CHOM staff members create videos to help kids with ideas for play during COVID-19 restrictions.
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Adults played hopscotch on the sidewalk outside the Children’s Hands-On Museum Wednesday morning in Tuscaloosa. They had not gone crazy from COVID-19 fever. These hopscotchers were staff members from CHOM, and their games were played with purpose.
Kimberly Melton, the public programs coordinator for CHOM, used her cellphone to record her colleagues as they played the children’s games. The effort was not simply to have a little fun but to show children who are stuck at home because of the COVID-19 restrictions how to have fun while they are locked down.
"Today, we are beginning shooting footage for the social media initiative we’re starting called CHOM at home. It will be premiering Monday, March 30 at 11 a.m. on all of our social media platforms," Melton said. "It is sort of an educational thing to explain to them what they can be doing while that are home in quarantine."
After the sidewalk games, staff members went inside to do some science experiments that will be featured in the social media feeds. They will also play charades on video so the kids can watch and guess what the staff members are doing.
"We will have interactive polls they can participate in, questions they can answer, daily challenges they can do, and we will also be posting fun facts every day," Melton said.
CHOM staff member Laura Bush was among those who were playing hopscotch for the camera. She was happy to be a part of the effort to help children deal with restrictions.
"I think it feels like with all the activities we are trying to get together, to put out there on the Internet to give things to do at home, it’s fulfilling that we are doing what we can to help out during this time of quarantine," Bush said.
She did admit it was a little peculiar to be playing children’s games with no children to play with, but she said the effort was worth it to help the children deal with the lack of social interaction.
The absence of children does pose a problem for CHOM, an organization whose focus is completely based upon having children in the museum.
"It is very hard to keep the museum operating when we can’t have kids coming into the museum playing, which is the foundation of everything we do," Melton said. "We have to get very creative on how we can reach out to them."
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