With the Illinois stay-at-home order in place, people are learning to challenge their creativity while finding ways to stay virtually connected. Being distant and experiencing disruption can cause stress and anxiety. During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to practice self-care and keep busy. There are a variety of online options.
Card game celebrating black culture
Playing card games is a fun, simple way to de-stress, keep your spirits up, and strengthen relationships. Rachel and Chris Gregoire of Fam Foolery, Inc. are the creators of Trap Wars® The Urban Game Night Experience. Due to social distancing, they started live-streaming the virtual game of Trap Wars. Here is how the game works: (1) Players give clues via phone or video chat. (2) The first player to guess three words wins. Join @famfoolery for game night Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. on Instagram Live. Visit https://famfoolery.com.
Customized math learning
The Mathnasium in Hyde Park offers math instruction and homework help for students in grades 1-12. Forced to close the doors immediately after its grand opening in mid-March due to the global health crisis, the center now provides math learning online. The center equips students with digitally replicated curriculum binders after they enroll electronically. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. Center Director Laurie Bryant, a state-certified math teacher, has volunteered to answer basic math questions for students not enrolled at Mathnasium. Visit https://www.mathnasium.com/chicagohydepark.
Storytelling for a cause
Lily Be uses her gift of storytelling to support impacted businesses such as The Silver Room. She brings people together for her URLife Mutual Aid Online Storytelling Gameshow. With audience participation, each contestant shares a true story based on the cards dealt to them while playing to raise money for an individual, an organization, a service employee, a business, or a cause. Visit https://www.lilybe.com/urlife-live-game-show to watch live Saturdays in April at 7:00 p.m.
Dancing for your health
Ayodele Drum and Dance offers African dance lessons on video to help you workout. This group of women promises to bring good energy while dancing from the soul. See videos at https://www.facebook.com/pg/AyodeleDrumDance/videos/?ref=page_internal.
Nicole Goss, the creator of BlackGurlHoopin, pairs hula hooping with dancing to promote fitness, wellness, and body positivity. Go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDM6JBQZ-jq2ly1_GdFsPwQ and https://blackgurlhoopin.com.
Cooking lessons with a vet
Warriors Beyond War, an organization serving veterans and first responders, hosts the Back to Basics Virtual Cooking Class on Facebook Live as a calming way to teach life skills, create memories, and bond with loved ones. Learn recipes at https://www.facebook.com/events/1553558774814743 Sundays at 4:00 p.m. through April.
Gearing up to teach youth about bikes
Blackstone Bicycle Works in Woodlawn now provides virtual programming for youth participants to learn about bike mechanics and safety. Blackstone youth are also planning an “Ask a Blackstone Mechanic” series online. Visit https://experimentalstation.org/youth-education.
City-sponsored business workshops
The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) now offers free business education workshops as webinars. Visit www.chicago.gov/businessworkshops for details.
More things to do
Check out these websites for other ways to fill your calendar with things to do at home.
Museums, event listings, and the arts:
- Chicagoland’s Guide To Virtual Events & The Arts – https://www.spotonchicago.com
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture – https://nmaahc.si.edu
Online video courses:
- Virtual Little Squirrels Storytime – https://americanwritersmuseum.org/program-calendar/little-squirrels-storytime
- Play@Home Contest, original play submission due April 20 – https://chicagochildrenstheatre.org
- Oral African-American history – https://www.thehistorymakers.org/education
In this challenging season, there is so much to discover that we can use long after self-quarantining is over.