More Free Resources
We know that you’re looking for options to keep yourself and your family entertained and educated. We’re posting lists of online materials and resources that are available for free! Some of them are only accessible temporarily due to closures from COVID-19; others are available year-round. This list will be updated as we find more options. (Page updated 8/4/2021.)
The Massachusetts Department of Education has a page devoted to learning at home and talking to children about Coronavirus.
Free literacy activities--including videos, games, and coloring pages--are available at Scholastic, Books By The Bushel, and the classic, Sesame Street. Starfall has games and activities for children K-3, as well as resources and downloadable materials for parents.
DiscoveryMindblown has scientific videos, and a free app to let you explore science; and the Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids site has stories, activities, and more on animals, history, the weather, and the sky.
Formal lessons and educational materials are accessible for a wide range of ages--preschool through adults--from Seeds of STEM, Mystery Science, Khan Academy and Open P-Tech. The latter allows students to earn industry-recognized badges for their efforts!
Students K-12 can learn coding and computer science at Code.org.
Tour museums and zoos around the world with this collection of virtual field trips.
Visit museums in Massachusetts and around the world using the Google Art & Culture collection. The town of Plymouth, MA has virtual tours, while the Newport Mansions has a virtual lecture series and art/craft videos.
Want to explore the natural world? The Museum of Science has STEM resources and live streams available to keep kids and adults engaged, and to help parents teach their children--some in Spanish!
Do you love animals? The National Zoo, the Houston Zoo , and the San Diego Zoo have online resources, animal presentations, and live webcams on their animals. Prefer the water? Just keep swimming with archived videos at the New England Aquarium, and real-time views of the National Aquarium, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Georgia Aquarium. View animals of the air, land, and sea from around the world in real-time as well--and browse video highlights--at Explore.org. And get podcasts, coloring pages, games, and info about nature with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Interested in the fine arts? The New York Metropolitan Opera, Alvin Ailey, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra offer a variety of online experiences, from streaming performances to classes and dance workouts.
Don’t forget to check out these institutions' social media pages, especially YouTube!
Just for Fun
Are you a fan of author/illustrator Mo Willems (creator of Piggie & Elephant, Knufflebunny, and the Pigeon series)? Now archived on the Kennedy Center site, the “Lunch Doodles," the "Yo-Yo Mo Show," and "Thank You Thursdays" show him at work, and has connected activities. The Kennedy site also has performances and broader educational resources.
PBS KIDS has games, videos, and a daily newsletter with tips and activities to keep kids busy.
PBS has the Ken Burns documentary on baseball available.
Billboard.com has a list of live streams, digital programs, virtual concerts from the Grammy organizations, musicians, and more (note--some offerings are free, others are not).
Audible has made a library of kid-friendly audiobooks, offering a selection for children (including teens!) in eight different languages.
Challenge your mind with the New York Times Mini-Crossword puzzle.
Satisfy your curiosity about the world around you with the articles, games, and podcasts at How Stuff Works.
Stay Active & Mental Health
Want a class to help you stay active? There are free evening Facebook “work-in” videos from Planet Fitness and workout videos on demand from the YMCA. The team at Fitness Blender is dedicated to healthy living, with workout videos and even some free nutrition tips.
The Network of Care, Massachusetts has links to info about resources across the state for children and adults with mental health needs and other issues, while NAMI is a free support group for people living with mental health conditions.