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.
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 Facebook, Instagram, 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
- Online learning with Khan Academy (all grades)
- Amazing educational videos from Ted Ed (the people who brought you TED Talks)
- Free classes from Harvard University
- Scholastic Learn At Home (for preK to grade 9)
- Educational resources by National Geographic Kids
- Educational resources from Starfall (for preK to grade 3)
- Busy Toddler resources for learning and play
- Learn Coding! (for preK to grades 9+)
- More Free Coding Tutorials
- Science Videos by Mystery Doug
- Learn to Type
- Podcasts for kids!
- Free Printables from Scholastic and Click, Clack, Books
- Virtual Field Trips by the Discovery Channel!
- San Diego Zoo and Calgary Zoo live cams
- Virtual Tour of the Boston Children's Museum
- Other Virtual Museum Tours
- Virtual Amusement Park Rides
- Music, Books, Ukulele, and Storytimes with Emily Arrow
- Enjoy some Storytimes from Space
- Brightly Storytimes
- Drawing and Comic Book Prompts from Jarrett Lerner
- Learn to Draw with Author/Illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka
- Yoga for Kids
- Other ways to get kids moving with YouTube
- Music Lessons
- Live concerts by Mr. Jon & Friends
- Art classes by McHarper Manor
- Learn Calligraphy on March 24!
- Reading Games by Squiggle Park
- Educational Games
- More games at PBSkids.org
- Prodigy Math Game
- CoolMath4Kids Games
And finally: Here are some great resources from Alberta Health Services about how to deal with this stressful time.