SuperParent's Stay-At-Home Guide
From online classes to family-friendly video games, here are some suggestions that can keep you entertained during this trying time.
We are living in unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps us indoors with our loved ones, we are all looking for ways to keep ourselves healthy both mentally and physically.
With that in mind, we are building a living stay-at-home guide that we intend to add to over time. We’re starting with some great online classes and activities for the kids -- plus games (and more) to keep you all entertained.
We will also be adding more games (including traditional video games), more sites, advice from other parents like yourselves -- and experts. We hope our list can help your family, and if you have suggestions of your own that we should add, please let us know.
Most important, we hope that you stay safe and healthy during this incredibly trying time.
--- The SuperParent team
Looking for specific ideas? Educational classes, online videos, and movie ideas are on this page. Click the links below to see additional recommendations:
Online Classes / Educational Videos
Khan Academy “Imagineering in a Box” - This online lesson features Disney Imagineers, and it shows students how Imagineers create different experiences at theme parks. There are even projects for kids to design their own!
Prodigy Math - This is a math learning platform designed for students in 1st - 8th grade.
Scholastic - Scholastic’s website features a variety of lessons for kids in PreK through 9th grade.
Sumdog - Sumdog’s website can help kids practice their math and spelling skills.
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems - Mo Willems, the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence, is hosting a video series from his studio that focuses on drawing activities. New videos will be shared each weekday at 1 p.m. ET.
Art For Kids Hub - This website and YouTube channel features a variety of art and drawing lessons for kids.
Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari - Each day at 3 p.m. ET, the Cincinnati Zoo shares a Facebook livestream teaching viewers about one or more animals at the zoo. These streams are then uploaded to YouTube so you can watch them at any time.
Virtual Marine Biology Camp - As reported by GeekWire, Oceans Initiative is hosting a Virtual Marine Biology Camp every Monday and Thursday at 11 a.m. PT. New videos will be livestreamed on the organization’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and you can watch past videos on Facebook.
Epic! - This website (and app) offer a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, STEM-education, graphic novels, DIY projects, and a whole lot more. Some schools get the service already, so check with your kid’s teachers. If yours doesn’t, Epic! offers a 30-day free trial. After that, it costs $7.99 a month.
Audible Stories - Audible.com opened up its large library of children's audio books for all to enjoy. There's material for young listeners to young adults. No subscription needed, just click the link to get started!
Maryland Science Center Animal Encounters - Each Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, the Maryland Science Center will livestream an educational “Animal Encounter” with one of the animals at the facility.
Free Minecraft: Education Edition Content - From now until June 30, players can download a variety of educational Minecraft worlds from the Minecraft Marketplace for free. These worlds were originally released in Minecraft: Education Edition, and they focus on topics like fractals, the human eye, and more. On the Minecraft website, Mojang, the game's developer, said, "The worlds include lesson plans like creative writing activities, build challenges, and tricky puzzles."
Reggie Comics - Reggie comics are fun, but they're also laid out as how-to’s so that your kids can draw their own comics (as well as activities and games). Just print up the pages -- or, if you’re being thrifty, just download them and draw on top of them on your favorite touch screen device!
Mystery Science - This interactive website takes on questions from grade schoolers and looks to provide answers with videos that go into detail about the answers. It’s loaded with fun facts and presented with great supporting video clips. Sadly, this has no relation to the classic movie-watching series MST3K (which is also a fun way to introduce your older kids to classically horrible cinema... But we digress.).
Duolingo ABC - The free Duolingo ABC mobile app was designed to help kids from 3-6 learn to read English. The app is available on iOS devices in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. It contains over 300 activities to complete, and it doesn’t have ads or in-app purchases.
General Viewing / Entertainment
Sago Mini World - This kids app for iOS, Android, and Amazon devices includes a collection of more than 30 games focused on topics like a zoo, a farm, an airport, and a village. A free one-month trial is available for new subscribers. After that, a monthly subscription is priced at $7.99.
Universal Kids - Universal Kids is a division of NBCUniversal. Its website features a variety of kid-friendly video content (like American Ninja Warrior Junior episodes) and games you can play right in your browser.
Netflix Interactive Movies - Netflix offers a variety of interactive movies (or “games”) for kids and parents to enjoy, starring characters like Carmen Sandiego and Captain Underpants. Our reviews can help you decide which one to try first.
Nick Jr. - Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. website includes lots of kid-friendly video content (things like Blue’s Clues & You and Paw Patrol), as well as a variety of games you can play in your browser.
Disney+ - Disney’s premium streaming service starts at $6.99 per month (a second package includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month). New subscribers can receive a 7-day free trial.
PBS Kids - The PBS Kids website features family-friendly videos (Arthur, Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and many others), along with games that can be played in your browser. Plus, parents can subscribe to a newsletter that will contain “daily activities & tips to help kids play and learn at home.”
Tokyo Disneyland Stage Shows - As reported by Inside the Magic, from now until April 30, you can watch recordings of stage shows from Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea on the Tokyo Disneyland YouTube channel.
Marbula One Racing - With all major sports shut down - even NASCAR is in the pits - we found an oddly hypnotizing race for everyone: Marble racing. On tracks. With teams, proper on-screen graphics, and a commentator covering the whole thing. Seriously. Who do you think is placing in the winner’s circle for the 2020 season?
With the lockdown in effect, many movies are now coming straight to your home, or are being released digitally much earlier than we would originally expect.
As of this writing, Disney surprise-released Onward for digital purchase a week after it hit theaters (available on Disney+ on April 3).
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie is racing to homes (digitally) on March 31st.
Top image © Monkey Business / Adobe Stock