This is the ultimate isolation bucket list for kids. And I’m not stretching the truth. Due to, well, basically the entire world shutting down and creative workers wanting desperately to stay connected to their fans, there’s an unbelievable volume of cultural content available for free right now and if you’re not taking advantage of this, especially given the kids are at home, you’re quite mad.
Hang out with Dav Pilkey
That’s right, the author of the insanely popular kids’ books ‘Dog Man’ and Captain Underpants’ is offering free sessions for kids who love his stories and illustrations. Dav is reading from his books and teaching children how to draw his characters, but on the Scholastic website you’ll also find a series of creative tasks that tick a lot of creative AND developmental boxes.
Discover the great indoors
The world’s best known survival expert has partnered with Scouts UK to put together a series of 100 activities that will help families keep busy while warding off cabin fever during lockdown. The Great Indoors is a collection of activities which boost communication and problem-solving skills, help kids discover science and develop practical hands-on skills that can be applied in all sorts of situations – indoors and out.
Get a bed-time story from Dolly Parton
Aimed at kids, but totally suitable for adults who need a soothing voice, Goodnight with Dolly sees the acclaimed singer swap song-writing for story-telling. She’s reading a new book every Thursday (US time) at 7.00pm for the next ten weeks. We’re only two weeks in and so far Dolly’s delivered ‘The Little Engine that Could’ and ‘Coat of Many Colours.’
Access free online school resources
Scholastic is offering free online courses so your kids keep learning while school is out. The Learning at Home website delivers daily reading quests as well as a healthy does of science, social and community studies, maths and literacy. The program is divided into weekly and daily sessions and covers pre-kindy to Year 9.
Stream free audible books for kids
While school is on pause, kids can stream a huge range of audiobooks via Audible for free. There’s award-winners and best sellers as well as super star kids favourites like Peter Rabbit and Pooh, Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter, The Jungle Book and literally hundreds more.
Attend a virtual marine biology camp
Every Monday and Thursday at 11.00am (PDT), the good folks at Oceans Initiative (@oceansinitiative) are live streaming a virtual marine biology camp. The scientists, stuck at home with their daughter, are well equipped to understand the need to both educate and entertain children. They’ve been talking about killer whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins, how they take breath samples to understand diseases in wild dolphins, how they keep whales, dolphins and porpoises safe from fishing gear and parasites in marine mammals.
Draw lunchtime doodles with Mo
Mo Willems is an American writer, animator, voice actor, and creator of children’s books. His television work includes creating the animated television series Sheep in the Big City for Cartoon Network as well as working on Sesame Street. Well now he’s inviting you into hist studio every day for a lunch doodle. With children viewers he’s exploring ways of writing and making together while he chats about his characters. The series contains 15 episodes with downloadable activities also available at the Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence website.
See lions and penguins and zebras, oh my!
Melbourne Zoos are live-streaming videos from a bunch of wildlife enclosures across multiple properties. And just like visiting the zoo in person it can be hard to spot the critter sometimes. Since launching there’ve been live streams from the tree-kangaroos and echidnas a well as lions, giraffes, snow leopards, penguins and zebras.
Get a space story from an astronaut working in space
Your kids can listen to space-related stories being read from real astronauts living and working in space as part of the Storytime From Space series.
Join Walliams for stories every day
David Walliams OBE, is an English comedian, actor, writer, and television personality. He’s releasing a free children’s audio story every day on his website, released at 11.00am (UK time) and available for a week after.
Learn hieroglyphics with ancient Egyptian text
Children aged from 8 up can learn how to write their names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs with a step-by-step guide from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.
Visit the surface of Mars
Adventurous, house-bound kids will delight at the chance to visit the surface of Mars. Thanks to images recorded by NASA’s Curiosity rover, the 360-degree photo tour, with spectacularly high resolution will definitely bring the smiles to space-mad kids’ dials.