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.”
Hogwarts Digital Escape Room by Youth Services Librarian Sydney Krawiec.
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.”
Sawyer Free Library’s E-Resources for Kids. Kids can use their library cards to borrow books, audio books, graphic novels, movies, music and more. If you or your child do not have a library card you can fill out our form online and receive your barcode number through email. Children must be five years and older to get a card. For children under five, please use a parent/caregiver’s card.
Skype a Scientist. This organization offers children and families opportunities to interact with scientists from around the world.
Fun Online Games and Videos for Kids
Code.org. Hour of Code projects for kids with themes like Minecraft, Star Wars, Anna and Elsa, Harry Potter and more. Includes games for pre-readers and grades 2-5.
Crash Course Kids. A youtube channel filled with science animations for kids.
Hello Kids. Color and learn how to draw online.
Learn with Smithsonian: Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens. Activities, games, and information for kids on art, history, culture, science and nature.
Lego Games. Lots of fun free games. The games with the picture of the laptop computer can be played on a computer web browser. The games with the picture of the phone and ipad can only be played if you or a trusted adult download the app to a device.
Math Game Time. Math games, videos, and worksheets for grades Pre-K through 7.
Math Playground. Math games for grades 1-6. Free with no registration required.
NASA Kids Club. Learn about NASA and play games about space.
National Geographic Kids. Games, videos, and articles about animals, science, history, and more.
Neopets. Customize and own a virtual pet.
Nick, Jr. Preschool games and videos.
PBS Kids Games. Games based on popular PBS Kids shows with easier games for children in preschool and more challenging games for elementary school-age kids.
Poptropica. Create your character and go on adventures.
Prodigy. A fantasy and adventure game where you use math to aid you on your journey. Covers math skills for grades 1-8. Your guardian must create a free account.
Rock ‘N Learn. Educational music videos for young children on a variety of topics. As it is a youtube channel, we recommend parental supervision.
SafeKidGames.com. Includes a variety of online games including sports and racing themed games. Grades K-7.
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.
Sesame Street. Play games, watch videos, make art.
Spelunky. Explore caves and look for treasure.
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.
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.
The French Experiment. Children’s stories told by a native French speaker.
Sesame Street: Caring for Each Other. In addition to coloring sheets, games, and videos on wellness, Sesame Street is offering hundreds of free ebooks on Apple, Google Play, Kobo, and Nook.
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.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic. The British Library has made this exhibit available online for free through Google Arts and Culture.
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.
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. New: cheetah cubs!
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.
Learning at Home
30 Days of Art with Miss Lanker. An art lesson for each day.
Accessibyte. Free access to apps for students who use assistive technology. Create an “Individual Student Access” account to explore apps for users who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, dyslexic, or have other reading difficulties.
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.
Crabtree Publishing Company. Complete eLibrary available for free until August 31, 2020. Username: read, password: free.
Duolingo. Learn a language for free.
Duolingo ABC – Learn to Read. A free iPhone and iPad app for children ages 3-6 by the creaters of Duolingo.
Engineering is Elementary. Try engineering as a family with these resources from the Boston Museum of Science.
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.
The Math Learning Center. Free math lessons and apps.
Mindfulness for Children: Mindful Breathing. Free two-minute script for adults to use with children.
MindUP Breathing. Breathing for Mindfulness.
Miss Humblebee’s Academy. Free school-readiness curriculum (online and offline content) through end of school year. Scroll down to the icon for Miss Humblebee and click to create a profile with parent email, child’s name and birthday.
Pathways for Children Parent Support Page. Includes lesson ideas, family fun activities, information on vital local services, and more.
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.
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.
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.”
Time for Kids. Four grade-specific editions of Time Magazine for Kids free for the rest of the school year. Parent must fill out the form.
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.