Our Contributors share their list of the top fun things for kids to do online at home during the current Coronavirus situation. And remember… stay in, stay well, and stay safe!
Children are going to be home from school for some time yet, possibly for the remainder of the school year. Fortunately, there are an incredible array of resources now available that blend entertainment and education.
These are just a few of the top things for kids to do online when stuck at home.
1. Do Some Online Travelling
Google Street View is a great way to explore roads anywhere in the world, from famous sites to places you and your family have visited in the past. Take a drive down Broadway or along Hawaii’s Kohala Coast, or show the kids the house where you or their grandparents grew up.
In recent years, Street View has gone far beyond roadside vistas, and has opened up the potential for some fun online travel (be sure to read our story on the best virtual travel sites, too). The Arts and Culture project allows you to go inside famous sites and monuments, from the Colosseum in Rome to the Sydney Opera House to the Palace of Versailles. There are also themed tours that let you explore everything from street art to the places that inspired your favourite authors.
If you need to get outside virtually, Google’s Virtual Treks let you climb the Everest Base Camp in Nepal, dive in the Galapagos Islands of Peru, or search for polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.
2. Start Computer Coding
The computer scientists at Code Break host a weekly interactive webcast to engage all students, even those without computers. Check it out at https://code.org/break
3. Join a Learning Hub
KiwiCompany has put together a great resource hub for activities. Everything is organized by age and comes with parent toolkits and daily updates. Learn more at www.kiwico.com/kids-at-home
4. Listen to a Good Book
Audible is offering free children’s audio books. Read more at https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
5. Tap Into Online Learning Resources
The non-profit Khan Academy is offering free resources to keep everyone learning. There is a free, ad-free app and separate sites – one for students, teachers, and parents (https://www.khanacademy.org/), and one for Khan Academy Kids (https://learn.khanacademy.org/khan-academy-kids/)
6. Go On an Armchair Safari
Want to see some wildlife up close? Check out some of the amazing exhibits at world class zoos and aquariums, including Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Their Shark Camera is a constant live stream of their shark tank.
The San Diego Zoo is livestreaming a number of animals on its website, including koalas, pandas, giraffes and polar bears. And you can also bring exotic animals like snow leopards into your living room with a selection of live video streams from a number of Australian zoos (www.zoo.org.au/animal-house/)
7. Visit a Virtual Museum
A great many museums have created specific online exhibits as well as digital tours of their physical locations. The Virtual Museum of Canada has a large digital source of stories and experiences shared by Canada’s museums and heritage organizations. You can even see iconic art pieces up close. Check out their website at www.virtualmuseum.ca/
Also, be sure to check out our article about the best online performances to watch while at home. It lists many other fun things for kids to do online when stuck at home, including theatre, concerts, dance… and so much more!