Here’s everything free and awesome online to to while kids are home from school thanks to the Coronavirus Outbreak.
I’m talking FREE online classes, crafts, virtual tours, free broadway shows, musicals, and meditation. Free yoga and exercise.
Free learning resources, games, and more.
We’re all home from work, school, sports, and extra-curricular activities, so what are we doing? Trying. To. Stay. Sane.
Friends–thank you to each and every one of you who have sent me links to cool things to do online while we’re all home, trying keep our kids’ brains from turning to mush.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Everything Free and Awesome Online to Do While Kids are Home From School
First, if you and your family have not been watching SGN, Some Good News, then you are totally missing out. John Krasinski (Jim from The Office! Jack Ryan from Jack Ryan!) highlights some good news around the world. That’s it. Happy, good news in a little pretend news show. We love it.
It goes first because it’s in a league of its own.
link: Some Good News
Classes, Crafts, Things Do and Learn
Scholastic Learn at Home
Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. Love how these resources are organized. You know Scholastic. The folks there are awesome–so this is rock-star fabulous.
link: Scholastic Learn at Home
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt At-Home Learning Support
Information and resources to help you continue teaching and learning during school closures. These resources are awesome, you guys. This is really worth checking out and sharing.
link: HMH At-Home Learning Support
Duolingo ABC app
Duolingo ABC is a free app that teaches children ages 3 to 7 how to read. Developed by learning scientists, the app includes over 300 fun, bite-sized lessons teaching the alphabet, phonics, and sight words.
The kids in our family love this app–and so do I. I wrote about it here: Learn to Read App for Kids — Duolingo ABC
link: Duolingo ABC
LUNCHDOODLES with Mo Willems, daily at 1pm ET
Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together.
New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.
link: LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems
Art for Kids Hub
This family shares how to draw just about everything on this step-by-step youtube channel. My niece and nephews loooove these little free art lessons!
link: Art for Kids Hub
Draw Everyday with JKK
JarJarrett J. Krosoczka—author & illustrator is going live every weekday at 2pm ET for at least the next few weeks. He’ll host free webcasts for you and your kiddos.
If you can’t watch live, each art lesson will be archived. Get your kids creating, drawing, using their imagination. We will get through this together.
link: Draw Everyday with JKK
Beautiful free Coloring Pages
Over 650 free coloring sheets. For kids and adults. So. Cool.
link: Coloring Nature
Wonderopolis: Wonders of Learning
Thanks to the NCFL (National Center for Families Learning), Wonderopolis is filled with a million answer to the questions that kids want answered.
k-12 Smithsonian Invent-It Challenge
Create a new invention that helps provide access to healthy food for everyone, everywhere, every day. Free to enter. Kids can come up with an invention idea individually or on teams. The theme this year is food security. Instructional videos and lots of info on the site).
link: k-12 Smithsonian Invent It Challenge
Free Watercolor Class and Coloring Pages
Watercolor coloring pages! Watch the video lesson to learn how to use the pages and download the printable watercolor coloring book below.
link: Free Watercolor Class and Coloring Pages
Classroom Cereal: FREE Grammar/ Writing Practice
Honestly, as a former high school English teacher, this site makes me want to dance. If only all families had their kids do one little, tiny grammar or writing exercise every, single day for the next few weeks. . .
link: Classroom Cereal
Free Ivy League Courses at Class Central
Class Central is offering a ton of free online courses right now, including free classes from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale.
link: Class Central
Classzone: FREE foreign language books and learning
French, Spanish, German, and more–text books, quizzes, and grammar work.
Explore customizable elements like images, texts, shapes or strips and use them to make interactive and beautiful websites. Get your kids started with blog writing right now–it’s a great time!
link: Wix Education
Science from Scientists (at Home)
STEM learning resources for teachers, parents, and students to aid them during this challenging time, in the areas of Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Engineering, Earth Science, Life Science, Physics, Scientific Practices, and Technology.
link: Science from Scientists at Home
Wide Open School
Curated and coordinated by the experts at Common Sense, Wide Open School is the result of a collaboration among leading publishers, nonprofits, and education and technology companies. Wide Open School features a free collection of the best learning experiences and activities for kids, organized by grade band and subject. You will also find daily schedules with creative breaks and recommendations to keep kids engaged and exploring, one day (or one hour) at a time. (Directly from the website. LOVE. THIS.)
link: Wide Open School
Hour of Code: Learn Computer Science at Home
The resources on this platform are always free, and they are incredible. This is the site that promotes the Hour of Code each year, and they’ve added a bunch of new resources, activities, and tutorials for kids now that they’re home from school. Worth checking out.
link: Hour of Code
USA Science & Engineering Festival XStem Videos
link: USA Science & Engineering Festival XStem Videos
The Knowledge Society
Free classes for teens who love advanced tech (quantum computing, artificial intelligence, cellular agriculture, etc.). Sessions will happen every day from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27 at 2pm Eastern.
link: The Knowledge Society
Cincinatti Zoo Home Safari Facebook Lives
Each day at 3pm ET, watch the zookeepers feed the animals–LIVE!
link: Cincinatti Zoo Home Safari Facebook Live
Harry Potter At Home
From J.K. Rowling, free online collection of child-friendly activities, videos, puzzles, illustrations, quizzes, creative ideas, articles and much more, that will help you bring the magic of the wizarding world into your home at this difficult time – as well as keep you all occupied for hours on end!
Phase 2 of Harry Potter at home? Special guests reading the books! OMG!
link: Harry Potter At Home
EduHam (Hamilton!) at Home
EduHam at Home provides a family version of EduHam (all about Hamilton!) that can be accomplished outside of a school setting. It will continue to be available through August 2020.
link: EduHam at Home
Free MacGillivray Freeman Films
Some of the most popular educational films on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime and Vimeo on Demand. Expand the learning beyond the screen with supplemental educational materials to accompany each film.You guys? These. Are. Awesome.
link: Free MacGillivray Freeman Films
Free Audible Stories
While school is “on pause” kids can have access to a bunch of books thanks to Audible Stories. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
link: Audible Stories
Sesame Street Caring
Resources designed to help parents provide comfort and manage anxiety, as well as help with creating routines, fostering playful learning at home, and staying physically and mentally healthy.
link: Sesame Street Caring
Create a free account and grab a ton of amazing free resources for your students: reading passages that include question sets, audio, and more; eBooks; paired texts; more. My fave? The Article-A-Day pieces which are short 10-minute passages that you can read with your students each day!
Cultivate the Mind, Body, Spirit
Headspace: Weathering the Storm
Headspace is hands-down my favorite meditation app, and now they have a whole section free to help folks get through this tough time.
link: Headspace Weathering the Storm
Online Meditation and Reflection
Gather with The Center for Spirituality in Nature and Church of the Wild online for weekly, nature-based meditations and reflections.
Every Thursday, 7:30-8:30pm ET
link: Online Meditation and Reflection
fab fit fun — all content online free!
Tons of videos on mental and physical health, wellness, meditation, you name it. You’ve probably seen a million people opening those awesome boxes–filled with full-size fun product, but if you’re like me, you probably didn’t know they also had these offerings online. Now? They’re all free!
link: fab fit fun videos
Core Power Yoga free workouts
Core Power Yoga is offering a ton of free classes–online–so that you can keep up your practice at home.
link: Core Power Yoga Practice at Home
Orangetheory at Home Workouts
Orangetheory is rocking some AWESOME at-home workouts for free. You can find them on the link below or on the Orangetheory Facebook Page.
link: Orangetheory At-Home Workouts
Peloton App Free for 90 Days
We are not Peloton users here, but friends have told me that they’re giving the app a try right now, while stuck at home, since the app is free for 90 days! WOOT!
link: Peloton App
Breathe and Learn: Love Stream
Breathing, Mindfulness, & Movement in free videos that kids LOVE. Check out each of these videos and know that preschoolers and elementary schoolers especially will gain some serious skills that are especially useful during this uncertain time. (We love the 25 minute Just Move yoga workout!)
link: Breathe and Learn–Love Stream
GoNoodle Free for Kids & Family
We use GoNoodle in elementary school to get kids moving and grooving for short bits of time while they’re in school. Short, silly, get-up-and-move dances, chants, yoga, and more.
link: GoNoodle free for kids & family
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world. YouTube channel that keeps my nieces busy every morning.
link: Cosmic Kids Yoga
When the Whole Family Needs to Zone Out
This is my favorite playlist ever: 23 videos of running brookes, fireplaces, swimming fish, you name it. Put it on when you need to zone out.
link: favorite playlist for classes
Watch, Listen, & Be Entertained
Lionsgate Night at the Movies
In partnership with Fandango, the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation Assistance Fund and theaters across the nation, Lionsgate is excited to present #LionsgateLIVE: A Night At The Movies! Join Lionsgate and their host Jamie Lee Curtis for 4 nights of free movies as we celebrate everything that we love about cinema, and support the people who make our theaters so extraordinary. Dirty Dancing, April 24; La La Land, May 1; John Wick, May 8.
link: Lionsgate Night at the Movies
Dave Matthews Band, DMB Drive-In
Tune in each Wednesday at 8pm ET for a full live show from the band’s archive. May 7th’s inaugural stream will be a show from last summer’s tour—June 29, 2019 at the Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville, IN. DMB Drive-In is presented this week by The Dreaming Tree Wines, who are proud to make a $50,000 donation to our initial spotlight charity, World Central Kitchen.
Tune in… and crank it up…from the comfort of your couch at www.dmbdrivein.com.
link: Dave Matthews Band DMB Drive-In
15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home
This post was just updated to reflect a ton of awesome plays and musicals that you can watch right now, while you’re home during the Coronavirus Outbreak.
link: 15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home
The Met Opera to Stream Nightly Opera
Due to the high demand and the web traffic, they’re recommending that folks view these performances on the apps, but essentially, they’re sharing shows nightly and then allowing them to be viewed on demand for the next 20 hours.
link: Livestream Opera from the Met
DC Environmental Film Festival Free Films
Film fest is now streaming online!
link: DC Environmental Film Fest
CultureNet Live Concerts on Facebook
link: CultureNet Live Concerts on Facebook
Virtual Tours: Famous Museums & Places
- National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
- Musée d’Orsay in Paris
- Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
- Paris Musees: 14 Paris Museums put 100K works online
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour
- Virtual Tour of Great Wall of China
- Play with Google Maps–plug in the old addresses of places you lived. Walk the streets of any city. Just put the location in the search bar, click Satelite, then STREET VIEW. So. Cool.
Best Bunch of Playlists on Youtube
WeAreTeachers has a number of really awesome, cultivated Youtube playlists. Anything from the Favorite Read Aloud Videos to Our Favorite Videos for Teaching [a ton of important topics!].
Friends, these are great playlists. I know, because I cultivated many of them!
link: WeAreTeachers YouTube playlists
Some Kinda Strange Virual Experiences
Need a few more ideas? Then check out these round-ups of ideas from my smart blogger pals:
- Free Lessons & Live Experiences for Kids: Science, Math, Stories & More–a round-up by my pal Jessica Turner
- Trash to Toys DIY: 10 Educational Toys Made From Recycled Items, by my friend Melissa Chapman
- Listen to Classical Music any time of the day, thanks to my friends at 5 Minutes for Mom
- 10 Creative things to do at home, by the amazing, incredible Jean of The Artful Parent
- 100 Free Online Art Lessons for Children or Stay at Home Screen-Free Activities for Kids, by my awe-inspiring friend Cathy James of Nuturestore.
- My pal Wendy Goldman Scherer started a list on Wakelet of a ton of cool things to do.
- 55 Boredom Busters for Teens written by my friend Amy Locurto really rocks.
- Thank you to the many friends and family members who shared ideas on the Facebook post I created. You. Guys. Rock.
This is a living, moving, constantly changing document. Please share what you find, what you are loving, and I’ll add it here.
Other Coronavirus related posts:
Want some more help, support, and resources during the Coronavirus closures?Check out a few other posts that may help you develop strong and healthy habits for your family:
- wait time
- my day, your day
- frozen peas
- kids who rock the kitchen
- kids who rock the laundry
- rest time
- gem jars
- arm circles
- noticing kids
- homework routine