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FAMILY | Interactive options for kids

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As area schools closed their doors for the foreseeable future, many families are finding themselves scrambling to sort out what to do with the kiddos. But parents don't have to face the sometimes overwhelming task of educating and keeping their kids occupied alone.

Debra Ross of KidsOutAndAbout.com shared her advice for parents-turned-teachers: establish a routine, utilize resources or study packets provided by the school, focus on the basics, and try to find the humor in the situation by promoting a "we're all in this together" mentality.

Although Monroe County libraries are closed, some will be offering curbside pickup for some materials, while others are planning to stream storytimes and other programs online. E-books and e-audiobooks are also available through libraryweb.overdrive.com, and streaming video content is available through Hoopla for the City of Rochester, Gates and Greece libraries (visit libraryweb.org for more information).

Strong Museum will be hosting live story readings on its Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays, as well as special storytime segments in their Butterfly Garden (facebook.com/thestrongmuseum). The museum is also encouraging patrons to download the Strong Museum Mobile Guide app (available in the App Store and Google Play), and explore the audio tours and photo filters available through it.

Rochester Museum & Science Ceneter has created a special webpage full of resources for families and children to continue to learn and interact: RMSC.org/openforcuriosity. It will include live science demos posted in the coming weeks, instructions for hands-on science experiments at home, videos of RMSC, daily social media fun facts, highlights from museum collections, and light-hearted science-related content.

Seneca Park Zoo, though closed, will be sharing daily nature- and animal-inspired projects and activities on its Facebook page (facebook.com/senecaparkzoo) that parents and kids can do together. For families with younger kids, Mama Goose on the Loose has taken her interactive sing-alongs online. Armed with her guitar, piano, and a web cam, Meredith Stockman-Broadbent (Mama Goose) is not only hosting Facebook Live videos, but will also be taking requests from families with kids ages newborn to 5 that she usually sees at local libraries and community centers. Her next show will be Thursday, March 19, at 9 a.m. at facebook.com/mamagooseonthelooserochester.