5 things to do today: Follow workouts on social media, explore science challenges with the kids and more

Stay in and help fight Covid-19. The Straits Times recommends fun, uplifting things to do each day

PHOTOS: DANCE EMBASSY, JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION, NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD, KC ENG

1. FOLLOW: Fitness or dance workouts on social media


Dance Embassy founder and director Lavania Hajji (top row, far left) conducting a class over Zoom. The dance and fitness studio is offering virtual classes at $15 each. PHOTOS: DANCE EMBASSY

Gyms and fitness studios have shuttered due to the circuit breaker, but many of them have taken to their websites and social media channels to help members keep up with their fitness regimes at home.

Yoga, barre, boxing, dance and functional fitness studios have posted free workout videos on their websites and Instagram livestreams or IGTV, the platform's long-form video feature.

Free workouts to check out on Instagram include those by fitness and boxing studio Boom and barre studio WeBarre.

Some fitness studios are also offering virtual classes, where participants can pay a fee to have instructors demonstrating and guiding them in workout and dance routines through video conferencing.

For example, dance and fitness studio Dance Embassy is offering a range of classes - including pilates, hatha and gentle yoga, and Bollywood dance - at $15 each, conducted over Zoom. Info: danceembassy.com; read more at str.sg/Jgmg


2. DO: Science and engineering challenges for kids

Dance Embassy founder and director Lavania Hajji (top row, far left) conducting a class over Zoom. The dance and fitness studio is offering virtual classes at $15 each. Associate librarian Nathaniel Chew is among the people reading children's books i
DO: Science and engineering challenges for kids. PHOTO: JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION

How do you build a structure that keeps a marble running for a full minute or make a cardboard chair strong enough to support your weight?

Engineers at British technology company Dyson have created 44 science and engineering challenges to keep children occupied and mentally stimulated at home.

Other tasks in the James Dyson Foundation Challenge Cards include making and racing a balloon-powered car, creating a bridge out of spaghetti to hold a bag of sugar, and designing and building a helicopter using paper and paper clips. Info: bit.ly/3eER7az


3. WATCH: Stand-up comedy on Zoom

Dance Embassy founder and director Lavania Hajji (top row, far left) conducting a class over Zoom. The dance and fitness studio is offering virtual classes at $15 each. Associate librarian Nathaniel Chew is among the people reading children's books i
WATCH: Stand-up comedy on Zoom. PHOTO: KC ENG

Stand-up comedienne Sharul Channa (above) plays a 68-year-old retired school teacher in Am I Old?, a monologue about caregiving and ageing in Singapore.

Channa, 33, will perform a virtual edition of her play on video-conferencing platform Zoom at 6.30pm today. The first virtual show was held last Saturday, with an audience of some 80 people.

There will be another performance this Friday, with plans for more shows in the pipeline.

 

The play marks Channa's first time performing on Zoom. She tells The Straits Times: "It was very surreal, but it opens up so many avenues for performers.

"Watching a show in the comfort of home also gives the audience more opportunities to discuss the play with their elderly parents, and to type their opinions and feedback in real time on the chat."

Held in collaboration with the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware), entry to the virtual performance is on a pay-as-you-like basis, with donations going to Aware. Info: bit.ly/2VlnhQX


4. LISTEN: Podcast on pandemic novels

Dance Embassy founder and director Lavania Hajji (top row, far left) conducting a class over Zoom. The dance and fitness studio is offering virtual classes at $15 each. Associate librarian Nathaniel Chew is among the people reading children's books i
LISTEN: Podcast on pandemic novels. PHOTOS: ST FILE

If the circuit breaker is making you antsy from being stuck at home, find solace in a podcast by The Straits Times on pandemic novels.

Journalists Olivia Ho (top) and Toh Wen Li (above) discuss titles such as French existential writer Albert Camus' novel The Plague (1947) and Canadian novelist Emily St John Mandel's post-apocalyptic Station Eleven (2014) in the podcast Bookmark This!

They also explore titles by local authors: Thea Lim's An Ocean Of Minutes (2018) and Danielle Lim's Trafalgar Sunrise (2018). Info: str.sg/Jg79


5. ENGAGE: Online storytelling by librarians

Dance Embassy founder and director Lavania Hajji (top row, far left) conducting a class over Zoom. The dance and fitness studio is offering virtual classes at $15 each. Associate librarian Nathaniel Chew is among the people reading children's books i
Associate librarian Nathaniel Chew is among the people reading children's books in NLB's virtual storytelling sessions. PHOTO: NATIONAL LIBRARY BOARD

Join librarians as they read children's books in virtual storytelling sessions. The National Library Board (NLB) is hosting these sessions in English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil via videos posted on Facebook.

The project involves 18 librarians, 10 volunteers, and six local authors, and there are plans to scale up the programme.

Ms Catherine Lau, assistant chief executive of public library services at NLB, said the board wants to give parents a fun way to engage their children during this period.

She said: "We hope our digital initiatives, including the online storytelling sessions, can bring library services to everyone at home, and support their reading and learning journeys." Info: bit.ly/2yymK4Z (link to Facebook page); read more about NLB's digital offerings at str.sg/JMxX

Compiled by Prisca Ang, with input from Ernest Luis


Write in

We would like to hear from you, our readers, on how you are coping and keeping busy while at home. Please send us videos, pictures, stories, poems or other contributions at stlife@sph.com.sg or on ST's Facebook and Instagram accounts. We will curate and showcase some of these, including at str.sg/stayhomeST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2020, with the headline '5 Things to do today'. Subscribe