What Do I Doodle Now?: Isolation Activities for Children

We want to help keep kids learning, reading, and entertained while we “isolate, together.” In this post you'll find a bunch of great resources to keep the boredom away.
Posted on 20 March 2020 by Mary Ellen.

One of my favourite children’s book author/illustrators, Mo Willems (Don’t Let the Pigeon..., Knuffle Bunny, Elephant & Piggie books), has invited us virtually into his studio for a daily (weekdays at 11am MST) art lesson called LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems! - so that, in his words, we can be “isolated and together at the same time.” 

During what goes without saying is a difficult time for all, Willems and many others have also given permission for their works to be read aloud online without copyright restrictions. This is some much-needed good news for teachers, library staff, and parents especially, as they find themselves wondering what they can do to keep children learning, reading, and frankly, just plain keep everyone from going crazy while schools are closed!!


What Else Is There For Us To Do With the Kids?

Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent places to turn to online, from authors reading their own books, to virtual storytimes, celebrity storytimes, National Park tours, live-streamed musical performances (and check out the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on YouTube and the Metropolitan Opera), virtual museum tours, and much, much more. 

On Twitter, check out #OperationStorytime to see which authors are reading their stories live each day, and #KidLitQuarantine for free educational materials, craft ideas, and live virtual events.

These are only a couple of suggestions to start off with - see below for a master list of links, compiled by our own MHPL staff, to help keep you and your family entertained and enlightened from a distance. And of course, be sure to watch our social media pages (@MHPublicLibrary on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter) for our own virtual program delivery and see all of the videos we've recorded thus far on our YouTube Channel


What Can My Kids Do With Their Library Card?

We have a TON of fantastic online resources that you can access from home with your library card, like:

  • TumbleBooks: animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading
  • OverDrive for Kids & Teens: eBooks & eAudiobooks
  • RBDigital: digital magazines, audiobooks, comics, and graphic novels 
  • Solaro: study help and exam prep tool for students in grades 3 to 12
  • Gale Courses: hundreds of interactive, instructor-led online courses
  • Pronunciator: learn a new language - 80 to choose from! 

And again, there's so much more to discover (for all ages!) - see the full list here

If you need help with renewing your library card or accessing these virtual resources, please call the Library (403-502-8525) between 10am and 5pm, Monday - Friday. Although we are closed to the public to protect everyone’s safety, a helpful staff member is currently still only a phone call away. And if you don't currently have a valid library card, you can sign-up for a 90-day Free Trial which gives you access to all of our online resources! 


No Matter What You Choose To Do, Be Kind.

Lastly and most importantly, please remember to take care of each other and be kind while practicing social distancing. 

As Mo Willems said in his first Doodle session, Waiting Is Not Easy, but we will make it through this tough time apart by “isolating, together!” Let’s support each other and spread love, not germs, from a distance. 

PS: if you haven’t watched this very important message from Pluto the dog, you have to!!! (please ignore the part about cats not being important, though).


More Online Activities to Discover

And finally: Here are some great resources from Alberta Health Services about how to deal with this stressful time.

Featured Article:

PSA: Reading Not Cancelled

The Library is currently closed to the public in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. This makes us incredibly sad because we LOVE what we do! We LOVE our patrons. We LOVE interacting with you all on a daily basis. And we know that you LOVE reading and are probably really upset that you can’t get your materials right now. Here’s what you can still do with your library card from the comfort of your self-quarantine.  ...read more
Mar. 18, '20