COVID-19, also known as the novel corona virus, is keeping kids and their parents, at home. As with any out-of-school time, kids require lots of activities to engage them and keep them entertained. Online activities fit the bill by providing indoor, accessible entertainment to keep kids calm and happy during these troubling times. Here are some of the best, free, online activities for you and your children to enjoy during this enforced “coronacation” (or at any other time):
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA Foundation) has an award-winning children’s literacy initiative, a collection of videos of famous actors reading storybooks, called Storyline Online. Children can choose selections from the extensive library, such as Harry the Dirty Dog, read by Betty White, or Rita Moreno reading I Need My Monster.
Many museums are closed for the duration, but your children can still get their fill of culture with an online museum tour. Here are some museums that offer virtual tours:
- Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- Boston Children’s Museum
- The British Museum
- Smithsonian Natural History Museum
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- National Gallery of Art: Washington, D.C., Online Exhibits
- National Gallery of Art: Washington, Fashion
- Uffizi Gallery: Florence, Italy
- British Museum: London, History of the World
- The Louvre, Paris
- National Museum of the United States Air Force
Zoos and Animal Cams
Children love to visit the zoo. Many zoos offer virtual tours, and some of them have animal cams. Note that the animals may not always be visible on screen, as volunteers and staff may be on limited work schedules, which means they may not be around to change the camera’s angle.
- Pittsburgh Zoo Penguin Webcam
- Philadelphia Zoo Penguin Point Cam
- Cincinnati Zoo
- Atlanta Zoo
- Pittsburgh Zoo Cheetah Cam
- Houston Zoo
- Georgia Aquarium
- The Georgia Aquarium: Atlanta African Penguin Cam
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Elmwood Park Giraffe Cam
- The Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari (3 PM Daily)
- The San Diego Zoo Cams
Kids may be stuck at home, but they can still take a virtual field trip. Here are some popular online destinations offering online tours.
- The Great Wall of China
- Space Center Houston
- Mars Rover
- FarmFood 360
- Langley Research Center
- Glenn Research Center
- Discovery Education offers a variety of field trips from a tour of the Johnson Space Center, to a visit to the Tundra, and more.
Has your child always wanted to see the Oval Office? A palace? What better way to travel the world than from the comfort of your home (with snacks, of course)? Here are some of our favorites:
- The White House: Washington, D.C.
- Palace of Versailles: Versailles, France
- Stonehenge, England
- Machu Pichu, Peru
- The Acropolis, Athens, Greece
Concerts and Ballets
Music soothes the savage breast, including that of your restive child during the extended coronacation. Check out The Royal Opera House’s (London) youtube channel where your child can watch an opera or a ballet and see the colorful costumes of The Caterpillar from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or The Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
Dance and Exercise
One of the key issues to being cooped up inside, especially for kids, is the need to burn off some of the energy that kids seem to have in abundance. We know that exercise is important for both physical and mental health. Our suggestion: check out the wide range of content offered at Go Noodle Good Energy at Home for working off some of that extra coronacation energy.
Health and Fitness
Kids who balk at exercise and dance, on the other hand, may benefit from learning more about how such activities keep them healthy. Health and the Human Body is a comprehensive resource guide of fun, free, online games and activities that kids can play to learn all about their bodies, and how they can take better care of their health. Learning more about staying healthy and fit would seem to be just what children need while staying home to stay safe in a time of pandemic.
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