Updated! Found online: Virtual ways for kids to learn, stay engaged, have fun

Story Time from Space, a video project of the Global Space Education Foundation, features NASA astronauts reading books out loud on the International Space Station. More: storytimefromspace.com

Your digital library has a ton of resources to help your kids learn virtually, including streaming video, ebooks, databases, and more. And in these unprecedented times, we’re loving all the creative ways people and institutions around the world are stepping up and offering virtual lessons, classes, projects, and tours.

New! Daily activity schedules from Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media has rounded up lists of free online events and activities, with daily schedules of authors, artists, musicians, and more who are offering free lessons, tours, and concerts online.

Especially for kids with disabilities, recommended by Miss Shelley

Tools to foster early literacy

READ TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER is a new initiative developed by Penguin Random House in partnership with Parents magazine. Find all the tools you need to foster early literacy, including reading tips, book lists, printable activities, videos, digital events, and more at readtogetherbetogether.com.

Resources to promote distance learning & test prep

EBSCO Information Services is offering free resources for a limited time for educators and parents, including:

  • Scavenger hunts, lesson plans, and other free content to support distance learning
  • Study guides and flash reviews in PDF format to help students prepare for ACT, SAT, AP, and GED exams
  • Activities to keep kids (and their parents) busy while in quarantine

TeenBookCloud & TumbleMath

With TumbleBooks, read as many books as you want, when you want, and on any device, through August 31. You don’t have to check anything out, place any holds, or take up space on your device with bulky downloads. Books are available instantly. Oak Park Public Library cardholders currently have access to the TumbleBookLibrary for kids, but this expanded offering includes a variety of collections for all ages, no library card needed:

  • TeenBookCloud: Ebooks for students in grades 7-12
  • TumbleMath: Math ebooks for students in kindergarten through grade 6

Audible Stories for kids

From Audible: “For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, 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 »

Stories from space & more

Scholastic projects by grade level

Scholastic Learn at Home has daily projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. For kids from preschool through grade 9.

Reading, math & movement

Fluency & Fitness helps students in grades K-2 review essential reading and math topics, while providing a movement break. It’s now offering 21 days of free unlimited access.

Daily writing prompts from The New York Times

For kids ages 13 and up, The New York Times is offering daily and weekly writing prompts based on different topics and types of media, including photos and illustrations. And you can access all New York Times content for free with your library card and PIN.

Doodle with Mo Willems

Mo Willems, author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the Elephant & Piggie series, and more, is offering Lunch Doodles each weekday!

Virtual field trips: Museums, aquariums, & more

Attractions and museums are closed for now, but you can visit many virtually. (Museum Adventure Passes and Explore More Illinois programs are on hold as well too.)

Thanks to the educators, fellow librarians, and others who have been compiling these great lists!

Zoos, aquariums

  • Brookfield Zoo brings the zoo to you every weekday for the next several weeks at 11 am CT. On Facebook Live (and YouTube), you can see featured animals as well as plenty of educational, informative insight from Animal Care Specialists.
  • Home Safari from the Cincinnati Zoo, is held each weekday at 2 pm CT. They highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. Don’t have access to social media? All videos will be posted to this webpage and to their YouTube channel shortly after the Facebook Live ends.
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has a new email series dedicated to a day’s worth of nature and science facts, activities, guiding questions to ask your kids, and more.
  • San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with videos, activities, and games. Plus live cams!
  • Zoo Atlanta has a Panda Cam.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium has live cams highlighting penguins, sea otters, and sharks.

Museums, culture

Chicago Parent roundup

From Chicago Parent: 18 Ways to ‘Visit’ Your Favorite Chicago Places Without Leaving The House »


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