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Free Online Resources to Pass the Pandemic

In addition to all of the free on-line activities offered by your local libraries within BCCLS, we are happy to share the following free online resources.

BCCLS Resources

The public libraries of the BCCLS consortium know these are challenging times. In response, public libraries are helping patrons without a library card to register and get access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines.

Resources Beyond BCCLS

Kids & Teens

  • Charlesbridge

    Activities and downloadables for titles by this publisher.

  • Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

    Follow the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on Facebook to see a throwback collection of DIY posts and videos from the MakeShop, including making a chair out of newspapers and a bag out of a t-shirt.

  • Common Sense Media

    When kids have earned some screen time or parents need a quick break, check out Common Sense Media for some direction on recommended apps, books, TV shows, movies and more. For those not familiar with Common Sense Media, reviews include tips on what parents need to know, talking points and ratings, keeping age levels in mind.

  • Crayola

    Coloring pages, DIY crafts, and other at home activities, including live craft demos.

  • Laurie Berkner Band

    The best music, videos, and books for kids – that grownups love, too! Her Facebook page offers educational videos, including live “Berkner Breaks” most weekdays at 10AM.

  • LivBits

    A schedule of live reading events

  • Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

    The Kennedy Center's YouTube channel presents Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Spend some time and create some fun crafts with Mo Willems.

  • PBS Kids

    PBS Kids has compiled a list of specific resources for talking to your child about coronavirus, including episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street. The list is found here. In addition, parents can sign up for a special PBS Kids newsletter with daily tips and activities to try while the kids are at home. Sign-up at the PBS Kids website.

  • Peachtree

    Activity sheets, event kits, and reading guides for kids of all ages.

  • Podyssey

    Fun and interesting podcasts to entertain and educate kids (and parents!). Great screen-free entertainment the whole family can enjoy.

  • Ranger Rick

    Sign up for three months of free access to all of Ranger Rick’s games, jokes, videos, awesome animal articles, and more! This offer is good through June 30, 2020.

  • Read, Wonder, and Learn!

    Find a growing collection of resources that include everything from first-chapter and picture book read-alouds (all shared with permission!) to drawing and writing mini-lessons. Be sure to check back often, as new resources will be added every day.

  • Reading is Fundamental

    This site was created to help parents and childcare providers develop the language skills of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The site includes nursery rhymes, fingerplays, games, and songs. There is also a page for parents with videos and activities to encourage reading.

  • Scholastic Learn at Home

    Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!

  • The Social Express

    A company focused on Social-Emotional Learning and Career Path Exploration.

  • Storyline Online

    The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

  • TIME for Kids

    TIME for Kids digital library is free for the rest of the school year. As the world asks more of families and teachers, TIME for Kids salutes you, and they're here to support you! TIME for Kids is in the unique position to help kids understand this unprecedented moment.

Adults, Parents, Teachers

  • Children's Book Council

    The new CBC resource page is now available and contains links directly to publisher websites to easily access and learn more about the amazing children's and young adult books and activities they have to offer.

  • Dreambox Learning

    For a limited time, parents can get a 90 day FREE trial of DreamBox so children can learn at home. Simply sign up by April 30th.

  • Holiday House

    This is a new Holiday House Resources page. It was created to meet the needs of those who have been looking for ways to engage with and continue teaching children in a virtual environment.

  • Kids Activities

    A happy place filled with easy things to do with kids that don’t require special skills, lots of money or advanced planning.

  • OCLC

    Many content providers have offered free access to e-content collections to help you maintain online services during the COVID-19 crisis. OCLC is actively partnering with global content providers to ensure access to these valuable resources through OCLC cataloging, discovery, and resource sharing services.

  • Open Culture

    Get 1,500 free online courses from the world's leading universities -- Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites) straight to your computer or mp3 player.

All Ages

  • Comic Books & Graphic Novels
    • Biblioboard

      BiblioBoard is giving everyone in NJ free access to comics and graphic novels until the end of August. Access nearly 4,000 titles, without having to log in or create an account, just by clicking on CATEGORIES or CURATIONS under the heading EXPLORE. To see the entire list of what is available, just click on READ under EXPLORE.

  • Disney
    • Disney: Learn to Draw

      If you’re looking for a fun, creative way to add some Disney magic to your day, Disney is sharing something special – a complete series of how-to tutorials on drawing Mickey Mouse & friends through the years.

    • #Disney Magic Moments

      #DisneyMagicMoments lets you experience the magic of Disney wherever you may be. Enjoy Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic with stories, videos, and activities to inspire imagination and discovery among kids, fans, and families alike.

  • Games
    • Board Game Arena

      Join the largest board game table in the world. No download necessary - play directly from your web browser. With your friends and thousands of players from the whole world. Free.

    • Steam

      Browse the newest and most played free to play titles on Steam.

  • Museum Tours
    • New York City
      • Guggenheim Museum

        You can utilize Google's Street View feature to explore the museum's exclusive Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary era art exhibits.

      • The Intrepid: Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex

        The Intrepid: Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex - The Intrepid website offers educational videos on the history and evolution of the Intrepid and other related topics. There is also an extensive offering of virtual and online educational programs.

      • The Museum of Modern Art -- MoMA

        Explore exhibits dating back to 1929 and check out the iconic works of Matisse, Picasso, and more.

      • Whitney Museum of Modern Art

        Check out the Meatpacking District's beloved museum of modern American art without dragging yourself over there.

    • London
      • The British Museum

        Featuring historic works like the ancient Rosetta Stone and actual Egyptian mummies, The British Museum is home to hundreds of remarkable artifacts.

      • Tate Modern

        Navigate London's modern art gallery via street view at Tate, which houses both national and international collections of art dating between the 1900s and present day.

    • Paris
      • The Louvre

        Check out Egyptian Antiquities, Galerie d'Apollon, and more.

      • Musée d’Orsay

        Experience the work of iconic French artists like Monet, Cézanne, and Gaugin. The museum's diverse collection includes oil paintings, canvas work, modern art, and impressionism.

    • Amsterdam
      • Rijksmuseum

        Get a taste of the Dutch Golden Age at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, with an array of art from notable names like Vermeer and Rembrandt.

      • Van Gogh Museum

        As the name suggests, the city's Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh's work in the world, with over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 750 personal letters -- many of which can be viewed online.

    • Washington D.C.
      • National Gallery of Art

        The country's capital is home to one of the most popular art museums in the US: the National Gallery of Art. And Google happens to feature two exhibits online, American Fashion from 1740 through 1895 and a collection from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.

      • Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

        Immerse yourself in the Smithsonian's expansive National Portrait Gallery, which includes Portraits of African Americans, First Ladies, Votes for Women, and more.

  • Performances
    • Met Opera

      The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled performances due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, and is streaming encore Live in HD presentations for its ‘Nightly Met Opera Stream’.

    • BroadwayHD

      The platform is currently offering a free seven-day trial, along with an affordable $8.99 monthly plan.

    • The Kennedy Center

      Watch extraordinary performances every day -- from The Kennedy Center's stages and beyond. Featuring original works, new performances and the best of their vast archive.

    • Playbill

      Check out this great list of where to stream Broadway shows. The list includes family friendly favorites, such as Peter Pan and Newsies.

  • The Public Domain Review

    The Public Domain Review is dedicated to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of art, literature, and ideas – focusing on works now fallen into the public domain, the vast commons of out-of-copyright material that everyone is free to enjoy, share, and build upon without restrictions.

  • Zoos & Aquariums
    • Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

      The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is conducting a shark storytime every day this week at 10 a.m. There will be a shark story and time for shark Q & A.

    • Cape May Park & Zoo

      Cape May Park Zoo is offering Zoo School on their Facebook page. This includes daily educational videos featuring a different animal or location in the zoo. Zoo staff is also available to answer questions during select times each day.

    • Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari

      The zoo will be hosting daily streams on Facebook Live. Each day, the stream will focus on a different animal in the zoo. They'll also be sharing fun activities that you can do at home.

    • The Dallas Zoo

      The Dallas Zoo began sharing behind-the-scenes footage and educational videos on social media, using the hashtag #BringTheZooToYou.

    • New England Aquarium

      Join them for live presentations, new videos, and activities to try from home.

    • San Diego Zoo

      Watch and Learn - Live cams and videos of your favorite animals

    • Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL

      The aquarium encourages people to check its social media accounts for behind-the-scenes posts, and to learn more about aquatic animals through its digital resources.

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