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The African elephant from the National Museum of Natural Sciences.

Convoke applause for all the children of Spain this Saturday on the balconies

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We propose some activities to keep the little ones distracted on these days of confinement.


Diplodocus in the living room. The Natural Sciences Museum of Madrid, a favorite of many children, is closed but, just by turning on a computer, a tablet

Or a smartphone can still stroll through its fascinating corridors and see incredible pieces such as the huge African elephant, the fin whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling in the Biodiversity room or the giant squid, which is exhibited in a full-scale model. . Emblematic pieces: a visual tour of one of the oldest Natural Sciences museums is the title of the virtual tour that, free of charge, allows the public to discover unique and historical elements of the institution. The tour includes photos and videos with curious stories, such as that of the mentioned fin whale skeleton (the cetacean, which migrates through the Strait of Gibraltar, is the second largest animal after the blue whale). The one shown corresponds to an adult female who was stranded on a beach in Marbella in 2008. She is 21 meters tall and her bones weigh about 2,500 kg.

You can also see in detail one of the pieces that most attracts children: the impressive Diplodocus . This 25m colossus, whose tail consists of more than 70 vertebrae, constitutes an icon of the MNCN. It is a replica of the fossilized skeleton found in the state of Wyoming (USA) in 1899, which has been in the Madrid museum for almost a hundred years. More information at www.mncn.csic.es.


Puppets and popular songs . The Puppeteers of Binéfar, a company created by Pilar Amorós and Paco Paricio, have been walking paths with their dolls for 40 years, mixing puppets and music through the streets, squares and theaters around the world. The quarantine was not going to stop the formation (currently made up of 12 members) and they have decided to contribute their grain of sand for free to continue entertaining the little ones. Every day, at 10 a.m., they launch a function that can be seen live through their Facebook page (@lostitiriterosdebinefar). The obritas, from 10 to 15 minutes, tell stories with puppets and live music, taking inspiration from oral tradition and folklore, with all kinds of techniques.

Among the songs they perform are the usual ones: There was Señor Don Gato, El chiquitito, the frog was singing under the water ..., themes that children have learned over generations.

The representations also include poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez or even greguerías by Gómez de la Serna and it is also not uncommon to see dialogues between such beloved characters in children's literature as Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White, taken from the book Escenas Infantiles , from 1942.

All stories are posted after the show on the website www.titiriteros.com.


One of doctors. Which child has never wanted to be a doctor? With the legendary game Operation you can demonstrate your skills as a doctor. The skill game of the American firm Hasbro was created in 1965 and consists of removing with metal tweezers the parts of the body of a patient lying face up (drawn on a board) with holes (in which are the small bones or the different organs). The key is to do it without touching the metal sides of the board. If they touch, a thunderous alarm will sound, causing the patient's nose to glow red, and it will be the next player's turn. Each participant has a series of letters with the operation they have to carry out. For each successful operation, the doctor takes money and the winner will be the one who accumulates the most operations and money. The traditional version has been joined by other editions with characters from animated series and movies such as The Simpsons or Shrek (from 4 years old).


Everyone to dance . The party is guaranteed with Just Dance , the legendary dance video game in which all the participants have to reveal the dancer they carry inside. To the rhythm of the great classics of world music and following the choreography of an expert on the screen, the participants will not only have fun but also have the opportunity to exercise all the muscles of the body, something that will save many families from the tedium of quarantine. Just Dance , which was born in 2009 by Ubisoft Paris for the Wii console (and was adapted for other platforms, such as PlayStation, XBox, Nintendo ...), is today also an application (iOS, Android ...) with more than 500 songs available from the best-known artists (for all ages). More information www.justdancenow.com.


Practice addition. La Escoba is probably one of the first games of cards in the classic Spanish deck that children learn. In addition to being simple, it is a good way to exercise the mind and, above all, add skills, because the main objective is to take tricks that add up to 15 points. Up to five people can play with a deck of 40 cards (8 and 9 are separated) and each one is dealt three. Four are placed in the center and, in turns, each participant has to add 15 with the cards on the table and with one of their own (bearing in mind that each of them has the value of the number it represents, to exception of the jack, which is worth 8; the horse, which is worth 9, and the king, which is worth 10). If he can't, he leaves the card in the center and turns. Once all are discarded, three are distributed again. Whoever wins the most points wins (total cards, more golds, more sevens, the seven of golds ...).


I return to the world of Oz . The Madrid Public Libraries network has thousands of digital books to download, but also audiobooks, a good alternative for children who still cannot read to entertain themselves with fantastic stories. The wonderful wizard of Oz , by L. Frank Baum, is one of them, currently available in streaming at www.madrid.ebiblio.es. The classic of children's literature tells the story of Dorothy who, together with her puppy Toto, looks for a way to return home after her house flew off during a tornado and landed in the City of Emeralds, where the Magician of Oz will grant your wish (... or not).

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