These websites and online resources have been integrated into our daily lives in the past three+ weeks and G loves them all. These are the sites that I turn to when I need to focus on work, cook a more elaborate meal, or tackle some re-organizing around the apartment. They are engaging enough to occupy her for at least an hour. In fact, she would probably stay on some of these sites all day if I let her.
For more educational and entertaining ideas, check out our Homeschool Ideas Story highlight reel on Instagram. I will update this list as we discover more exciting resources.
G is five years old, but these online resources serve a wide range of ages in my opinion.
1. Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers, FREE
This is a current fave. You get a music lesson, a cultural lesson, and a world language lesson all rolled into one. G started out with one of the hour-long concerts, which features Soul Science Lab, then moved on to the brief mini lessons (about five minutes on average) presented by the artists that performed in the concert. There are art and writing activities that are provided online as well. So far, she loved learning traditional Colombian Cumbia songs, Armenian folk songs and dances, and how to beat box!
2. Draw so cute on Youtube, FREE
This channel provides step-by-step drawing tutorials. The first time G tried this channel, she picked a hand sanitizer superhero battling a coronavirus-Wennie, the teacher updates very regularly and her forte is Beanie Boo-like characters with big cutesy eyes. There are many drawing tutorial channels on Youtube but G is particularly drawn to this one. It is, as the name implies, very cute.
3. Kids Art hub on Youtube, FREE
G did her first drawing tutorial with this website. It has a variety of different options and is lead by a father and his two kids. Most kids that we know love it, and again, it can occupy for an hour+.
4. Google Earth, FREE
One night G and I explored the Galapagos Islands via Google Earth. We trekked around and watched a video that almost made us feel like we were under the sea. You can explore the far corners of the earth, including 30 UNESCO World Heritage sites, at your own pace while enjoying the comforts of your Pjs and giant tub of ice cream.
5. Cosmic Kids Yoga, FREE
This one is 100% dependable for an hour of engaging screen time. You can find the channel on Youtube or download the app for a full library of story time yoga and dance workouts. G's favorites are Popcorn the Dolphin, Harry Potter and the disco party that involves a washing machine move. Jaime, the instructor has a remarkable talent for storytelling while making yoga poses accessible to the kiddos.
6. Go Noodle, FREE
Go Noodle is the program that G did in her Pre-K classroom on the days when she did not have gym. You can select short (about three minute) movement videos or game options. On the website, you can select from featured videos or go directly to the variety of channels that span different musical styles and themes. G loves MooseTube and Blazer Fresh. The videos range from calming relaxation exercises to active jumping dance combinations.
7. The Giant Room, FREE
Our favorite family innovation hub brings free interactive Zoom sessions every weekday from 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm. Just click on the link to register. Kids will be lead in a creative project everyday, which will culminate in a museum in your very own home!
8. Storyline Online, FREE
Would you like Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Silverman, and Michelle Yeoh to read to your kids? I bet they would enjoy it! This amazing site features videos of 84 celebrities reading popular children's books. I cannot recommend it enough.
9. Brainpop, FREE
Many schools use this as a teaching aid, and now it is available to families. G has been hooked on the science and arts and technology videos. Each video is accompanied by games and even pop quizzes. The other subjects are Health, Reading and Writing, Social Studies, and Math. We have yet to even explore those subjects, but I am sure they will come in handy soon!
This might seem obvious, but in case you haven't tried it yet, FaceTime has most effectively replaced physical playdates during this time. G has had hour+ FaceTime play dates. She likes to make a fort and then play pretend with her buddies (or grandparents) inside of her magical little space.
We haven't tried these yet, but have gotten recommendations from friends and family:
This is a learning system that connects to an app you can upload. To be honest, ours is still sitting in the box, but we will get to it this week and let you know how it goes! There are several levels available.
I imagine that this is similar to Brain Pop, but we have not tried it yet.
G did theater camp here last summer and loved it. We are trying to figure out which dance class to try. You can register for single drop in classes with this program!
Let me know if you have any faves and I will try to add them to this list! Again, check out our Homeschool Ideas Story highlight reel on Instagram to see what else has been keeping G occupied indoors!