Social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine are difficult concepts for adults, but even more so when you’re trying to manage of family of children. With schools in Florida closed, activities shut down and advisement against playdates, what are parents to do?

While I normally wouldn’t advocate for ALL THE SCREENTIME!!!, technology has allowed for some really innovative opportunities that might help in the days and weeks ahead. Check out these great online resources to help pass some time, get the wiggles out, and “visit” somewhere new. And, need some educational support? Check out our extensive guide to educational apps for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school kids.

online resources

Access Mars
Get an up-close-and-personal view of the surface of Mars recorded by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.

Art Tutorials at McHarper Manor
Beginning March 16, this art studio will go live daily on its Facebook Page at 1:00 PM with free art and craft tutorials to create at home. Please click here for supply lists.

Baking History
This virtual spring camp will be happening in your kitchen! Every day at 10:00 AM, Baking History will go on Facebook Live for a virtual class. Your kids can make the recipe along with us. They will offer detailed instructions and demonstrations, all while teaching about the historical figure of the day (March 16-20).

Boston Children’s Museum Virtual Tour
Kids can visit three floors of fun in this immersive Virtual Tour of the Boston Children’s Museum.

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary Educational Programs

As we close our gates today for 30 days, we want you to know we are right here on Facebook Live every Tues/Thur @4p and Fri/Sat @7p.

Cartoon Lessons at HowToToon.com
Professional cartoonist Joe Wos will offer free live cartooning classes for all ages on his YouTube channel. Each session lasts between 20-30 minutes and is geared toward all ages. The classes will take place at 1pm, 3 days a week (Tuesdays-Thursdays). Students can access the channel by visiting www.Howtotoon.com.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Join the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for a Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday at 3pm where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. Join us starting Monday, March 16 at 3 PM!

Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation designed specifically for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world.

Discovery Education Field Trips
Join us live for our new Virtual Field Trips or watch them on-demand later. Each no-cost Virtual Field Trip comes with a companion guide packed with standards-aligned, hands-on learning activities!

Disney Parks Virtual Tour

Walt Disney Imagineering is known for making the impossible possible. That’s why—despite their offices being closed—they are opening up their headquarters virtually for a tour on the Disney Parks Blog. Tours of Walt Disney Imagineering are rare. This video series will show you some of the unique spaces where innovation and storytelling combine to bring Disney stories, characters and worlds to life. 

Disney World & Disneyland Virtual Rides
“Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, and more might be taking some time off during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as Disney World and Disneyland are closed for at least a few weeks, but you can still experience some of that magic while everyone is cooped up at home. With a quick visit to YouTube, you and your kids can be momentarily transported to Orlando.”

Duolingo
Looking for a language learning site with fun games and creative lesson plans? This site offers a rewarding, personalized learning experience in more than 20 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and more. 

FarmFood 360 Virtual Farm Tours
This Canadian site offers 11 virtual tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs.

Great Wall of China Virtual Tour
Use the wonder of virtual technology to explore 3,000 miles of one of the oldest and most famous architectural structures in the world. 

Healthy Kids Running Series Virtual 5K

Healthy Kids Virtual is an adaptation of the usual HKRS Race Day experience! HKRS believes in leading an active healthy lifestyle. During the time of social distancing, it is important that parents encourage children to stay active!

A Virtual Race is a race that can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog or walk on the grass, on the sidewalk, on the trail, on the treadmill or on the track. Your child will run their age appropriate race distance, at their own pace, and Mom and Dad record the time! Parents then upload the time after each race into the Series specific results sheet found on our Results Page. Families can also choose their own start and finish line, or if available, use an existing one provided by HKRS! Don’t forget to run the Parent Mile on Week 5 Mom and Dad!

Share your running photos with our virtual community! Find us on Facebook @HealthyKidsRunning​ or Instagram ​@healthykidsrs​ using hashtags #GetUpandGo #HealthyKidsVirtual

Jacksonville Zoo – Bringing The Zoo To You

While the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens and local schools are closed, let us help make your time together fun and educational!

Joe Wicks – Live PE Classes

Joe will become “the nation’s PE coach” with 3o minute, kid-appropriate PE sessions on his Youtube Channel, Monday through Friday.

Josh Gad Storytime

Josh Gad has released a few videos of storytime, and they are amazing. He does the voices and the accents, and provides his own comments for children and adults both too enjoy. You can catch them live on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, or watch them later.

Khan Academy
A world-class education for anyone, anywhere. 100% free. Khan Academy offers short video lessons on thousands of topics. Kids get personalized help with what they’re studying or learn something completely new.

Live Stream with Park Naturalist Kelly Ussia & Auggie

Join us Tuesday mornings at 10 am for Live with Kelly and Auggie. If you have any questions or topics you want covered be sure to leave them your suggestions..

Louvre Virtual Field Trip
Visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries, while contemplating the façades of the Louvre.

LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems!

Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together.

New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.  Check back each weekday for new LUNCH DOODLES!

Museum Virtual Tours
Travel is on lockdown, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have access to some of the world’s finest museums! Check out the incredible wealth of collections for art, history, fashion and more.

National Geographic Kids
At National Geographic Kids, students of all ages can enjoy science experiments, animal feed cameras, and plenty of activities to keep them busy for hours.

Opera Livestreams from The Metropolitan Opera
Opera isn’t for everyone, but now it’s available to everyone. The Met will stream an opera nightly All “Nightly Met Opera Streams” will begin at 7:30pm and will remain available via the homepage of metopera.org for 20 hours.

ReadWorks
FREE content, curriculum, and tools to power teaching and learning from Kindergarten to 12th Grade

Scholastic Learn At Home
Scholastic Learn at Home provides 20 days’ worth of active learning journeys designed to reinforce and sustain educational opportunities for those students who are unable to attend school.

SJCPLS Facebook Live Storytime

Join your favorite SJCPLS media specialists for storytime on Facebook Live, Monday – Friday from 11-11:30 AM.

Storyline Online
This is a FREE children’s literacy resource, featuring the world’s best storytellers reading books aloud. Each video includes an activity guide with lessons for K-5 students to do at home.

Time For Kids
TIMEforKids.com offers age-appropriate articles, photos, and videos on topics like politics, the environment, entertainment, sports, and health. 

U.S. Space & Rocket Museum in Huntsville, AL Video Tour
See the Saturn 5 Rocket on YouTube and more on this tour thanks to a real father/son outing.

Yellowstone National Park Virtual Tour
Ready to explore Yellowstone? You don’t have to wait for your trip to the famous national park. Take a virtual tour of six of the main attractions in the area. Included with each tour is additional information about visiting in person.

Zoo Live Cams
Several zoos and farms offer virtual tours or animal cams, which will certainly delight and entertain family members of all ages. Dig deep because some sites also include activities and other educational tools to supplement the cute animals.

Previous articleTrust the Children: Educating during the Quarantine
Next articleEasy DIY Ideas for Hand Sanitizer, Toilet Paper and More
Jennifer
Jennifer was born and raised in New Jersey, moving to the Sunshine State to attend Miami (Go Canes!). After graduation, she began a decade-long career in Sports & Event Management in South Florida, but moved to St. Augustine to become a SAHM when she and her husband, Keith, were expecting their son. She and Keith are enjoying the crazy and rewarding adventure of parenthood with their middle-school-aged son, a grumble of pugs and a hedgehog. Jennifer holds leadership roles with both the PTA and BSA and believes in the power of community involvement and volunteerism. The family can be found traveling (both locally and worldwide), trying new restaurants, and toeing the start line of road races, near and far. Jennifer owns the blog Runs With Pugs and is a freelance writer and social media consultant.