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100+ activities to keep kids learning and active while school’s out
March 24, 2020
100+ activities to keep kids learning and active while school’s out

With news that schools across the state are closed for the remainder of the school year, you may be looking for some fun activities to keep your kids learning and moving.

There’s something for everyone on this list of resources:

Educational resources

ABCYa Educational games for grades PreK - 6 that will keep kids engaged and having fun Visit here
Adventure Academy Learning games and videos for reading, math, science and more Visit here
Cool Math Math lessons and games for anyone ages 13 and up Visit here
Cool Math 4 Kids Math lessons and games for kids ages 12 and under Visit here
Cool Math Games A brain-training site, for everyone, where logic & thinking meets fun & games. Visit here
Dobetter Learning Jenna is an online tutor that is now teaching kids via Zoom calls. Handwriting courses for all ages, read alongs for elementary school students and math classes for middle and high school students Visit here
Duolingo Learn a language for free Visit here
FUNBRAIN FunBrain is a site for online educational games for kids of all ages Visit here
Kids National Geographic Educational and informative games, videos and web pages.  Visit Here
Learning Games for Kids These online learning games and songs for kids are fun, teach important skills for preschool and elementary school kids and they're free. Visit here
Minnesota Assoc. for Children's Mental Health Mental Health may not be the easiest topic to discuss with young people so we have created several activities that help you begin the conversation Visit here
NASA Kids' Club A place to play games and learn about NASA Visit here
Nick Jr. Online games and videos for preschoolers. Visit here
PBS Kids Daily  A weekday newsletter that offers activities and tips you can use to help kids play and learn at home Subscribe here
Scholastic - Learn at Home  Day-by-day projects to keep kids thinking, learning and growing (available in Spanish) Visit here
Sesame Street Helping kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder through online games, videos and art activities Visit here
Smithsonian Kids Arts, science and history activities and games for kids Visit here
Stardust Tutoring and Writing Online private tutoring, creative coaching and consulting for high school and college students. Visit here
Starfall Free online educational programs focusing on language arts, reading and mathematics for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade kids Visit here
TEDEd at Home A daily newsletter filled with engaging videos and accompanying lessons (organized by age group) Subscribe here

 

Reading and writing resources

Amie Kaufman's Lit Parties For the next few weeks (and perhaps even longer), on Monday nights, Kaufman is hosting virtual conversations using the hashtag #kidlitgoesviral on Twitter. Dozens of writers have signed up to participate, with teachers, librarians, parents and readers joining to ask questions. Visit here
Audible (free stories) Free stories to listen to on Audible.com Listen here
Everywhere Book Fest In response to the dozens of canceled books festivals, three young adult writers decided to start the Everywhere Book Fest, “a virtual gathering of kid-lit authors, books and readers that will bring the book festival experience to everyone,” according to their website. Visit here
Food Writing Lessons with Julia Turshen Julia provides food writing prompts every weekday for all to enjoy. Follow @turshen on Instagram and check her posts for the latest prompts. New prompts each day, M-F, at 2 p.m. EST
Gene Luen Yang Gene is the cartoonist of the graphic novel "Dragon Hoops". Because his book tour was cancelled you can now hear him discuss his book and provide other cartoon-related activities on Facebook and Instagram. Visit here
Litchfield Historical Society's Cursive Writing Course Learn how to write cursive Find the course online here
Mac Barnett - Lunch Time Reads Mac Barnett, who’s written dozens of books, including the Jack Book and Mac B. Kid Spy series, is reading a book every afternoon on Instagram Live.  Visit here
Oliver Jeffers - Stay at Home Storytime Jeffers (“The Day the Crayons Quit,” “How to Catch a Star,” “The Fate of Fausto,”) is reading on Instagram Live on weekday afternoons and making all the recordings available on his site. Visit here
Peter H. Reynolds - Live Read Aloud The writer and illustrator, whose tour for his most recent picture book, “Be You,” was canceled, is reading aloud from his work on Facebook Live every day.  Visit here
Read with Mr. O Mr. O is a library media specialist and elementary school teacher who is spending time reading to kids during COVID-19. Visit here
Storyline Online Children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Visit here
Story Time from Space We send children’s books to the International Space Station. While in space, astronauts are videotaping themselves reading these books to children on Earth. These videos are being edited and placed on this Story Time From Space website- look under the heading ” Story Time Videos”. Visit here
Susan Tan's 'Author's Everywhere!' The “Authors Everywhere!” YouTube channel, started by Susan Tan, who wrote the Cilla Lee-Jenkins series for middle-grade readers, includes activities, writing workshops and readings from a range of authors. Visit here
Susan Verde's Live Read Aloud Susan Verde, who wrote the picture books “I Am Love” and “I Am Human,” among others, is reading from her books live on Instagram. Visit here
Teach Your Monster to Read

The groundbreaking game that makes learning to read fun. Covers everything from letters and sounds to reading full sentences. Designed in collaboration with leading academics. Complements all synthetic phonics programs used in schools. Computer version is 100% free.

Visit here
Typing Games & Classes Free typing games and online courses for kids Visit here

 

Science and nature resources

Audobon Society DIY Activities From DIY feeders to quick tips for making a bird-friendly yard or home, here are some fun and creative ways to help—and enjoy—your feathered visitors. Visit here
Cosi Connects Every day we're going to deliver fresh, exciting and engaging science through COSI videos and hands-on science you can try with your family at home.  Visit here
Discovery #MindBlown Blast Episodes Entertaining STEM videos for kids Watch here
Exploratorium Make sense of timely topics and find general science support for your virtual classroom or learning together at home. Visit here
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Teach children how to enjoy the outdoors and natural spaces responsibly. Visit here
The Old Farmers' Almanac for Kids Inspired by the wit and wisdom of North America’s favorite “Old” friend, the Almanac for Kids features a treasure trove of fun facts, creative activities, and great ideas that will keep kids of all ages loving learning the whole year through! Filled with fascinating facts and fun activities on subjects such as weather, sports, astronomy, history, nature, pets and much more! Visit here
The Planet Protectors As a Planet Protector, your mission is to improve the world around you by making less trash. Planet Protectors also help other people learn to reduce, reuse, and recycle. (Available in Spanish) Visit here
Science Museum of Virginia While the Museum is closed to the public, we are exploring innovative ways that we can continue to fulfill our mission: to inspire Virginians to enrich their lives through science. Visit here
Simple STEM Activities 77 STEM activities for kids and families. View here
Smithsonian Kids Arts, science and history activities and games for kids. Visit here
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Free virtual tours of the museum and of past and present exhibits. Visit here
Switch Zoo At Switch Zoo you can make new animals, play animal games, build a biome, learn about animals, and hear animal music. Visit here

 

History resources

BBC History for Kids Enter ancient worlds, meet famous people and discover fascinating facts by exploring a wide selection of historical games and activities Visit here
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Free virtual tours of the museum and of past and present exhibits Visit here

 

Museum tours and activities

American Civil War Museum HomefrontEd Check out the new HomefrontEd section for book readings, daily activities and educator resources for students at home Visit here
American Dairy Association Virtual farm tours Visit here
Cincinnati Zoo  While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed and kids are home from school, let us help make your children’s hiatus from school fun and educational. Join us for a Home Safari Facebook Live each day at 3pm EDT where we will highlight one of our amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. Visit here
Discovery Education  Virtual field trips for kids Sign up here
The Fiona Show Meet Fiona, a baby hippopotamus that was born 6 weeks premature at the Cincinnati Zoo. She is the smallest hippo ever to survive. Follow her remarkable story that has lead her to become an international phenomenon. Watch here
Google Arts & Culture Virtually explore collections from museums and galleries around the world Visit here
Los Angeles County Museum of Art LACMA provides K–12 teachers with professional development opportunities and curricular resources that foster creativity, inspire personal growth, and enhance classroom learning. Teacher programs and resources are aligned with the California State Content Standards and explore best practices in visual arts education and arts integration. Visit here
Maymont Gardens Virtual Learning Series Looking for some ideas to delight, educate and inspire you and your family while you’re staying at home? The Maymont Environmental Education Team has some great suggestions.  
The Met Publications Five decades of Met publications on Art History available to read, download/search for free Visit here
Museum of Modern Art Whether you are a classroom or homeschool teacher, a parent or caregiver now suddenly in the position of teaching at home, a student, or a lifelong learner, this is a challenging time. Art can be a powerful catalyst for building skills and understanding a range of subjects. Teaching and learning from home is something we can all explore together, so we wanted to share some resources from MoMA to get you started. Visit here
National Museum of African American History & Culture's Learning Lab We are excited to share objects, stories, and resources that tell American history through the African American lens! Our Learning Lab collections provide ways to explore well-known and lesser-known moments of history by utilizing objects, documents, imagery, and videos to enhance content knowledge, hone historical thinking skills and inspire users to see themselves as agents of change.  Visit here
National Portrait Gallery Virtually tour some of the National Portrait Gallery's collections Visit here
The Poe Museum Poe is taught around the world.  The Poe Museum appreciates the dedication and enthusiasm for educating students about Poe's literary accomplishments and his influence on our world today. Our Educator Information Packet is designed to supplement the classroom curriculum, and was created with guidance from the Virginia Department of Education. Visit here
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Online Learning Discover free online educational materials and how you can connect with engaging educational programs available digitally. Visit here
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Free virtual tours of the museum and of past and present exhibits Visit here
Tate Modern Explore online artworks from Tate's collection Visit here
Virtual Field Trips 25 amazing virtual field trips, no permission slips needed Visit here
Virginia Holocaust Museum Lessons for high school aged kids on resistance and rescuing during the Holocaust Visit here
Virginia Museum of History and Culture While we must be closed to do our part in light of the regional spread of COVID-19, we are still here for you, to enrich your life through the saving and sharing of Virginia’s history. We are pleased to share below a curated selection of digital resources, which we will continue to expand and update so long as we are able.   Visit here
VMFA At-Home Activities Explore VMFA at home! Take a closer look at art, get ideas for making your own work, or get ready for a visit to the museum! Visit here

 

Music resources

BBC Learn to Sing Free online singing lessons Visit here
Hoffman Academy's Piano Lessons Free online piano lessons for kids Visit here
Kids Guitar Zone Free online guitar lessons for kids Visit here
8 Notes Free sheet music & lessons Visit here

 

Arts and crafts resources

Adam J. Krutz Activity Pages Activity pages for all ages Print activity sheets here
Carson Ellis - Quarantine Art Club The illustrator Carson Ellis (“Home,” “Du Iz Tak?”) is running a Quarantine Art Club for her followers Visit here
Crayola Coloring Pages Free coloring pages for kids Visit here
Diane Bleck Follow @diane.bleck on Instagram for free how to draw and doodle content Visit here
Dick Blick Art Lessons Geared for a wide variety of age and skill levels, we offer hundreds of lesson plans designed to meet the National Standards for Visual Art Education and bring the value of creativity to any teaching experience. All original. All free. Visit here
#DrawTogether with Wendy MacNaughton Wendy hosts her 'Draw Together' class on Instagram Live M-F from 1-1:30 EST. Follow @wendymac on Instagram and tune in for her next class.
Free Coloring Books Free coloring books from world class libraries and museums. Find them here
Grace Lin Drawing Tutorials Grace Lin, an illustrator and author of middle-grade novels and picture books, is posting drawing tutorials and readings from her books on her YouTube channel. Visit here
Hello Wonderful hello, Wonderful is a simple beautiful place where you can find happy colorful, and FUN ideas for kids. Creative arts, crafts, playful products, and everyday fun. Visit here
Highlights Kids A diverse and inclusive family of products for kids from birth to 12 Visit here
Jarrett J. Krosoczka's Drawing Sessions Jarrett J. Krosoczka, best known for his Lunch Lady series of graphic novels, is hosting drawing sessions on his YouTube channel every day.  Visit here
Kids Can Do Fun at home activities for kids from Richmond Family Magazine Visit here
Messy Little Monster A blog full of fun art, craft and activity ideas for young children Visit here
Mo Willems - Lunch Doodles The author and illustrator Mo Willems is inviting kids to draw with him every day for “Lunch Doodles”  Visit here
Recycling & Upcycling Art Activities Find inspiration in the recycle bin as you learn how to make musical instruments from flower pots, gargoyles from coffee trays and relief carvings from drywall. These lesson plans and ideas will inspire you to reduce, reuse and recycle! Visit here
Sketch Book Skool Live online drawing party for all ages every day Visit here
Smithsonian Kids Arts, science and history activities and games for kids Visit here
Vashti Harrison's Drawing Tutorials Vashti Harrison will share drawing tutorials and worksheets on Instagram inspired by her Little Leaders, Little Dreamers and Little Legends books, which highlight influential black men and women in United States history, including Alvin Ailey and Michelle Obama Visit here

 

Exercise and yoga

Cosmic Kids Yoga and meditation for kids. The easiest way to access Cosmic Kids is to subscribe to our YouTube channel! We put all our videos on there. It’s free and always will be. Visit here
Go Noodle GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are! Visit here
Koo Koo Kanga Roo All all-ages dance party that invites everyone to join in Visit here
Move to Learn Free videos to help kids K-12 shake out the energy and regain focus Visit here
P.E. Online for Kids The CDC recommends that children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. But what to do if you’re stuck indoors? We’ve got you covered with this list of amazing virtual PE resources that can help you find ways to bust some moves in the great indoors. Below find our top virtual PE streaming videos, apps, and lesson plans. Visit here

 

Food and nutrition resources

Poppet's Pantry Culinary Classes Baking, cooking and preserving classes through Zoom Message @poppetspantrytreats on Instagram to be invited to a class
Spatulatta Spatulatta is a website where kids teach kids to cook, fostering peer-to-peer learning, healthy eating and teaching children life skills Visit here
That Vegetable Lady Online cooking and nutrition workshops for adults and kids Visit here

 

TV and movies

Amazon Prime Video Amazon is making a selection of family-friendly and programming for kids available for free streaming on Prime Video as a result of COVID-19 Visit here
Disney Junior Disney themed games, videos and coloring activities for kids Visit here
Nick Jr. Online games and videos for preschoolers Visit here
Sesame Street Helping kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder through online games, videos and art activities Visit here

 

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