Learning can continue even though we’re all social distancing.
COVID-19 has impacted every school in every state in America, and districts are handling school closures according to their community’s needs.
For many children, though, the days can feel very long without the playdates, sports, and after-school activities they usually enjoy. The days may also feel just as long for parents hearing the oft-repeated refrain, “I’m bored.”
Never fear! In addition to open access to Studies Weekly Online for your Social Studies and Science needs, the following (currently) free resources can help enliven distance learning.
San Diego Zoo
Bring the zoo into your home with the San Diego Zoo’s Live Cam series. Kids can enjoy watching apes swing around their rope enclosure, penguins swimming and sliding, or elephants dusting themselves — all in real time.
Great Wall of China
Most of us will never actually stand on the Great Wall of China, but you can imagine you are there through the Great Wall Tour Guide. Stand on one of the watchtowers, walk along the top in winter or summer, and take in the mountain vistas from multiple vantage points on this 3D virtual excursion.
Travel the World
Travel the world through National Geographic Kids. With more than 60 countries featured — from Argentina to Vietnam — kids can explore fascinating cultures and locations worldwide. National Geographic Kids also has games, videos, and activities about animals, nature, and cultures.
Head to Space
Explore space, stars, planets, and even the International Space Station through NASA At Home. NASA has tons of activities, coloring pages, videos, tours, and STEM exercises to inspire kids’ dreams about space travel.
Visit an Art Museum
Kids can visit an art museum almost anywhere in the world through Google Arts and Culture and discover famous artists from all nations and eras. It’s all there — from the sculpture of Ancient Greece to contemporary art featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
See a Smithsonian
The Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. are closed, but you can still explore their collections through Smithsonian Exhibits Online. Everyone may enjoy exploring current and past exhibits, including those detailing Indian Americans’ experiences; the power of the Ella Fitzgerald, First Lady of Song; and an interactive exhibit about American Indians.
Draw with an Artist
For three weeks, Mo Willems artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts of Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon fame, shared stuck-at-home time with young art lovers all across the nation. His show, “Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems,” inspired children to doodle a bit more and treat their doodles as true art or possible rough drafts for something great. The Kennedy Center also has a list of artists who are sharing their talents for free during COVID-19.
Learn to Code
Engage Reluctant Readers
You can keep students fully engaged in reading, even while at home. Literal designed its interactive multi-modal reading engagement platform to motivate and delight reluctant readers.
Listen to an Artist
Storyline Online is a free resource for younger elementary students. Celebrities, including Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, and Chris Pine, lend their voices to children’s picture books like “The Kiss that Missed,” “Stellaluna,” and more.
Learn a New Language
English Language Learners can improve their English on a cellphone using the Hallo app. Hallo is a live streaming community where students practice English with native speakers through live videos.
Why not learn a new language as a family? After being housebound together for weeks, this can give families a new way to communicate! Duolingo has bite-sized lessons for many languages, so students can learn as fast or as slow as needed.
Check on your Well-being
Regardless of how much we enjoy our homes, this time is challenging for all of us. Education Lifeskills has a cognitive-behavioral curriculum which helps students overcome self-defeating thoughts and behaviors while achieving higher levels academically and socially. Right now, students have free access to a positive thinking course.
So, while you are doing your part to be safe at home, we hope these resources will also help you to stay well.