As schools and civic facilities close due to COVID-19, we’re all looking for things to keep ourselves safe and occupied indoors. Our Children’s staff have put together a short list of fun, educational, and FREE resources that we hope will be useful to everyone staying home with the kids during this time.
ONLINE PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES IN NEW WEST
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube, where we will be posting book recommendations, activities, and more (check out our new Youtube channel to see Mr. Chris read with a horse named Turbo!)
- Visit the Kids New West website to see a calendar of online programs, groups, and storytimes offered by other organizations in New Westminster.
BOOKS AND AUTHOR READINGS
If your stash of books is running low, it might be time to try online books and audio. There is also a growing number of children’s authors who are now reading their books and sharing other activities online for all to view.
- Borrow ebooks and e-audiobooks from Library2Go (On mobile devices, download the free Overdrive or Libby apps).
- You will need your library card number and PIN (last 4 digits of your phone number)
- Books can be borrowed for 3 weeks. If a book you want is checked out, you can go on the waiting list for it, just like physical books.
- Borrow ebooks on Freading (On mobile devices, download the Freading app)
- You will need your library card number and PIN
- Freading ebooks are always available – no waiting list! You can download 3 ebooks from Freading per week.
- Read ebooks and watch readalongs on Tumblebooks, a collection of books just for children including some popular authors like Robert Munsch!
- You will need your library card number and PIN
- Tumblebook books are always available to read in your browser – no waiting lists!
- Publisher ABDO is also providing temporary free access to their online digital library during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Hear some of your favourite stories read to you by celebrities at Storyline Online
- Find Canadian children’s authors who are sharing readings of their books online, then check out #operationstorytime for even more authors who are livestreaming and recording readings!
- Author Kate Messner is keeping a great list of authors and illustrators who are sharing resources for reading and learning at home.
- e-Audiobook provider Audible is making children’s books in 6 languages available for free while schools are closed. Have a listen!
With schools out for an indefinite period of time, keep learning at home with these resources.
- UBC’s Play and Learn at Home page has a huge variety of live streamed and recorded activity sessions for kids.
- The folks at Scholastic Learn at Home have put together daily activities for students of all ages to do by themselves or with their families. More is being posted every day!
- Harper Collins Publishers have put together a massive list of at-home reading and arts/culture resources for kids and families.
- Get downloadable science activities and experiments at the California Science Center’s “Stuck At Home Science”
- Learn about art by taking virtual tours of these 12 Museums that you can visit online for free
- Explore the surface of Mars from your own computer, then check out NASA’s Kids Club for more outer space fun.
- Watch and learn about the animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium or San Diego Zoo through live webcams at their facilities.
- View videos on a huge variety of topics, from socials to science, on Khan Academy, TED Lessons, and the Crash Course Kids YouTube channel.
- Pay a virtual visit the Smithsonian and explore some of their collections, play science games, and learn about zoo animals.
- Learn all about geography and fascinating animals on the National Geographic Kids website
- Explore BC’s natural and human history on the Royal BC Museum’s Learning at Home site.
- Attend a virtual Code Club program through Kids Code Jeunesse – learn Scratch, Python, and more!
- Academic publisher GALE/CENGAGE has temporarily released several resources for free, including some geared to older students in high school and beyond.
GAMES AND VIDEOS
Relax and play a game or watch a video on these kid-friendly sites.
- Stream kids movies from the National Film Board of Canada
- Watch videos and play games based on some of your favourite book and TV show characters from PBS Kids, Scholastic, and the CBC
- Enjoy kid-friendly and educational games for all grade levels at Safe Kid Games and Fun Brain
- Grab some paper, pens, and pencils and get artsy with Mo Willems’ Lunch Doodles
Get away from the screen! Print out a colouring sheet, do some arts and crafts with household items, and more.
- Find free printable activities and colouring sheets from Printables, Free Kids Crafts, and Activity Village
- Explore the world of food and cooking with recipes and activities from America’s Test Kitchen’s Young Chef’s Club
- Get ideas for new art projects from the Tate art galleries’ Kids page
- Find tons of indoor games and activity ideas in this article from Today’s Parent