time? Who knows, you might even hear the mellifluous voice of Gerald Lively occasionally.
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Another superb resource is The Great Courses. I’ve listened (and watched) many of their courses over the years and have thoroughly enjoyed them. They are taught by people (mostly university professors) who have won awards for their excellent teaching. I defy you to look at the list of available courses and tell me that none of them interest you. If I started listing the courses they offer, I’d be listing for many hours, but the categories include music, literature, history, medicine, philosophy, and science. Some of the audio courses are only available now through Audible. Many libraries offer their patrons free access to the audio courses through RB Digital and to the video courses through Kanopy. Check these sources out before you buy anything.
Libraries have many digital resources, so check all of them out as well as those associated with The Great Courses.
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Classic Arts Showcase is a service of the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation. It is fully funded by the Foundation and they do not accept contributions. At the website they state that it “is a not-for-profit 24-hour satellite programming service offered free of charge through local public service channels, and both cable and broadcast stations. It is available in more than 50 million homes.” Here in Baton Rouge it is only on for a few hours each day, but I (and you) can access it any time through the link above. I have found it easiest to access it with my Chrome browser.
The segments range over the spectrum of the performing arts including dance, drama, vocal, and even clips from movies. The variety will keep you watching for hours if you enjoy the performing arts. You owe it to yourself to check it out for a while.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas about how to keep yourself and the little ones entertained during these trying times. I’ll keep in touch, but meanwhile, take good care of yourself.