As everyone continues to hunker down at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it is normal to be going a little stir crazy without activities, events, and engagements to attend. Fortunately, the Internet provides a wealth of resources for children of all ages that are both educational and entertaining. These resources, many of which can be downloaded or printed off for use without Internet, can help you and your children fill your time in a productive yet enjoyable way until social distancing guidelines are lifted.
Top Digital Resources for Students
Whether you’re trying to create a semi-formal school structure at home, primarily keeping up with curriculum provided by your child’s school, or focusing more on life skills and less on academics, it’s important your children are being intellectually stimulated in some way during the next couple months. These resources, which include some designed specifically for Spanish-speaking families, can help you achieve that goal.
1. PBS Kids
PBS Kids offers a variety of online games and learning tools that help children learn about a variety of subjects while having fun. You also have access to numerous apps and downloadable e-books to assist with your young student’s learning. If you want daily tips and activities to help kids play and learn at home, sign up for PBS Kids’ newsletter.
2. National Geographic Kids
National Geographic is known for giving people the chance to explore and learn about the natural world around them. National Geographic Kids is a high-quality and easy-to-navigate ditigal platform that accomplishes the same mission with games, videos, e-books, quizzes, and other resources tailored for children. You also can feel comfortable letting your middle schoolers roam the website on their own.
3. Met Kids
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, more commonly known as The Met, has developed a digital resource made “for, with, and by kids.” Met Kids features an interactive map so children can explore the museum from anywhere around the globe. The program also offers behind-the-scenes videos, creative project ideas, and a blog so you can stay up to date on new features and developments.
4. Storyline Online
Storyline Online is a literacy website designed by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation that streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. The website is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, and caregivers worldwide. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens of others.
Vroom, a global program of the Bezos Family Foundation, enables you to boost your child’s learning during the time you already spend together. The website offers free, science-based tips and tools—available via the app, Vroom by Text, and print-at-home materials in English or Spanish—to turn shared, everyday moments into “Brain Building Moments.”
Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum, by Literary Resources, encompasses literacy lessons and assessments for children in pre-kindergarten through primary school. The purpose of the curriculum is to increase students’ literacy skills, while instilling a love of learning in those students. The resources are also available in both in English and Spanish. In response to COVID-19, the organization is offering free support videos and lesson plans to assist with remote learning.
7. Primera Escuela
Primera Escuela is a Spanish-only site that provides fun activities for children in preschool, kindergarten and elementary school. On the website, you will find coloring pages, cutout crafts, a monthly activity calendar, and other printable educational resources in Spanish.
Rivet, developed by Google’s experimental products group, Area120, is a fun and supportive reading app for children to help them develop literacy skills. Rivet’s library includes more than 3,500 books that children can read to themselves or choose to have read by a narrator. Each page includes support to help fledgling readers learn new words and develop their confidence.
9. Scholastic Learn At Home
In light of school closures, Scholastic Learn at Home provides several weeks’ worth of active learning journeys designed to reinforce and sustain educational opportunities for kids from preschool to ninth grade. The remote learning resources include videos, virtual field trips, online stories, virtual events, and day-to-day projects to keep children intellectually stimulated.
Finding Support for At-Home Learning
By now, many parents are getting into the groove of being at home with their children and supporting their education in a hands-on way. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need some extra support or guidance from time to time. In addition to a myriad of online resources that promote learning, you can also get ideas for activities from your social network. Go2s is a private social networking app that lets you stay connected to your close circle of family, friends, and other parents and post messages, share files, and get recommendations.