Online Educational Tools and Activities
Keeping Your Kids Inspired While Practicing Social Distancing
Looking for enriching tools for the kiddos while respecting social distancing in the comfort of your home? We compiled a list of our favorite virtual experiences from educational and social resources around the country. After sorting through hundreds, we narrowed it down to a handful of ideas that offer excellent educational content, all accessible online. True to our mission, we aim to help the happyly family spend less time planning, and more time experiencing life together.
Virtual Field Trips
Live Webcams at Zoos and Aquariums
San Diego Zoo
Come tour the zoo with a creative combination of videos, stories, activities, and games as well as live webcams of baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, koalas, giraffes, burrowing owls, elephants, tigers, and condors.
The Smithsonian National Zoo
The animal cams are at Smithsonian National Zoo as well. The Panda, Lion, Elephant, and Naked Mole Rat cams are all on the site.
Belugas, piranhas, southern sea otter, jellyfish, African penguins, and so many more underwater creatures are viewable on the aquarium website.
There are many additional zoos and aquariums with fun live webcams, including Monterey Bay Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, and Houston Zoo so check them out!
Virtual Museum Tours
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Boston Children’s Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art #MetKids
360 Degrees of Natural Wonders
Yosemite National Park
Yellowstone National Park
The Great Wall of China
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks
Live Online Classrooms
Philadelphia Zoo at 2
Meet a new animal daily at 2pm live on Facebook.
Live Stream From George Washington's Mount Vernon
Explore the estate with daily themes in the coming weeks. Most daily options are for all ages, while Teaching Tuesdays will focus on kids K-12.
Curiosity at Home
Pacific Science Center's program features live experiments and experiences every weekday at 11am PT.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The zoo will be offering virtual classes via Facebook Live on weekdays.
Live Facebook Safari
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens are offering a Live Facebook Safari each weekday at 3 pm where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity to perform at home. Check their YouTube for all of the classes recorded!
Virtual Yoga with Monika
Happyly hosts Thursday Yoga with Monika - 10 am MTN, 12 pm EST and 9 am PST. Download Zoom before it’s time, and keep an eye on our blog for more information, or if you haven’t already, subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly reminder.
Storytime with Penguin Kids
Live story time at 11am on weekdays.
Peter Reynolds Storytime
Live Fridays at 11am ET.
Join artist Laurie Berkner live on Facebook weekdays at 10am ET for music and stories.\
An excellent resource for live classroom learning, Outschool currently being supplementally funded by donors to ensure free learning for people affected by school shutdowns. Join now for free access or pay small fees of often as low as $5 per class for kids ages 3-18.
Denver Public Library Storytime
Live story time at 11am MTN (1pm EST) every weekday or watch the recorded story times on their Youtube channel.
Wallingford Public Library
Check out the Virtual Events schedule for weekly story time information and other family friendly activities.
Browse the Brightly Story Time YouTube page for story time!
Delish Cooking Class
Live at 1pm, editorial director Joanna Saltz will cook with her kids on the Instagram page. Check out the website for ingredients ahead of time, and the videos will remain available for 24 hours.
Join the team from The National Children's Museum in DC for a series at 2:30 pm on Facebook Live focused on STEAM-focused learning and play.
The Lane (Anti) Social Club
Join our friends at The Lane Social Club for live programs every day to occupy the kids. Join in or use the time to get some work done and if you can, help support their wonderful staff since they just recently opened their doors!
Learning At Your Convenience
Three new lessons available daily for each class year.
Lunch Doodle’s with Mo Willems
For 3 weeks and a 15 episode series, Mo Willems invited families into his studio for "Lunch Doodle", and every episode and their activity packets have been archived for your entertainment!
Bill Nye The Science Guy
Introduce your kiddos to Bill Nye the Science Guy. The timeless educator offers an archive of classes on Youtube!
Watch on-demand shows or check them out live at this free website for 0-6-year-olds, that provides fun content on all different topics including cooking, yoga, and sing-a-longs.
A free nonprofit online learning resource for kids of all ages and their parents, Khan will be boosting free content during this time.
This diverse learning tool offers a free trial (30 days), and it has so much to offer. The kids love it and it elevates the pursuit of learning through fun.
Learning Without Tears
This wonderful resource came out with a free 90-day platform for use at home. Interactive learning for Pre-K as well as (K-5) for students, teachers, and parents.
Always free, this website offers motivational points to keep a child engaged in learning a new language.
Smithsonian Learning Lab
In this time of distance learning, the Smithsonian is sharing their millions of digital resources and developing lessons and activities for at-home learning for all ages, including tools for caregivers of little ones.
Interactive games, videos, activities and parenting tips with an educational focus. Subscribe to their daily newsletter, designed specifically for this period of social distancing.
A coding app for kids from 5-7, enables children to learn how to develop their own stories and games.
This blog devoted to improving student knowledge of science and technology now offers a daily experiment for kids 4-15.
A great tool for math games and printable worksheets for kids.
As an added virtual element, this free learning tool engages students and parents using Alexa to create interactive conversations. The program is designed for kids ages 5-12 in different categories, like math, language, and social studies.
Through Scholastic Kids, Scholastic at Home and activities like “Story Starters” there are many tools available here. They will assist you in your homeschooling efforts and include a mini-lesson daily (story, video, and activity) targeting four separate age groups.
Free, easy science for remote learning experiences.
Maintaining Active Bodies
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Enjoy a virtual Yoga session from this wonderful series in the comfort of your own home.
Live Yoga with Monika
Happyly hosts Thursday Yoga with Monika - 10 am MTN, 12 pm EST and 9 am PST. Download Zoom (a web conferencing tool) before it’s time, and keep an eye on our blog for more information, or if you haven’t already, subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly reminder in your inbox.Zoom Link
Debbie Allen Dance Classes
Check out Debbie Allen's website for free dance classes with kids Monday-Friday!
Take a dance break or enjoy a yoga session. This app is designed to keep little bodies moving.
Find Joy In Music
Molly Wally Music
Live Stream for Free on Instagram Live @mollyjwally at 11am PST (2pm EST) Monday through Friday.
Music with Gina
Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am (EST) for $10.
Matt Heater and the Outside Toys
Free singalongs daily at 10 am EST. Free but donations (tips) are welcome.
Ukulele player and book advocate, tune in for her show “At Home With Emily Arrow,” or access her entertaining 30-45 minute shows on-demand on her YouTube channel. Tune into her live show Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 pm EST.
Many classic children’s books are available for free through this non-profit online library. There are also lesson plans on a variety of subjects, and as an added bonus you can access classic games from your own childhood to introduce to your little ones, like Donkey Kong, Tetris, Pacman, and The Oregon Trail! You can also listen to archived live concerts (maybe even one you’ve been to, but experience them with your kids this time!)
Celebrities read books aloud and there is a Teacher's Guide that includes multiple follow up activities including writing tasks, science, and art!
Penguin Kids hosts storytime every weekday at 11:00 am EST on their Instagram account, and former readings are available in their Instagram archives.
The Brooklyn Public Library Storytime
Check their schedule for updated dates and times. There will be books and songs for little ones from birth to five years old.
The author reads a new book every day at 3 pm EST on Instagram Live and has past readings posted to watch as well.
Stay at Home Story Time
Oliver Jeffers performs live readings of his books at 2 pm on Instagram, including the extremely fun live read “The Day The Crayons Quit.” Each one will be archived on his website. "Watch LIVE on Oliver's instagram (@oliverjeffers) at 7 PM GMT/ 2 PM EST/ 11 AM PST"
Find authors and illustrators reading their work through #operationstorytime on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. New content is rapidly popping up!
Check the website of your child’s favorite author or that of your local library to see if they, too, are hosting live or recorded storytimes. You’ll likely be surprised at how many authors and educators are participating in this activity during the coming weeks.
Time For Kids
Launching free digital library for kids based on their age group, through the remainder of the school year. Additionally teaching tools, worksheets and quizzes are available for at home use here.
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
Facebook page to educate families about sharks!
Drawing lessons on YouTube for older elementary school and middle school kids to create and share.
Teach with Movies
Find a creative resource about movies you may already own or can rent, based on your child’s age, with a companion list of lesson plans to engage your children during or after the movie.
Everyday with JJK
A drawing class for all ages with award-winning, best-selling author Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
The Social Distancing Festival
Many artists will be unable to perform the productions they have worked so hard to create due to social distancing. A playwright in Toronto named Nick created an opportunity for artists to submit samples of their work for the world to enjoy.
The Kitchen Table Classroom
Arts and crafts ideas to do at home from the creative mind of a parent and former art teacher!
What's working well for you and your family? We look forward to and appreciate hearing from you at email@example.com.
Also, please check out the blog for more inspiration from a list ofMay Weeknight Meals, to A Guide to How We Are Serving Our Community During The COVID-19 Response, or if you are looking for family-team building at home, we recommend 100 Things: A Rewarding and Fun Family Challenge.
Take a moment to explore suggestions from the happyly team about Keeping Kids Active while Protecting Them, Yourself and the Community from the Coronavirus as well as the previously mentioned Daily Schedule For Preschool and Grade School. As always, we welcome your family's highlights! Tag us on Instagram @gethappyly!
If you are enjoying our active lifestyle content, please take a moment to download the happyly app for fast access to all of our weekend roundups, frequent blog content, and favorite activities, both locally and in many communities and travel destinations across the country.