Children's Activities at Home, free resources for children and adults
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One Time Events
Halloween Virtual Escape Room: Use your wits and observation skills to solve clues and puzzles in this live virtual program! Ages 8+ space is limited. There will be two identical 45 minute sessions, First Session is at 4pm and Second Session is at 4:45pm, register for the time that works best. Registration opens Monday, October 5.
Brian Richard's Virtual Live Halloween Magic Show: Comedy, storytelling, puppets and on-screen interactive magic!!! A live interactive event you won't want to miss! Ages 3+
Music! Our musicians are back and ready to rock! Come and jam with Ed, dance with Sarah and make some noise with Stacey! Check the monthly calendar for upcoming dates/times.
Read to Tucker, a trained, hypoallergenic, therapy dog. Help your children build confidence in reading with one-on-one 15 minutes sessions. For ages 6 and up.
Live Lego Club with Veronica and Marianna Wednesdays at 3 pm! Visit your friends virtually with building with LEGO bricks at home.
Ravenous Readers Bookclub: Grab an after school snack and a favorite book or two to share! Or just hear about what other kids are reading. Also, get special sneak peeks at what’s new and listen to a chapter or two from some favorite books!
Bookventurers Bookclub: A once a month Saturday afternoon book club for grades 3 to 5. October's book is a surprise! Register here!
Take-and-Make Crafts and STEAM Kits: Bored? Do you want some fun crafts to do? Look no further! Come pick up a take-and-make craft bag from the library! Check the calendar to reserve your bag and see the upcoming kits. Then email the children’s department at neechild @ minlib.net pictures of your projects that we can share via social media!
Live Tween and Teen Craft Hours: Meet with librarian Erin Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 pm! Visit your friends virtually while working on any craft of your choice! Have any questions or need suggestions on projects? Email Erin at email@example.com. See upcoming dates.
*Individual registration required for each session*
Craft session for ages 10-12 meet Wednesdays at 3:30pm
Needham Children's Youtube Channel
Want to check out some storytelling videos with librarian Paula?
Or maybe you want to have some zany ABC adventures with Mr. Steve as we work our way through the alphabet?
Want an astronaut to read you a story from SPACE?! Find all this and more on Needham Children’s YouTube Channel!
Virtual Escape Rooms
Enchanted Forest Escape Room Can you make it past the wolf and through the virtual Enchanted Forest? Enchanted Forest 2 more adventures with all-new puzzles, riddles, stories, and challenges! created by Lucia Dolan of the Needham Library
Escape the Titanic virtual escape room created by T. Bennett of Rowley Library
Greek Myths Maze can you answer Athena's riddle? Outrun Zeus's lightning bolts? created by Ann Carpenter of the Brooks Free Library
A Pokemon Journey created by Melanie Terrill of the Taunton Public Library.
Star Wars Escape Room created by Newton Free Library
Stuck at home? Even more fun online activities
Online Comics and Graphic Novels for children of all ages - free until August 31, 2020
Authors Everywhere: Fun youtube activities such as drawing and writing prompts with authors and illustrators such as Diane Magras and Grace Lin!
Code at home: Created by Girls Who Code, they will upload an activity-some online, some offline, of varying levels of difficulty—over the course of the next few months.
GoNoodle: Short indoor gym videos for kids, also has meditation and yoga videos.
Harry Potter at Home: 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!
National Geographic Kids: Games, videos, and readings about geography, biology, zoology, and more.
Road Trip at Home: . When you can’t go globe-trotting, sometimes you have to get creative and let your mind do the exploring. This is where virtual field trips become a great alternative. These are fun and wonderful websites that will show you different parts of the world, famous landmarks, beautiful works of art, historic marvels, science adventures and so much more!
Tumblebook Library (*requires a library card): An online collection of TumbleBooks – animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they’ll love.
USS Constitution Museum: The Museum has reopened! You can book timed sessions online. While you're waiting, check out the Virtual Museum! There are downloadable family activities, interactive maps of Constitution's 1812 cruises, highlights from the collection, videos, and a rotating schedule of family-friendly programs, including A Sailor's Life, Live!. We are also thrilled to share our dynamic online game, A Sailor's Life For Me, where people of all ages can step into the shoes of a sailor preparing for the War of 1812.
Virtual Tours: Want to see museums in London, Seoul, Paris or São Paulo from your couch? Look no further!
WGBH Distance Learning Center: Massachusetts Department of Education and PBS partnership website with preschool to 12th grade educational resources organized by grade level for families during the current health crisis.
WGBH Family Activity Center: Help your children birth through age 8 learn and grow by doing fun activities at home. Collect points and enter a weekly raffle for a chance to win a $25 gift card (open to Massachusetts residents only). Resources are available in English and Spanish.
Online Story Times
Neil Gaiman: Watch the latest Neil Gaiman videos and see Neil (and some famous friends!) read The Graveyard Book and Coraline in their entirety.
Storytime Online: streamed videos featuring actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Betty White and dozens more.
Storytime with Pete the Cat: The birds are singing, the sky is bright, the sun is shining, I’m feeling ALRIGHT! Come join our favorite cool cat Pete for virtual storytime.
Wonderbook Weekends: Join Wonderbooks and Playaway on instagram on Saturdays and Sundays at noon for a free kids read-along.
Books recommendations, videos, articles and other tools for anti-racist teaching for children
Trinka and Sam Fight the Big Bad Virus for young children by C.M. Ghosh Ippen and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Available for download in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese.
Covid-19: What Can Kids Do? A picture book with good habits of health for kids to follow to defeat Covid-19
Be a Coronavirus Fighter: This informative picture book explains the current virus situation in simple terms and urges children to help fight it!
Coronavirus for Children: This informative picture book for ages 5-10 explains the current situation with clear and accessible information.
Myth Busters: Typical questions and answers regarding the coronavirus.
Remember Me?: a brand-new picture book that hasn’t been illustrated or published yet. This is the story of kids who are living through this hard time, just like the rest of us.
Amazing Educational Resources: A list of Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings. From math to history to art to foreign language to augmented reality software, here is a constantly updated list of activities to try at home.
ART in PLACE: Social Distancing in the Studio with the Eric Carle Museum. Spark your own creativity as you see what 21 picture book artists are working on now!
Author Videos: Check out author and illustrator videos on our youtube page!
DIG Pre-K at Home (*requires making a free account): a parent portal online learning platform that features Dr. Jean’s educational videos, The Letter People Songs, The Letter People Games, and a comprehensive Resource section with extensive activities to complete at home. Also check out their Frog Street free ebooks where you can access over 250 English and Spanish electronic books, activities and songs from the Frog Street.
Home Learning with DK: Take some of the pressure off with our fantastic range of downloadable content that makes learning fun. Perfect to use as additional teaching resources, these digital activity packs help take children beyond the book, engaging with their imagination and creativity as they color, draw, play, and write.
JLG @ Home: Join Junior Library Guild as they share activities and resources to keep students engaged during this new-normal of school closures and social distancing? As the collection-development partner for school and public libraries across the nation, it's our honor to offer you these free resources to help keep students' brains busy and blossoming.
KhanAcademy: Educational website with lessons organized by grade and subject. Parents can monitor progress. Has suggested daily schedules for preschool through 12th grade for families during school closures.
Mad Science North Boston (*email signup required): Mad Science is providing our communities with FREE DAILY STEM ACTIVITIES to supplement children’s current home lessons. They ar designed with individual grade modifications for grades K-5, do not involve additional screen time and follow DOE curriculum frameworks. Here is a sample of one of their activities, build a worm farm.
Open Library: an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published. Books are available with no holds, no waiting during this time.
Playaway CARE: a page of links you can share about meditations, fitness, education, and entertainment resources that are free or discounted right now.
Premier Martial Arts Norton (*requires joining a facebook group): Now offering free online interactive martial arts classes!
Star Bright Books: To help support teachers, educators, librarians, parents, and caregivers, they are permitting FREE digital access to 4 picture books (3 English, 1 Spanish) each week! Titles will be rotated on a weekly basis.
STEM at Home: Join the McAuliffe Center and their curated resources, from a wide range of national sources, that anyone can use to enrich our home learning experience. They also have programs, occasionally free although usually for a small fee around $10 or so.
Star Autism Support Media Center(*requires making a free account): access to a variety of downloadable and printable resources. These practical, on-demand materials address the learning needs for students at a variety of developmental levels.
Stay Engaged, Have Fun, Relieve Stress: The Massachusetts Library System updates daily with new activities and updates regarding streaming storytimes and other resources to share to help students and families while school is out.
Story Preservation Lab K-3 (requires making a free account): Story Preservation is working in collaboration with master storytellers to bring timeless fictional stories – fairytales, myths, folklore, and contemporary tales of enchantment – into K-3 classrooms.
Sunita Willams Home Support and Resources: a page of resources developed by Needham Schools with resources and ideas to help you with your children during this uncertain time.
Inclusion in the list may not be interpreted as the library’s endorsement.