Compiled by Michelle Talsma Everson
The kids have been indoors for more than a month now, and maybe you’ve run out of things to do. To help, we’ve rounded up some online adventures perfect for students of any age and interest. Better yet? The options are from Arizona-based sources, and are either free or low-cost.
• The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has launched a free online learning tool for K-12 students with the introduction of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Classroom, a resource center developed by the Foundation’s education department for online learning and virtual engagement for families.
• Pinspiration is a Pinterest-inspired, DIY arts and craft studio. They have switched gears for the time being and are offering online DIY craft kits to-go options for both adults and kids to keep you entertained at home. Their curbside boredom busters start at $7.50 per kit and include all the tools and accessories needed to complete the craft.
• The Virtual STEM Academy provides kid-friendly coding where children can learn fundamentals and master the concepts of programming code, access to a large collection premium educational games through a safe portal, and a complimentary IXL membership with individualized support. $19.99 a month; use promo code 1MonthOnUs for free 30 days.
• Phoenix Public Library is now posting story times online on the Kids at Home page. These interactive video programs include play, singing, and dancing for you and your children. You can also find Tools for School sessions and STEAM activities.
• For parents with young children, Southwest Human Development offers lesson plans in both English and Spanish to do at home.
• Paradise Valley artist Shanna Israel created ART FUN PARTIES, a 100 percent free online art class for kids hosted on Facebook Live every Monday at 3:30 p.m. Israel will continue hosting ART FUN PARTIES throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Kids can use materials found around the house.
• The Arizona Capitol Museum offers at-home history lessons for children of all ages.
• OdySea Aquarium is doing a lot right now to bring a little bit of the Aquarium and wildlife to kids and families at home. They do a Facebook Live Monday through Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. with a variety of topics. In addition, there are live animal cams, a virtual classroom, and more.
• ASU for You offers learners of all ages, including caregivers and parents, educational resources to help at-home learning.
• The Digital Safari is the Phoenix Zoo’s way of keeping the community connected to the Zoo while they are closed. They go live each day at 1 p.m. on their Facebook and Instagram channels, and they also have videos, photos, blog posts and activities for kids.
• Arizona Public Media and Arizona PBS are partnering to offer state curriculum, home-based learning programming all day. The new 5 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. broadcast schedule includes specific blocks of time for students in pre-K through 12th grade and covers subjects including English language arts, social studies, science and math.
• Expect More Arizona has an entire list of online activities for children of all ages.
In addition to these local resources, Google offers many virtual museum tours and fieldtrips, and educational websites like Outschool.com offer free or low-cost classes on a variety of topics for at-home learning. Be sure to also check with your school or district for resources they recommend as well.