Having Fun at Home

Things to Do

30 Day Lego Challenge. Can you make a design for each of these ideas? 

The Artful Parent. Check out the post about “10 Things to Do At Home With Kids Right Now.” 

At Home Cooking Club. Recipe videos for kids and families are posted every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 pm EST, with other fun culinary activities and games. Free to sign up. 

Happy Hooligans. “Arts, Crafts, and Good Old-Fashioned Play.”

Kids Meditation, Square Breathing (Focus and Calm). In this video, boost your superpowers of calm and focus by breathing as Puffer Fish keeps time.

Little Bins for Little Hands. “Slime, science, and all things STEM.”

National Geographic Kids. Games, videos, and articles about animals, science, history, and more.

Scholastic Home Base. A free phone or tablet app where kids can play games and meet characters from book series like Geronimo Stilton, Wings of Fire, Dog Man, I Survived, Whatever After, and more. 

Skype a Scientist. This organization offers children and families opportunities to interact with scientists from around the world.

StoryMarch. Follow these art and writing prompts from the Greater Boston Illustrators’ Group to tell your own exciting story that grows day by day.

Stories, Authors, and Illustrators

Audible. Get a free account during school closures and access to stories in six different languages. 

Authors Everywhere. A youtube page where children’s book authors and illustrators share videos of themselves reading and talking about their books, challenging kids to writing activities, and giving drawing mini-lessons. 

The Big List of Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds and Activities. 50+ read-alouds for elementary kids and author activities for middle and high school. 

A Big List of Podcasts for Little Kids. “Here’s a list of great shows to keep kids ages 2 through 6, and their caretakers, occupied,” by Lindsay Patterson, New York Times. 

Draw Every Day with JJK. Children’s author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Hey, Kiddo, Lunch Lady, Platypus Police Squad, Star Wars: Jedi Academy), gives daily drawing lessons for kids. 

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems.  Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.  Check back each weekday for new LUNCH DOODLES!

Palmer’s Puppet Play with Author/Illustrator David Hyde Costello. In the first video for Palmer Public Library’s online children’s programming, author/illustrator David Hyde Costello shares the process of making a table-top puppet show.

The Spanish Experiment.  Spanish Children’s Stories. Well-known children’s stories translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker.  Read along in Spanish or English. 

Storyline Online. Some of your favorite actors read picture books with fun animations that make the stories pop. Each story has a curriculum developed by an elementary teacher, making these a great resource for home learning. 

StoryNory. Free audio stories including fairy tales, classic authors, myths, stories from around the world, poem and music, and original stories. 

Story Preservation Initiative.  Listen to stories from three master storytellers on the K-3 Learning Lab or 4-12 Learning Lab. Click on the K-3 Learning Lab or the 4-12 Learning Lab on the blue banner. A no-cost, one-time registration is required. 

Story Time From Space. Astronauts in space read fun space and science-themed books to children. 

Virtual Field Trips

Boston Children’s Museum Virtual Tour. A virtual tour of the three floors of the Boston Children’s Museum. 

Georgia Aquarium Webcams. Puffins, jellies, African penguins, piranhas, beluga whales and more.

Let’s Explore: National Parks, United States. Use Google Earth to explore national parks from home. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium. “Be delighted by the antics of our sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of our jellies. With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are.”

New England Aquarium Virtual Visit. Presentations and videos you can watch from home. 

Oceans Initiative Virtual Marine Biology Camp. “During the school shutdowns, we’ve decided to launch a (very) informal, impromptu, virtual marine biology camp. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and you should see us in your news feed when we go live, Mondays and Thursdays at 11 am Pacific time.”

Reid Park Zoo.  Elephants, giraffes, grizzlies, lemurs, and lions. 

San Diego Zoo. Live cams and videos of 11 favorite animals. 

Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Live cams for naked mole-rats, lions, pandas, and elephants. 

Virtual School Activities. A collection of sites to live webcams, virtual tours/trips, and other miscellaneous fun educational sites

Virtual Museum Tours. Virtual tours of museums worldwide on Google Arts and Culture. 

Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam. “Be part of the daily lives of the Zoo’s giant pandas, no matter where in the world you’re watching!”

Learning at Home 

30 Days of Art with Miss Lanker. An art lesson for each day. 

Amazing Educational Resources. A list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings. 

Boston Children’s Museum. Parent and educator resources for early childhood education including the STEM Sprouts Teaching Guide and National Grid Tinker Kit Educator Guide. 

Favorite Poem Project. Resources for Educators page includes Elementary Lesson Plans and activities for parents to do with children.

Inclusiveteach.com. “150 Sensory Learning Ideas.” Free, simple, sensory home learning activities. 

Lakeshore Learning Free Resources. Resources for the classroom and home.

Mass.gov’s Early Childhood Education Resources for Families. Learning activities and resources for families who are home with children due to the coronavirus. 

Mindfulness for Children: Mindful Breathing. Free two-minute script for adults to use with children. 

MindUP Breathing. Breathing for Mindfulness. 

Pathways for Children Parent Support Page. Includes lesson ideas, family fun activities, information on vital local services, and more. 

ReadWriteThink: National Poetry Month. April is National Poetry Month. This website has lesson plans on poetry for grades K-12. 

Rosetta Stone. Free three-month trial subscription. Be sure to cancel before billing date if you don’t want to be charged.  

The Math Learning Center. Free math lessons and apps. 

Raz-Kids. Hundreds of e-books at 29 levels of reading difficulty. This subscription product is free for the rest of the school year. Parents can create a log-in and get a 90-day free trial. Be sure to cancel before billing date if you don’t want to be charged.  

Scholastic Learn at Home. Daily themed lessons by grade level, including fiction, nonfiction, videos, music, and other learning activities. 

Smithsonian Distance Learning. “Access to millions of digital resources from across the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. You will also find pre-packaged collections that contain lessons, activities, and recommended resources made by Smithsonian museum educators as well as thousands of classroom teachers like you.”

Speech Buddies. “6 Free Online Speech Therapy Resources for Kids.”

WGBH Distance Learning Center. PBS LearningMedia resources span disciplines for grades PreK-12, are aligned to national and state standards, and include videos, comprehensive lessons, and other activities.