At Home Learning Resources
The following are resources for at home learning. Jump to section:
- Activity Sheets
- Audiobooks & Podcasts
- Creative Activities
- Early Learning Resources
- Physical Activities
- Read Alouds
- Virtual Trips and Learning Experiences
- Websites & Learning Games
- Additional Resources
ACTIVITY SHEETS (downloadable)
Many children's book authors offer free activity sheets on their websites.
- Elise Gravel, author/illustrator, also made some new (relevant) worksheets, like make your own silly virus. (See the homepage and the boutique for free downloadable activity sheets)
- Jarrett Lerner, author of "Enginerds," is creating new worksheets every few days that let kids finish a comic or complete a drawing with their own silly ideas.
AUDIOBOOKS & PODCASTS
- But Why? podcast includes an episode to explain what's happening with coronavirus to kids.
- Grim, Grimmer, Grimmest with author Adam Gidwitz ("A Tale Dark and Grimm") offers safely thrilling spooky tales.
- NPR Podcasts for Kids, including:
- Pinna - the streaming audio service Pinna is offering families and teachers two free months of access to their audio streaming service for kids ages 3-12. To activate, go to Pinna and use the promo code: PINNA4KIDS.
- The Story Seeds podcast shows the creative process in real time, with kids and authors collaborating on story ideas
- ADDITIONAL PODCASTS FOR KIDS
- FREE EBOOKS - Many libraries are closing, but online resources remain available, check out these resources available with your library card.
This whole exercise is going to require loads of creativity for any parent, especially those at trying to work from home.
- Americas Test Kitchen Kids is offering free recipes, activities and experiments for kids during the coronavirus crisis.
- Dan Santat, author and illustrator, is giving kids a chance to earn "badges" during the pandemic, with extra points for leaving parents alone to work.
- Carson Ellis, illustrator, is providing illustration prompts on Instagram.
- Kate DiCamillo, author, is providing weekly writing prompts on YouTube.
- Keri Smith, author of the "Wreck This Journal" books, is creating daily exploration prompts at her website.
- National Geographic Kids also has quizzes, puzzles and games.
- Quizlet provides free learning games and tools.
- PBS Kids newsletter sign up for the newsletter for more activities to try with kids.
If your kids are needing a break and want to watch some television, there are plenty of quality films to get you through.
- Commonsense Media - list of the best documentaries for kids.
- Cooking & Travel Shows - for an all-family TV break, shows about cooking and travel can be great cross-overs.
- Disney Plus - streaming service, your kids may remember it as the best school year ever.
EARLY LEARNING RESOURCES
- MDE parent guides with activities that are aligned with the Early Childhood Indicators or Progress (ECIPS).
- Award-winners in the Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media - developed by the Association for Library Service to Children (a branch of the American Library Association)
- Help Me Grow - easy and fun things adults can do every day to encourage a child’s healthy development and growth
- NAEYC's Position Statement with the Fred Rogers Center, on Young Children and Technology Recognizing the importance of quality, developmentally appropriate content and of co-viewing and joint media engagement with parents/adults/family members
- Scholastic's Learn at Home provides 20 days’ worth of active learning journeys designed to reinforce and sustain educational opportunities for those students who are unable to attend school
- U.S. Department of Education's Early Learning and Educational Technology policy brief, based in part on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, NAEYC, and others
- Zero to Three (ZTT)
With kids kept indoors more than usual, don't forget to provide plenty of wiggle time. And just because you're quarantined doesn't mean you're under house arrest. Take your work outside and let the kids dig, or just observe nature. They can track what they see in a science notebook.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga - free yoga resources for young children
- Go Noodle - short videos to get kids moving.
- Mark Kanemura Virtual Dance Parties, a former backup dancer with Lady Gaga and contestant on "So You Think You Can Dance," is offering virtual dance parties on Instagram.
Some of your children's favorite authors are offering daily read-alouds during the pandemic.
Instagram (From your mobile device, click the author’s profile picture. You should get an option for “view story” or “watch live video” — select “watch live video”)
- Mac Barnett (author of "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole," "Mac B: Kid Spy") will read daily at 2 p.m. CDT
- Oliver Jeffers (author of "Stuck," "Here We Are") at 1 p.m. CDT.
- CHILDREN’S BOOK PUBLISHERS - are planning daily read-alouds and activities
- Peter H. Reynolds, author of "The Dot" and "ish" will have daily Facebook Lives.
- Operation Storytime - Presented by Romper with read-alouds from enough authors to fill a virtual library.
- Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for Learning Anywhere - Kate Messner, author of the new middle grade novel "Chirp" and picture book "The Next President" with Adam Rex, shares an array lessons from other authors on her website.
- ADDITIONAL AUTHORS - Authors who are planning new read-alouds and lessons are sharing their schedules in a google doc created by literacy advocate Olivia Van Ledtje, and more are sharing resources with the Twitter hashtag #kidlitquarantine.
VIRTUAL TRIPS & LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Zoos and National Parks
- Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari - While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed, they'll be live-streaming from the zoo each weekday at 3PM EDT. Each stream will highlight one of the zoo's amazing animals, and include an activity that can be done from home.
- National Parks Service - Get some virtual fresh air and explore some of the country's most famous national parks with the National Park Service's YouTube channel! Full of information and gorgeous footage, dozens of parks are featured.
- San Diego Zoo - Take a peek into various zoo exhibits with these live cameras from the San Diego Zoo! There's also an archive of old footage, if you're really looking for some animal fun.
Museums and art galleries
While it’s hard to beat the experience of seeing a seminal piece of fine art or important historical artifact with your own two eyes, you could easily spend a lifetime traveling the world in search of all of them. Fortunately, the digital age has made it possible—easy, even—to visit some of the world’s most famous museums from the comfort of your own home.
- There's also the Google Art Project, which gives you access to more than 1,000 works of art featured in 17 of the world's greatest museums.
- MetKids - This site from New York City's Museum of Metropolitan Art lets kids explore the famous museum with an interactive map. Behind-the-scenes videos feature kids just like them, and a "time machine" allows them to explore thousands of years of art! Fun facts and creative projects abound, so kids won't get bored during their social distancing period.
- Google Arts and Culture - Thanks to this partnership with 500 museums around the world, kids can get a glimpse of some of the most incredible collections available. Take a look at internationally-renowned sites like the British Museum in London, England, or the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, Italy. If you're looking for something a little more niche, try taking a look at the National Quilt Museum in Kentucky!
- ArtThink - This site, created by the San Francisco Museum of Modern art, offers activities in visual arts, language arts, history, and social studies. Keep your kid thinking hard while exposing them to some amazing modern artwork!
- The British Museum - With a collection that totals more than 8 million objects, London’s British Museum makes some of its pieces viewable online. The museum also teamed up with the Google Cultural Institute to offer virtual tours using Google Street View technology.
- The Dalí Theatre-Museum - Located in the town of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain, the Dalí Theatre-Museum is completely dedicated to the artwork of Salvador Dalí. It features many rooms and exhibits surrounding every era of Dalí’s life and career, and the artist himself is buried here. The museum offers virtual tours of the grounds and a few exhibits.
- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - While the architecture of the Guggenheim’s building itself, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is quite impressive, you don’t have to visit the Big Apple to get an up-close view of some of the priceless pieces of artwork inside. The museum makes some of its collections and exhibits available online for people who want to get a taste of what the museum has to offer, including works from Franz Marc, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Jeff Koons.
- The Louvre - The Louvre is not only one of the world’s largest art museums, but it’s also one of Paris’s most iconic historic monuments. The museum offers free online tours of some of its most important and popular exhibits, such as its Egyptian Antiquities and works from Michelangelo. You can take a 360-degree look at the museum, and click around the rare artifacts to get additional information on their histories.
- The Metropolitan Museum Of Art - The Met is home to over 2 million works of fine art, but you don’t have to be in New York City to enjoy them. The institution’s website features an online collection and virtual tours of some of its most impressive pieces, including works from Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, and Giotto di Bondone. In addition, The Met also works with the Google Cultural Institute to make even more artwork (that’s not featured in its own online collection) available for view.
- The Metropolitan Opera - Get your culture fix with free concerts from the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera! Planned performances at the venue have been cancelled, but the show will go on with pre-recorded concerts and shows. Each night, a different show will begin streaming at 7 P.M. EDT and remain available until 3:30 P.M. EDT the following day.
- NASA - NASA offers free virtual tours of the Langley Research Center in Virginia, as well as of Ohio’s Glenn Research Center. The Space Center Houston also has an app that provides virtual tours, augmented reality experiences, and videos and audio stories about space exploration.
- The National Gallery Of Art - Founded in 1937, the National Gallery of Art is free and open to the general public. For those who aren’t in Washington, D.C., it also provides virtual tours of its gallery and exhibits. You can view its current exhibitions and listen to audio and video recordings of past lectures online.
- The National Museum of The United States Air Force - As its name suggests, the National Museum of the United States Air Force is the official museum of the United States Air Force. Centered on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, it houses a wide array of military weapons and aircraft, including the presidential airplanes of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon. The museum also offers free virtual tours of its entire grounds, letting you glimpse objects like decommissioned aircraft from World War II, Vietnam, and the Korean War.
- The National Women’s History Museum - The mission statement of the National Women’s History Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, is to educate, inspire, empower, and shape the future “by integrating women’s distinctive history and culture in the United States.” Part of that mission is delivered through well-curated online exhibits and oral histories.
- Smithsonian National Museum Of Natural History - Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of Natural History, one of the most-visited museums in the world, offers a peek at its wonderful treasures with an online virtual tour of the entire grounds. Viewers are welcomed into its rotunda and are greeted with a comprehensive room-by-room, 360-degree walking tour of all its exceptional exhibits, including the Hall of Mammals, Insect Zoo, and Dinosaurs and Hall of Paleobiology.
- The Vatican Museums - The Vatican Museums feature an extensive collection of important art and classical sculptures curated by the Popes over many centuries. You can take a virtual tour of the museum grounds and iconic exhibits, including Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
- Khan Academy - free resource for instructional videos on many topics
- Newly Added: Walt Disney’s Imagineering in a Box’
- Kindness 101 - Steve Hartman's, CBS news, is hosting an interactive, weeklong course for students of all ages about kindness from March 23-26 at 1 p.m. CDT. Each class will last 30 minutes. Steve will show some of his favorite "On the Road" stories and talk about the lessons online via Facebook Live.
- Jarret J. Krosoczka, author of the "Lunch Lady" graphic novel series and the National Book Award finalist "Hey, Kiddo," is hosting daily drawing webcasts on YouTube at 1 p.m. CDT on YouTube.
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems - author of "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" and "Elephant and Piggie" fame, is hosting daily "lunchtime doodles" at 12 p.m. CDT on the Kennedy Center website.
- Mystery Science - free science lessons available during school shutdowns
- Shapiro School - free weekly current event discussions and resources hosted by NPR reporter Ari Shapiro
- TED-Ed - video lessons and series by top educators, made into animated videos for kids.
WEBSITES & LEARNING GAMES
- ABCYa.com - This game site offers teacher-created and approved educational computer games for elementary students to learn math and language arts on the web. Featured by The New York Times, Apple, and Fox News, ABCYa.com provides young children well-crafted games and activities.
- Arcademic Skill Builders - Arcademic Skill Builders are online educational video games that offer a powerful approach to learning basic math, language arts, vocabulary, and thinking skills. Arcademic games challenge students to improve their scores through repetitive, timed learning drills that provide immediate feedback.
- BBC Schools: Games - The British counterpart of the U.S.’s PBS, the BBC, offers interactive digital games and activities involving subjects such as literacy, numeracy, history, mathematics, music, and the arts. The games are also categorized into age ranges. The cartoon graphics are very appealing for children, but the content is stellar for teachers and parents that want children to play to learn.
- Bookopolis - is a website developed to ignite the love of reading for kids ages 7-12. Bookopolis provides a online environment for elementary and middle school children to connect with young readers about reading.
- Common Lit provides texts, questions, and a parent guide for how to support their students.
- Discovery Kids in Spanish - is an interactive website of educational games and videos entirely in Spanish.
- DK Find Out! - is a website for kids to find, explore, and learn about anything imaginable. DK Find Out! provides a visual search, videos, and animations and more.
- Funbrain - Funbrain, created for kids ages preschool through grade 8, offers more than 100 fun, interactive games that develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. Plus, kids can read a variety of popular books and comics on the site, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amelia Writes Again, and Brewster Rocket.
- I Can Read - offers books at all levels for emerging readers to enjoy with their families, and on their own
- Get Epic! - is an e-book subscription which provides instant access to a digital library of books, learning videos and more.
- KidLit TV -provides videos and podcasts promoting children’s literature. Includes KidLit Radio, crafts and activities, book trailers, and original KidLit TV Shows.
- Mr. Nussbaum - Created by Greg Nussbaum, a Virginia public school teacher, Mr. Nussbaum boasts over 3,500 content pages with a wide variety of learning games organized by content type and grade level. This site is also optimized for use on a tablet and an interactive whiteboard.
- MyStorybook.com - is an easy to use website where children can create, illustrate, publish, and print their own books.
- National Geographic Kids - The world-famous National Geographic hosts over 100 fun, engaging, and interactive science, action, adventure, geography, quiz, and puzzle games, including:
- PBS Kids Games - PBS KIDS creates curriculum-based entertainment. The games site hosts a number of browser-based gaming experiences based on popular literary and media franchises such as The Cat in the Hat, Curious George, Sesame Street, and more. Games are organized by subject-type, which includes math, healthy habits, science, reading, and teamwork.
- Poptropica - Under the creative direction of Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Poptropica® is a virtual world in which kids explore and play in complete safety. Every month, millions of kids from around the world are entertained and informed by Poptropica's engaging quests, stories, and games.
- Primary Game - With games and activities that meet curriculum needs for math, science, language arts, and social studies, Primary Games houses over 1,000 game titles.
- Sheppard Software - Headed by Brad Sheppard, Sheppard Software hosts hundreds of free, online, educational games for kids. The site organizes its games into categories, which allow students and teachers to easily navigate by subject area and find a suitable game that caters to either an instructional need or a child’s sense of curiosity and thirst of knowledge and challenge.
- StorylineOnline.net - is a free website that features videos of famous actors reading children’s books aloud.
- Sugarcane - offers educational games on a wide array of topics including language, geography, math, biography, world history, U.S. history, literature, nature, art, sports, and more.
- Time for Kids - comes in different grade level editions, from K-1, 2, 3-4, and 5-6. The magazine offers news on topics that are interesting and encourage children to think about the world around them.
- TweenTribune - is an online resource provided by the Smithsonian Institution offering daily news articles, K-12. Also available in Spanish
- We Need Diverse Books – a non-profit organization that advocates for and promotes diverse literature.
- Write the World - is a website committed to the improvement of the writing of high school students via a global online community and guided interactive process. Young writers are encouraged to find their voices in writing, polish their editing, and publish on an international platform.
Free or Discounted Books
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library - is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from 0-5 years of age. Visit their website to register.
- Hooked on Reading - is a site where you can find discounted subscription prices to books from Disney: Wonderful World of Reading including their Baby Einstein series as well as the Dr. Seuss & His Friends collection.
- Literacy Partners - is an organization that works with families in New York City. They offer free classes for parents to develop their own literacy skills and for English learners, as well as donate books for children through their Books of their Own program
- National Center for Families Learning - has a website for families that includes many online guides and booklists for families
- ThriftBooks - is a discounted online used book seller. They have a range of books popular for all age ranges.
Looking for magazine subscriptions to keep your kids reading? Here are some magazines targeted for young people.
- Highlights magazine - The one we all remember from our own childhood is still around! Offerings include Hello magazine for children from 0 to 2 years of age, Hi Five, for children ages 2 to 6, and Highlights for children ages 6 through 12. Highlights also offers Hi Five Bilingual, in Spanish and English.
- Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine is for children ages 2-6. It promotes the healthy physical, educational, and creative growth of young children through interactive activities and stories.
- J-14 Teen magazine for ages 11 through 19. J-14 follows the latest celebrity news for young people today.
- National Geographic
- National Geographic magazine provides articles about science, geography, history, and world culture. The magazine is noted for its in-depth reporting and stunning photography.
- National Geographic Little Kids (age 3-6) and National Geographic Kids (age 6 and up) magazine provides articles about science, geography, history, and world culture specific to interests of children. The magazines are noted for their engaging reporting and stunning photography
- Ranger Rick magazine for children from ages 7 through 12, Ranger Rick Jr. for children from ages 4 through 7, and Ranger Rick Cub for children 0-4. The National Wildlife Foundation publishes these kid friendly magazines, as well as a website that offers games, videos, recipes, and activities for the whole family. Visit their website at
- Sports Illustrated Kids - provides the latest sports news aimed at children ages 8 through 15
- Teen Vogue magazine and website offers stories about fashion, entertainment, news, and politics
- TED-Ed@Home Daily Newsletter - A daily newsletter to support the millions of students, parents and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. TED-Ed is working with expert educators and TED speakers throughout the world to create and share high-quality, interactive, video-based lessons on a daily basis, for free.