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Online fun, educational, and creative resources for children and teens

Laurel Bocka March 13, 2020

With the recent school and business closings, we know there is a lot of uncertainty for the next few weeks.  Our library staff has compiled a list of some of our favorite creative and fun resources, locally and nationally, that are fun for adults, teens, and children including classes, crafts, tours, concerts, homework help, and videos!  We will continue to update our list as we find more free resources available. 

If you don’t already have a physical or digital library card, click here to sign up for an ecard and start using our digital resources instantly.  Anyone in Ohio can get an MRCPL ecard.  Here is a guide to our digital resources and what is available to you on each library app.

Fun and Creative Resources for Everyone:

- McHarper Manor in SW Ohio will be going live on Facebook every day to teach a free art class for anyone who wants to tune in starting the week of March 16!  Check out their Facebook page for more details.

- Here is a list of international art galleries and museums that you can virtually tour from home!

- Chef Michael Symon will be going live on Facebook every day on Food Network Kitchen to share a Daily Dinner series!  Check our the first live video and find their Facebook page here.

- Here are over 30 National Parks that you can tour virtually

- The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden will be going live on Facebook every day for a home safari!  They will highlight one of their amazing animals every day and have an activity you can do at home.

- The Renaissance Theater will be sharing a video series on Facebook that will showcase some of their lead actors and their performances from their performance of Rock of Ages - the 80s Rock Musical.  They hope to continue to engage, educate, and inspire the community, even through a quarantine.  Here is the link to the first episode of their QuaRENtine Creations series.

- The Metropolitan Opera will be offering Nightly Met Opera Streams on their website at 7:30 PM.  The video will be available for 20 hours after the performance.

- Here is a list of over 30 virtual field trips from zoos to farms to outer space!  Great for children or anyone with a curious mind. 

- Missing the gym?  Here's a list of workouts you can do at home with zero equipment!

- Walt Disney Imagineering partnered with Kahn Academy to create courses on subjects ranging from story development to conceptual design to math to physics and more!  The Walt Disney Imagineers are the people who bring Disney's stories to life.


Resources for Children:

- In our Family Zone, we have multiple resources available for elementary aged children and their families.

- Bookflix - A fun online literary resource for children in preschool through third grade and their parents that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks to build a love of reading and learning.

- Day by Day Ohio - This website has a new set of themed activities every day including a song, a video, an activity, and a book to read.

-Need homework help?  Here’s a list of our educational databases that are specifically geared toward children. 

- Storyline - Call 419.526.2665 to hear the week’s volunteer-recorded story read aloud!  

- PBS Kids has a lot of resources including games and videos.  They also have a weekly newsletter you can sign up for with tips and activities for playing and learning at home.

- SciShow Kids is a YouTube channel that explores all those curious topics that make us ask "why?"  Jessi and her robot rat Squeaks answer your questions and explain fun, complex science concepts for young, curious minds.  Whether conducting experiments, researching new questions, or talking with experts, there's always something new to discover with SciShow Kids, no matter what your age!

- Storytime from Space!  The Global Space Education Project sent children’s books to the International Space Station to be read by astronauts!    

- Author Kate Messner is compiling a list of video resources for kids including the first chapter of a book, children’s stories (all shared with permission from the publisher), drawing and mini-writing lessons, and more!   New resources are being added daily. 

- You Can Play That is offering free live music lessons on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11 AM on Facebook Live!

- Scholastic Learn at Home has day-by-day projects segmented by age group to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.

- If you have a Netflix account, here are over 100 of the best educational shows available to stream divided up by category.

- Here are over 100 non-screen activity ideas that are fun for anyone stuck at home with printable instructions!

- Hear some of your favorite stories read by your favorite movie stars with Storytime Online!

- Skype a Scientist is allowing opening up their free services to families during this time.  Fill out a form and sign up to be matched with a real scientist for a family science Q&A!

- The Gorman Nature Center will be sharing daily "Nature at Home" ideas on their Instagram page that can be done in your own backyard or driveway! Studies show that just 10-15 minutes in nature can improve mood and strengthen your immune system.  Here is the first post in the series.

- Mo Willems will be sharing a Lunch Doodle every weekday at 1 PM from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts!  Here's the first one!

- A bunch of authors are sharing online activities and stories!  Here is a huge list of participating authors.

- Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf) is reading stories every evening on social media!

- NASA has a full website of puzzles, games, activities, coloring pages, stories and more!

- Check our Facebook page every Friday for a new local author story time!

- We will be updating our Story Time page on our website with a new story every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 10:30 AM!

- Some other fun, educational, and safe websites for kids: 

- Switcheroozoo has games about animals including build a biome, a scavenger hunt, sound matches, and more!
- National Geographics Kids has games, videos, and activities for a whole range of subjects including animals, history, and fun facts!
- Seussville has games, videos, and reading material so you can hang out with Dr. Seuss online!
- Funbrain can be sorted by age group or by activity and they even have a Math Zone with fun games to practice math skills!
- Highlights Kids also has games, jokes, and activities for all ages!


- We have a page full of resources, games, tips, and activities centered around children literacy.

- INFOhio is a great resource for parents and educators on topics of literacy.

- Starfall has read-along stories to help with phonics! 

- Here is a list of artists, authors, musicians, and more who are providing video stories and lessons over the next few weeks.

Resources for Teens:

- Check our Teen Zone for specific homework help and “how do I…” resources.

- If you are working on a project and need some more online research, we’ve sorted our databases by topic so that it is easier to search through and find what you’re looking for.

- Bored out of your mind and want to do something productive?  Learn a new language with Mango Languages! Over 70 languages are to choose from including French, Spanish, and Pirate!


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