Due to growing concerns around the coronavirus, many New Jersey schools and large venues are closing temporarily. While you keep your family at home, you may be worried about keeping the kids’ from going stir-crazy (or trying to quell their anxiety). Good news: there are lots of free online resources to keep them busy once they’ve done their remote school work.
In the wake of COVID-19, educational companies are offering free subscriptions to those stuck at home due to school closures. If you have Minecraft fans at home, try Minecraft: Education Edition, which helps teach Common Core math for grades 3-5, social-emotional learning and coding. Kids can also try websites like Mystery Science, which compiled lessons for grades K-5 to do from home (with no signup or student login required), and cover topics like animal needs, weather conditions, sound and vibration, light, communication, engineering and more. There’s also lessons on germs and hand sanitizer, which could be helpful when explaining coronavirus to your kids. SmartMusic is a great site for your mini musicians to practice, access a large music library and also receive immediate feedback on their pitch and rhythm. They can build sight reading skills, work on music notation and accompaniment. For a full list of free resources, click here.
Scholastic Learn at Home, a free digital learning hub designed for pre-K through high school, offers age-appropriate content to encourage children to keep academically active while schools are closed. It provides approximately three hours of learning opportunities per day, for up to four weeks of instruction, which includes writing and research projects based on nonfiction articles, virtual field trips, geography challenges and more.
If you’re in the market for other engaging activities while schools are closed, Raddish Kids is offering cooking kits filled with educational and entertaining activities which can be delivered directly to your door through the mail.
Blue Sky Kids is offering virtual one-on-one sessions designed to meet your kid’s goals and needs on an expansive range of topics, including coding, improv, video editing, biology, physics, anatomy, philosophy, yoga and more.
Sign up for MoMath’s free, weekly math mind-benders. Each Sunday, MoMath will send a mathematical puzzle from its puzzle master, Dr. Peter Winkler. On Tuesday, you’ll receive a small hint; on Thursday, a very helpful clue, and on Saturday, the solution.
You can also try Duolingo, a free online language learning program with more than 30 languages, designed to help ages 10 and up learn through “bite-sized” lessons.
With many libraries closing temporarily, or canceling their programs, you can still access many of their features from the safety of your home. Thanks to the Libby app, you can access e-books and e-audiobooks from your devices (phones, tablets and computers). Just download the app to your device, enter your library barcode and violà! You’ll have access to books, audiobooks, magazines and other perks (like movies or music), depending on your library’s resources, without ever leaving home. If you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you can access a multitude of free Kindle books. Audible is also launching Audible Stories, which offers free educational, entertaining and immersive children’s and family audiobooks.
Try touring museums, parks and national icons from the comfort of your couch. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can check out virtual tours of the largest temple complex on Earth, Yellowstone National Park, Champs-Élysées, the gardens of Versailles and more.
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