Looking for things to do at home with the kids? Here are some reading and activity suggestions and online resources recommended by our Children's Librarians.
Lessons & Educational Supports
Amazing Educational Resources: An online spreadsheet tracking education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings.
Children’s Book Council: Book publishers have created a wealth of content to support educators, librarians, booksellers, parents, and caregivers.
Learn at Home: Resources for elementary and secondary students from the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Bedtime Math: Daily prompts to make math easy and fun to talk about. Try adding into your bedtime routine!
CBC Curio.ca: Online streaming platform, currently with complimentary access, with collections of educational videos.
Khan Academy: A non-profit providing free education through fun lessons, like “Imagineering in a Box.”
NASA STEM @Home: Science, tech, engineering, and math activities for families with kids in grades K-4.
PBS LearningMedia: PreK-12 Resources for Emergency Closings, curated collections of lessons, videos, and activities at each grade level.
Scholastic Learn at Home: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
TVO in the Classroom: Educational videos, articles, and games for students in grades K-12
TVO mPower: Math games for K-6, aligned with the Ontario curriculum
Vroom by Bezos Family Foundation: A free app and website with brain building tips for kids 5 and under.
Storytimes & Book Readings
Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre: ASL Stories, eBooks, and other ASL educational resources for parents and kids.
SAG-AFTRA Foundation: Listen to famous actors and personalities like Betty White, Oprah, and Kristin Bell read children’s books.
We are Teachers: The Big List of children’s authors doing online read alouds and activities
Zoos, Museums & Other Experiences
Access Mars: Use VR technology to explore the real surface of Mars, as recorded by NASA’s Curiosity rover.
Cincinnati Zoo: Facebook Live videos highlighting a new animal each weekday at 3pm, and shared via Youtube after the live stream.
Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants: Live free events with scientists and explorers around the world, hosted Live on Youtube.
Food Farm 360°: Online virtual tours of Canadian farms, compatible with VR.
Harry Potter - A History of Magic: Experience the British Library’s Happy Potter exhibit, now available online.
The Louvre: Online tours of select exhibits.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Live cams allow you to visit everything from jellyfish to sea otters.
Ripley’s Aquariums: Daily live events with aquarium animals and downloadable educational materials.
San Diego Zoo: Live cameras in various zoo exhibits, paired with educational resources.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Self-guided tours of select current and past exhibits.
Health & Wellness
Cosmic Kids Yoga: Youtube yoga lessons designed for young children.
Headspace: Guided meditations in a mobile app, offering free trials and recommended meditations for this time.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: calming ocean videos and guided meditations to bring relaxation.
Games & Activities
All Kids Network: Crafts, worksheets, colouring pages, printable mazes, dot to dots, and more.
Breakout EDU Fun @Home: Problem solving games for K-12 with educational topics.
Draw Every Day with JJK: author and illustrator Jarrett J Krosoczka posts daily drawing lessons on Youtube.
Funbrain: Online games, books, and activities divided by grades K-8.
Harry Potter at Home: Fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and plenty more for first-time readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world.
Hour of Code: Coding tutorials that teach computer science while kids create games and animations.
The Kennedy Centre presents Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems: Draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks.
Math Playground: Free online math games and puzzles, for grades 1-6.
National Geographic Kids: Games, articles, and videos all about animals and the environment.
PBS Kids: Online games featuring popular TV characters.
PBS Kids Design Squad Global: Videos, games and design challenges to promote engineering and design skills.
Pete the Cat, Harper Collins Children’s Books: Songs, videos, and activities about everyone’s favourite cat.
Seussville, Random House Children’s Books: Activities, crafts, and printables.
Todd Parr Fun!: Printable and online activities from always positive author Todd Parr. Be sure to check out the Things That Make You Feel Good activity book.
Cozy Sundays: Grab a blanket, get cozy, and enjoy an episode of a family-friendly TV show on Kanopy Kids, a movie from Hoopla, or a read-along on TumbleBook Library.
Book Club Mondays: Check out an eBook from our Overdrive collection. Every Monday, read a few chapters of your novel out loud as a family. Don't forget to have someone recap what you read last time.
Game night Tuesdays: Embrace your competitive side. There’s so many different games you can play!
- Board games
- Card games: Crazy Eights, Go Fish, War
- Paper and pencil games: Tic Tac Toe, Hangman, Squares
- Create your own board game
- Create your own matching memory game
- Tray memory game
- Learn Chess
Challenge Wednesdays: Get inventive and think outside the box to complete a family challenge.
- ABC scavenger hunt
- Fort building challenge
- Learn 5 words in a new language (use Transparent Language Online to help)
- Recycling bin challenge (Raid your recycling bin for containers and boxes, pick 5 items and combine them into a new invention)
- Loose Parts challenge (Find 3 unrelated items, like toothpicks, yarn, and toilet paper rolls, everyone gets 10 minutes to combine those 3 things into something useful)
Active Thursdays: Get moving today! Some of our favourite ways to get going:
- Borrow an album from Hoopla and have a dance-off
- Hide and Seek
- Backyard obstacle course
- Laser beam maze
Kindness Fridays: What can you do today to be kind to those around you, and those who have to keep their distance right now?
- Write a nice message or draw a fun picture and hang it in your window
- Write encouraging sayings on the sidewalk with chalk
- Rake a neighbour’s lawn
- Do someone else’s chores
- Call, text, or email someone you care about
- Write a nice note for someone in your home
Creative Saturdays: Get imaginative and resourceful, and let your creative side shine on Saturdays!
- Invent a new snack
- Make an indoor “campsite”
- Create a puppet from an old sock
- Turn lunch into a picnic
- Make your own picturebook
- Write a poem
Related library links