We already know the bad news: Bored kids, harried parents, days when time slows to a standstill. Here’s the good news: Museums, libraries, arts organizations, private companies, celebrities and many others are stepping up and creating online content for kids or offering free access to existing resources. Many more online portals and entertaining apps have been with us all along but never seemed more relevant. To give parents a sense of what’s out there, we’ve compiled resources in 10 categories: education, travel, reading, mental wellness, music, art, physical activity, theater and dance, languages and entertainment. So don’t just sit there — learn how to wrap a mummy, take a virtual train ride, conjugate Spanish verbs or watch a Metropolitan Opera performance. Just because time is at a standstill doesn’t mean you have to be.
Disappearing into a good book is a welcome escape from the stress and chaos of daily life — even when there isn’t a pandemic. Reading is beneficial for people in all age groups, but it’s essential for children: It develops and strengthens vocabulary, social and emotional intelligence, curiosity, memory, concentration and brain function. Happily, numerous organizations are offering free worksheets, games and exercises to help budding readers build basic skills. Kids eager to tell their own stories can join children’s authors’ free writing classes. And for those times when parents need a break (or a great story), kids can join librarians, authors and actors for recorded story times or dive into a wealth of free audiobook links.