Schools worldwide have closed in response to COVID-19. So parents and caregivers are scrambling to find daily online resources for their children that are educational, creative and entertaining.
Are you facing this challenge for the first time? Well, there are variety of online resources you can turn to during this uncertain period of self-isolation, social distancing and quarantine.
Here is a list of cool lessons, games, science experiments, live demonstrations and virtual tours.
Head of the class
Scholastic launched a Learn at Home website . The program offers daily lessons that combine videos, stories and prompts for drawing and writing activities. Grade levels include pre-K and kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 and up.
Khan Academy, with lessons, exercises and quizzes, has daily schedules for organizing at-home learning for students. On weekdays, Khan Academy is also offering daily livestreams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Crash Course is a YouTube channel offering engaging educational videos suitable for high school students. The channel features a wide range of subjects, from anatomy to world history.
ABCmouse.com is offering a free 30-day trial of its comprehensive early learning academy for children aged 2-8. The trial includes educational games and activities designed by teachers.
Similarly, dozens of other companies that produce educational materials have made their resources available as free subscriptions; you can find links on the Kids Activities website. Links to free K-12 educational resources such as audiobooks, e-books, videos, multimedia materials and more are also available on the Open Culture website.
Subscribe to Time Magazine’s Time for Kids for elementary and middle school students, digital subscriptions are free for the duration of the school year. This is the first time that the magazine is fully accessible at home.
Take a virtual field trip! More than 2,500 museums around the world have made their collections accessible online through Google Arts and Culture; you can also use Google to access virtual tours of national parks in the U.S.
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City offers online resources for science fans of all ages. Their Ology science website provides games and activities for kids and covers a range of science topics, including archaeology, paleontology, astronomy and marine biology. AMNH courses on Khan Academy delve into subjects such as human evolution, earthquakes and volcanoes, the universe, and, of course, dinosaurs. You can also peek behind the scenes on the museum’s YouTube channel, In addition, you can take a tour of the universe in videos created for the Hayden Planetarium.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Air and Space Anywhere webpage provides virtual tours of the museum. You will also find educational podcasts, games and activities about aircraft and spacecraft. And educators can turn to the museum’s K-12 learning resources for STEM lessons, activities and videos on topics such as flight, planetary science, space, and engineering and technology.
All distant programs and online resources at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum are now available for free.
Science learning through online resources
Every weekday at 10 a.m. PDT, the California Science Center is livestreaming “Stuck at Home Science,” a new video series of science activities you can do at home. Miami’s Frost Science Museum’s Frost Science@Home will give curious kids plenty to do, providing science activities and DIY science experiments.
Teen science fans will nerd out over Nova Labs at PBS, where they’ll discover multimedia experiences that combine video, animation and games to delve into fascinating scientific topics, such as polar ecosystems, solar storms and renewable energy.
NASA isn’t just sending missions into space; the agency has also launched Teachable Moments, connecting classrooms — and homes — with resources for investigating the latest discoveries about our universe. There are a range of activities and lessons that are suitable for grades K-12.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is another source of free online content. Educators share daily Facebook Live videos that pair with hands-on activities (instructions are available as free downloads) using materials that can be found at home. Topics include rocketry 101, tours of Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Astronaut Training Experience, and living in space and on Mars.
“Space Racers,” an animated series for preschoolers about space faring cadets at the Stardust Space Academy, also offers science-based lessons, games and space-related educational activities that families can explore together.
Ranger Rick is making its website free to all visitors through the end of June. Free Ranger Rick Educator’s Guides and Ranger Rick Jr. Parent Reading Guides are also available to parents and educators.
Creative and relaxing online resources
Color Our Collections offers free PDF downloads of coloring pages created from art in the collections of 117 institutions. This also includes The New York Academy of Medicine Library, Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, RISD Museum and much more.
Got a 3D printer? So now you can download digital 3D models from NASA and print miniature satellites, landing sites, asteroids, spacecraft, spacesuits and astronaut tools.
Artist and writer Mo Willems (author of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”) is hosting daily Lunch Doodles video sessions every weekday at 1 p.m. EDT. Each daily episode is accompanied by a downloadable activity page.
What could be more soothing than watching jellyfish drifting serenely through the water? In “MeditOcean,” the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts a soothing 11-minute guided meditation video; it features the undulating and graceful ballet of several aquarium jellyfish.
Children in grades 3 to 12 can learn to write their names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, in this step-by-step guide from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.
A good story sounds even better when it’s read in microgravity. Story Time from Space sends children’s books to the International Space Station (ISS), where the books are read on video by astronauts as they orbit hundreds of miles above Earth.
Snap Circuits are educational kits that teach kids — and adults! — about engineering and how electronics work. To help teachers, parents and students, the company subsequently has made its how-to guides available to download for free.