I hear you, parents. It’s tough at home, keeping the kids engaged with school, finding things for them to do so you can get some work done. Replacing their socialization time with ANYTHING that they aren’t bored with in 2.2 seconds. I know it’s hard and I hope I can help. We get tons of emails from different organizations that offer virtual learning and fun activities that maybe you haven’t tried yet. We’ve compiled them below for you to check out. I hope that one — or many — provide a little sanity and fun during our new normal.
- The Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS), Fort Lauderdale launched “virtual learning” videos with accompanying activities. The videos are currently released on weekdays (Monday through Friday) through MODS’ enews and on their Facebook page.
- JumpStart Academy offers great tools for parents, teachers and children to maintain their educational momentum while at home.
- Learn any of 163 languages using Pronunciator
- Become a Disney Imagineer with “Imagineering in a Box” learning experience.
- Take out-of-this-world science lessons with NASA – Follow the Kennedy Space Center for live videos and visit NASA at Home for virtual learning videos, activities, and crafts. (NASA).
- Learn American Sign Language for Kids
- Livescience.com offers a huge list of activities and online resources for homebound kids.
- Remember when schools taught Civics class? Check out this website that provides games to teach kids Civics lessons!
- Grown & Flown offers 100 life skills to teach teens, in 15 minutes or less.
- The Amazing Educational Resources public Facebook group has put together a growing list of educational companies offering free memberships due to school closings.
- When the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children hosted the Week of the Young Child (WOYC), they created a whole week of fun theme days including the ones below. Click on their website to find details about each of these:
- Music Monday Celebrations
- Tasty Tuesday Celebrations
- Work Together Wednesday
- Artsy Thursday Celebrations
- Family Friday Celebrations
- VisitDallas offers virtual puzzles of 8 of Dallas’ favorite neighborhoods and attractions.
- Gyminny Kids is helping keep children actively challenged and creatively engaged in the comfort of their own home for FREE with virtual classes and video content.
- Check out Nancy Drew mystery games from HER Interactive (geared towards kids ages 12 and up.
- Welch’s Fruit Snacks has released a number of printable games as a resource for kids and parents to enjoy.
- Food Literacy Center – Offering lessons for food literacy and hands-on cooking for kids.
- Girls Who Code at Home – A new service of Girls Who Code, will release activities weekly — some online, some offline, of varying levels of difficulty—over the course of the next few months. Each virtual learning activity will include a feature of a woman in tech who pioneered innovative technology.
- Camp Hello Bello – Scheduled arts, music, and cooking activities curated by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard.
- RebelGirlsatHome – Dedicated to making your family time fun and inspiring. They’ve collected their best activities and podcast episodes to keep your family engaged.
- The Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in India is working to bring people together – digitally. Founder Abhishek Poddar wants everyone’s help to create the world’s largest digital flower’ bouquet of hope’ as a symbol of fellowship.
- Add a touch of Disney Magic to bedtime with Disney’s hotline. From now until April 30, kids can call 1-877-7-MICKEY to hear a special goodnight greeting from Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck or Goofy. There is a limit of one message per call.
- KidLit TV – A collection of web series, podcasts, tutorials, and other reading resources from popular children’s authors and illustrators.
- Instantly borrow digital movies, music, eBooks and more, 24/7 with your library card and hoopla.
- Quarantined Cabaret – a safe space for singers, musicians and dancers to promote and post live and taped performances for fans to enjoy. All types of performances are welcome as long as they fit the guidelines.
- The Second City, renowned for entertaining and educating millions in its theaters and classrooms, has adapted its improvisation-based shows, classes, and corporate services to create real-time, interactive, and socially “together” virtual experiences to audiences worldwide. They’ve even created new online classes and an improv show for kids and teens.
- Take in an opera at home with Nightly Met Opera Streams.
- Billboard is keeping a list of current rock and pop artists who are doing virtual concerts!
- entertainmentcalendar.com helps you find great things to do where you live.
- The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, TX is offering a 360 tour of Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind.
- Visit McKinney, TX provides links to numerous museums, zoos, aquariums, symphony halls, Disney parks, and even an alpaca farm that all offer virtual tours!
- Take a home safari with the Cincinnati Zoo.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium on the California coast is offering live-streaming webcams of all kinds of creatures, including sea otters, jellyfish, penguins, and more!
- Explore the ‘Hidden Worlds of the National Parks’.
- Check out the National Museum of National History.
- Watch animal live cams at Explore.org.
- 12 famous museums you can visit from your couch.
- Virtually tour college campuses on YouVisit.com
- The most famous tulip garden in the Netherlands, Keukenhof Garden, is offering virtual tours during the pandemic.
- virtualfreesites.com provides links to over 300 museums, exhibits, points of Special interest and real-time journeys.
- Experience the gardens and the blooms of the Dallas Arboretum. They also offer tips on gardening and other nature activities via their Instagram and Facebook.
- Cedar Hill, TX has a Chalk our Walks public Facebook page. People can upload pictures to show how they designed and inspired their walkways.
- The TurfMutt Foundation offers free, online activities and games designed to teach kids (grades K-8) about the value of the outdoors, the benefits of being in nature, and to inspire them to get outside – right in their own backyard. Join in on their City Nature Challenge, an annual, international contest being held April 24 to May 3, 2020 that encourages people to observe and report wildlife and biodiversity they see in their yards and neighborhoods.
- TinkergartenAtHome – Helping families get outside to make the most of their kids’ early learning years through well-designed, outdoor play-based activities. Get free weekly activities, how-to guides, and an active online community.
- Catalog the birds in your neighborhood by listening to their sounds and songs.
- Learn and find the constellations. Here are the Weather Channel Staff’s top six astronomy apps.
VIRTUAL MEETINGS & CHATS
- Zoom – The leader in modern enterprise video communications Here are some fun backgrounds that you can use for your Zoom calls.
- Google Hangouts – Keep in touch with one person or a group. Available on mobile or on desktop.
- com – A revolutionary pay what you can pricing that lets you pay whatever you think is fair.
- Caribu – Offering virtual playdates with grandparents and friends via their family video-calling app integrating children’s books and activities.
So that is my mighty round-up of virtual learning and fun online activities. There’s also a whole bunch of craft tutorials on the site that might keep your little ones busy. If you have any others you would like to share, get in touch!
And because we’re extra, we kept the list going. Here are a few more.
- Crow Museum launches “31 Days of Asia” virtual celebration featuring art, cooking classes, mindfulness ops, family activities, and more.
- Art Classes for Kids introduces “Art Camp in a Box” available for shipping nationwide. Art Camp in a Box includes all the art supplies and instructions needed to create 10 distinctive art projects for kids ages 5 and older, along with daily Live Zoom Camps, and a virtual student art show to end the week.