Great Resources for Parents & Kids

Posted on Mar 16, 2020

Talking to Your Kids about Coronavirus

PBS News Hour, “10 tips for talking about COVID-19 with your kids”

Answering kids’ questions about coronavirus (YouTube)
It can be tough for parents to have the right answers to questions about an illness like COVID-19, the condition caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). In this video from the Children’s Hospital Colorado, a curious 9-year-old asks our experts common kid questions about the virus. They cover topics from traveling to taking care of family and playing with friends. Watch this video to learn how to talk to kids about the coronavirus pandemic.

Healthy Habits for Kids

PBS Kids (via YouTube)
Healthy Habits & How to Talk to Your Kids about Coronavirus

Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life
Created to help parents and caregivers encourage children to build healthy habits early, the project features Sesame Street friends who model fun ways to move and play and encourage children to explore and enjoy healthy foods. Includes videos, quick tips, and downloadable resources for families.

COVID-19 Germs Experiment for Kids! (YouTube)
On the importance of washing your hands really, really well.

Age-Appropriate Chores for Children
It is amazing what young children take joy in doing. Here is a list of age appropriate chores for children ages 1-4+ years, from the Montessori Notebook.

School Meals for Kids

Michigan Department of Education on School Meals
Unanticipated School Closure Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Map
An online map has been developed for families to find locations where meals are being provided during this period of school closure. These meals, served under the program called Unanticipated School Closure Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and in partnership with local schools and sponsors, are available to all children at no cost. Up to two meals per day may be served to all children ages 0-18. This includes students with disabilities ages 18-26 with an active individual education program (IEP).

Homer Community Schools students, click HERE to sign up for home delivery of meals or to learn more about meal pick-up options.

Marshall Public Schools students, click images below for delivery locations and times.

Video Storytimes

Storyline Online
Streaming videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners. Storyline Online is a program of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

Storytime from Space!
Astronauts read great books for kids from the Space Station. (YouTube)

Books & Reading

Talking is Teaching
When you talk, read, and sing with your child—even before they can use words—you’re building their brain and helping to prepare them for success in school and in life.

But it may not always be easy to talk to babies, especially when they can’t talk back. To help, we’ve pulled fun tips and resources grounded in the best science, to help you talk, read, and sing with your child every day.

Downloadable Books & Audiobooks from OverDrive
Borrow ebooks, audiobooks, even graphic novels and picture books using your library card and phone or tablet. Track your reading activity, leave notes and bookmarks, and preview new books with a tap until you find the perfect one for you. Download the Libby (the librarian!) app in the Apple or Google Play store, enter your library card number, and away you go! Handouts are available from ADL and we’re happy to help you install or navigate the app over the phone.

Stories by Audible
For as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream Audible Stories, an incredible collection of stories that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title and start listening. It’s that easy. Includes collections for Littlest Listeners, Elementary, Tween, Teen, and Literary Classics. Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.

TumbleBooks
TumbleBooks’ databases are easy to use, and feature unlimited access from home! Read as many books as you want, when you want, and on any device. There are no check-outs, holds, or bulky downloads. Books are available instantly. Your access will continue through until August 31, 2020.
TumbleBookLibrary – K-6 children’s ebook database
TumbleMath – K-6 math ebook database
TeenBookCloud – Grade 7-12 ebook database
AudiobookCloud – all ages audio book database

Scholastic Learn at Home
Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. This free resource provides children with 20 days of exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges. Divided into four grade spans—Pre-K–K, Grades 1–2, Grades 3–5, and Grades 6–9+, it includes ELA, STEM, Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning. Children can complete them anytime, in any order. They can go on virtual field trips, meet best-selling authors, or dig deep into a topic they love.

Scholastic Digital Resources
Watch & Learn® (Grades Prek-3) is a collection of more than 230+ videos with real-world footage to build science, social studies, and social emotional background knowledge. Watch & Learn Library is fully available in both English and Spanish. Free until 4/25/2020.
User ID : wall46
Password : blue

Scholastic Teachables® (Grades PreK –6) provides over 25,000+ printable educational materials. These resources include: summer reading packs, leveled learning collections, leveled mini-books, skill sheets, projects, soft assessments, lesson plans, clip art and much more. Free until 4/25/2020. User ID: schteachables46
Password: blue

Time Magazine for Kids
Free access to a library of four grade-specific digital editions of TIME for Kids and Your $ financial literacy magazine. Turnkey teaching tools, with worksheets and quizzes for families or teachers, available at timeforkids.com. Made possible by Google, AT&T, HP and PwC Charitable Foundation, the new TIME for Kids digital library will be available for free for the remainder of the school year.

Abdo Family of Publishers
In an effort to support readers everywhere during this unprecedented event, Abdo has made its digital products available for free through June 2020.
Elementary Digital Library (Grades K-8)
Middle Digital Library (Grades 5-12)

MeL eResources for Kids
These are databases for K-5 students provided to all Michigan residents by the Library of Michigan. You may need your state-issued photo ID or drivers license, or your library card number to access these resources.

PebbleGo includes modules about Animals, Social Studies, Science, Dinosaurs, Health, and Biographies. Spanish content is also available for Animals, Science, Biographies and Social Studies.
login: engaged
pass: learning

PebbleGo Next for students in grades 3-5. Available modules include Science, Social Studies and Biographies.
login: engaged
pass: learning

Capstone Interactive includes ebooks for students in PreK-6th grade. Search for titles by lexile, AR (ATOS) or guided reading levels. Titles are also available in Spanish.
login: continue
pass: reading

Gale Resources for Students
Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an interactive kindergarten-readiness program that introduces children ages three to six to key concepts in math, science, social studies, language and literacy, art, and music. It’s as challenging as it is fun!

Kids InfoBits introduces elementary schoolers to database searching with easy-to-use resources featuring age-appropriate, reliable, curriculum-related content covering a broad range of educational topics.

Gale In Context: Middle School combines reference content with age-appropriate videos, newspapers, magazines, primary sources, and more.

Gale In Context: High School supports student papers, projects, and presentations while empowering the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills with content aligned to national and state curriculum standards.

Gale In Context: College offers interdisciplinary content that reinforces the development of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

KidsActivities.com List of Free Education Subscriptions
Each of these websites will allow you to sign-up for FREE right now and help your child along with their education. Also includes a list of great ideas for activities to do while stuck at home.

National Emergency Library
Effective March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in their lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. During the waitlist suspension, users will be able to borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist, ensuring that students will have access to assigned readings and library materials that the Internet Archive has digitized for the remainder of the US academic calendar, and that people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine can continue to read and thrive during this time of crisis, keeping themselves and others safe. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.

Learn a New Language

Learn a new language with Mango
Mango is a language-learning service from your library that offers courses in over 70 different languages, from Arabic to Yiddish. Mango has interactive lessons that emphasize conversational skills and cultural education, as well as a collection of foreign films in a variety of languages with a breakdown of the dialogue especially created for language instruction. For those who are learning English as a Second Language (ESL), Mango offers English instruction in over 20 different languages as well. Want to take your mind off worrying for an afternoon? Use Mango to learn how to speak Pirate with the whole family!

Virtual Field Trips

360° Interactive Experience Digital Adventures
Detroit Public Television and the Detroit Zoological Society take teachers and students on a virtual field trip inside the habitats of these animals. Through 360° images, students will inquire about the animals, specifically related to their characteristics, habitat/niche and human impact including climate change.
Penguins (Polk Penguin Conservation Center)
Bats (Organization for Bat Conservation)
Raptors (Leslie Science & Nature Center)

Cincinnati Zoo Daily Home Safari (Facebook Live)
While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed and kids are home from school, Cinncinati Zoo can help make your children’s hiatus from school fun and educational. Available each weekday at 3pm EDT, highlighting one of their amazing animals and an activity you can do from home.

All videos will be posted to their website and YouTube channel shortly after the Facebook Live ends. The at-home activities will all be posted to this webpage – http://cincinnatizoo.org/home-safari-resources.

Virtual Tours of 31 US National Parks
The national park system in the United States is one of America’s greatest treasures, undoubtedly worth traveling the country to explore. But, thanks to Google Earth, it’s also one we can appreciate from the comfort of our own homes. Google Earth has put together a series of guided virtual tours of 31 national parks around the country, providing a stunning glimpse of the trails and vistas you can take advantage of if you visit them in real life. It may not be the same as lacing up your hiking boots and inhaling the crisp clean air of the wilderness, but they’re pretty neat nonetheless.

Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections
Access to endless open content for all ages. Educational resources for e-learning. Virtual tours, exhibits, and collections of art, culture, and history around the globe.

Museum & Aquarium Live Animal Cams

Georgia Aquarium
As the largest aquarium in the world, George Aquarium has many unique undersea creatures in over one million cubic feet of water, including jellyfish, California sea lions, and beluga whales. Discover hundreds of fish, rays, whale sharks, and more as they swarm peacefully in their habitat. They have daily and weekly live streaming events, offer regular updates on our animals, and downloadable lesson plans and resources.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Although the Aquarium is closed, the animals are still showing off via different live feeds that you can watch every day. Be delighted by the antics of penguins and sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of jellyfish. With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are.

San Diego Zoo
Watch the animals through 10 different live cams, plus archived videos of pandas from January through April 2019. The zoo is streaming videos of baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, koalas, giraffes, owls, elephants, tigers, and condors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Science, Math, Art, and History

Albion Community Art and Essay Contest
The purpose of this activity is to engage students in meaningful and rewarding activities during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Elementary through high school students are invited to submit original art, poetry, essays or short stories using themes provided by the list of sponsors as a guide on topics including: Civil Affairs, Civic Responsibility, Community, Togetherness, Human Rights, Education, Social Justice and other creative thoughts in young minds.

Timeline: March 30-April 17, 2020, 5:00 p.m. The winners will be announced on May 1, 2020, and a community sponsored celebration will be scheduled at a later date.

Developed by Mayor Dave Atchison and members of the Albion community, this is one of many community-wide initiatives that will be forthcoming during our period of social distancing. Click HERE for full PDF with more details on art and essay topics, prizes, and entry form.

ECHO Live! by Michigan Science Center (Facebook Live)
Michigan Science Center is conducting some of their most exciting, large-scale science demonstrations daily from the ECHO Distance Learning Studio. Videos are available on their page for later watching.

STEM at Home (Impression 5 Science Center)
Hands-on activities that explore a variety of basic scientific concepts themed around your favorite Impression 5 exhibits! Enjoy.

Air Zoo Launchpad to Learning
Explore the sky and beyond with the Air Zoo, Michigan’s Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum. Enjoy new content everyday, featuring tours and museum artifacts, educational STEAM content, DIY learning experiments, games and more.

NASA STEM Activities for K-4 Students
NASA is offering activities for K-4 students ranging from building a moon habitat or your own edible spacecraft to different puzzles and even different rockets you can build in your backyard. Most activities use materials are things you probably already have at home— like straws, paper clips, and tape.

Kennedy Space Center (Facebook)
Kennedy Space Center has launched science lessons on Facebook Live, Learn how to make rockets at home from recycled materials that are probably lying around the house. Parents have online access to activity sheets and experiments. The sessions will take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET for young kids. For older children, including those in high school, there will be programming starting at 1 p.m.

Disney’s ‘Imagineering in a Box’
Sure to keep older kids entertained for days (and teach them some great skills along the way). Disney partnered with Khan Academy, which has been offering online educational resources for students since 2008. The free Imagineering course features 32 videos covering everything from an overview of engineering software to interactive, hands-on projects that can be done without leaving the house. The program was specifically developed to help kids relate the Disney stories they already love to the skills they’re introduced to in each module. At the end of the program, you’ll have a new appreciation for Disney theme park design, character development, and attraction engineering.

Virtual Marine Biology Camp
Biologists from the Ocean Initiative have launched “a (very) informal, impromptu, virtual marine biology camp.” Upcoming broadcasts include a conversation with an Oceans Initiative scientist who’s studying orca poop to see if it contains parasites that could sicken the region’s struggling orcas. They’ve scheduled a shark expert to join them next week. They’re planning to talk to a wildlife photographer colleague who uses images to find unique, identifying features on marine life in order to count and track individuals. Learn about the Northwest’s rich marine ecosystem and help kids feel more connected to the environment, wherever they live. Every Monday and Thursday at 11am PST/2pm EDT. Streaming simultaneously on Instagram and Facebook. No need to sign up.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Includes math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. They’ve also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

“Lunch Doodles” with Mo Willems
Mo welcomes you into his studio at home and guides you through drawing activities using one of his favorite characters as inspiration! Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons. You’re going to doodle together and explore ways of writing and making. Mo Willems is the author of the Pigeon, and Elephant & Piggie books, and the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence at Home.

Dav Pilkey at Home
Friday mornings at 8am ET
Dav Pilkey is sharing fun and free activities online, including how-to-draw demonstrations, engaging read-alouds and inspiring resources from the Library of Congress’ collections. Additional videos and content will be shared periodically throughout the week and will feature downloadable activities, conversations about books and creativity, and tips for kids and families to create their own characters and act out scenes from Pilkey’s Dog Man book series. In partnership with the Library of Congress and Scholastic Publishing.

Twitter: @LibraryCongress, @Scholastic
Facebook: facebook.com/libraryofcongress, facebook.com/scholastic
Library of Congress: loc.gov/engage
Dav Pilkey at Home: scholastic.com/davpilkeyathome

Prodigy Math Games
Think of Prodigy as math homework disguised as a video game. To win challenges, your child must correctly answer math questions. The more they play, the more they learn. As a parent, you can create a free parent account, set goals to encourage your child to practice more math, track their progress, and receive monthly report cards.

Mystery Science
Mystery Science is an online science resource, with videos, discussion questions, and hands-on activities, for kids in grades K-5, with topics like “Who Invented Pizza?” and “Can Animals Laugh?” and “Why Do We Get Hiccups?” All of the activities use simple supplies you may already have at home.

Michigan History for Kids
Aimed at children in third and fourth grades, anyone will find the content interesting and informative! Read stories about the history and heritage of all Michigan’s peoples OR click on the audio files and listen to the stories! Enjoy the interactive educational activities and games! (The best browser to use for the activities is Microsoft Edge.) Check out the “Teacher Section” for lesson plans and ideas that can be easily used at home! Courtesy of the Historical Society of Michigan.
Free access ends June 30, 2020.
Username: MHK
Password: 1234

Digital Escape Rooms

Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
You can complete this escape room as a family or individual. You can even compete against friends and try it multiple times. Just make sure you have fun! It’s your first year at Hogwarts. You’ll watch clips from Harry Potter movies, answer questions from the clips, head into Gringotts where you’ll have to figure out the exchange rate between sickles and galleons, figure out how to do different spells and much, much more!

Full credit for this escape experience is given to Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA.

Alice in Wonderland Digital Escape Room
Based on the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Also referenced are movie adaptations of the book–Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice in Wonderland. Intended for all ages, you can complete it by yourself or with a group. Have fun with it!

This escape room was created by Erin Honeycutt, Children’s Librarian at Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System in Moultrie, Georgia.

Dog Man Digital Escape Room
Great gobs of goo! Dog Man is at it again as he tries to escape from a digital locked room. It’s up to you to save this epic hero of the day. Are you up to the challenge of figuring out clues found in: text, photos, or videos? Can our protagonist depend on you? Will he need more? Will his remote control die and shut down his TV before you are able to help? Only you can help by entering a parallel universe digital dark room. If you escape, then Dog Man will too! Good luck!

ALL images and authorship belongs to Dav Pilkey and Scholastic.

Fun Activities for Families

75+ Entertaining and Educational Activities for When You’re Stuck Indoors
A former homeschooling parent shares 70 educational activities you can do when you’re stuck indoors.

YouTube for Kids

YouTube Kids (App)
YouTube Kids was created to give kids a more contained environment that makes it simpler and more fun for them to explore on their own, and easier for parents and caregivers to guide their journey as they discover new and exciting interests along the way. Also available as an app from the Google Play and Apple App stores.

The YouTube Kids app has a set of parental controls for you to customize your kid’s individual experience. You can decide what content to make available for them to watch, set a timer to control screen time, block videos or channels, and more. Different families have different preferences so YouTube Kids has videos from science experiments, to nursery rhymes, to hula-hooping pigs, and everything in between.

Crash Course Kids (YouTube)
This bi-weekly show from the producers of Crash Course is all about gradeschool science. Aimed at 5th Grade Science, topics include Earth Science, Physical Science, Biology, Geography, Engineering, and Astronomy.

SciShow Kids (YouTube)
SciShow Kids explores all those curious topics that make us ask “why?” Every Tuesday and Thursday, Jessi and her robot rat Squeaks answer your questions and explain fun, complex science concepts for young, curious minds.

PBS Kids (YouTube)
PBS’ children’s media invites kids on a journey to explore the world around them with non-violent, age-appropriate content that offers positive role models for children to learn from and grow with. Educational apps available at http://pbskids.org/apps.

Includes full episodes from your favorite PBS KIDS shows, including Pinkalicious, Arthur, Wild Kratts, and Molly of Denali.

GoNoodle | Get Moving! (YouTube)
GoNoodle videos get kids moving to be their strongest, bravest, silliest, smartest, bestest selves. Over 14 million kids each month are dancing, stretching, running, jumping, deep breathing, and wiggling with GoNoodle.

Cosmic Kids Yoga (YouTube)
Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+.

Other Media

Free Library of Kids TV Shows (Amazon)
Amazon has made a library of kids TV shows available for free to any Amazon customer. These shows are usually reserved for Amazon Prime customers, but now anyone with an Amazon account can stream them for free. Includes Amazon Original series and PBS kids, with options for pre-schoolers and ages 6-11. And now Pete the Cat!

25 Best Podcasts for Kids
Listen to a podcast together. Common Sense Media curated this list of best kid-friendly podcasts that you and your family will love listening to.

30 Great Educational Netflix Shows
Here’s a great starter list with options for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Watch Full-Length Episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
Fred Rogers was the creator of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as well as the host of all 895 episodes, the composer of its more than 200 songs, and the puppeteer who imagined 14 characters into being. More importantly, he changed the face of children’s television and transformed the way we think about the inner lives of young children. The first Monday of every month will feature programs from the early years 1968-1975. The third Monday of every month will feature programs from the “Theme Weeks” library 1979-2001. Also available through the PBS Kids, Amazon Video, and iTunes Store apps.

Kids’ Drawing Class (Instagram Live)
Stream a kids’ (of all ages) drawing class from illustrator Wendy MacNaughton