A few online resources and information about how to keep your child happy and well read during this difficult time

With most schools closed across the country and parents home with their children, there has been an outpouring of resources and activities from authors and publishers. I have listed a few of them here. Feel free to add more in the comments.

josh funkJarrett Lerner, wonderful author of children’s books including the “EngiNerds” series, has many drawing activities available for download on his website. These activities are thoughtful, and kids will love doing them. He’s adding new activities all the time, so check in often.

Children’s book author Ame Dyckman reads her adorable new book, “You Don’t Want a Unicorn” on YouTube. She’s just as adorable as her book, with her blue hair and scarf and unicorn headband! Check out all her books for young readers because they provide just the right amount of levity to get kids through unsettling times.


Peter H. Reynolds gives permission to read and record his fabulous picture books. I love his suggestions about how to read them, too! Here is what he posted on social media:

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Also, he will be reading a book aloud every day at noon Eastern time. Join him!

Scholastic is allowing parents and teachers to real aloud their books with the following caveats:

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David Lubar, who writes seriously clever short stories (and novels like “Hidden Talents”) for kids, namely the “Weenie” series, has made a collection of his stories available for free during this time. They are guaranteed to be funny and often have thoughtful morals. It’s available on Smashwords with the coupon, so it’s free.


Josh Funk also has posted lots of activities for young children on his website. He has activities, coloring pages, even streaming music from his books!

josh funk

giraffeFor science, some fun and educational activities could be as simple as watching live stream cams of wildlife. Here’s a link to Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo. You can watch eagles at the National Arboretum or in Minnesota. African wildlife, and animals at a watering hole in Kenya, and lots of hummingbirds in LA, and Farollan Islands webcam (you can control it!).

This is a great time to order some bird feeders  and bird food online and start your own bird watching activities in your backyard. If you find it difficult financially to buy things, try setting up a heavy dish filled with water in the yard to act as a birdbath and watch the birds come and bathe and drink. Just be sure to clean it daily and fill with fresh water.

For a 20 minute music class, watch my husband, Jack Kramer, introduce his instruments and then play and narrate Peter and the Wolf on this video. I love his ending — the wolf does not get shut in a zoo! At the start, he teaches about the difference between his trumpet and his electronic valve instrument, the EVI. For only Peter and the Wolf, skip to 3:35. While it’s certainly not a high-tech production (he was presenting to a class of students), he’s very talented.

Scholastic has offered free “Learn from Home” pages on their website, filled with fiction and nonfiction stories and activities that will not only educate but entertain. Activities are targeted by grade level.

These are just a few of the many resources out there for kids and families. Please share others in comments, or just Google “activities for kids at home.”