At-Home Activities for Kids

collage of three photos of young girl sitting on couch reading a book, child drawing with a pencil, smiling child wearing earphones looking at a tablet

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. Plus, check out our virtual puppet shows and more on BPL's YouTube channel.

No Dragons for Tea: A multi-lingual read aloud with the Oakville Fire Department, presented by Oakville Public Library.

Bookmarks - Celebrating Black Voices: A collection of 12 episodes featuring prominent Black celebrities and artists including Lupita N'yongo, Misty Copeland and Common reading children's books from Black authors, highlighting the Black experience. Hosted by Marley Dias, On Youtube or Netflix.

BiblioVideo: A project of the Canadian Children's Book Centre, this Youtube channel is full of online author talks and book readings

Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre: ASL Stories, eBooks, and other ASL educational resources for parents and kids.

Jbrary: A directory of online storytimes and resources for songs and rhymes.

KidLit TV: Shows, podcasts, read alouds, storytimes, crafts & activities, and more that celebrate children's books and connect you with the people who create them.

Storytime Online: Listen to famous actors and personalities like Betty White, Oprah, and Kristin Bell read children’s books.

Julie's Library: Join beloved icon Julie Andrews for story time! Julie and her daughter, children’s author and educator Emma Walton Hamilton, invite you into their library to read their favorite children's books. Podcasts available online.

What happened when we all stopped: An animated poem narrated by Jane Goodall exploring how the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of living in harmony with nature.

Access Mars: Use VR technology to explore the real surface of Mars, as recorded by NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Earth Cam: Live cameras all over the world allow you to travel and explore from home. Our favourites include a nesting Osprey, and some baby Falcons.

Food Farm 360°: Online virtual tours of Canadian farms, compatible with VR.

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.

Virtual Museum: Google Arts & Culture virtual tours

ROCK EarlyON Virtual Programs & Support: Local child development experts present online programs. Check their schedule on Facebook.

Cosmic Kids Yoga: Youtube yoga lessons designed for young children.

GoNoodle: Fun activities to get you moving.

Get Moving with Disney: Workouts for kids inspired by Disney movies.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Calming ocean videos and guided meditations to bring relaxation.

Postcards for Peace: Send a message to Canadian Armed Forces members or veterans.

CBC Kids: Play free kids games, watch videos, and explore activities, quirky quizzes and fun facts.

Draw Every Day with JJK: author and illustrator Jarrett J Krosoczka posts daily drawing lessons on Youtube.

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 visit Mo’s studio virtually over three weeks of online drawing lessons.

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.

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.

Tourism Burlington Puzzle Fun: Online puzzles of varying difficulty that feature Burlington.

Learn at Home: Resources for elementary and secondary students from the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Art Gallery of Hamilton: Kids/Youth programming includes storytimes and art projects all about different styles of art.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York: Free online art classes.

Amazing Educational Resources: A searchable directory of online educational resources, with new items being added all the time.

Children’s Book Council: Book publishers have created a wealth of content to support educators, librarians, booksellers, parents, and caregivers.

Bedtime Math: Daily prompts to make math easy and fun to talk about. Try adding into your bedtime routine!

Exploratorium Toolbox: videos and articles for kids seeking to understand.

Khan Academy: A non-profit providing free education through fun lessons, like “Imagineering in a Box.”

Math is Fun: Online math resource with helpful explanations of many concepts, great for caregivers trying to help with math homework.

NASA STEM @Home: Science, tech, engineering, and math activities for families with kids in grades K-4.

National Film Board Education: Open access to films on subjects that tie into curricula, activities, and more through their Learning at Home site.

PBS LearningMedia: PreK-12 Resources for Emergency Closings, curated collections of lessons, videos, and activities at each grade level.

Sci Show Kids: Explore technology, earth and space science, animals, and experiments with awesome video playlists.

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.

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

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

BPL Virtual Storytime

BrainFuse: Personalized eLearning - free with your BPL card!

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Kanopy Kids - stream movies using your library card

Explore TumbleBooks online books for kids

Streaming movies on Hoopla