The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert has launched free online programming including story time, workshops and other at-home activities during the coronavirus pandemic. Like many nonprofits and businesses, CDMOD made the difficult decision to close its doors for public safety in mid-March, and they remain closed by government order and out of concern for public health.
“We need each other more than ever,” said Carol Scott, CEO of CDMOD. “We know social distancing is extremely important right now, but we also know that parents are looking for constructive activities to keep young minds active and their body’s healthy.”
The museum’s “Discover at Home” programming is offered virtually on CDMOD’s website and its social media platforms. Toddler/elementary-age story time is featured online three days a week. A video series called “Full Steam Ahead!” offers activities and crafts inspired by science, technology, engineering, art and math, while “Home Cooking Junior” features fun, kid-friendly recipes.
For the hands-on activities, program organizers make efforts to use items people likely already have at home as well as make substitution suggestions, to minimize trips to the store during current stay-at-home orders. The items needed for Steam and cooking activities are posted in advance on social media platforms, to ensure participants have what they need before the instruction is posted online.
“We really miss our families at the museum, and we want to stay engaged as a parental partner by offering children meaningful, constructive playtime activities,” said Gregoria Rodriguez, chief programs and exhibits officer for Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert.
Another social post creating a buzz is the museum’s conversation starters. Each Monday, CDMOD’s Instagram and Facebook pages have a question or concept (in both English and Spanish) that parents can ask their kids to get those creative juices flowing, such as, “If your pets could talk, what would they say?” Participants are encouraged to share their responses on the CDMOD social media pages.
All online activities are offered at no charge to the community, but donations are greatly appreciated.
“CDMOD is a private, nonprofit institution that depends on memberships, daily admissions sales, and program enrollment as a majority of its revenue,” said Scott. “This shutdown will be difficult for us to bounce back from. We have postponed the All-American Discovery Duck Pluck, our signature spring fundraiser. We also had to make a gut-wrenching decision to furlough 25 employees. But, we trust that when stay-at-home orders are lifted, members and donors will come back and support us. In the meantime, we want to offer the community all we can.”