A compilation of links and ideas for keeping kids engaged in learning while school is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic

Please feel free to add to the list, I’ll clean up and organize.  Please share this link: https://bit.ly/38LoF2Q

  • Section 1: List of (primarily) on-line activities and tools
  • Section 2: Ideas for in-home primarily off-line activities
  • Section 3: Daily schedule ideasP


Section 1: List of On-line Activities and Tools
Make sure to check out the “Multiple” resources like Khan Academy, which have many different subjects

COVID-19/Safety

Print out this chart in your bathroom and practice proper washing (sing “Happy Birthday twice” for about the right amount of time so they don’t rush through it).
You could also have them look at (or re-create) this
experiment where kids learn the importance of handwashing by seeing how much bacteria is on your hands and surfaces after different levels of washing.

Art

Art for Kids Hub [Free]

Art videos for kids to follow

Art

The Art Sherpa - [Free]

Live streaming and previously recorded videos that teach a variety of painting techniques and projects.

Art

Art with Everyone - [Free]

Drawing and painting tutorials for all ages and skill levels.

Art

Smithsonian Art & Design - [Free]

Civics

iCivics - [Free]

Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor - students learn how government works by experiencing it. They step into the role of a judge, a member of Congress, a community activist, even the President of the United States - and do the job they do. Students gain civic knowledge and skills through this fun and challenging online platform.

Coding

Code.org - [Free]
Online learning platform to teach K-12 students coding and computer science. Used by schools and districts worldwide, with a focus on increasing participation by women and underrepresented youth. Makers of the
Hour of Code.

Coding

codeSpark Academy - [Free]

At home coding platform for K-5.  Used by over 80,000 teachers in the US.  If teachers register for a free account they will get instructions for how to share free at-home use codes with students and they will get a code for free computational thinking PD.  Parents can sign up immediately for 3 free months here with the code “schoolclosed”.

Coding

Scratch - [Free]

Online coding platform developed by MIT Media Lab for children using intuitive drag and drop visual interface that teaches coding basics. Kids can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share their creations with others in the online community.

Collaboration

Organize an online groups of 2-3 kids from grade to get together virtually to do study groups, with scheduled breaks. Keeps them on task and gives them a social outlet.  Example: a book club with 4 students - they read a certain number of pages per day then discuss online.

Collaboration

Google Classroom - [Free for personal use]

Can be used free for personal use to get groups of kids on the same schedule

Collaboration

Zoom - [Free limited version, Paid options]

Video conferencing and document sharing.  Works on cell or wifi. This has very high ratings, and would be good for getting a larger group of classmates together… The free version lets you do a 40 min meeting of up to 100 people.  For 1-on-1 video chat it’s unlimited time.

Collaboration

Skype - [Free]
Video/audio conferencing

Collaboration

Microsoft Teams -

Video/collaboration

Collaboration

Applied Digital Skills -

Online videos/training to help Middle-school and above kids learn how to collaborate and use online tools.  One fun idea from the program: Build a collaborative adventure story using Google Slides.  Kids learn how to work together to write a story/graphic choose-your-own-adventure story.

Early Learning

PBS Kids - [Free]

Great videos and games for preschool through grade 3 from one of the most trusted sources in early learning and fully accessible to all.

Economics

The Stock Market Game - [Free]

Should be interesting right now! An online simulation of the global capital markets that engages students grades 4-12 in the world of economics, investing and personal finance. Typically better with a team of a few students.

Economics

The Fiscal Ship - [Free]

“A perfect game for now.” Players captain a “fiscal ship” and, as laid out on the game’s Web site, “to win you must find a combination of policies that address the [national] debt while meeting your chosen ideological views.” This is definitely one to be played for the long haul while we are all on lockdown — and as a bonus, it provides a less-scary entry point for you to talk to your kids about what’s happening in the world. Ages 14 and up. Web-based.

Exercise

GoNoodle - [Free]

 remote gym class. Perfect for days indoors with no real physical activity, GoNoodle’s suite of funky games — including Flo Yo’s Bubble Pop and Squatchy Berger’s Rock and Roll — gets kids waving their hands and moving their bodies. Ages 4 and up.

Exercise

Kong Academy Parkour Movement [Free streaming]

A Kong Academy coach, live on FB to share fun games and movements for everyone so we can all stay healthy and active indoors! Streaming LIVE starting daily at 1:30pm.

We will begin adding short videos to our YouTube channel to give parents ideas how to keep kids entertained and moving during the school closure.  Please take a moment and subscribe to our channel so we know you are interested.

Foreign Language

Seattle public library has online learning resources, and a program called Mango for languages.  Login using library card.

Foreign Language

Duolingo - [Free]

Learn close to 25 different languages using a fun and intuitive app that incentivizes learning through points and levels.

Games

Minecraft Education Edition - [Free for SPS students]

All SPS students get free license to Minecraft Education Edition...  if you are looking for something kinda between education and letting you get some work done.  There are some cool worlds - science, literature etc.

(See the other link on this sheet for Minecraft Chemistry)

Here is a cheat sheet on how to download and log in.  Students must use their school login to get the free version.

Gardening

Kids Garden Activities - [Free]

Ideas for gardening, seeds, plants, animals, and more

Gardening (virtual)

Reach for the Sun - [Paid, $6]

A plant growth learning game aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science standards. Grow your plant from a seedling, defend it against insects, and help it struggle through the seasons to pollinate and produce flowers.

General

Schoology [Free through some school districts.]

Click on the link and select the Schoology button.  

(Seattle Public Schools: Your child should have a username @seattleschools.org and password.)

Language Arts

Night Zoo Keeper - [Paid, $13/month, 1 week free trial]

Online writing tool and library of interactive lessons. Fun, engaging games that increase vocabulary and improve spelling. Puzzles and challenges that develop grammar and structure skills. Inspiring prompts and story creation lessons that spark imaginations.

Language Arts

Reading Eggs - [Paid $60 annual, 2 week free trial]

Grades 1-5. Learn to read with online games and activities.

Language Arts

Starfall - [Paid $35 annual]

K-3 reading and educational games platform. Stories, songs, and other activities.

Language Arts

Story Pirates - [Free]

Podcast of stories by children and story writing inspiration.

Language Arts

Teach Your Monster to Read - [Free]

Very early reading lessons. Adventure-based game that teaches phonics and reading along the way. Help your monster rescue a friend from the goblin king as you travel through the galaxy. So fun you will want to learn to read all over again!

Math

SplashMath –
Multi-grade math resource

Math

Brainchild - [Paid - Netflix subscription]

Science educational programming

Math

Math For Love –
Math games of all kinds for all grade levels

Math

Math Playground [Free]

Hundreds of math games and logic puzzles

Math

Beast Academy - [Paid, $15/month]

Online math and problem solving for ages 8-13. Fun, comic-book style format.

Math

Dragonbox - [Paid, apps are $5-8 each]

Math apps developed by educational experts, dedicated teachers, game developers, designers, cognitive scientists, writers and artists who are passionate about creating innovative and engaging game based learning tools.

Math

Dreambox - [Paid, $13/month, has free 1 month trial]

Adaptive, online K-8 math program that is personalized and standards aligned.

Math

Global Math Project - [Free]

Join students from around the world on a global math project (Exploding Dots) that is mathematical story that starts at the very beginning of mathematics, assuming nothing, and swiftly takes you on a “wondrous journey” through grade school arithmetic, high-school polynomials algebra, infinite sums, and advanced mathematics and unsolved research problems baffling mathematicians still to this day. Ages 10+. Free.

Math

Prodigy Math - [Free]

Engaging, curriculum-aligned math platform for grades 1-8. Game-based, adaptive, and personalized.

Math

Math-Drills - [Free]

Over 50 thousand free math worksheets in PDF format. Great if you want to get them off the screen.

Math

Wuzzit Trouble - [Paid, iPhone/iPad/Android app $2]

Designed to develop the understanding of numbers and how they relate to one another, this is a puzzle game that fosters problem-solving skills. “Mathematical problems are built into the game,” says Shapiro. “But it’s designed so that kids are doing math without realizing it.” Ages 10 and up.

Multiple

Khan Academy - [Free]

Highly recommended - Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. Students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning.

Kahn just put together a suggested schedule for school closures with grade-level plans from preschool through High School.

Multiple

IXL - [Free through Seattle Public Schools, your child should have a login]

Skills-based, adaptive, personalized learning for PreK-12 in math, language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish.

Multiple

Outschool - [Paid, around $5/class]

Small group classes. They offer both flex classes where the teachers pre-record the class and students watch on their own schedule, and classes where all the students video in simultaneously.

Multiple

Curiosity Stream - [Paid, $20/year]

Lots of documentary video content

Multiple

Scholastic Learn at Home [Free] - 20+ days of exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges.

Multiple

Arcademic - [Free games, paid option too]

Arcade-like games that teach a variety of subjects for grades 1-6.

Multiple

BrainPOP - [Free ACCESS DURING COVID-19 SCHOOL CLOSURES]

Highly recommended - K-8 and ELL online resource for learning almost every subject. Courses include videos, games, quizzes, vocab, and related reading.

Give your info and email and request a code to get free access.

Multiple

Education.com -

Preschool through 5th grade activities and lessons. Skills based and syncs with standard school year calendar.

Multiple

Mystery Doug - [Free]

Short (~5min) videos that investigate and explore questions asked by real students.

Multiple

Outschool - [Paid]

Highly recommended - Live Online Classes for Ages 3-18. Small group video chat classes—created and taught by inspiring teachers. Variable cost starting at $5/class.

Multiple

PBS Learning Media - [Free]

Standards aligned videos, interactive lesson plans, and more for just about every subject. Early learning through high school.

Multiple

Teachers Pay Teachers - [Free]

Over 3 million free and paid resources, created by educators, on the full spectrum of subjects and grade levels. Search for curriculum or activities to do at home.

Multiple

The Great Courses - [Paid]

Online repository of courses in almost every topic for all ages.

Multiple

King Country Audio / e-Book Databases - [Free]

List of lots of e-books, audiobooks, and other free online resources through the library system.

Multiple

Homeschool Printables - [Free]

Hundreds of printable activities and worksheets for children grades PreK-12. Sample curriculum, coloring pages, games, worksheets, puzzles, etc. Browse educational printables for children by age and subject.

Multiple

Virtual Museum Tours - [Free]

12 Famous Museums offer virtual tours:

  • British Museum, London
  • Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • Musée d’Orsay, Paris
  • National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
  • Pergamon Museum, Berlin
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  • MASP, São Paulo
  • National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Multiple

Scholastic Lessons - [Free]

Thousands of grab-and-go lesson plans, unit plans, discussion guides, extension activities, and other teaching ideas

Multiple

PBS Learning - [Free]

Curated free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more for teachers.

Multiple

TED Ed - [Free]

Videos of expert educators and TED speakers throughout the world to create and share high-quality, interactive, video-based lessons on a daily basis, for free.
They have created a special
daily newsletter which delivers special lessons by age group.

Multiple (Science, Art, Math, Emotional Learning)

Playful Learning -
Play-based learning activities and at-home experiments

Reading

Overdrive - [Free]

Provided through Seattle Public Library, get e-books on your device for free (with library card).  SPS also gives access to Lynda, although that seems like higher-level classes.

Note: If you'd like to find what reading “level” a book is, you can check the Scholastic Teacher’s Site (not all books are leveled, but most leveled books are listed there)

See the Guided Reading Leveling Chart to see what is typical grade-level reading.

Reading

Kids A-Z/Raz Kids [Free for some schools], typically sign in with teacher username and class password.

Leveled reading materials.

Reading

Project Gutenberg - [Free]

Free public domain ebooks to make them available to the public. It's a great resource for free ebooks but it can be hard to find books you might be interested in picking up if you don't know what you are looking for. Here are a bunch of lists from Reddit’s r/FreeEBOOKs that make it easier to find something to read:

Free audiobook collections from Librivox:50 free classic audiobooks

Reading-Audiobook

Sparkle Stories - [Free during COVID-19 shutdowns]

Original Audiobooks

Reading/Literacy

Quill - [Free]

Writing and grammar activities for elementary, middle, and high school students.

[Source: Bush School using for reading/literacy]

Science-Astronomy

Cosmos 4 Kids - [Free]

Universe, galaxy, stars, systems, solar system, and exploration.

Science-Biology

Biology 4 Kids - [Free]

Cell structure and function, microorganisms, plants, animals and animal systems.

Chemistry

Science-Chemistry

Chemistry 4 Kids - [Free]

Matter, atoms, periodic table, elements, reactions, biochemistry.

Science-Chemistry

Minecraft Chemistry - [Free - SPS students get free access to education edition]

Discover the building blocks of matter, combine elements into useful compounds and Minecraft items, and conduct amazing experiments with new lessons and a downloadable world.

Science-Chemistry

Tyler DeWitt - [Free]

Research scientist and educator who creates chemistry and microbiology videos shared on his personal site and YouTube.

Science-Engineering

Teach Engineering - [Free]

Digital library comprised of standards-aligned engineering curricula for K-12 educators to make applied science and math come alive through engineering design.

Science-General

The Science Guys - [Free]

Educational science videos that can be done at home and for all ages. We explain all concepts and experiments using fun animations.

Science-General

Science Max - [Free]

YouTube series that explores common science experiments kids do at home and “turbocharges” them.

Science-General

Smithsonian Science & Nature - [Free]

Earth and Nature reading/content

Science-Geography

Geography 4 Kids - [Free]

Earth energy and structure, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, climates, and more.

Science-Geography

Geography Games - [Free]

World geography games

Science-Multiple

PhET Simulations - [Free]

Over 125 free interactive simulations for educational use in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and mathematics. By grade from elementary through High School

Science-Multiple

National Science Teaching Association - [Free]

Free lessons plans, activities & more

Science-Multiple

https://mysteryscience.com/ - [Free]

STEM-based pen-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science

Science-Multiple

The Kids Should See This - [Free]

Wide range of cool educational videos - Science, technology, space, animals, nature, food, DIY, music, art, and animation

Science-Multiple

Crash Course

You Tube videos on many subjects. From courses like Astronomy to US History and Anatomy & Physiology it's got you covered with an awesome variety of AP high school curriculum topics.

There’s also Crash Course Kids with the same material for a younger audience.

Science-Multiple

NatGeo Kids - [Free]

National Geographic videos and games with info from around the planet - animals, geography, science, nature and history

Science-Multiple

Zooniverse - [Free]

Discover, teach, and learn. The Zooniverse enables everyone to take part in real cutting edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities, and more. The Zooniverse creates opportunities for you to unlock answers and contribute to real discoveries.

Science-Physics

Physics 4 Kids - [Free]

Motion, heat & thermodynamics, electricity & magnetism, light, modern physics.

Social Studies

Big History Project - [Free]

Online social studies course for middle and high school students

Social/Ethnic Studies-Native History & Culture

Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State - [Free]

The Duwamish Tribe - [Free]

The Tulalip People - [Free]

Social/Ethnic Studies-US History

Smithsonian History & Culture Collection - [Free]

The 1619 Project  - [Free]

An ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

Zinn Education Project - [Free]

Middle and high school - For more than ten years, the Zinn Education Project has introduced students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula.

Social/Ethnic Studies-World History

Big History Project - [Free]

A free, online social studies course that encourages students to have a big-picture view of the world and emphasizes skill development as students draw “mind-blowing connections” between past, present and future.

Typing

Dancing Mat from BBC - [Free]

There are four levels to play, each divided into three stages. You start by learning the home row keys. Each stage builds on previous lessons, introducing new letters as you progress. Kids love it!

Typing

Typing practice - [Free]

Touch Typing Study - [Free]

Typing

Typing.com - [Free]

Probably the best of the typing tutorials.

Writing

Write a letter to a friend or get a new pen pal [Free] - List of multiple sites to get started.

Writing

Journaling

Off-line activities:

Multiple

All Kids Network Worksheets - [Free]

Thousands of fun kids activities like kids crafts, worksheets, coloring pages, printable mazes, dot to dot, hidden pictures and more

Take a break!

Fun

Chrome Music Lab - [Free]

Lots of fun music experiments.  Even more online music experiments and synthesizers:

All of these are controlled by mouse and your keyboard so no need for any fancy music midi stuff.

Fun

Cool Math Games - [Free]
This is called Cool “Math” Games, but it’s really just Cool Games.  There are a certain amount of logic and puzzle games on here, but many/most of them are just casual games.  It’s a pretty good site when your kids need a break, but if you just let them go on there unsupervised, they’ll find random games to play.

Additional Resources:


Section 2: In-home Activities

Ideas for At Home:

  • Log 60 min of physical exercise every day.
  • Have a go to Art/Creative box - Put together an art box with paints, pencils, markers.
  • Plan and cook a meal.
  • Play a game; so many great ways to learn numbers, counting, vocab, and more.
  • Money math; dump out your piggy bank and count it, make a budget, etc.
  • Sew something
  • Make some crafts out of toilet paper rolls
  • Learn to knit or crochet
  • Create new chores and build new habits
  • Listen to a Podcast (Good ones recommended by Common Sense Media)
  • Get Moving Indoors:
  • Do some yoga - Cosmic Kids Yoga
  • Get your groove on with Go Noodle (Dancing, movement)
  • For video gamers: play Wii (or similar) sports/movement/dance games
  • Clean off the dining room table, grab your extra flat sheets and light weight blankets and have them build a fort. Make sure they clean it up each night (that way they have to take the time to rebuild it tomorrow!
  • Keep them busy while you cook dinner: Tape two pieces of regular paper together and - have them draw to decorate their “placemat” - bonus, break it into 3 parts and have them do their Rose, Thorn, Bud for the day.

Getting Outside:

Board Games / Card Games:

3 and up:

  • Cariboo (Crainum): Costly but an amazing game your kids will play over and over again
  • Go Fish: even if you don’t have Go Fish cards you can use a regular deck or if you have note cards you can have the kids make their own deck.
  • Candyland - if you don’t have this game it is easy enough to make in a pinch.
  • Bingo: Anything you want them to learn, numbers, letters, shapes, or Picture Bingo - they can make the boards and caller cards with stickers, markers, or use this free Bingo Card Generator

7/8 and up

  • Labyrinth (Ravensburger) super easy to learn and if you play “cooperatively” (you all show the treasure you’re going after), you can loop in younger kids easily.
  • 21 - Yes, it is poker, but it is also one of the best math games going, just name it something else.
  • Boggle
  • Scrabble - Traditional and Bananagrams (which can be played with Scrabble tiles)
  • Chess - if you don’t have a board, it is easy enough to make and if you have craft items or sculpey you can have them make the game pieces too.


Section 3: Schedule Ideas

Ideas for scheduling:

  • Make a schedule right now just like your child’s teacher would at school and post it somewhere where everyone can see it.
  • Slots for math, science, reading, writing, PE (outside time, dance videos, boot camp calisthenics), free time, and educational TV. The slots are about 20-30 minutes long, unless the kids want to extend them on their own.
  • This site provides ideas on how to start the day (good for the younger set, but can be adapted for older students).

This is a typical 5th grader school schedule during regular school:

Start

Finish

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

Grammar/Science

10:00 AM

11:00 AM

Math

11:00 AM

11:15 AM

Snack

11:15 AM

11:45 AM

Reading

11:45 AM

12:50 PM

Music/PE/Art

12:50 PM

1:10 PM

Lunch

1:10 PM

1:35 PM

Recess

1:35 PM

2:30 PM

Writing

2:30 PM

2:45 PM

Recess

2:45 PM

3:25 PM

Reading

Possible Home-school schedule (more relaxed, recommended by school district):

9-10am – Free time

10-11 am – Outside Time

11-12 am – Creative Time: STEM Project, Kid’s Cooking, and Arts n’ Crafts (e.g. homemade play-doh, slime, paint, or bake some muffins.)

12-12:30 pm – Lunch

12:30-1 pm – Chores

1-2 pm – Quiet Time: Read a book, do a puzzle, color, take a nap or another quiet activity.

2-4 pm – Academic Time: Educational games, science projects, online educational websites, printable worksheets or workbooks, reading, math games, etc.

4-5 pm – Outside Time

Khan Academy just put together a suggested schedule for school closures with grade-level plans from Preschool through High School.


(Many links taken from RESOURCES AND IDEAS FOR LEARNING AT HOME. Thank you to whoever put that list together, plus everyone who has commented online!  I keep adding great stuff from suggestions!  -Sven)