I’ll be spending a lot of time indoors with my kids this spring, and I do not think I can handle Disney+ for hours on end. So after the board games have been played, the art projects complete, what else can we do? Head online for ideas, I say.
Fun activities online
There are SO MANY lists made by bloggers with kids’ activities to help you enjoy self-quarantine. One that I liked was this giant Google document of activities. Oh, and then there are these printable Madlibs.
And then there is this large, gorgeous collection of coloring books from more than 100 museums. They’re free to download!
Love Mo Willems? (I love “Knuffle Bunny”) You can learn to draw him because he’s the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence and they’re posting a video tutorial each weekday.
Free online publications are starting to pop up. One fun one I came across is the free digital subscription to Ranger Rick.
Educational resources online
Educational websites are providing free access because of school closures. Some notable ones include BrainPOP, iCivics, Discovery Kids: Oregon Trail (yes, THAT Oregon Trail game), History Trivia via Sporcle, PBS Social Studies Games, American Girl Doll Games, and Scholastic’s “Learn at Home” Program.
A teacher friend of mine shared a post with even more ideas. Here are a few I like: Highlights Kids, Fun Brain, Storyline Online (stories read by movie stars), Switch Zoo, ABC Ya, and Into The Book.
Ready for a virtual field trip with the kids? This list includes links for virtual field trips to the San Diego Zoo, the Great Wall of China, Mars (!), and my favorite, the Panda Cam from Zoo Atlanta.
Your state’s historical society and games and parks department may have resources that are specific to where you live. For Nebraska, I found a lot of great activities and printable.
And if you really just want a good book for your kids (or yourself to read), Open Culture has a list of more than 800 books you can download for free.
Museums with helpful resources
Museums are a great resource, too. These are created by professionals in their fields, so whether it’s science, history, or art, you know you’ll find some quality activities. Here are a few with fantastic ideas:
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (includes ideas for older kids, too)
Boca Raton Museum of Art’s Keep Kids Smart With ART (available online soon)
Canadian Museum of Nature arctic coloring sheets
Children’s Museum of Sonoma County Science Experiments
Children’s Museum of South Dakota – Recipes for Play
Exploratorium’s Science Snacks
Glazer Children’s Museum @ Home
International Museum of Maritime (Hamburg, Germany) cardboard boat model sheets
Les Fruits De Mer art activities (this museum focused on the Caribbean has a ton of resources)
Maryhill Museum of Art lesson plans and videos
The Metropolitan Museum of Art MET Kids
Monterey Bay Aquarium activity and coloring pages
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts
And I’m super excited to discover that my hometown college, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has an extensive list of museums, monuments, and historic sites that have virtual tours.