A (Nearly) Exhaustive Guide for Tulsans Headed Back to (Virtual) School
Returning to school this year will be more different than it ever has before. For parents, the extra time with your kids could be a blessing in disguise…and maybe also whittle away at your sanity. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a guide that will have the kids forgetting about their screens, and maybe even have you joining in on the fun!
Arts and Crafts
Art is a great learning tool for sensory learners, as well as an avenue for self-expression. For those who can no longer attend their art classes, or are simply craving more, you can visit the following sites for hands-on arts and crafts including paintbrushes made from nature, toys for your pets, clay models, and more!
- Gathering Place: Art Start At-Home
- Ahha: Social Distance Studio
- 108 Contemporary: Take-home craft kits
Tune into Tulsa Zoo’s Facebook live every Wednesday and Friday at 10 am for their special programs featuring some of the Zoo’s finest residents. On Wednesdays, you can catch a virtual storytime and get to meet an animal that’s featured in the story! On Fridays, you will get to meet an additional creature or critter from the zoo. If you happen to miss any of these programs, the archived streams can always be rewatched on the zoo’s website.
The Philbrook Museum of Art’s virtual programs
You can now visit the Philbrook every day from the comfort of your home with the museum’s daily live streams. Each day promises a different way for kids to learn and explore their creativity. Follow the links below to learn more about each program:
- Singalong Saturdays
- Family Art Club
- Creative Distancing
- Storytime + worksheet
- Playdates at your place (for 5 & under)
At-home Activities, Classes, and Workshops
At the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, there is always something to learn about our home city that we didn’t previously know. Understanding the history of a place informs and gives context to life in the present. The Tulsa Historical Society has compiled a web page of jigsaw puzzles, a Tulsa history game, word searches, virtual exhibits, oral histories, and online photo collections that are great resources for learning about our T-town!
If you think you have a future marine biologist in your home, the Tulsa Aquarium’s ‘Unstoppable Science’ resources are sure to be a hit. The aquarium believes that the spreading of scientific learning should not stop just because the pandemic may physically keep us away. That’s why they’ve put together a web page full of coloring pages, mazes, word searches, puzzles, printable fun, crafts, live-streamed storytimes, and even video lessons.
Gilcrease Museum, one of the most impressive museums documenting the American West, has created a variety of self-paced classes for kids of all ages. This is a great way to learn more about art and culture from a distance.
Visit https://greenwoodculturalcenter.com/programs to keep up with their online programs on offer!
For the student-athletes in your home, they could be in for an extended offseason. However, athlete or not, getting rid of that dreadful cabin fever is beneficial for staying focused and productive at home. Read on to find what we think are some of the best ways to breathe in some fresh air.
The Gathering Place
If the trails, multiple playgrounds, sports courts, skate parks, and outdoor lounging areas are somehow not enough to keep you entertained, the park has curated a list of self-guided activities to spice up your visit! To read about each activity go to https://www.gatheringplace.org/parkactivities
- Bird watching
- Scavenger Hunts
- Park attraction activities
- Park Character activity sheets
The Tulsa Zoo
The Tulsa Zoo, with its 12 exhibitions including 426 different species of animals, is open to the public with some safety precautions in place. To plan your day at the Tulsa Zoo, visit https://tulsazoo.org/plan-your-day/
Tulsa Botanic Garden
Everyone should visit the Tulsa Botanic Garden, but the Children’s Discovery Garden that is a piece of the whole is a whimsical wonderland that is sure to pique the interest of the young and young at heart. There are plenty of experience-based learning opportunities to be found. To read more about the various wonders that lie within the garden, visit https://tulsabotanic.org/?q=content/childrens-discovery-garden-0.
Philbrook Museum Gardens
We love the gardens that add color and breathe life into our city, so we couldn’t include just one on this list. While the gardens of Philbrook are often the setting for proposals, marriages, and several other lovely events for its beauty, it is also a wonderful spot for a casual afternoon stroll. On the right day, you might even find some fun, socially-distanced activities you can take part in at the gardens! To find out more, go to https://philbrook.org/visit/reopening/.
Out-of-Home Learning Experiences
Ahha (Hardesty Arts) is currently offering several great experiential learning opportunities. Ahha’s ‘STUDIO’ is a space for everyone to think like artists through open-ended creative exploration. For the cinephiles reading this, you might consider visiting the STUDIO’s ‘Tinker Theatre’ program, where you can tinker with art materials as you watch an artsy film or documentary! Visit https://ahhatulsa.org/studio/ to learn more about Ahha’s STUDIO. While you’re at Ahha, you might as well delve into the art center’s semi-permanent, interactive exhibit, the ‘The Experience: Imagine’. The exhibit is a sequel to the first exhibit that featured Tulsa artists who created an environment that truly makes the visitor feel like they’ve entered an alternate reality. To keep up with the status of ‘The Experience: Imagine’, you can go to https://ahhatulsa.org/the-experience-imagine/.
The Oklahoma Aquarium
Oklahoma’s ocean is open to the public. Make sure to not miss the shark tunnel and witness the world’s largest collection of bull sharks. Find out more at https://www.okaquarium.org/27/Visit-Us.
For onsite ballet classes, visit https://tulsaballet.org/classes/get-back-to-dance-classes/
Keep up with the Tulsa PAC’s Imagination series, family-friendly series of shows mixing traditional storytelling theatre shows and STEM-related events, at Tulsa PAC https://www.tulsapac.com/p/community-engagement/young-at-artimagination-series
Admiral Twin Drive-In
We miss our movie theaters as much as anyone right now, but the Admiral Twin Drive-In is a great spot to catch a flick under the stars! Check out the upcoming showings at https://www.admiraltwindrivein.com/.
Outsiders House Museum
Dive into the world of Tulsa’s beloved coming-of-age story by making a stop at the Outsiders House Museum. For details on how to book a student tour, go to https://www.theoutsidershouse.com/student-tours/.
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