Quarantined with kids online resources

By: Ellie Springer

I know there are a lot of posts on social media about websites, apps, videos, etc. to keep kids busy and learning during the coronavirus quarantine, but I wanted to put together a list of some of the best ones I found that were really good for young children. It is of course not comprehensive, but hopefully it gives you a place to start. And I would be remiss if I didn't say that nothing can replace your reading books, talking, singing, playing, and getting outside with your children. But we all get tired and bored, especially when we can't go to the library, playground, school, or playgroup. So here are some things to keep in your back pocket.

The Goodnow Library in Sudbury offers a music makers class in more normal circumstances, and even though they are not open to the public right now, they have recorded previous classes and recorded at least one class without an audience. You can find that on their Facebook page:


Mr. Mark, the children's librarian at the Maynard library, also has a PJ story time up on YouTube:


I used to work for a children's book publishing company, Barefoot Books, and they have great animated videos of their singalong books, some of which you have probably seen me read in playgroups. They have expanded what they offer online right now, including some stories read out loud.


You may have seen a link to this page, where famous actors read children's books aloud. I found that some are better than others, as only some of the videos include close-ups of the books. (It's kind of boring to watch a video of a person reading the book when they don't even hold it up for you to see the pictures!) Many of the books are geared to preschool and up, but you can find some good ones.


Audible is offering free audible books for kids right now:


Laurie Berkner is a great kids musician, and she is posting songs every day on her Facebook page.


Two websites I use a lot for ideas for books and songs are readingrockets.org and jbrary.com. Reading Rockets is focused on literacy for children birth through elementary school and has lots of great book lists, tips for reading with kids (some of you may have gotten handouts from them I printed), and activities. Jbrary is a blog by two Canadian librarians who have lots of awesome YouTube videos (I learned Zoom, Zoom, Zoom from them), book recommendations, and story time tips. These two sites have put together pretty comprehensive lists of resources for kids, minimizing the work for the rest of us!



My go-to site for child development and parenting information, Zero to Three, also has a landing page dedicated to the coronavirus outbreak, and it has tips for parenting while you are stuck at home, how to talk to your children about what's going on, and activities for babies and toddlers.


Here's a great, simple story for children explaining in simple language some of the changes they are experiencing:


PBS Kids also has great videos and games for kids, and you can check out ebooks through your local library, which may also have other resources on their websites or social media pages. You can also check out my other blog posts about sensory play, apps and websites for parents, my playdough recipe, and lyrics to our playgroup songs.

Hang in there everyone! And don't forget you can email me at espringer@jri.org if you need any support or want to ask me any questions.


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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.