*Most recently updated Monday, 3/23
I’ll keep this short and sweet – schools are closed and parents are left trying to teach their kids, work from home, stay sane, and keep everyone safe. It’s a lot.
There has been an incredible outpouring of resources, from massive corporations and self-published authors alike, but they’re not easy to keep track of. I’ve done my best to compile all of the resources I’ve seen to help teachers and families access them all in one place. I’ll update and add links as resources become available, so please share any that I may have missed!
Many of these resources fall into multiple categories, but I did my best to organize so that they are easy to find. Have fun, stay home, and stay healthy!
Resources for Families
- Comcast Is Offering 60 Days of Free Internet for Low-Income Families Right Now. Distance learning can be an equity issue; families without access to internet at home have greater barriers to access online learning. Comcast is helping everyone to get access to online learning for 60 days.
- Free ideas for playing outside from Wildrock, a Central Virginia non-profit dedicated to enriching outdoor play for every child. They suggest at least an hour of outdoor play each day. I’m aiming for that as an adult, too!
- What is a Pandemic? Cover the facts in a straightforward, easy to understand, empowering way with this free lesson from educator Naomi O’Brien (known on social media as Read Like a Rockstar).
- Got a kiddo who’s feeling anxious or upset? MindfulSchools.org is offering free mindfulness classes for kids on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Check it out here.
- Milwaukee with Kids created a color-coded Google Doc of available activities, arranged by subject. Even if you’re not looking for something to do, the organized doc is just so soothing to look at!
Stories and readalouds
- Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for Learning Anywhere – Spring 2020. An amazing collection of readalouds and activities, straight from the authors that kids love!
- 100+ Free Video Readalouds from the Indianapolis Public Library. Fun readalouds that follow copyright laws, protecting publishers and authors.
- Online Stories, Games, and Activities for Kids from the Indianapolis Public Library, including readalongs, e-books, audiobooks, e-magazines, learning a new language, science experiments, and more.
- Awesome author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers will be reading a story and hosting a chat every single day at 6 PM.
- Mac Barnett, incredibly hilarious and talented, will also be doing a live storytime every single day. His readalouds will live in his Instagram stories for 24 hours.
- Authors Everywhere! An awesome YouTube channel with readalouds, art demos, and writing workshops. This collection is growing every day!
- Unite for Literacy has stories in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and many other languages. So cool!
- Storytime Online archive of Readalouds. A collection of picture book readalouds performed by celebrities.
- KidLit TV Readalouds. Readalouds with music, effects, and great views of the pictures.
- Harper Kids Readaloud YouTube Playlist. A playlist of readalouds of favorite stories, from Kitten’s First Full Moon to Where the Sidewalk Ends.
- Brightly Online storytimes. Love these read-along videos, with fun new stories like Hair Love and Carmela Full of Wishes.
- Storytime with Bill from Little Brown Books. More newer stories to delight your reader. No closeups of the pages, but a very enthusiastic reader!
- Mrs. P’s stories. Another archive of classic readalouds read by Kathy Kinny.
- Author Debbie Ridpath Ohi is sharing readalouds of her books here.
- Author Monique Gray Smith is reading her books aloud on Instagram here.
- Our local library system is closed to keep employees and patrons safe, but luckily we have access to a great selection of ebooks and audiobooks through Overdrive/Libby. I use the Libby app and love it. Learn more about our eLibrary here.
- Another great audiobook option? Audible! They’ve got a selection of books available for free as long as schools are closed.
- And while we’re at it, if you have the means, Librofm is an audiobook service that is currently offering an amazing deal: two audiobooks for the price of one, and 100% of proceeds go to your local independent bookstore.
- Readalouds and author videos have popped up so quickly I’m losing track, but luckily Unleashing Readers is on it: Stuck Inside? Live Author Read-Alouds, Doodle Alongs, and Other Learning Options.
Academics and Virtual Field Trips
- Scholastic Learn at Home: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. Ready lesson plans, including videos, readalouds, and activities, for pre-k and kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3-5, and grades 6+.
- Read the World Distance Learning Support. Resources, schedules, and more for students, teachers, and families.
- Amazing virtual field trips, from National Parks to famous international museums to visiting other planets!
- Reading A-Z is offering free subscriptions through the end of the school year. I don’t use this program personally, but have heard that they have great readers in English and in Spanish.
- Math and reading games with FunBrain
- Phonics games and activities with Starfall
- Is this the coolest virtual museum experience ever? Judge for yourself with London’s Museum of the World!
- More than 300,000 free, printable worksheets “from toddlers to teens” via 123Homeschool4Me.
- Explore geography and animals with National Geographic.
- Crafts, mazes, connect-the-dots, and more from All Kids Network.
- Math and reading games from ABCYA
- Math and language games from Arcademics
- Online history lessons for preteens through adults
- Anybody in the mood for biology simulations?
- These Chinese Learning Activities from Chalk Academy look so cool.
- Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin via Con Juguemos.
- 35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world via Country Reports.
Art and Interactive Activities
- Giant List of Ideas for Being Home with Kids. Crafting, outdoor activities, academic exploration.. this incredible list includes hundreds of ideas to keep your family happy and curious.
- Facebook Live Ben Clanton Author Visit. Ben Clanton, of Narwhal and Jelly fame, says: “Stuck at home? Want to draw with me and talk about waffles and mermicorns?” Check out the events live on March 18 at 11 AM and March 20 at 2 PM. Clanton says that the videos will also be available on YouTube later.
- Fun, Silly, and Creative Activity Sheets that kids are sure to love, from author Jarrett Lerner.
- Draw Everyday with JJK is a YouTube station with daily drawing videos and webcasts from author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka. Krosoczka is also home with his kiddos for the next few weeks, so he understands the importance of staying busy.
- 100+ Enrichment Activities for Kids While Parents are Working Remotely. Another truly impressive list of activities, and I love that this document allows you to organize by things like degree of parent involvement, age range, prep time, number of people, and other super useful categories.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga. Move together with this fun, free, practice-along YouTube channel designed for kids! Super engaging, calming, and entertaining.
- Kali Simone Haney, an art teacher from Silver Spring Maryland, will be posting and sharing art assignments and challenges from home on her Instagram page. What a great way to get creative!
- The infamous Mo Willems is inviting families into his home studio for Lunch Doodles everyday, thanks to The Kennedy Center.
- 40+ Indoor Activities for Busy Toddlers
- Play games and learn all about animals with SwitchZoo
- Videos to guide hands-on science from Backpack Sciences.
- Games, recipes, crafts, activities, and more from Highlights.
- This Principal’s List of Things to Do During COVID Closures Is Going Viral for All the Right Reasons. These fun activities take a different look at learning, and I love it.
STEM and Tech
- 77 Simple STEM Activities for Families.
- STEM Activities for Families, including Backseat Boredom Busters, Super STEM Movies, Isometric Paper Activities, and more! from DailySTEM.com
- Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch, from Travel and Leisure
- Daily science and cooking experiments from Club SciKids.
- Super fun breakout-at-home activities from Breakout EDU.
- Very cool interactive digital musical experiences and games via Chrome Music Lab!
Fun Things to Watch
- Metropolitan Opera to Offer Up “Nightly Met Opera Streams”, from OperaWire
- A friend shared that Kanopy, a service for streaming movies through public libraries, is also offering free kids content for the next 30 days. I haven’t tried it myself yet. Check it out here.
- The Cincinati Zoo and Botanical Garden is offering a Home Safari Facebook Live every day at 3 PM via their Facebook page. How cool!
- Learn, watch and play with favorite show characters via PBS
- Animal Planet is offering 96 hours of their show, Too Cute, which follows puppies and kittens documentary-style. I’ve only watched the first few minutes of one episode yet, but I already know it will be my go-to for when I’m feeling anxious or worried!
Resources for Teachers
- How to Be A Better Online Teacher (from The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- Zoom CEO Eric Yuan Is Giving K-12 Schools His Videoconferencing Tools For Free (from Forbes)
- Reading Skills Lessons from Colorful Classrooms with Ms. B (from Colorful Pages)
- Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning, a Facebook group for teachers
- Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings
- Sites and Apps that are Supporting School Closures. A great list of websites and subscription services extending or offering free services to teachers as schools close.
- Publishers have been changing their guidelines for readalouds, to make distance learning easier for teachers and families. Author Kate Messner has complied the ever-changing list of permissions here: Publisher Guidelines on Fair Use for Online Storytimes and Read-Alouds During COVID-19 School Closures.
(Banner image via Edmodo.)