These are strange times we’re living through—times when many of us are spending more time at home, and that includes the kids. If you’ve got younger children stuck indoors for longer than would normally be the case, we’ve picked out a bunch of online resources for you to point them towards. All you need is a web browser.
This first one’s a bit of a gimme. Amazon just made some of its Prime Video material for younger ages free to view, no subscription required. It includes a lot of age-appropriate stuff that’s a little more curated than what you might find blindly searching YouTube. Like the Amazon Original Pete the Cat and the more classic Arthur.
While children are at home, the Khan Academy is running daily livestreams dishing out advice for learners and teachers alike. The courses available for free on the site, run as a non-profit, cover maths, science, the arts, computing, coding, economics and more.
Point your kids towards the Fisher-Price Kids video portal to find wholesome, education, short shows aimed at a variety of early ages. It’s like a small-scale Netflix library aimed at kids, with the short programs tying in with some of the toys Fisher Price currently sells.
Get your youngsters into yoga in their early years with this professional, polished and hugely popular YouTube channel (there’s also an app if you need it). Dive in anywhere you like or pick from a playlist, from more energetic routines to mindfulness exercises.
You can trust the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to fill your young people’s heads with good stuff, and the Kids’ Club site from NASA is packed with all kinds of useful space-related content: games, photo galleries, videos, stories and more.
If your kids are fans of the world of Harry Potter—or you think they might be—then you’ll find this officially sanctioned portal worth a look. The site includes articles, quizzes, puzzles, and other diversions, as well as reading and drawing exercises for kids to try.
Here’s another offer from an Amazon-company that’s going to mean free content until the coronavirus pandemic has been contained: Audible is making part of its library of audiobooks accessible free of charge for a time, covering hundreds of titles in total.
If you’re not in the UK you might have missed fitness coach and TV presenter Joe Wicks leading the entire nation in half an hour of straightforward, enjoyable exercises for the whole family every day—sometimes in fancy dress. You can catch up whenever you like.
Part of the Chrome Experiments series, the Chrome Music Lab pulls together some delightfully smart and simple browser-based tools for making music. Lay down a catchy rhythm or experiment with arpeggios.
Lakeshore wants to sell you some toys of course, but it’s also put a wealth of free educational resources up on its website for these unprecedented times we find ourselves in. A lot of it can be printed out to use in your home, from worksheets to flashcards.
Many museums are now offering a bunch of ways to access exhibits online, so check out your local or favourite one for details. Here we’ll just mention one: The Boston Children’s Museum, which has both a virtual tour and some really good resources for home use.
Not only does Mystery Doug offer up a wealth of quick five-minute videos answering some of the really big questions—like how snakes shed their skin—but the team behind it just put up a host of extra, free K-5 science lesson resources to use while schools are closed.
DIY.org isn’t cheap—$US19 ($30) a month—but you can try it for free for 14 days, and the material is top-notch: It gives your kids access to a huge amount of video material, covering projects across art, electronics, photography, science, entertainment, computing and more.
BrainPOP is one of the best online learning resources there is, and it’s giving free access to teachers and families stuck at home until the coronavirus outbreak has passed. The topics covered in an interactive, varied, modern way include English, maths, science and more.
Packed with online games, videos, exercises and other resources for kids up to age K-8, Funbrain is a resource that your youngsters won’t easily exhaust. You can search by age bracket or by the type of activity, and everything works right there inside your browser.
As well as offering plenty of online games and TV shows in your web browser, PBS Kids has also just launched a daily newsletter packed with tips for passing the time and activities to do while everyone’s at home. There’s potentially hours and hours of distraction time here.
Social media is fantastic for finding ideas for keeping the kids diverted, as you’ll see from a quick browse around on Twitter or Instagram. Play On A Shoestring offers up an interesting mix of activities suitable for younger kids that you can do cheaply and easily at home.