Virtual Resources Accessible to Anyone
Note from the Head of Youth Services, Azra:
During this difficult and unprecedented time, trying to find fun ways to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained and learning is hard. We've come up with ways to get you outside, spending time learning together, and more. Most importantly we hope to keep you connected with the Nesmith Library. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nesmith Library Stay Home Scavenger Hunt
Bird Seed Ornament Craft: Making one of these crafts completes a Scavenger Hunt task! Watch Azra's video for some ideas, and learn more about Feeding your Backyard Birds.
Does your child LOVE Mo Willems? Can they just not get enough of the Narwhal Series? You're in luck! There are authors for all ages (yes even middle grade) doing virtual storytimes, Questions and Answer Segments, and more for free to help us all get through these trying times! Visit this list of lists from a teacher/author/mom, or try these recommendations:
- Azra recommends Pete the Cat, Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems, and Narwhal and Jelly
- Storytime with Dr. Jane is a video series of storytimes with Dr. Jane Goodall!
- Sing along with Emily Arrow and her ukelele on YouTube!
- Storyline Online is a children's literacy project featuring great videos of celebrities reading children's books: try Harry the Dirty Dog with Betty White or The Empty Pot with Rami Malek!
- More authors and celebrities sharing recorded read alouds are using #OperationStorytime across many platforms: find a selection at Romper or search #OperationStorytime on Instagram or Twitter!
- Penguin Random House compiled this list of their authors who are sharing virtual content! Visit the page for updates.
- Not yet released, but coming soon: Julie Andrews announced Julie's Library, a storytime podcast with her daughter! Sign up for their newsletter or follow them on Instagram for updates.
- Love to support local businesses? Check out the Bookery Facebook Page! They're located in Manchester and do regular virtual storytimes.
Dancing is a great way to shake out the stress. If you don't have any instruments lying around, the classic pots and pans will always do the trick. Check out Head of Youth Services Azra in her inflatable unicorn costume doing a fun dance to a remix of a familiar tune!
This great video was made by local dance teacher Debbie Robbins Anshewitz, for kids to get some physical activity in between studying and staying home! Download the "What's Your Name" sheet to follow along yourselves!
There are plenty of musicians near and far doing live shows that you can catch afterwards. Search this document with an extensive breakdown of those performers.
Still have the wiggles? Do a fun online gym class! Joe Wick's Free Virtual Gym Class is offering several kid friendly classes that make even caregivers want to join in! As a family try out a class, make a healthy snack afterwards, and relax.
The Windham Soccer Association is posting videos with soccer skills that can be practiced from home: visit their Facebook page to check for new videos!
Your Head of Youth Services Azra is an avid hiker and loves to talk about anything related to getting outside. What if you are limited to your backyard? No worries! With the warmer weather and longer days there are plenty of ways for you and your children to explore and learn. Azra created a Pinterest board of spring and Easter crafts you can make together, as well as these ideas:
- using Cornell University's Merlin Bird ID App to identify birds in your back yard
- locating spider webs and replicating them with chalk (or baking soda and cotton swabs)
- creating fairy houses out of anything you can find in your yard
Rainy Day Entertainment:
Rainy days are for fort building, baking, and movie watching.
Baking: This is a great way to teach them skills such as using measurements, but these are often the memories that last a lifetime. Cedar Rapids Public Library created a great informational guide about ingredients and recipes for organizing and cooking at home:
- Heart Studio in Windham is doing free Facebook Live art lessons on their Facebook page: check there for the upcoming schedule!
- Amazon has made many of the children's shows on their Prime Video service available for free to anyone with an Amazon account. Visit this page to see all the offerings available and enjoy a show together!
- Boston Children's Museum: Virtual museum tours, view collections online, and more!
- Childrens' Museum of New Hampshire: STEAM Online Learning video series
- Currier Museum of Art: Online collections. Visit YouTube for Art and Activities videos!
- McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center: At Home Activities
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Video Library and Virtual Tours, view Collections online, and visit YouTube for Art Lectures!
- Museum of Science: MOS At Home STEM Resources
- New England Aquarium: Daily Facebook presentations, Virtual Visit at home activities, and Tank Webcams live all day!
- Seacoast Science Center: Learning Connection, and visit their Facebook for video updates!
- Strawbery Banke Museum: Meet the Baby Animals, with farm videos and activities
- Zoo New England: Visit the Kids page for Zoo to You videos and more!
Read together: Visit our Digital Reading for Kids and Parents page for both digital reading services requiring a library card, and those available to everyone for free!
Sesame Street provides this excellent Caring for Each Other kit, chock full of fun resources for caregivers and children.
Enhancing Remote Learning:
There are many websites and apps that are offering free access right now, in addition to the research databases Nesmith Library cardholders can always access. Browsing these services is a great way to expand curious minds and keep schoolwork interesting!
- The Digital Public Library of America has Primary Source kits available on a wide variety of topics, great for research projects or curiosity!
- Gale is offering multiple collections for free, which will be very helpful for research and homework:
- Miss Humblebee's Academy: interactive kindergarten readiness for ages 3-6
- Kids InfoBits: introduces elementary aged children to database searching on educational topics
- Gale In Context - Middle School: combines reference content with age-appropriate videos, newspapers, magazines, primary sources, and more.
- Gale In Context - High School: supports student papers, projects, and presentations while empowering the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills with content aligned to national and state curriculum standards.
- The Internet Archive has opened a National Emergency Library to assist remote learning efforts everywhere. Visit the post below on Facebook, visit their blog post announcement, or visit the collection itself to get started! (These items require a free account to be created before you can borrow them.)
Need a virtual brain break and want to make it a learning experience for the kids? Check out a virtual zoo or aquarium tour offering a chance to look inside while they are closed.
- Cinncinati Zoo
- Georgia Aquarium
- Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
- San Diego Zoo
- Invite your children to ask questions about the animals: we recommend these fact based websites that Scholastic compiled!
Bonus: Have your child email a librarian a question about something they are reading or learning! Reach library staff with general library questions at email@example.com, or reach Head of Youth Services Azra, Youth Services Librarian Molly, or Children's Library Assistant Chris!