Libraries, schools, museums, and other public spaces are closed for the foreseeable future, and families of all kinds are working to get through this crisis and adjust their daily routines.
Luckily for those with internet access, many artists, authors, educators, museums, and institutions have started to offer free digital experiences—both educational and entertaining—for families stuck at home.
Below is a list featuring some of these resources. It is by no means exhaustive, and new links, tools, and online events are being announced and adjusted every day.
If looking at a calendar grid is easier for you, this Livestream Events Calendar highlights some of the educational events that are happening for young people each day; this Google document features children’s book author-related programs specifically. If you are interested in what else might be happening virtually for families in the coming weeks, two hashtags to follow are #VirtualStorytimesDuringCovid19 and #KidLitQuarantine.
Curricular Resources and Tools:
- Author and artist Dan Santat is hosting a series of reading and art-related quarantine challenges for kids on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. Participants can print out and color silly badges after they complete assigned tasks. The daily prompts will be archived here.
- Cosmickids.com is offering a free two-week subscription for access to online yoga classes and other physical education-related activities.
- Don’t miss these computer science tutorials from the folks at Hour of Code.
- Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative has an idea library with tons of math resources for children and families.
- Here is a list of 12 Famous Museums Offering Virtual Tours; this list includes National Parks You Can Tour Online. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is also streaming live content.
- Khan Academy & Disney have an online course that teaches how artists, engineers, and designers work together to create theme parks: Imagineering in a Box.
- Librarians at Jbrary.com have created this bank of online resources for storytime songs and early literacy activities grown-ups can do with children at home.
- Scholastic created a “Learn at Home” curriculum for families who are teaching and learning remotely.
- ST Math Homeschool is a digital math resource that will be free to families through June.
- The ALSC: Notable Children’s Media List and AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching & Learning list can be used to discover recommended children’s media. (Note: not all of the featured resources are free.)
- This website, first started as a collaborative Google spreadsheet by school librarians, features many of the education companies that are currently offering free subscriptions and online access to students.
- YMCA 360 is a resource bank of online fitness classes and instructional videos from the Y.
Digital Libraries & Resource Banks:
- Capstone is offering free virtual access to its digital library collections through Pebble Go and Capstone Interactive.
- Epic is a company currently offering free access to its library of digital books.
- Pinna is a resource for ad-free podcasts, audiobooks, and music recommended for kids ages 3-12.
- Storyline Online features videos of celebrities and storytellers reading favorite picture books online. There are recommended extension activities for each book as well.
- Author Jarrett J. Krosozka is hosting a “Draw Every Day” webcast for kids weekdays at 1 p.m. CST.
- Author Kate Messner organized information on her webpage about children’s book authors & illustrators sharing their books with readers online.
- Author Mo Willems is doing a “Lunch Doodles” livestream every weekday at noon CST.
- Musician Emily Arrow is doing livestream concerts on YouTube.
- “Operation Storytime” is a collaboration of children’s book creators recording online read-alouds.
- The Cincinnati Zoo will be hosting programs on their Facebook page, featuring different animals and lessons daily.
- The Dance Center of Severna Park and The Cleveland Inner City Ballet Company are offering free online dance classes.
- The Edinboro Family Martial Arts Center is going to be hosting free virtual Karate lessons through Facebook.
- The Metropolitan Opera will be sharing videos of performances.
- The Seattle Symphony will share performances via live broadcast.
- Check out this Art & Play Activity Guide for Kids in Quarantine.
- Here is a Google spreadsheet featuring 150+ Enrichment Activities for Children While Parents are Working Remotely.
- Jarrett Lerner has created free downloadable activity sheets for kids who like to doodle.
- Principal Kim Jones McClelland created this now-viral list of things to do at home during the COVID closures.