Virtual Museum

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We know that right now you can’t visit the Purple Museum, but that doesn’t mean our mission of inspiring creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning stops. We’ve been busy working at home to bring you the Virtual Purple Museum. We will share hands-on learning activities that you and your little ones can do at home, along with insightful resources to help you navigate these uncertain times.

Make sure you’re on our email list and follow us on social. Snap a photo or video of your kids enjoying the activities and share the fun by tagging us. We may be “social distancing,” but together we can create community online!​
 
At-home Activities

Educational Videos

Parent Resources

 

Treasure Maps



Have you ever looked at Google maps? Or tried to use a map to find a hidden treasure? Have you borrowed a museum map to find your way to your favorite exhibit? You don’t have to go far to make use of a map – create one of your own at home with clues to help your family find a hidden treasure!

Island Maps



Maybe you’ve drawn a map of one of the rooms in your home or maybe you’re just getting started with map-making. Either way, let’s go big and think about larger places. What do you see? Can you tell whether your building has one story or two stories or five stories? When you fly above a tree, can you see the trunk? Look at all the leaves – do things look different than when you’re standing on the ground?

Bubble Domes



Are you missing the Bubbles exhibit? Try making your own bubbles at home! This bubble domes activity brings your bubbles to another level, helping your children learn about math and science.

How to Find Geometry in Nature



Math can sometimes seem abstract, but it is found easily in the plants that surround us every day: concentric circles, fractals, symmetry, and more. Take a walk as a family in your neighborhood and see if you can find some of these basic mathematical principles at work in the flora you find!

Create a Recipe with Potter the Otter!



It’s time for a healthy eating party, so turn up the beet! We think that simple recipes are a jumping off point for learning to cook while focusing on what’s important: delicious fruits and vegetables that keep you healthy and happy. This is the foundation of our Potter the Otter: A Healthy Adventure exhibition.

Can you and your little ones come up with a 7-ingredient recipe featuring your favorite foods? Then try them out with your family!

Spa Water



Potter the Otter loves drinking water! It does so many good things for our body, that’s why we need to drink plenty every day. Inspired by our favorite healthy otter, we invite you to create your own deliciously healthy water – which makes getting the daily 8 glasses more fun!

Catch a Rainbow Racer Fish with Potter the Otter



Follow along with this video!

Potter the Otter wants to be his best self, so he’s going on a healthy adventure! In this interactive video exhibit, little ones can move along with Potter as he makes good choices that will help him catch the Rainbow Racer fish and join a water polo team. Along the way, he learns that drinking water, eating fruits and veggies, and being active will help him be the healthiest, best little otter he can be.

Egg to Go



Join us for an eggsploration through this Horton-inspired activity! In Dr. Seuss’ book, Horton Hatches the Egg, an elephant agrees to care for his bird friend’s egg until it hatches. His hard work to keep the egg safe is rewarded when the egg hatches, and reveals a small elephant with wings. Whoa, that’s an elephant of responsibility! How would you keep your egg safe? Together, let’s devise an eggcellent carrier to keep your yolk-y charge safe.

Shadow Shapes



Dr. Seuss’s book, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff, is a celebration of different shapes and objects, all outlined as silhouettes. Experiment with shadows, light, and shapes to make silhouettes dance across your custom-made theatre!

Soap Bubbles



Bubble solution is easy to make and provides endless fun. If you’re at home missing the museum’s Bubbles exhibit, whip up some fun in your own kitchen!

Impressionist Bubbles



We see bubbles all the time — when we wash our hands, boil water, and of course, use our bubble wands! Go on a bubbly adventure and make some creative art. As children explore the intersection of physical science and visual art, they’ll create a masterpiece that will give Claude Monet a run for his money!

Ice Exploration



Ice is everywhere, and if you take a closer look, you’ll realize there is more to it than meets the eye. Embark on a journey of ice exploration with your little ones at home. Learn about the properties of water, how to find art in science, and ask lots of questions as a family! See our step-by-step activity sheet for details.

Know Your Globe




Video from SciShow Kids

Now that we have thoroughly analyzed and mapped our bedrooms, houses, neighborhoods, and maybe even cities, it’s time to think bigger. Made for young’uns, enjoy this SciShow Kids introduction to the basics of reading a globe!

Why Do Honeybees Love Hexagons?




Video from Ted-Ed

Did you know honeybees are some of the finest mathematicians in the insect world? Learn more about what makes them incredible architects and how they use geometry to make their lives more efficient!

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!




Video: A Brightly Storytime

Are you getting restless in your home? We sure are, and can’t wait for when we get to roam free and explore. So what better Dr. Seuss book to read with your kids than Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Some journeys are exciting, and some are scary. Sometimes you make the right choice, and sometimes you don’t. But everything is part of YOUR adventure. Curl up on your couch and join Brightly’s storyteller Ms. Linda to explore all the places you will go!

The Importance of Using Soap!




Video by preschool teacher Amanda Lorenzo

Why do we need to use soap? Doesn’t water just wash the dirt away? Preschool teacher Amanda Lorenzo has answers for you! In this viral video, she showed her students how soap works in keeping viruses and germs away in a hands-on experiment that awed her little charges!

5 Giant Ice Age Animals!



Now that we’ve spent some time exploring ice, let’s learn about how ice shaped the natural world! A long, long, long time ago, there was a period called the Ice Age, where the world had iced over and different kinds of animals roamed the Earth. Did you know we have one of those cool Ice Age animals at the museum? Can you guess what it is?

Share this video with the kids in your life. Your knowledge base will be mammoth!

Parent Resources

Why All World Maps Are Wrong




A video from Vox
Sounds like clickbait, doesn’t it? How can this be true?!

Cartographers through the centuries have had quite the challenge depicting a sphere on flat maps, and none of them have gotten it *quite* right. This video is slightly advanced for younger children, but a great explainer for older kids and adults!

The Benefits of Boredom




From our museum blog, Minds in Bloom
As adults, we often feel like a child’s boredom is something we need to manage. But as paradoxical as it sounds, boredom is interesting! When we get bored, our minds begin to wander. And when our minds wander, remarkable things happen. Our brains begin making surprising connections.

So ditch your chores and go on a treasure hunt – who knows what you’ll find!

Cultivating Perseverance




From our museum blog, Minds in Bloom
Kids of all ages and stages naturally follow the scientific process as they learn about the world around them. But sometimes they stumble on the path to forming their conclusions, and choose to abandon their line of inquiry rather than push past their confusion and frustration.

How can we ensure that kids build up the perseverance to tackle difficult problems as they get older and become the problem-solvers we desperately need in the world?

5 Ways to Boost Spatial Skills




From The Conversation
Right now, families across California and the country are experiencing record levels of togetherness. We’re all eating meals in our homes and cooking together. To help stave off the boredom and find a new shared hobby, invite your kids into the cooking process! Check out our blog on how to involve little ones in the kitchen.

Math around the Kitchen Table




From PBS Parents
For many kids, math is a chore made up of fractions drills and boring calculations. But math is an important part of life! Figuring out how much to tip on a meal, splitting a cake evenly for friends, or adjusting a recipe to accommodate more or less people all involves math. Check out these tips for how to introduce applied mathematics principles to children in your day-to-day life!

How to Grow a Chef: Tips and Tricks to Get Kids in the Kitchen




From our museum blog, Minds in Bloom
Right now, families across California and the country are experiencing record levels of togetherness. We’re all eating meals in our homes and cooking together. To help stave off the boredom and find a new shared hobby, invite your kids into the cooking process! Check out our blog on how to involve little ones in the kitchen.

Indoor Workouts with Kids




From Cosmic Kids Yoga
Kids have a lot of energy to burn. Take advantage of your time together and exercise as a family! Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great way to introduce toddlers and young kids to yoga and mindfulness. Staying in place doesn’t mean you can’t stay active!

How to Raise a Reader




Resource from the New York Times
For many of us, Dr. Seuss was probably an integral part of our early literary memories. Here at the museum, fostering future readers is one of our passions. In our goal to create a new generation of avid readers, we have centered many programs around reading, like interactive Storytimes in the Wonder Cabinet. Here are some tips for encouraging your child to become a reader at every stage of development, from babies, to toddlers, to emerging and early readers.

Arts and the Growth Mindset




From our museum blog, Minds in Bloom
Legendary artist Georgia O’Keeffe once said of her art, “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.” And there are few artists in this world who live and breathe that as their mantra more than children! What role should arts play in children’s lives and education? And how can we, as the adults, help our kids make their unknown known as they explore the world around them?

The Science of Soap




Resource from the New York Times

Talking with Kids about Coronavirus




Resource from the Fred Rogers Center

How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus




Resource from PBS
For everyone in the Bay Area, it feels like life has been disrupted over the last few weeks. It can cause anxiety, so check out this PBS guide for how to de-stress as a family.

Supported in part by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San Jose