We've compiled a list of various activities both fun and educational to help you during this time. Stay safe everyone and we'll see you soon!
A library card is not required for any of these. For resources that you can use with your library card, click here.
Keep checking this page as we are updating it daily with new options.
On Saturday, June 6 at 9:00 a.m. CNN will host another town hall in collaboration with Sesame Street. The show will talk to kids about racism, the recent nationwide protests, embracing diversity and being more empathetic and understanding.
Thursday June 4 at 6:00 p.m. The Brown Bookshelf is hosting an event on Facebook Live and Zoom with authors and publishers of children's books. The event is for children, parents & educators.
A powerful and thoughtprovoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. Based on the best selling book of the same name. Just Mercy is available for the month of June to rent for free.
Virtual Library Programs:
(stay tuned for more!)
We are uploading storytimes, tech videos, crafts for the kids, and more.
We have a playlist of storytime videos read by staff from the library. Check back every week for more!
We've started a Spanish Conversation group on Zoom! Join us on Thursdays at 5:00 for an hour of practicing talking with each other in Spanish.
Special presentation from our previously scheduled Frequency Jams musical performance.
Rhonda Fentry, who teaches yoga (and zumba previously) at the Library has been uploading videos to Youtube. Videos are released weekly.
LaToya Towns regularly teaches Zumba at the Library. Contact her through her Facebook page for more information about classes on Zoom.
Read (or listen) for free:
Free access to all their audiobooks for 30 days.
American Girl has free ebooks available for download. They have included teacher and parent resources to use along with the books as well.
Free audiobooks through June. Selections for all ages.
Enjoy digital books, images, videos and more from libraries, artists, authors and others from your community and around the world. Freely accessible to anyone in Illinois.
Created and produced by parents of young children, WBUR's Circle Round adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10.
Immerse yourself in the world of African Superhero comic books from this digital comic book company based in Nigeria.
Comixology has free comics available! Try out a new title or read one of your favorites from The Walking Dead, Black Panther, Stranger Things, and more.
Dark Horse has a majority of their first issues of a series available for free.
The Digital Public Library of America provides access to the digital holdings of libraries, archives, and museums.
A guide to some free digital comics that are available right now.
The HathiTrust Digital Library is a collaboration between academic and research libraries that aims at digitally preserving collections.
J.K. Rowling wrote The Ickabog many years ago but never published the story. Now, she has made it freely available online. Bonus! You can illustrate the story yourself using her suggestions.
Inkie is a resource for reading and for those interested in sharing their own work! Read books by Illinois authors and share your already created ebook or use their Pressbooks software to create one.
Scribd has made their collection completely free for 30 days with no credit card required to create an account. They provide access to electronic materials including books, audiobooks, magazines, and newspapers.
Thinking of taking up Spanish? Perhaps your family would like to hear a Spanish children's story!
YA author April Henry has prompts for creative writing and building your own story.
TIME for Kids is available for free through their new digital library.
Animated talking picture books.
The museum website has daily activities that promote learning of Chicago history, making personal connections with the city, encouraging family conversation, and fostering creativity.
Chicago Parent has created a calendar of virtual events that are happening. They are posting daily with activities for all ages. There a wide range of resources that fit into all categories. Most are free.
This website provides content warnings for movies, television, books, video games, podcasts, and more. The warnings don't just cover whether or not the dog dies - you can find content warnings for drug use, spiders, gun violence, etc.
Visit the learning hub for tools to learn and teach at home. There are even sample daily schedules, templates to create your own schedule, and tips on how to create a learning environment.
Activities for book lovers from the Library of Congress.
The ultimate guide to working from home with kids! A curated list of activities to engage children while their parents have to work from home. There are tips, resources, and a long list of activity ideas.
Bring Hogwarts into your home. WizardingWorld.com has activities & videos to accompany your journey reading (or re-reading) the Harry Potter books.
Overdrive has copies of the first book available (audio, digital, & other languages) with no hold limits.
The Healing Library is a series of kits designed to make a family's journey of healing following a trauma easier to navigate and personalize. A selection of free kits are available for download.
An online fully-fuctioning Hogwarts! This project made by fans of the series allows you to enroll at Hogwarts and take your very own courses.
Random House Children's Books and Mary Pope Osborne have collaborated on a new digital learning platform with crafts, activities, and games, learning resources, and more.
Complimentary access to full broadcast replays, condensed games in ~45 minutes, and the all-22 coaches film. Access ends May 31, 2020.
The Almanac for Kids features a treasure trove of fun facts, creative activities, and great ideas that will keep kids of all ages loving learning the whole year through!
Shudder is a streaming platform for horror movies and documentaries. They are offering 30 days free using code SHUTIN at signup.
SiriusXM radio programming is free through May 31, 2020.
3400+ talks to stir your curiosity.
For a daily dose of creativity and fun, bestselling authors and illustrators are giving you a challenge to complete every day.
This ebook is available as a free download filled with medium & hard drawing ideas for ages 9 - adult.
The American Library Association has released a printable coloring & activity book called "Stay Well, Stay Inspired".
A collection of coloring pages created by illustrators and comic book artists.
What kind of book do you think a giant would read? Let’s imagine and build a book that would fit on a giant’s bookshelf.
Help the National Archives by transcribing, tagging, and adding comments to their historical images which helps make records more accessible and searchable.
The Library of Congress has released a new digital tool that allows you to remix sounds from its massive collection.
Help NASA make scientific discoveries! NASA’s citizen science projects are collaborations between scientists and interested members of the public.
Create your own illustrated adventure story, exploring what it would be like to be really small.
The UK-based architectural studio Foster + Partners has released templates for you to print out, design and color however you like, and build your very own city.
What sort of characters do you want to see in a comic book? Plan, develop and draw your own characters with this guide.
Chef Michael Symon is live streaming every day as he cooks a simple meal. Follow along or save the recipe to make yourself later.
Fun engineering for the family.
An At-Home Activity Program Curated by DC Middle Grade Authors and Artists.
Take the challenge today to use compassion and creativity by doing acts of good.
The Doubletree Hilton has released their official recipe for their cherished chocolate chip cookie recipe. Now you can bake your own batch at home!
Adobe and Time Magazine have teamed up to provide a weekly art lesson online. Each episode includes a new drawing assignment, and participants vote on what they'd like the next assignment to be.
Printable coloring pages and activity sheets based on Eric Carle's work.
Hands-on DIY activites you can do at home.
A meditation resource based in New York. Exercises available for adults and children to help focus and reduce stress.
Over 100 activities that are kid friendly and can be done indoors.
Create your own comic! Printable comic activity sheets are available from author & illustrator Jarrett Lerner.
Author & Illustrator Mo Willems recorded 15 episodes of Lunch Doodles where he draws while sharing advice and tips on your own drawings. Watch him work and learn from an expert. Activity provided.
The Infant's Library made miniature books as a way to help children learn to read by reading to their toys and dolls. Now you can make your own miniature book at home.
Milk Street is offering all of their classes free through May 31st.
This free download is available for anyone wanting to record what their experience has been like. It's full of prompts and places to write down your own thoughts and feelings. Write each day or skip days as you need.
The Center for Cartoon Studies has a seven-day email course designed to help build your cartooning muscles.
Color Our Collections is an annual initiative with libraries, museums, and archives creating coloring pages from materials in their collections. You can color your very own work of art!
Want to help NASA save the coral reefs? NeMO-Net is a coral classification game that lets you embark on a virtual research vessel and travel the oceans, analyzing actual images of corals on the sea floor. Learn about the coral reefs while you explore and help a supercomputer in the real world catalog and classify corals.
Thousands of free resources for learning STEM, including a collection of 160+ fun, hands-on STEM activities and videos. Each of our K-12 activities covers a specific STEM concept, can be done in an hour or less, and can usually be done with materials easily found at home.
The Exploratorium provides instructions for hands-on science activities using readily-available materials.
Educational at-home artmaking activities for the whole family.
Justin Roberts has step-by-step instruction for building homemade instruments and streaming concerts.
This is just a quick but fun activity. Input your birthdate to see what the Hubble Space Telescope saw on your birthday.
National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jason Reynolds has a video series "GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story" offering insight into learning the ritual of authentic expression. Each video ends with a prompt to help work on your own ideas.
Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. You don’t need any specialised background, training, or expertise to participate in any Zooniverse projects.
Alvin Ailey Extension believes in bringing dance to everyone - videos are available with instructor resources and classes.
The English National Ballet has playlists available of ballet classes that you can follow along with at home.
Free at-home workout videos, including single exercises and drills.
The focus of this site is mindfulness as practiced in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and other closely related approaches.
Orangetheory is sharing a 30-minute workout every day on their YouTube channel.
The Body Coach TV is going live each morning for a simple workout geared towards elementary students. There are also a wide range of workout videos available for children and adults.
Planet Fitness is going live daily on Facebook at 6:00 PM to bring you at-home workouts with trainers.
Games & Puzzles:
One of the largest selections of crossword puzzles online.
150+ free online board games you can play with friends and others around the world.
A collection of digital educational games that students can play at home.
Play chess online for free.
An educational game on historical instances of misinformation. As a player you will explore different situations and choose which direction to take.
The Museum of New Zealand has created online jigsaw puzzles from their collection.
Free games available on GOG.COM that will help you relax and pass time at home.
Free online tabletops for role playing games. Create a board and start playing with friends and others from around the world.
Free tabletop roleplaying games available for download.
Weffriddles is a series of puzzles playable online. Simply start by clicking the first instruction and you've started the puzzle.
Learning For All Ages:
For as long as schools are closed, Audible has opened their service to children. Nothing is required to start streaming stories. Multiple languages available.
Educational materials focused on pre-school aged youth. They aim to create a healthy form of screen time by pulling kids out of the screen to do real world physical activities that are educational, interactive, and fun.
Coursera is a digital learning platform with courses available from American universities.
Taught by award-winning Wharton professor and best-selling author Maurice Schweitzer, Improving Communications Skills is an essential course designed to give you both the tools you need to improve your communication skills, and the most successful strategies for using them to your advantage.
The MoMA has free art online courses available through Coursera.
This course is offered by Yale University. In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.
Join the more than 100 million people from all walks of life who have come to learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century.
Girls Who Code is making educational activities about computer science available for download free of charge, to anyone who wants to access them.
Ken Burns and his collaborators have been creating historical documentary films for more than forty years. These films present the opportunity to pose thought-provoking questions for students.
Khan Academy is offering remote learning during school closures. Resources, live streams, and more are all available.
Disney partnered with Khan Academy to create this free online program that teaches a wide range of skills from storytelling to math and engineering.
Mix items and create the world from scratch! You start with Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. The goal is to create as many different materials or objects as possible
Mathspace is an all-in-one learning resource to help students in grades 3-12 with their adaptive math program.
MIT OpenCourseWare is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to publish all of the educational materials from its undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online, freely and openly available to anyone, anywhere.
MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) are free online courses available to anyone.
Music Play Online has been made free to all students. There is an online learning section with lessons broken down by grade level. You can also practice or learn how to play an instrument.
Open Culture is a guide to free educational media. We've linked to a few specific guides below but take some time to browse all of their resources.
Open Culture has curated a listing of 1,500 free online courses offered by top universities.
Provides 200 free educational resources for children.
WTTW and PBS have curated FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more.
Scholastic has provided materials for "day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing". Lessons are available by grade level.
Hands-on science resources to help STEM learning at home.
Sesame Workshop's Caring for Each Other initiative marks the beginning of a commitment to support families throughout the COVID-19 health crisis with a broad variety of free resources.
Learn American Sign Language online.
Find resources for children on letter recognition to reading plays, nonfiction, and comics.
Teach yourself to code with these step-by-step instructions and exercises in various coding languages.
Each week The Learning Network offers new ways for students to practice reading, writing, and critical thinking using New York Times journalism.
Starting Monday, March 30th, WTTW will air an afternoon block of educational shows geared towards middle & high school students. Programming starts at 1:00 PM.
COVID-19 Related Learning:
CNN and Sesame Street came together for a town hall about COVID-19 to help explain to children what is happening. Doctors answered questions about the virus that children had about face masks, hand washing, their feelings, and more.
Authors Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, Nia Roberts, and illustrator Axel Scheffler have published a free ebook explaining the coronavius pandemic to children.
Johns Hopkins University has created a 5 hour online course that you can take for free to learn more about contact tracing: the process of identifying and isolating people who have been infected with COVID-19 and their close contacts.
This is a story developed for and by children around the world.
Written and illustrated by Dr. Holly Sedgwick Belgum to comfort her own family members, Piggy & Bunny's story has now been made available for free to help other children around the world.
Author Resources & Storytimes:
Live from the Library is a daily storytime from Chicagoans. Videos are available on the CPL Facebook page.
Starting April 2nd, Dolly Parton will be reading a bedtime story at 6:00 PM.
Dr. Jane Goodall has done weekly storytimes on her Facebook account.
Wes Tank has started sharing videos of him reading Dr. Seuss books with the beats of Dr. Dre playing as his background music.
Taika Waititi along with other celebrites are reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl on the Roald Dahl YouTube channel.
Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton is reading for us again! He has created a podcast of read-aloud stories for everyone to enjoy.
Children's author Mac Barnett will be reading one of his books live on Instagram every weekday at 2:00 PM.
Every Monday for the next four weeks at 11:00 AM Michelle Obama will be reading a children's story.
Neil Gaiman has free short stories, essays, audio, and video available.
The Poetry Archive is dedicated to the production, acquisition and preservation of recordings of significant poets reading their work aloud.
Rick Riordan offers free guides to accompany all of his works. Bonus! Many of his titles are available digitally from https://www.hoopladigital.com/
Starting March 23rd, livestreamed readalouds from children's and YA authors from 8:00 AM to 3:45 PM daily.
Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
Astronauts on the Space Station reading children's stories! The site has added at-home activities and science experiments.
Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicials
The musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber will be streamed to YouTube with recordings available for 48 hours.
Watch a previously recorded PBS Austin City Limits musical performance.
The SYFY channel has made the complete reboot of this critically acclaimed science fiction tale available to stream until July 31.
On Crackle, watch Hollywood movies for free-uncut and unedited.
The English National Ballet will be streaming past performances and making them available for 48 hours. The next performance, a production of "Romeo and Juliet" will be live on May 6, 2020.
Lincoln Center’s new portal enables families and communities to keep the performing arts front and center.
NPR has curated a list of all performers that will be livestreaming a performance. The majority of these are free.
Rolling Stone will be using IGTV on Instagram on to release performances with musicians shot from their homes. Episodes will be released on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2:00PM.
The Met is closed for live performances but is streaming previously recorded performances each night and making them available for temporary viewing afterwards.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Michael Moore has released his newest prodcution for free for 30 days. Planet of the Humans takes a harsh look at how the environmental movement has lost the battle through well-meaning but disastrous choices.
Starting next week, the National Theatre will be stream a new play every Thursday on their youtube channel, along with bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks.
NPR records live intimate performances with a wide range of musicians.
The Oedipus Project is an innovative new digital initiative by Theater of War Productions that will present acclaimed actors performing scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King. Registration is free.
A virtual concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic is available free of charge for 30 days using code BERLINPHIL.
Past performances of Shakespeare's work are being streamed to their YouTube channel.
Join Mo Willems and Yo-Yo Ma for an evening of drawing and music! Sunday, May 31 at 5:00 pm and the recording will be archived for later viewing.
Their collection is searchable online and includes additional information for each artwork.
Chicago Architecture Center has virtually opened their doors to bring the world of architecture into your home. There are activities, storytimes, and lessons based on grade level.
Continue exploring natural history with online resources and at-home activities for all ages.
Science at Home was started to help students learn at their own pace with science activities and topics that can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
Explore the Newberry Library at a distance by watching past programs, transcribing materials, viewing their digital collection, and more.
Virtual Tours & Animal Livestreams:
Explore the surface of Mars as recorded by NASA's Curiosity Rover.
Enjoy this livestream of a watering hole in central Kenya.
Adventure Journal put together a list of various live streams of animals that can be watched.
Experience Apollo 13 as it happened in real time with NASA's new project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic mission.
Brookfield Zoo will be livestreaming with different zoo animals.
Cincinnati Zoo is going live on Facebook every day for a home safari. Every day features a new animal and activity to do at home.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! So many ways to watch them. (You don't want to miss the jellyfish.)
Watch a livestream of birds feeding at Treman Bird Feeding Garden at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York
Virtually tour these 5 beautiful gardens.
Includes, Indo-Pacific barrier reef, beluga, southern sea otter, and California sea lion cams.
Virtually explore the collections of museums from all over the world.
A virtual tour of the Great Wall of China.
The Special Collections of the University of Texas at San Antonio has a digitized collection of over 2,000 Mexican cookbooks from 1789 to now.
A collection of virtual tours from around the world.
Take a virtual tour of the Louvre Museum.
All NASA content is in the public domain.
Links to 33 different virtual tours you can take of National Parks.
View the gathering room at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee.
Take a 360-degree virtual tour of the Sistene Chapel.
Take a virtual tour of the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Take a virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History located in Washington, D.C.
Take a virtual tour of the Vatican.
Here are ten museums you can explore online.
Virtual Field Trip. See the geyser erupt!
Digital Escape Rooms:
Based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System staff has created a digital escape room.
Peters Township Public Library staff created this digital escape room perfect for Harry Potter fans.
Staff from the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library created this digital escape room for horror fans.
Richmond Hill Public Library has created a digital escape room for the Avengers.
Prepare to lauch into space with Campbell County Public Library's digital escape room.