Paper plates being decorated with yellow, orange and red markers

Your summer plans are likely in a bit of disarray due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Camps have closed, air travel is on hold, playdates are canceled, but kids still need something to do.

We’ve rounded up some activities to stay active, engaged, artistic, and imaginative with your children all summer long. These crafts, art projects and inspiration for a neighborhood walk draw on artworks in Getty’s collection. Take a walk and discover a new way to think about Renaissance manuscripts, enjoy a simple crown making craft using paper plates, watch a modern-day adaptation of the Odyssey for the whole family, bake bread like the ancient Romans and more!

Stay Active

Manuscript images pasted on black background, decorated with flowers around the borders

With a bit of help from Photoshop, I reimagined an opening from the Getty’s Crohin-La Fontaine Hours, using some living plants gathered on a recent walk in place of the manuscript’s original golden branches and scattered blooms. – Larisa Grollemond

Throughout the history of the book, scribes and artists have incorporated nature into their creations. The Getty Museum has numerous examples that span the Middle Ages and beyond. Although we are spending much more time at home, it’s important to find opportunities to be outside in nature at a safe distance from others.

Take a walk around your neighborhood and make your own floral borders inspired by these Renaissance manuscripts.

Explore the Illuminated Natural World

Stay Tuned

Brady Bunch style graphic showing nine cast members of The ODDyssey in a 3x3 grid on a blue background

Join the Troubadour Theater Company for a comic skewering of Homer’s The Odyssey. The epic poem chronicling a 20-year journey is transformed into five live-streamed webisodes featuring wild costumes, music, masks, and dozens of characters. Audiences of all ages can enjoy this hilarious retelling of Odysseus’s adventure. Held captive by Calypso (a magical nymph) after a harrowing encounter with a giant Cyclops, Oddy is finally allowed to leave Calypso’s island—only to be confronted by witches, sirens, angry gods, and multi-snake-headed creatures on his quest to return home to his beloved family. Zoom with Zeus!

Watch on the Getty Museum’s YouTube channel.

Stay Engaged

Los Angeles Unified recently launched A World of Learning on YouTube to connect families with enrichment opportunities for their children. Families will find access to age-appropriate materials on almost any subject. Students can take advantage of the device and internet connection their schools have provided and learn about the people of ancient Egypt, go behind the scenes of the Getty Conservation Institute, and learn from Getty curators.

Los Angeles Unified – A World of Learning

Stay Artistic

Drawing is the single most accessible form of art available. Drawing together with your children is a great way to connect with each other and with your environment, to look and see together, and to build a little humor into your day. Whether you’re an experienced artist or someone who rarely picks up a pencil, you can see your world through a new lens by drawing—and also have some fun while you’re at it.

Drawing With Kids: 5 Ideas to Stay Creative With a Pencil and a Piece of Paper

Stay Hungry

A child pokes holes in the top of the bread dough

The family that cooks together…has fun together! Try a simple Roman bread recipe in honor of Ceres, goddess of wheat. With this easy baking recipe, you can all roll up your sleeves without losing your sanity. It’s simple, straightforward and—most importantly—so delicious!

Baking Bread the Roman Way

Stay Imaginative

Two children sit at a table making crowns with paper plates

Often made from gold, silver, or other metal bands and embellished with gems or jewels, crowns are among the most prevalent symbols of royal or saintly status. Inspired by the Getty’s Illuminated Manuscripts, make a crown that is fit for royalty and use your imagination to be King or Queen for the day!

DIY Crowns Inspired by Renaissance Manuscripts

Find more summer fun »