Kid resources and activities for quarantine

“Homeschooling” doesn’t mean worksheets; with young kids especially, keep the five principles from Every Child Ready to Read in mind (talk, sing, read, write, play) and you’ve got a pretty good day! #KidLit authors have stepped up in a big way, and some publishers have even temporarily eased restrictions on public performance, so there are a ton of books being read aloud online, in case your supply at home is low, and of course there are ebooks and digital audiobooks from the library as well.

Today we practiced yoga with Cosmic Kids, assembled a rainbow craft, read a picture book about David Bowie and listened to “Space Oddity” and some other songs, and played “Sink/Float” with a bowl of water, toys, and other household objects.

Here are links to resources we’ve tried out and liked over the past week-plus:

Cosmic Kids yoga: Recommended to us by friends. Many half-hour episodes are available for free online. Kiddo has latched on to the Moana and Frozen episodes and we do one every morning.

Story Time from Space: Listen to an astronaut read a picture book from space! Pretty cool.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems: These appear once a day at 1pm but remain available afterward. We love these behind-the-scenes peeks at how Elephant & Piggie and the Pigeon were created, as well as getting other ideas for doodling, building, and animation.

Read, Wonder, and Learn with Kate Messner: Kate Messner is a prolific nonfiction writer for kids. We have her book Over and Under the Snow, and loved the advance look at her new one (pub date in August) of Over and Under the Rainforest, which she reads aloud herself.

SciShow Kids (produced by Hank Green of the Vlog Brothers): We have watched a few short videos about simple machines (ramp, lever, pulley) with Jessie & Squeak. They demonstrate problem-solving using simple machines in a way that’s really easy to understand. We also learned about sink/float experiments (easy to do at home with a bowl of water and a handful of random objects) and why you get dizzy. We might build our own pulley system using objects from the recycling.

And here are even more that we haven’t gotten to yet, but look good:

Brooklyn Public Library: Read, Play, and Grow at Home: A collection of great resources, including virtual programming from the library.

WGBH Distance Learning Center: “Lesson plans, games, and activities”

Storyline Online: Books read aloud. You can sort by title, author, reader, and run time.

Scholastic Learn at Home: Watch a story, read a book, watch a video, do an activity. Each day has a different theme (rabbits, plants, animal babies, the moon, etc.).

Winchester Public Library “virtual storytime” (one for infants, one for preschool)

Our preschool teachers have sent out some resources too (links below), as well as video clips of one of them reading chapters of Charlotte’s Web, which they were in the middle of when school closed. It’s so nice for the kids to have that continuity and see their teacher’s face!

Living Montessori Now printables, activity ideas, and more

Happily Ever Elephants Virtual Learning (Indianapolis Public Library 100+ free video read-alouds, National Geographic for Kids)

NASA Kids’ Club

Here are some family-friendly audiobooks for preschool/early grade school:

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel, narrated by the author
The Princess in Black (series) by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, narrated by Julia Whelan
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, narrated by Meryl Streep and a full cast
Clementine (series) by Sara Pennypacker, narrated by Jessica Almasy
Ramona (series) by Beverly Cleary, narrated by Stockard Channing
Henry Huggins (series) by Beverly Cleary, narrated by Neil Patrick Harris
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, narrated by David Tennant
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, narrated by Eric Idle

And for grade school/early YA:
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris, narrated by the author
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster (one version is narrated by David Hyde Pierce and there is a new one narrated by Rainn Wilson)
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, narrated by Susan Denaker
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, narrated by Barbara Caruso
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, narrated by Kirby Heybourne
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver, narrated by Jim Dale
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly, narrated by LuLu Lam
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale
His Dark Materials (trilogy) by Philip Pullman, narrated by the author and a full cast

What are your favorite indoor activities? (Or favorite outdoor-without-buddies activities?)

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