Home inside with your kids because of the coronavirus? These online resources are engaging, educational—and just plain fun.
Well, here we are. Millions of us (including all of us at Pipette HQ) are hunkered down in our houses right now, looking for ways to keep our kids happy, stimulated, and occupied. Hi! You’re in good company! And there’s never been a better time for finding kid-friendly activities online that aren’t just endless replays of Frozen 2. (Though, hey, we’ve all been there too. We’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do to get through the days.) To help families out, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite kid-approved online resources, from livestreams of your little one’s favorite aquariums (hi there, sea otters!) to virtual toddler yoga to drawing classes by bestselling children’s book authors.
Got other favorites that your kids have been loving? Let us know in the comments below.
Arts & Crafts
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. The wildly popular author of Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! and the Elephant and Piggie series is now holding half hour-long doodle lessons every weekday. When all this is over, you’ll have him to thank for all the five year-olds who can flawlessly execute a cartoon pigeon.
Draw Together with Wendy MacNaughton. The bestselling illustrator has turned quarantine art teacher: kids can tune into her Instagram for a half hour every morning at 10 am Pacific Time for a hilarious, irresistible art lesson. Each one stays up on Instagram Stories for 24 hours.
Recycle And Play. An Instagram account solely dedicated to fun, colorful crafts to make from items you can find around the house (Amazon boxes, we’re looking at you). We especially love their amazing ideas for toddlers, like this ingenious Montessori-style sorting game fashioned from cardboard and paper towel rolls.
Monterey Bay Aquarium live web cams. For tiny ocean-lovers, the legendary Monterey Bay Aquarium is unsurpassed. From 7 am to 7 pm PT, you can spy on kelp forests, graceful jellyfish, and of course the lovable sea otters.
Storytime From Space. Have a budding space explorer on your hands? Here, astronauts in orbit are filmed reading science-oriented stories to kids. The little ones will be entranced by the inherent awesomeness of being read to by a resident of the space station—not to mention the floating books.
San Diego Zoo live cams. The animal-obsessed can watch live footage of polar bears, giraffes, burrowing owls, tigers, penguins, koalas, and more.
Cosmic Kids Yoga. This bestselling kids yoga app is great for the littler set—kids as young as toddlers will be won over by the way yoga is seamlessly melded with charming, silly storytelling. You can choose the length of class to meet whatever your child’s attention span.
Storytelling & Reading
Audible.com. As long as schools are closed, audible.com has pledged to offer up its collection of children’s audiobooks for free, including favorites like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (narrated by Scarlett Johansson) and Winnie-the-Pooh.
Epic app. 40,000 books live in Epic’s library, from The Giving Tree to Jimmy Fallon’s Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada. The app is normally $7.99 a month, but for at least the next few months, Epic is offering free access for students through their schools; learn more here if you want your kids’ teacher to investigate this offer.
Josh Gad bedtime stories. If your kid loves Olaf from Frozen (and let’s be real, what kid doesn’t?), take note: Josh Gad, the actor behind the voice of the endearing snowman, is reading bedtime stories on Twitter every evening at 7:30 pm Eastern.
Together app. Think Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, but with games and picture books: preschoolers and elementary age kids can video chat with their friends while playing any number of interactive games like checkers, cards, or memory games. Get grandparents in on the virtual babysitting action and enlist them to read bedtime stories to the little ones—everyone will love it.