WASHINGTON — Are you running out of ideas of what to do with your kids while they're home during this pandemic?
The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore helps military families regularly. Now, they're expanding that work to anyone -- military or civilian -- who needs some activities in this "new normal."
When it comes to getting outside with your kids, a walk around the neighborhood is only going to cut it for so long. The scenery of these "field trips" is going to get old. Now, the USO has another option -- a virtual field trip!
“’We're going on a class trip today, says Principal Nancy,’” Chief John Trottman, Fire Prevention Chief at Fort Meade, reading from “Pete the Cat Firefighter Pete. "She leads the class to a bright yellow bus."
There was no bright yellow bus, but there's still a field trip.
“The fire station is our home,” Trottman explained on tour shown on Facebook Live. "This is Beau! This is our fire dog."
Your kids never have to leave the house, but they're visiting new places and learning new things.
“This is what we call the engine bay, so this is where our fire trucks are,” Trottman showed.
Trottman’s tour was live on the BWI Airport USO Lounge Facebook page. He gave a tour of the station after reading a book to those watching the feed. USO-Metro “story-time” is the brainchild of Mallory Noble.
“We're stuck in the house, right,” Mallory lamented. “So, even if I read a book every day, eventually no matter how engaging I'm going to be, it's going to kind of get stagnant. The kids want to be surprised. They want to go and do neat things."
Family photos of USO-Metro story-time
But this is not just for the kids.
"Moms and dads and grandparents, whoever is at home with the kids, is going to want ten minutes by themselves," Mallory explained. "If we can keep them entertained with a story, then it'll be perfect."
USO Story-time is interactive, with kids even getting to ask questions.
On the firehouse feed, Connor wanted to know if the equipment is heavy.
“Our equipment is heavy,” Trottman responded in the live feed. “Like it said in the book we have all that equipment that we wear.”
Story-time is live on Facebook every day at 10 a.m. Mallory adds there are more stories and field trips in the works.
In addition, USO-Metro is delivering care packages for members of local National Guard units assisting with the COVID-19 emergency.