Monday, March 16, 2020

Online Reading, Learning, and Fun Resources

While schools and the library are closed, many parents and caregivers are looking for learning opportunities for their children during their time at home.  We are providing some online resources here and will continue to update this list.

Please use this list as it best helps you and your family.  Every child (and every adult) is different.  Some children may find comfort in a school-like routine; others may need more downtime.  You know your child best.  What your child needs may be very different from what another child (even in your own family) needs. While our physical well-being is on the forefront of our minds, and parents are now juggling their children's academic needs at home, remember your and your children's emotional and mental well-being are important, too.  Take time for you and for them.  Stay in your pjs and do "nothing" all day if you need to.  And, when you're looking for learning or entertainment options, here are some for you to consider.

Teens: Some of the options below are for all ages. See additional resources for teens here.

Screen-free ideas: See screen-free ideas here.

Coronavirus: See tips for talking with your child and books & journals for your child here.

If you don't have internet access: Comcast is currently offering 2 free months of their Internet Essentials plan to new subscribers.  Their website is here.  We are not affiliated with this program, but are sharing it in case it is of interest to you.  

Library Resources:

eBooks and eAudiobooks from our membership in Woodlands Library Cooperative
You can use your library card to download free eBooks and eAudiobooks here or through the Libby app here.

Michigan Electronic Library (MeL) from the Library of Michigan
The Michigan Electronic Library (MeL) has a variety of reading, research, and learning resources for all ages – ebooks, youth activities, ACT/SAT/PSAT test prep, and more.  

See all MeL eResources here, options specifically for children here, and test prep here.  

Here are direct links to some MeL resources:

Britannica Fundamentals - Designed for preK through 2nd grade. Play and read to learn letters, numbers, shapes, and more.

Britannica School Elementary - Designed for grades 3-4. Find information on countries, animals, and people. Watch and learn with videos, games, and activities.

Britannica School Middle - Designed for grades 5-7. Find maps, photos, articles, and famous people and places. Compare countries and tour the USA. For homework help and your curiosity.

EBSCO eBook K-8 Collection - Titles that support K-8 students across all subject areas.

Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos - Designed for young Spanish speaking students or those learning Spanish as a second language. Full text articles, maps, flags, and more. Dozens of hands-on activities and links to Spanish language websites. Also includes a visual dictionary.

Explora for Elementary SchoolsFor elementary school libraries. Content from children’s magazines, easy-to-read encyclopedia entries, and images. Students can learn about animals, musicians, fitness, space exploration, and much more.

PebbleGo -  Designed for grades PreK-3. This early literacy and learning resource contains animals (including dinosaurs), science, biographies, and social studies sections of this early literacy and learning tool. Easy-to-navigate visual interface for emerging readers.

School Center from LearningExpress Library - Designed for grades 4 through 12. Skills improvement in math, writing and grammar, reading comprehension, social studies, and vocabulary and spelling through tests, eBooks, and tutorials. Create a free account to access tools to help you do well in school.

World Book Early Learning - Designed for grades PreK - 3. Follow Trek and Taffy the cat around the world. Share their love of colors, numbers, and other fun things. 

World Book Kids - Designed for grades Pre K - 5. Easy-to-read content for elementary school learners. Hundreds of activities, science projects and experiments.

See our TNT (Teen & Tween) page here for additional resources geared for teens.

Tumblebook Library
Tumblebooks has provided free access to their resources through August 31.
Tumblebook Library - children's ebooks
TumbleMath - children's math ebooks
TeenBookCloud - ebooks for 7th - 12th grades
AudioBookCloud - all ages - audiobooks

Capstone has provided free access to Capstone Interactive eBooks and PebbleGo Next during this time of school and library closings.

Capstone Interactive eBooks:
  • Visit and click "Log In"
  • Username: continue
  • Password: reading
  • Note: to exit a book and return to the main website page, click on the X in the LOWER LEFT of the screen.
PebbleGo Next:

Additional resources - not affiliated with our library
The following resources are not affiliated with our library.  We are providing them as a convenience to you. 

Authors, Illustrators, and Books

Live Events:

Pete the Cat Live Storytime
James Dean

Weekdays at 1:00

Instagram here
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Mo Willems
author of the Pigeon books, Piggie and Elephant, Squirrels Unlimited, and more
Weekdays at 1:00, and archived for viewing at any time
Kennedy Center website here,
You Tube here
Draw every Day with JJK: webcasts for young artists
Jarrett J. Krosoczka,
author of Lunch Lady, Platypus Police Squad, and more

Weekdays at 2:00 P.M., also will be available for viewing later
details on Facebook here, viewable on YouTube here

Oliver Jeffers
author of The Day the Crayons Quit and other picture books
Daily at 2:00 P.M., also will be available for viewing later
Facebook - here
Mac Barnett
author of many picture books and children’s novels
Daily at 3:00
Instagram here

Miximal Mondays
Ben Clanton,
author/illustrator of Narwhal and Jelly
Mondays at 12:30
Instagram here
Some prior videos on Facebook here
Videos of Dav Pilkey drawing, reading aloud, and following his mantra—Always Be Creative! 
Dav Pilkey,
author of Captain Underpants, Dog Man, and more
Videos posted each Friday morning
Facebook: Library of Congress  (search posts for Dav Pilkey)

Facebook: Scholastic - At Home with Dav Pilkey playlist 

Website: Library of Congress 

Storytime – read-aloud, behind the scenes, Q&A, and more
Josh Funk
author of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast and more
Saturdays at 11:00 A.M.
Facebook here
Instagram here

Home Base Virtual Book Event
Multiple events - check their website for the current one
Website here
NCSSM Reads (North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics)
Facebook here

 Available any time:

Kidlit TV
Authors reading and talking about their books
Website here
Story Time from Space
Astronauts read children’s books
Website here
Storyline Online
Actors read children’s books
Website here
Just Books Read Aloud

Website here

Multiple authors and illustrators, compiled by Kate Messner (author of Ranger in Time and many other books)
Read-alouds and activities by authors and illustrators
Website here
Various, compiled by the Indianapolis Public Library
Website here
Grace Lin
author/illustrator of many children’s novels and picture books
Reading and drawing
You Tube here
Robert Munsch
author of many picture books

Website here
Jerry Pallotta
author of Who Would Win series and other books
You Tube here
Todd Parr
author of many picture books
You Tube here

Books & Magazines

Audible - free access to audiobooks. No login. Stories in 6 languages.

Harry Potter at Home

Magic Treehouse Home Adventures

Ranger Rick magazine: free digital access to Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr., Ranger Rick Cub, Zoobooks, Zoodinos, Zootles, and Zoobies. 

Time for Kids - free digital access to grade-specific publications.

Unite for Literacy

Zoey and Sassafrass - free Kindle or pdf versions

Books about Coronavirus & COVID-19 for children
by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts; illustrated by Axel Scheffler
You can download the free pdf or read it free online at the end of the linked post.

by Malia Jones, a social epidemiologist
You can download the free book in English or Spanish, as a colorful pdf or a printer-friendly black & white version. 
by Manuela Molina 
You can download the free pdf (available in multiple languages) at the end of the linked post.

See additional resources about COVID-19 here.


Ranger Rick magazine and more: The National Wildlife Federation is providing free digital access to their children’s magazines for the next few months.  This includes Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr., Ranger Rick Cub, Zoobooks, Zoodinos, Zootles, and Zoobies. See more information and start reading here.

Cincinnati Zoo:
The Cincinnati Zoo is featuring one of their animals and providing a related activity idea each day at 3:00 on Facebook Live.  Videos will be recorded and available on their website and YouTube channel.

Detroit Zoo:
Videos and activities for children are on their website here and follow the links to their social media accounts in "The Z Feed" section.

Georgia Aquarium:
Live Cams here.

Houston Zoo:
Live Cams here

Monterey Bay Aquarium:
Live cams here and games and activities here.

National Aviary
Live at 1:00 on Thursdays on Facebook here and archived on their website.
Here is a video of the book Sylvie, read among real flamingos at the Aviary. This is a fun book we've read in programs at the library.

St. Louis Aquarium:
Videos of Breakfast with the Otters, Breakfast with Coconut (a sloth), and more are on their website here and Facebook page here.  

San Diego Zoo:
Photos, information, videos, stories, activities and more about animals are on their website here and live cams here

Zoo Atlanta;
Keeper Stories, Live Panda Cam, activities and more are on their website here
See a list of free coding apps and websites here



Online free Spanish
Mango Languages - with your library card


10 Social Emotional Activities

A variety of museums through Google Arts and Culture

A variety of events and places from Discovery Education

Emily Arrow on YouTube

Laurie Berkner is Live on Facebook here weekday mornings at 10:00

Laurie Berkner on YouTube

Detroit Symphony Orchestra - recordings of a variety of their performances


The Music Lady, Beverly Meyer is Live on Facebook here on Friday mornings at 11:00 A.M. Videos then remain on her Facebook page, so you can watch previous weeks' recordings.


Cosmic Kids Yoga

GoNoodle - children's dance and movement videos

Michigan State University Extensions's Family Yoga
Monday - Friday, March 16-20 at 9:30 - details on Facebook here

Time for Kids - free digital access to grade-specific publications.


The Henry Ford - Innovation Learning Virtual Series - a variety of live online series including STEAM Stories (preK - 2nd grade), Innovation Journeys Live (grades 3-8), Virtual Visits, Kid Inventors, and more

The Kennedy Space Center will host videos on Facebook Live about space, rocketry, and more on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:30 for young children and at 1:00 for older children/teens. More information is here and their Facebook page is here.  

Michigan Science Center - live demonstrations and archived videos

Mystery Science - grade level-specific science 

Michigan State University Science Festival is online this year.  See digital presentations, virtual tours, STEAM you can do at home, and links to partners with even more fun science information and activities.

NASA - a variety of activities and information

National Geographic Kids


Additional resources:
Resources about COVID-19 - books for children, journal pages, tips for talking with your child


Share a Smile - Share artwork and letters with Meals on Wheels recipients.
Share Your Story - Share your experiences and daily life during this pandemic.
Poetry Month - Write a poem to add to our Poetree.

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