Fun & Quality Online Resources for Young Kids at Home
As the media constantly reminds us, we are in "unprecedented" times. As many Denver metro area schools have announced they are returning to to remote learning for the foreseeable future, educators and parents are again pivoting to distance learning. This school year probably looks a lot different than what you thought it would, and that's alright! When the idea of schools being closed on and off for this year first started floating around, we noticed a lot of parents asking for homeschool resources and schedules. A lot of very structured, color coded, day-to-day schedules went viral but many families quickly found out that those schedules don't work well for their families.
Many homes have two working parents with different schedules, so every day might look a bit different! That's okay, too! Your goal should, first and foremost, be to make sure your children feel loved and supported. We also suggest finding a project to complete that the whole family can work on at their leisure, such as a puzzle.
We've been grateful for the many free online learning resources available at this time. We've been downloading apps, signing up for trial learning programs, and seeing what works for our kiddos, our grandkids, and our families. Here are some of the best online resources we've found for at-home learning for younger children. From art to dancing out the wiggles, there's something here for every young kiddo and every style of learner!
- Art for Kids Hub: Your kids have probably watched these videos at school! These videos are intended for children and teach them to draw. Your refrigerator will soon be full of adorable artwork! Have your child pick a video as a reward for completing a segment of required work.
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems: Mo Willems is one of our favorite children's author/illustrators. He sits down in his home studio and doodles, including tutorials for drawing favorite characters from his books (read: Gerald the Elephant, Pigeon, Piggie)! The videos are saved so you can watch them anytime. We also love that Mo has encouraging words for kiddos about what they may be feeling and going through at this time.
LITERACY & STORIES
- Vooks: This streaming library of animated children's books being read aloud is just for kids. You can sort available titles by age or theme and you'll find lots of favorites! The first month is free, but some schools are providing subscriptions for their students so ask your child's teacher about Vooks.
- Audible Stories for Kids: Audible Stories is being offered for free, for as long as schools are closed due to the novel coronavirus. There are books for your toddler listeners, books for tweens (including Harry Potter!), and all the age groups in between! There's no need to download a new app. You can stream from your computer, phone, or tablet.
- Storyline Online: Storyline operates based on the generosity of its listener-donors and is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, and the American Library Association. The foundation has celebrities read children's books aloud. So if you'd like to watch Chris Pine read Clark the Shark, or listen to Rose Byrne read The Tale of Peter Rabbit, it's tons of fun for grown-ups and kids!
- GoNoodle: GoNoodle is another channel your young elementary child is probably already familiar with! GoNoodle features 2 to 5-minute videos of guided deep breathing, dancing, jumping, and allows kiddos to take a break and get moving. There are also easy-to-follow choreographed dance videos for toddlers and grade school kids!
- Cosmic Kids Yoga: Cosmic Kids Yoga is a longtime favorite of ours! Miss Jaime tells a story as she takes your children on a colorful adventure as they learn a yoga flow. It's a blast (for grown-ups, too)! Visit Miss Jaime's Zen Den for mindfulness meditations for kids, as well. (It may not be Halloween time anymore but Katie's kids' favorite episode all year round is Ruby Broom.)