Library Blog

#stayingathome with the Kids

Thursday, March 19, 2020

What a difference a week makes! Instead of planning for storytime and preparing supplies for Creation Station, the Children's Library staff have been busy working from home to gather virtual literacy, reading, and educational resources for parents, children, and their families during these uncertain times. 

Check back frequently -- we will be updating this list on a recurring basis as we come across additional helpful resources. Have you discovered a digital resource that other families would enjoy? Please send your ideas to us. Have a child in grade 3 or above? Encourage them to enter our 18th Annual Young Writers Awards.

We look forward to seeing you back at the Library eventually. In the meantime, we hope these resources will help your family stay safe, healthy, and home.

Author Read-Alouds and Lessons

- Mac Barnett -- author of Extra Yarn, among other modern classics -- will be reading books on his Instagram page

- Grace Lin, author of the Ling & Ting and Where The Mountain Meets The Moon series, is not only reading some of her books on her YouTube page, but also giving the ocassional drawing lesson

- The author Kate Messner has a fabulous website with tons of videos of authors reading their works

- Every weekday at 2 PM E.S.T. Oliver Jeffers -- perhaps best known as the illustrator of The Crayons series -- will be reading one of his books on his Instagram page

- Here is Monqiue Gray Smith reading her book You Hold Me Up.

And here is Eric Carle reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

- And here is Dashka Slater reading Escargot!

- The author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi is reading her books and also giving drawing lessons on her YouTube page

- Jarrett J. Krosoczka, of Lunch Lady and Star Wars: Jedi Academy fame, is offering drawing lessons everyday on his YouTube channel

- The esteemed Mo Willems, currently the Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center, is hosting daily "Lunch Doodles" at 1 PM E.S.T.

- Children's musician Bret Turner will be hosting a virtual singalong on Monday, March 23rd at 5 PM E.S.T.

- Poet and friend of the Library Dave Johnson will be hosting a virtual poetry workshop through Poets House for teens and adults at 10 AM E.S.T. on weekdays from March 23 to April 3.

- Award-winning author (and Library member!) Carlos Hernandez is teaching an online writing workshop called "Volcanic Writing."

- Enthusiastic home work-out-er Joe Wicks is leading daily work-out sessions for kids missing P.E. class on his YouTube channel.

- April 3rd at 1 PM E.S.T. marks the commencement of Random House Children's Book Art School. The first virtual lesson will be taught by Tad Hills of Duck and Goose fame. 


Digital Storytimes

- The Brooklyn Public Library will be hosting virtual storytimes throughout the outbreak. BPL also has DIY storytime kits available for download.

- Weekdays at 11 AM E.S.T. Penguin Kids is hosting a storytime on their Instagram page.

- Save The Children has begun a new reading series called #SaveWithStories -- the #SaveWithStories Instagram page already features many famous authors reading their books.

- Storyline Online has been around for a long time -- it is run by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and features countless videos of famous actors reading children's books. It is truly an expansive database: it includes everything from Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog to Amanda Bynes reading The Night I Followed The Dog. KidLit TV is a similar resource that is worth checking out.

- Staring March 23, Stimola Literary Studio will host live children's programming on its website from 9:00 AM E.S.T. to 4:45 PM E.S.T.

- The publishing outfit HarperCollins has a plethora of content available on their website for readers of all-ages, including live children's entertainment, teacher resources, and podcasts.

- The ever-popular Drag Queen Story Hour is hosting webcasts of their storytimes on Facebook.

- Fellow membership library the Boston Athenæum will be posting three virtual storytimes a week to its Facebook page.

- Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming, will be hosting a virtual storytime on Thursday, April 2nd on her Instagram page.


Educational Websites

- PBS Kids is filled with videos and games featuring characters from the PBS television universe.

- The Smithsonian has a great children’s website, as does The American Museum of Natural History.

- Although not specifically for children, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has excellent digital resources. So does The Art Institute of Chicago, The Guggenheim, and The Library of Congress.

- The National Geographic Kids website makes a great companion to their children’s magazine.

- The educational websites BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. are now offering their services for free. Children can take online lessons in topics as varied as musical instruments and conflict resolution.

- TumbleBooks is offering The New York Society Library free access to several of its e-book platforms until August 31. Members now have access to TumbleBook Library, a database of children's ebooks; Tumble Math, which features children's math materials; Teen Book Cloud, a database of Young Adult ebooks; and Audio Book Cloud, which has audiobooks for readers of all ages (note: for access, make sure to click on the links from this blog post -- they are special links provided to the Library directly by TumbleBooks which bypass the usual login page).

- Khan Academy is an expansive, oft-recommended online school that has lessons in nearly every imaginable subject. 

- The publisher Phaidon has created downloadable "Activity Packs" that can be used in concert with some of their published materials.


"Off-Screen" Resources

- Here are four drawing games from parent and children's author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. 

- The good folks at Good Housekeeping have compiled a list of 50 DIY activities for you and your family. 

- This brilliant, helpful comic from National Public Radio is an excellent introduction to COVID-19 for kids who might have questions about the virus. The comic can also be printed-out and made into a zine!

- Crayola has a number of fun, free coloring pages available for print-out on its website. 

- Children's publisher Barefoot Books has released a compendium of free resources for children to use while at home. Particularly notable are the printable "At-Home Activity Kits," which encourage children to explore both their imaginations and immediate surroundings.

- Lakeshore Learning has free flash cards, lesson plans, and even writing prompts for adults teaching their children at home. 

- The children's magazine Kazoo has made their December 2018 "Happy" issue available for free download. 

- The New York Times' Deb Amlen, who is one of their crossword columnists, suggests some child-friendly games.

Other Resources

- In this article about technology, children, and the coronavirus, Rebecca Dore, Senior Research Associate in Early Childhood at The Ohio State University offers advice to parents about how to make effective use of children's "screen time."

- Earlier this week the Library ran a blog called "Your Virtual NYSL," outlining all of the different online resources the Library has available for members. The Children's Library also has a listing of Electronic Resources children can use to help them with schoolwork or find fun online games.

- Grace Lin, in addition to the content on her aforementioned YouTube channel, is also hosting a podcast for children called "Kids Ask Authors." There are plans to have three episodes a week, and children will have the opportunity to ask questions about books and writing.

- Audible is offering a handpicked collection of audiobooks for free to children and their families.

- Book Riot, favorite website of librarians everywhere, has compiled a lost of "7 of the Best Educational Comics for Your New Homeschooling Journey."

- Here is an article in the Washingtonian full of advice on homeschooling from Brittany Capizi, a seasoned homeschooler and mother of eight.

- PBS Kids' Deborah Farmer Kris offers tips on discussing the coronavirus with children.

- Google Arts and Culture has curated a page highlighting neat Harry Potter content.


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