Stay-at-home orders and school closures are bringing new learning challenges to kids and parents everywhere. If you’re a parent who is looking for ways to entertain your children while also providing an educational experience, this is the list you’ve been looking for.
We’ve gathered several resources that promise to spark an interest in learning while also preventing boredom. Use the links included below to discover the options your kids will love best!
1. Learn with Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement USA is passionate about giving kids the resources and inspiration they need to do big things. During this time, JA is offering free educational resources for all grades from elementary to high school students.
Unlike some educational material, Junior Achievement activities teach important life skills, such as money management, setting life goals, and preparing for the future. Some lessons are generalized, such as learning about different payment methods or how to use Microsoft Office tools. Others, however, are geared toward specific careers. For example, your kids can enjoy being an architect for a day or practicing skills needed for engineering.
Make these stay-at-home days count with learning opportunities that can prepare your kids for any future.
Head to Junior Achievement’s website to discover these resources.
2. Explore space with NASA
Do you have a student who loves everything about space exploration? NASA is offering 140,000 photos, videos and other resources for free on their media library. These pictures, videos, and audio files allow your kids to explore the solar system and the universe around us.
In the media library, you can search for specific terms, such as astronauts, rocket launches, and more. You can also view resources by year to see photos from their birth years or watch how space exploration has advanced. Then, take the education outside at night to view the stars right from your backyard!
Head to NASA’s website/ to start exploring.
3. Find new stories at your local library
Most public libraries have temporarily closed their doors due to COVID-19, but you can likely still borrow library books through their digital archive! Using your phone or tablet, you can use an app like Libby to share new stories with your kids. These apps require a library card, but many are now offering instant digital library cards with just your phone number. Though you may have to join a waiting list for some titles, your kids can practice their reading skills and enjoy a soon-to-be favorite while they wait.
Books keep kids entertained, but they can also help keep their brains sharp. You can have kids write book reports or summaries on their readings to encourage and test comprehension. For more fun, have your kids draw scenes from the books or put on performances of their favorite stories. Everyone will be entertained and occupied with hours of creativity.
Head to your local library website to check for eBook access. You can learn about Libby here.
4. Learn about wildlife with live zoo and aquarium cams
Few things are more amazing than learning about wild animals. Zoos give us a special look into the lives of these creatures, but many have shut their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue sharing the joy that comes with learning about these animals, several zoos and aquariums are offering archived videos and live-streams of their exhibits.
The San Diego Zoo, for example, offers live cams of baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, koalas, giraffes, butterflies, elephants, tigers, burrowing owls, and condors. You can also view archived videos of the rare giant pandas that once lived at the zoo! The zoo is offering exclusive Q&A sessions on their social media accounts, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their animals, exhibits, and keepers.
By pairing these viewing experiences with activities about the animals and their wild habitats, you can promote learning with fun. Help your kids learn about some of the endangered species at the zoo and how they can make a difference in conservation efforts. Use coloring pages, research projects, documentaries, and more to inspire hands-on learning.
Head to the San Diego Zoo website to view these live cams.
5. Learn at Home with Scholastic
Scholastic has created a Learn at Home website to provide guided learning for students while they’re at home. On this website, you can find three weeks of daily learning materials for students from pre-k through ninth grade.
Use a combination of videos, articles, and activities to explore the world, new cultures, sports, or music. Best of all, older students can follow the lessons without assistance, giving parents more time to finish work and home tasks.
Head to https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html?caching to start learning.
6. Attend Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers educational resources to students from ages 4 to 18. Access daily schedules to structure your kids’ learning every day. Khan offers exercises, quizzes, activities, and lessons that you can follow at a pace that works best for your students. You can also watch their live streams every day on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for additional learning opportunities.
Head to https://www.khanacademy.org/ to start these free online courses.