Educational institutions and organizations from around the country have come together to offer free support and classes for all ages during this challenging time.
Per the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading developmental health organizations, use of screen time for children under age two is not advised, and screen time limits for all ages is advised. That said, we understand the pressures and challenges of parenting, particularly now, the need for using technology to maintain human connections in the face of physical distancing, and frankly the interests of children, may not adhere to the recommendations. Our best advice is:
- Cut yourself some slack – no need for guilt or fear
- As much as possible, if using screens with your children, use them as a mechanism for interpersonal interaction with you or others
- Everything in moderation
With that, we offer a combination of resources that are designed to prompt you as the adult and at times, can be shared directly with your child.
Babies are eager to learn, and preschoolers are full of knowledge they’re eager to share. Put the two together, introduce these activities, and watch what happens! Scholastic offers ideas to engage younger children in your home.
KidsActivities.com offers ideas that are in baskets, bottles, and bins because they are so easy to put out (and clean up) for little ones. Each of these 30+ one-year-old activities are open-ended play that will keep babies busy and learning, too!
Care.com compiled a list of fun (yet simple) things to do with toddlers. The activities focus on age-appropriate skills and interests for little ones.
The Busy Toddler website compiled as list of toddler activities that use supplies that you already have, take less than two minutes to set up and have a high likelihood of keeping a toddler busy.
Kinedu helps parents with creative and age-appropriate activities that support baby’s development from pregnancy to 4 years old.
The website includes lots of sensory activities to do with toddlers, including recipes for playdough, taste safe paint and fizzy blocks.
A child’s most critical development happens in their first two years. Tinkergarten’s outdoor activities are meant to help infants, 1-year-old, and 2-year-old kids start exploring their surroundings and getting more acquainted with their sensory experiences.
Whether you’re looking for games to build your toddler’s language skills, or games to keep the young ones busy, Zero to Three offers some great play ideas for your infant or toddler.
Vroom is a global program of the Bezos Family Foundation who believe that all parents have the potential to create a bright future for their children. Their free, science-based tips and tools help parents and caregivers give children a great start in life today—and an even better future.
The Website, Zero to Three, offers suggestions reminding families that play promotes healthy development, even when you’re stuck at home.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children shares ideas for creating learning centers in your home with prop boxes.
FamilyVacationCritic.com has come up with a list of the best ways to ease the stress and chaos that comes with social distancing.
KidsActivities.com has compiled a list of screen-free activities that will have kids learning, laughing and get a break from the stress.
Ology is a science website sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History. “OLogy” means “the study of.” Topics include Anthropology, Physics, Zoology, the Brain and more.
Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D. discusses the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of early childhood development. He offers advice to help ensure that adults and the children they care for don’t experience the long-term effects of stress, and explains how society can work together to continue to support healthy development.
BrainPOP is a learning resource supporting core and supplemental subjects, reaching millions of learners worldwide. During the COVID-19 outbreak, BrainPOP is offering free, unlimited use to any school that is closed due to the coronavirus during the entire period of their closure.*
The Cincinnati Zoo is live streaming Home Safari seven days a week at 3 p.m. ET where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do at home.*
In this webinar sponsored by NAEYC , presenters shared anecdotes from their experiences working with children and families creating and sharing stories using technology.
Geared towards children 12 and under, Coolmath4Kids is an amusement park of math, games, and more, designed to teach math and make it FUN.
Crash Course Kids is all about grade school science. The YouTube site offers 15-20 minute videos on Earth, Habitats, Space, Chemical Reactions, Engineering, and much, much more.
Crayola offers a different creative activity each week with 52 Creative Ideas for 52 Weeks of Fun! Stimulating children’s imaginations, listening to
their ideas and spending time doing creative activities together
are keys to their success.
FreeSchool is a safe and friendly place to expose children to famous art, classical music, children’s literature, and natural science in an age-appropriate and kid-accessible way.
The Princess Awesome and Wonder Boy community has put together a list named the Giant List of Ideas for Being Home with Kids, particularly while practicing social distancing.
HearBuilder improves following directions, phonological awareness,
auditory memory, and sequencing skills for PreK to 8th grade students through a step-by-step software learning program. HearBuilder is free for 30 days for educators and families.
History for Kids is a free online history network with games, videos, articles and worksheets.
The goal of Homeschool Pop is to make fun, exciting learning videos for elementary students.
Lakeshore offers over 1,000 free resources for classrooms and home, including printable worksheets, craft ideas and activities lesson plans and more.
The Learning Chocolate site is designed to help you memorize vocabulary in an easy, fun way that really works. All the exercises use pictures, sounds, and games to make learning a new language as fun as enjoying a piece of chocolate!
Discover how cool science can be with activities from Little Bins for Little Hands, including Slime, Science and LEGO activities. The site also includes a list of 50 STEM ideas that you can do at home.
The Maryland Science center created a variety of online activities and events to bring a bit of the science center to your home. Try one of their Science At Home Activities, join new online events every week, and more!
Math Playground offers a wide variety of math topics, from problem solving and mathematical art to real world math and thinking games.
Math Shelf is tablet math program for preschool and Kindergarten students. For the 2019-20 school year, Math Shelf will be available for free to support at-home learning during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Download comprehensive guides designed to support children 3 through 8 explore early science and foster language development, literacy, problem solving, curiosity and motivation, and general knowledge through science experiences.
To help educators during this time of coronavirus, Mystery Science has pulled their most popular K-5 science lessons and are offering them for anyone to use for free.*
Nat Geo Kids makes it fun to explore your world with weird, wild, and wacky videos! Videos feature awesome animals, cool science, funny pets, and more.
Out of concern with the significant impact the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have on our nation’s child care and early learning programs, NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) compiled a list of resources.
Launch rockets, build a hovercraft, make an ocean that you can eat and more! NASA’s science, technology, engineering and math activities are fun for grades K-4, adults and the whole family.
The National Institute for Early Education Research compiled a list of resources including caring for preschoolers at home, parenting during coronavirus and tools for remote instruction.
Nomster Chef wants to help raise a healthier generation of kids and a happier generation of parents by teaching kids to cook. The website offers illustrated recipes to help kids ages 2-12 cook with their grown-ups while learning literacy, math and science.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids is sharing free stories and links to fun activities for stuck-at-home families everywhere. They’re great for the young and the young at heart!*
Each day from 2 – 4 p.m. ET, Science Mom and Math Dad will live stream a show featuring science and math lessons, crafts and games. Each show will end with a Q & A.*
Peekaboo is a cheerful destination with colourful animation for all the Happy Children of the world! Specially designed for kids as they explore the World of Kids Educational Videos, Classic English songs, Phonics Songs, Lullabies and more!
The mission of Quizlet is to help students (and their teachers) practice and master whatever they are learning. Quizlet provides engaging, customizable activities with contributions from people everywhere.
In response to the unprecedented number of schools, preschools, and child care providers that have closed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Ready4K, a virtual parenting curriculum and family engagement tool, is free for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.*
ReadTheory to help their students K-12 improve their reading comprehension skills in a fun way that keeps them attentive and motivated.
ReadWorks is here to support educators and families facing the unprecedented challenge of remote learning due to COVID-19. Please find remote learning K-12 resources for educators and families.. ReadWorks platform and materials are completely free.*
Save the Children is committed to help children and families during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing tools and tips you can trust for parents, caregivers, teachers and all those who care about children in crisis.
Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Available free during the COVID-19 outbreak for PreK to Grade 6+.*
SciShow Kids explores all those curious topics that make us ask “why?” Jessi and her robot rat Squeaks answer your questions and explain fun, complex science concepts for young, curious minds.
With ScratchJr, young children (ages 5-7) can code their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer.
Sesame Street is here to support you during the COVID-19 health crisis. The site is filled with content you can use all day long to spark playful learning, offer children comfort, and focus a bit on self-care too. *
Looking for ways to get inspired, get moving and stay positive while your family practices social distancing? Shelf Stuff is here to help with their at home video series, perfect for kids ages 7-12. Tune in every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. ET to watch.*
The Smithsonian Channel creates award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as: air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture.
Starfall.com is a free public service to teach children to read and learn language arts and mathematics for preschool through 3rd grade. Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers.
With the spread of Coronavirus, STMath’s mission is to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. STMath is providing resources and no-cost access so the learning can keep on happening, even if school is temporarily closed.*
TIME for Kids engages students with authentic journalism, inspires them to join the national discourse on current topics, and provides teachers with valuable resources for the classroom. Families and teachers can sign up for free weekly resources.
The site offers math games to learn addition, subtraction, line plots, pictographs, and more! Toy Theater playfully teaches conceptual foundations of math with online interactive games and activities that have real education value.
A teacher-created website has over 525,000 resources which provides entire schemes of work, lesson planning and assessments right through to online educational games, augmented reality and more. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Twinkl is offering parents and teachers a one-month ultimate membership FREE with code PARENTSTWINKLHELPS.*
XtraMath is a free web program for students, parents and teachers. Their goal is to develop effective, efficient, adaptive, and intrinsically rewarding supplemental math activities.
A school principal shares a list of very thoughtful activities to do during COVID-19 closures.
Wonderopolis is a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Each day, they pose an intriguing question—the Wonder of the Day®—and explore it in a variety of ways.
Thanks to donations, Zearn’s entire K-5 curriculum – including 400 hours of digital lessons with on-screen teachers and supportive remediation – is available for free during the COVID-19 outbreak. Kids, teachers, parents, and caregivers can directly access all our top-rated content 24/7, outside of school, including paper-based materials that can be used without a device.*
eSchool News suggests a list of seven Ted-Ed lessons that may grab students’ attention. Once you find the video you want to use, you can use the TED-Ed Lessons editor to add questions, discussion prompts, and additional resources.
Your Teen Magazine offers a list of non-screen pastimes for teens to pass the time while schools are closed.
Collisions helps high school students visualize and interact with chemistry concepts through fun and challenging games.
Coolmath.com offers “math for ages 13-100” — explanations that are easy to grasp on topics like algebra, pre-calculus and more.
A range of courses on multiple subjects, noted for going deep into a topic of interest. Self-paced asynchronous delivery; appropriate for motivated high-schoolers, college-age, and adults.
Geared towards high school students, Crash Courses offers 15-20 minute videos on all types of topics such as business, public speaking and historical figures.
Fiveable is a social learning platform for AP students to learn together through live reviews, live trivia games, and study guides. We’ve assembled a team of teachers, exam readers, and rockstar students that produce interactive content every week. During the COVID-19 outbreak, all content is free to use.*
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute compiled a list of YouTube channels for middle schoolers and high schoolers for learning from home during COVID-19 school closures.*
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
The Mad Science website offers at-home experiments that your family can do with ingredients that you most likely already have in your house!
Bring the wonder of space to your students. Explore our universe of science, technology, engineering and math activities and resources.
Nature is a great teacher! Project Learning Tree shares activities to connect the children in your life to the outdoors and nature.
Quizizz offers free self-paced quizzes to review, assess, and engage—in class and at home.
Reading Rockets offers a rich library of classroom strategies, articles, parent tip sheets, FAQs, videos, research briefs and more — providing research-based and best-practice information for educators, parents, and others who work with young readers.
Create a supportive home learning environment for your child when emergencies prevent them from going to school. The site includes resources to help your child learn from home.
Typing.com offers free beginner, intermediate, and advanced typing lessons, plus plenty of fun practice activities to engage students while continually improving keyboarding skills.
Udemy is offering a Free Resource Center — a curated collection of more than 150 free Udemy courses to help students adapt to working from home, search for a job, maintain balance, and more. They will continue to add new courses on an ongoing basis.
Do you have a high school student who has started to look at colleges? Several colleges and universities are offering virtual tours through the You Visit website.
For US colleges experiencing unplanned, mid-semester impacts due to COVID-19, Cengage is offering students free access to all their digital platforms and 14,000 ebooks through Cengage Unlimited, for the remainder of this semester.*
EdX allows users to access Access 2500+ Online Courses from 140 Institutions. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access.
Johns Hopkins will offer a free online course about the coronavirus pandemic and how it can be combatted through epidemiology. Offered publicly on the e-learning platform Coursera, the five-hour course is now open for enrollment and runs March 31 through April 14.*
LinkedIn has opened up 16 of its learning courses for free. Courses provide tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way. *
Get 1,500 free online courses from the world’s leading universities — Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites) straight to your computer or mp3 player.
Stay productive at home by taking certified courses through Shaw Academy. Choose from a range of subjects focused on developing practical skills or just learn something new for fun. Shaw Academy is offering a four-week free trial.
Skillshare is offering a free two-month membership for new members. The website is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, music and more. On Skillshare, millions of members come together to find inspiration and take the next step in their creative journey.
We Are Teachers offers a list of the 26 Best Podcasts, listed by grade level.
Homeschool Hideout has compiled a list of educational shows that can be streamed on Netflix. Topics include animals, space, history, mystery and more. Shows range in age from preschool to high school.
Age of Learning is offering free home subscriptions to preschool, elementary and middle school students while schools are closed. Parents will need to contact their school administrator or teacher to sign up for free access.*
Amazon supports free computer science during COVID-19 outbreak. Courses include Virtual Robotics, Celebrity Song Remix and beginner through advanced computer science courses.*
With school closures across the U.S., Ancestry is supporting parents and educators by offering many of their Ancestry K12 educational resources for free.
Emily, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago, shares amazing things that the museum has in their collection on her YouTube page.
This is a brain-training site, for everyone, where logic & thinking meet fun and games. These games have no violence, no empty action, just a lot of challenges that will make you forget you’re getting a mental workout!
Geared towards school leaders, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) offers resources and tips for online learning.
Curriki supports eLearning Initiatives, with a FREE Content Development Toolkit and Platform – bringing the most engaging, innovative, and impactful digital learning experiences to children.
Over 4.8 million English learners (ELs) have been impacted by school closures. ELs have unique learning needs and require specialized services to support their language development. New America’s Education Policy Program has provided resources for online learning in the wake of COVID-19, the struggles of childcare providers and early educators, the implications for incarcerated students, and more.
The website is offering daily free learning workbooks for teachers to share with parents while schools are closed. Workbooks are available for preschool through high school.
The Journal: Transforming Education Through Technology has compiled a list of free resources for school that are available during the COVID-19 outbreak. Most of the resources are only available to educators and school districts, but many are also available for families.
Amazing Educational Resources compiled a list of educational companies that are offering free access during the COVID-19 outbreak.*
The Harvard Graduate School of Education offers lesson plans for babies through adults to continue learning at home.
Blogger Gina Munsey at Oaxacaborn compiled a comprehensive list of 100+ free websites to help children learn at home while schools are closed.*
Teachers, students, businesses and parents all use Kahoot! for group learning, e-learning, distance learning, and self-study everywhere! During the COVID-19 outbreak, Kahoot’s premium distance learning tools are free.*
Open Culture compiled a list of free educational resources for K-12 students, their parents and teachers. The list includes free video lessons/tutorials; free mobile apps; free audiobooks, ebooks and textbooks; quality YouTube channels; free foreign language lessons; test prep materials; and free web resources in academic subjects like literature, history, science and computing.
As teachers, students, and families deal with school closures, PBS LearningMedia producers and educators have come together to curate a special collection of resources organized by grade and subject area. Find videos, lesson plans, and activities that support learning at home.
Renzulli Learning is an interactive online system that provides a personalized learning environment for Pre-K – 12 students, which allows teachers to easily differentiate instruction to increase engagement and higher academic performance. Renzulli Learning is providing free access to schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.*
Starting March 23, Stimola Literary Studio, representing kid lit and YA authors and illustrators, will host live-streamed read-alouds, craft activities, and drawing demonstrations between 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. EST. Check Stimola’s website for the schedule.*
The Department of Family Science, School of Public Health at the University of Maryland compiled a set of resources for families and educators. These run the gamut from helping children cope emotionally with the COVID-19 pandemic to educational resources for parents to use at home with their children.
Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids for both educators and families. The list is curated by the editors at Common Sense along with over 25 partnering organizations.
Learn a Language
Babbel is offering three months of free language learning to U.S. students through mid-June 2020 in any of its languages, which include Spanish, French, German, Italian and more.*
Download the Duolingo app to learn a new language. Duolingo lessons adapt to your learning style. Exercises are tailored to help you learn and review vocabulary effectively.
For children learning French, Spanish, German or Italian, The Fable Cottage offers stories in each of these four languages with English translations when needed.
Open Culture developed a collection featuring lessons for 48 languages, all for free.
Gallaudet University is offering free online lessons for those who wish to learn American Sign Language.
The mission of the IDEALS Institute is to improve lives by ensuring that all people have access to transformative child and adult care, education, health, and social service systems and practices.
*denotes resources that are specific to the outbreak and may not be available when the crisis is over.