Schools worldwide have closed in response to COVID-19, leaving parents and caregivers scrambling to find daily activities for their children that are educational, creative and entertaining. If you’re facing this challenge for the first time, there are many online resources that you can turn to during this uncertain period of self-isolation, social distancing and quarantine.
Collingwood Public Library
The Collingwood Public Library is providing resources online to keep children entertained. Ashley Kulchycki, supervisor of children and teen services, continues to deliver storytime, singing, and crafts to the kids of Collingwood, but the room is empty and she’s on camera.
Every day, she is posting a video to the Collingwood Public Library Facebook page to keep up regular children’s programs as best she can.
Soon the library will also be posting videos of the Magic of Children in the Art exhibit, which features art from local kids. Since the library has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families haven’t had a chance to come find their child’s artwork in the exhibit.
To watch the videos, visit the Collingwood Public Library Facebook page.
Blue Mountain Public Library
Read, listen, research, and learn online through our virtual library. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week! Perfect for finding children’s books and learning tools.
Scholastic launched a Learn at Home website with daily lessons that combine videos, stories and prompts for drawing and writing activities. Grade levels include pre-K and kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 and up.
A free online learning resource offering lessons, exercises and quizzes, has daily schedules for organizing at-home learning for students ages 4 to 18 years. On weekdays, Khan Academy is also offering daily livestreams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to help parents and educators best utilize the website’s tools and resources.
Crash Course is a YouTube channel offering engaging educational videos suitable for high school students. The channel features a wide range of subjects, from anatomy to world history.
ABCmouse.com is offering a free 30-day trial of its comprehensive early learning academy for children aged 2-8 and includes educational games and activities designed by teachers.
In response to school closures, dozens of companies that produce educational materials have made their resources available as free subscriptions; you can find links on the Kids Activities website. Links to free K-12 educational resources such as audiobooks, e-books, videos, multimedia materials and more are also available on the Open Culture website.
Color Our Collections offers free PDF downloads of coloring pages created from art in the collections of 117 institutions, including The New York Academy of Medicine Library, Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, RISD Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, The Canadian Canoe Museum and The Royal Horticultural Society libraries.
LogoDesign.net compiled a list of 26 of the most fantastic and productive graphic design resources that will keep the kids engaged. These will help them learn something new, and may enable them to develop a new hobby or think of a future career choice
Artist and writer Mo Willems (author of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”) is hosting daily Lunch Doodles video sessions every weekday at 1 p.m. EDT. Each daily episode is accompanied by a downloadable activity page.
What could be more soothing than watching jellyfish drifting serenely through the water? In “MeditOcean,” the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts a soothing 11-minute guided meditation video, featuring the undulating and graceful ballet of several aquarium jellyfish.
Children in grades 3 to 12 can learn to write their names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, in this step-by-step guide from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.
A good story sounds even better when it’s read in microgravity. Story Time from Space sends children’s books to the International Space Station (ISS), where the books are read on video by astronauts as they orbit hundreds of miles above Earth.
Take a virtual field trip! More than 2,500 museums around the world have made their collections accessible online through Google Arts and Culture; you can also use Google to access virtual tours of national parks in the U.S.
There are 10 live webcams at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you can peek at sharks, sea otters, penguins and more. The San Diego Zoo has 11 animal webcams, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has four animal webcams, and there are six webcams at the Houston Zoo.
And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can visit the surface of Mars in a spectacular high-resolution, 360-degree photo tour, created from images captured by the Curiosity rover.
Canada’s Wonderland is doing virtual roller-coaster rides for you to enjoy at home! Being in self-isolation just got so much better with a reminder that Canada’s Wonderland has been ahead of the online experience trend for years with videos that let you take dizzying rides on coasters from the comfort of your home. Canada’s largest theme park reminded everyone yesterday that they can experience all 34 of its rides and coasters on YouTube.