Andrews McMeel Free E-Book and Kids Newsletter
Andrews McMeel Publishing is offering a weekly free ebook from its catalog of middle-grade comics and graphic novels through the AMP Kids newsletter. The publisher is also providing printable creative activities and downloadable teaching guides, as well as read-alongs with authors including Dana Simpson (Phoebe and Her Unicorn), Georgia Dunn (Breaking Cat News), and Will Henry (Wallace the Brave).
ArtReach Daily Art Prompts
Follow ArtReach on Facebook for daily art prompts, how-to videos, and more from Anna!
Camp NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!
Capstone Free E-Books and Activities
E-books from Capstone’s PebbleGo and Capstone Interactive are currently free, and the publisher has also created a dedicated website with free additional resources for children and parents. The site includes activities from making paper spinners and bookmarks to home science experiments for making putty and toilet paper roll planters.
Classical Kids Music Lesson from Minnesota Public Radio
Every day, Classical Kids will post a fun, listening-based lesson created by Classical MPR’s education specialist. Have some fun, learn something new, and introduce kids to the joys of classical music!
Comics Activities with Jarrett Lerner
Comics and graphic novel fans, rejoice! Author Jarrett Lerner has free, downloadable activities, including Finish This Comic!, drawing and writing prompts about tons of stuff (Monsters! Aliens! Other Uses for Vegetables!), and blank comics pages in different panel arrangements.
Coronavirus E-Book: ‘The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus’
Shannon and Dean Hale, authors of The Princess in Black books, have released a free e-book featuring their superhero main character. The book is available for download on Shannon Hale’s website as a public service announcement for kids as a way to learn more about what coronavirus is, and how to stay safe.
Dav Pilkey at Home
The author of the Dog Man and Captain Underpants series will be welcoming readers through Dav Pilkey at Home, a collaboration between the author, the Library of Congress, and Scholastic. The free online video series will be streamed every Friday morning beginning at 8 a.m. ET, beginning April 3. Pilkey will share drawing lessons and read-alouds with young readers. Each show will include tips from Pilkey for children to act out scenes from his Dog Man books and for creating new characters of their own. Viewers will be able to access the videos any time after they are first streamed, as well.
DC’s Kids Camp Digital Programming
On March 25, DC hosted its first Kids Camp digital programming, with videos on Twitter and Instagram, showing kids how to make a Green Lantern ring with Minh Lê and how to do Superman origami with Gene Luen Yang. New content with activities will be posted regularly with updates on times for new programs sent Mondays and Fridays via the DC Family Newsletter.
Dolly Parton’s Bedtime Stories
Beginning April 2 at 7 p.m. ET, country singer Dolly Parton will read children’s books for bedtime by way of the Imagination Library’s YouTube channel. The readings are part of a lead-up to the September release of The Library That Dolly Built, a documentary about the Library, a 25-year-old book program created by Parton, which has donated more than 135 million books since its inception. Among the books Parton will read from are Loren Long’s There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Red Pajama, and Parton’s own I Am a Rainbow
Draw Every Day with JJK
Author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka gives drawing lessons on YouTube every weekday at 2:00 PM EST!
The Fable Cottage
Free audio fairy tales and fables, available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German!
Guinness Book of World Records at Home
The Guinness Book of World Records has created an at-home platform for kids to explore the stories of people who have set world records, and try breaking some of their own. The site includes weekly challenges called the #gwrchallenge, where participants have a week to become the best at things like flipping and catching a full suit of playing cards faster than anyone else in the world. There is also a Try This at Home series, a Records of the Day podcast, and a trivia contest that families can play.
Harry Potter at Home
“The Harry Potter At Home hub where you’ll find all the latest magical treats to keep you occupied – including special contributions from Bloomsbury and Scholastic, nifty magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!), fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and plenty more for first-time readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world. We’re casting a Banishing Charm on boredom!”
How to Make a COLLAGASAURUS
KidLit TV is a winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy, and one of the American Library Association’s Great Websites For Kids. They are a diverse group of parents, educators, librarians, kid lit creators, and award-winning filmmakers working together to create fun new ways to reinforce an appreciation of reading that children will carry with them for the rest of their lives.>
I (Randy) have been using publisher/website descriptions for most of the linked activities on this page but I’m going to insert a little editorial content here. We at the library think Jacqueline West is AWESOME both as a person and an artist/author. Check out her web page for read-alouds from her middle grade and young adult books and writing activities to go along with each one.
Julie’s Library: Story Time with Julie Andrews
The hills are alive with the sound of…Julie Andrews’ new story time podcast! The Sound of Music actress is bringing her impeccable British accent to a new children’s literacy program, Julie’s Library: Story Time with Julie Andrews. The podcast will feature weekly episodes of Andrews and her daughter (who happens to be an award-winning writer and educator), Emma Walton Hamilton, reading their favorite children’s books.
Kerlan Collection Hosts #OperationReadAloud
True to its mission of promoting children’s authors, as well as literature and literacy, the Kerlan Children’s Literature Research Collections, which is housed in a library on the University of Minnesota’s main campus in Minneapolis, has launched #OperationReadAloud. The project consists of videos, primarily of authors and illustrators reading from their own work, but also celebrities reading from their favorite children’s books, and posted in one place on social media, thus allowing easy access. Launched on March 17, the Facebook page currently has more than 1,000 followers, and there are more than 100 videos posted, as well as links to virtual author festivals and other events that are appropriate for children.
Inviting young readers into the Smithsonian’s online library, Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg have created a free brochure for download called “How to Make a COLLAGASAURUS!” Modeled after AstroNuts, the brochure guides children through the Smithsonian’s archive in search of material that helps them create their own collage.
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems!
Kennedy Center artist-in-residence, author and illustrator Mo Willems doodles with kids and their grown-ups every day 1:00 PM EST. Downloadable activity sheets are available each day. Episodes are archived on Mo’s YouTube channel.
Mondays With Michelle Obama
Parents looking for ways to entertain their kids during the day just got a little help from former first lady Michelle Obama. Obama has partnered with PBS KIDS for a weekly read along show called “Mondays with Michelle Obama”. Starting Monday, April 20, for four weeks Obama will read aloud from one of her favorite children’s books. The show will be streamed live on PBS KIDS’ Facebook page and YouTube channel starting at noon ET/ 11:00 a.m. CT. The videos will also be available on demand.
National Geographic has introduced NatGeo@Home, a platform for children, parents, and educators to access free content including games, videos, and activities. Through the site, readers can explore remotely with National Geographic Explorers, read content from the publisher’s Weird but True and Zeus the Mighty series, and conduct experiments from home.
Thank You Thursdays! With Mo Willems
Every Thursday in May, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts education artist-in-residence Mo Willems will lead kids and adults in creating doodles to thank people whose actions in the face of coronavirus have been inspirational. Thank You Thursdays! will be posted to social media via the Kennedy Center’s website, at 1 p.m. ET on Thursdays. The project is jointly sponsored with Disney Publishing Worldwide. Willems will also host an evening of musical doodling with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m. ET. All programs are free and can be accessed on Willems’s Kennedy Center page.
United Kingdom National Theatre
Free streaming theater productions while they are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read Together, Be Together
A nationwide movement developed by Penguin Random House in partnership with Parents magazine that celebrates the importance, and power, of the shared reading experience between an adult and a child. Reading aloud regularly to babies and young children is one of the most effective ways to foster early literacy and is a key factor responsible for building language and social skills. Book lists, printable activity sheets, author story time videos, and more!
Rebel Girls at Home
Free download of the entire journal I Am a Rebel Girl: A Journal to Start Revolutions. The new website also offers free access to activities from the Rebel Girls chapter book series. In addition, the website’s podcasts are available for free on Spotify.
Story Time From Space
[Editorial note from Randy – incredibly awesome and I love this site!] “What you cannot imagine, you cannot do” Now imagine Astronauts on the Space Station reading stories to and conducting science experiments for the children of Earth as the world rotates below. Imagine no more…it’s Story Time from Space!