We’ve been collecting links to online resources that offer free eBooks, audio books, educational resources, and activities for keeping kids entertained, along with trustworthy news sources during the crisis. While libraries and schools are closed, many organizations have stepped in to fill the void by giving away what they normally charge for. In fact, there are so many, we hardly knew where to start!
Here are a few of our favorites. Check back often, we’ll be adding new items!
eBooks and Audio Books for Every Age
MidAmerica is giving students free access to all of their e-Books and databases through June, 2020
Audible Stories is free while schools are closed. No logins or “free trials.” Littlest readers, elementary, tweens, teens, and classics. https://stories.audible.com/discovery
Have you tried TumbleBooks yet? TumbleBooks are fun, animated, talking picture books. If your kids have never tried them, now is the time! Even better, TumbleBooks has given libraries free additional resources through August 31st. including TumbleMath, Teen BookCloud, Romance BookCloud, with and Audio BookCloud. Get all of these great resources for free at: online.lancasterlibraries.org ! Just enter your library card number to get instant access. Learn more about TumbleBooks.
TumbleMath has animated math stories in TumbleBook format which combines animation, narration, and sound to create a compelling story book for students of all ages. Wondering what that means? Try it and see!
Teen BookCloud offers popular Graphic Novels and e-books with full audio narration for middle and high school ages.
Audio BookCloud provides unlimited access to over 1200 audio books for all ages.
For adults, Romance BookCloud has thousands of Romance eBooks!
Bring Hogwarts to You with Harry Potter at Home. There’s quizzes, puzzles, activities, and a bit of light reading. Check out the guide to drawing a Niffler!
Sesame Street has created a special page on their website called Caring for Each Other to “support families throughout the COVID-19 health crisis with a broad variety of free resources.” There are wonderful videos, ebooks, on-line & offline games, and activities all shared by the beloved puppets on how to stay healthy during this “scary” time.
Common Sense Media put together this giant list of free online kids’ activities, including virtual storytimes, drawing lessons, music classes & performances, educational activities, art/film & music lessons, virtual tours of museums and parks, and so much more! Rather than recreate their list, we’ll send you there. Just one note, scheduled times are Pacific time. Add three hours.
Nomad Press has short, fun, & free science eBooks that you can download and print at home, like Science is Everywhere and Science in Your Kitchen. They’re only a few pages long but chock full of great activities you can do at home with very little experience and supplies you already have on hand. There are also eBooks for Tackling Tough Topics, Social Justice for Kids, and more! Nomad Press printable eBooks
At-home science and activities from Lancaster Science Factory! Lancaster Science Factory launched a new set of resources to keep kids engaged in hands-on STEM education and learning through active play. http://www.LancasterScienceFactory.org/at-home-resources
Balanced News & Media Literacy
Allsides.com – Together, let’s pop all of those media bubbles. Allsides.com provides balanced news coverage, media bias ratings, and civil dialogue opportunities. This site is a great way to look at the same news story as it has been reported in left-leaning, right-leaning, and center news sources.
FEMA.gov – FEMA has posted a coronavirus rumor control page, to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts.
Lancaster Libraries put together a COVID-19 Resource Page
See Governor Wolf’s guidelines for the stay-at-home order.