GRPL SelectsFind local, national, and world-wide virtual experiences hand-selected by staff from the Grand Rapids Public Library. Check back often for updates to this page.
Play, Learning, and Activities
- Show Me Nutrition – Free nutrition education program for youth from MSU Extension
- Exploratorium – Free tools to help kids explore science, art, and human perception.
- HippoCampus.org – Free educational resources for middle school to college students.
- MSU Extension Educational Resources for School Closures – Enjoy a collection of helpful educational resources for students of any age.
- Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a nonprofit with the mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
- Grand Rapids Children’s Museum Play at Home – Transform your living room, backyard, or bedroom into your very own GRCM with these ideas for engaging in open-ended play at home.
- CODE.org – Explore computer science and coding resources designed for kids.
- WGVU PBS At Home Learning – Daily free-over-the-air broadcasts feature public media science, history and other educational programming as well as learning activities by grade level. PreK – High School
- PBSkids.org – PBS’s fun activities and educational TV shows for kids. Check out the DIY activities on each show’s page.
- PBS learning media – Explore activities and videos for learning with PBS. Videos are arranged by grade and subject and are available in Spanish (Español).
- Van Andel Education Institute’s Keep Curiosity Alive Guide – Great science activities for kids in kindergarten and up from our Friends at the Van Andel Education Institute.
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems – Draw with creator of Pigeon and Elephant and Piggie through Kennedy Center
- Playworks.org Play at home playbook Dav Pilkey At Home – Have fun with creator of Captain Underpants and Dog Man (through Scholastic and the Library of Congress)
- Wimee the Robot and Kevin Kammeraad
- Success Starts Early – Explore literacy activities and parent tips around love, talk, count, play, and read; also includes links to family resources. Designed for kids 0-5 years old.
- Entertain Kids On A Dime – Enjoy over 100 activities for kids.
- Smithsonian Institute’s Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens
- WMTA Digital Puzzles – Explore West Michigan themed jigswa puzzles.
- 25 Ways to Get Moving at Home – Learn wellness tips from the American Heart Association
- Netflix JR – Celebrating Black Voices
- 4-H’s Heads In Hearts In: Early Childhood Activities NatGeo@Home – Enjoy quizzes, videos, science experiments and at-home classroom resources.
- Wide Open School – Available in Spanish
- Alo Yoga for Kids
- Cosmic Kids YogaTinkerLab – Creative Experiments for Kids
- Library of Congress: Engage! – Engage with authors you love and the Library’s resources from anywhere in the world.
- TypingClub.com – Learn touch typing for free with paced lessons.
Looking for parent resources to help kids learn at home?
- School Parenting Guide from TODAY.com
- 22 Remote Learning Tips for Parents Helping at Home from TeachThought
- Back to School 2020 from Brightly
- Distance Learning: 8 tips to help your child learn at home from understood.com
- Michigan Department of Education: Remote Learning Strategies
- Parent Ideas and Tips for Online Learning
- GRPS Parent University Parent Power Magazine – A great resource for all area parents
- Literacy Essentials – Free documents designed to help improve literacy skills of Michigan students. For children age 0-18.
- SAG-AFTRA Foundation Storyline Online – Stream videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books. Each story also comes with an activity guide!
- KidLit TV – Enjoy storytimes with authors.
- Story Time from Space – Watch astronauts read stories and conduct experiments from space!
- Brightly Storytime – Enjoy videos of children’s books and activity pages!
- Scholastic Listen and Read
- World Book Day Storytime Online
- Barefoot Books Singalong
- Unite for Literacy – Nonfiction books available in multiple languages.
- American Sign Language (ASL) Storytelling
- Harper Kids Storytime Read Aloud
- Penguin Books Stories Aloud
- Ladybird Books Storytime with Toddler fun learning
- Brightly Flip- Along Storytime books
- Read Along with PBS Kids!– PBS and Penguin Random House are livestreaming picture book readings by Michelle Obama Mondays at noon. Activity guides available.
- Harry Potter At Home – Hear the Harry Potter books read chapter-by-chapter by actors and enjoy crafts and games for kids.
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- Kids’ Food Basket Reads
- PBS Books Storytime
- Goodnight with Dolly – Enjoy books read aloud by Dolly Parton.
- Storytime With the Met – Join the Metropolitan Museum of Art for storytime designed for kids 18 months to 6 years.
Virtual Field Trips
- Google Arts and Culture – Explore Museums around the world with Google’s arts and culture.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- Blandford Nature Center Moments Live
- San Diego Zoo – Find various live-cam and pre-recorded videos of animals (and fun facts!).
- Mars – Join NASA and Google for a tour of space.
- FarmsFood360 – Explore various Canadian farms.
- Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts – Enjoy at home workshops and performances.
- Grand Rapids Civic Theater Midday Play
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams
- National Park Service Webcams – Explore National Parks around the country virtually.
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks – Follow rangers on a journey to places most people never visit! From Google Arts and Culture and the US National Parks.
Virtual Dives from the National Marine Sanctuaries and NOAA Virtual Reality Tour of the Tomb of Queen Meresankh III – from the Ministry of Antiquities Egypt
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks – Follow rangers on a journey to places most people never go. From Google Arts and Culture and the US National Parks.
Virtual Dives from the National Marine Sanctuaries and NOAA Virtual Reality Tour of the Tomb of Queen Meresankh III – From the Ministry of Antiquities Egypt
- One Strange Rock from National Geographic
Talking about COVID-19 & Current Events with Kids
- Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events from HealthyChildren.org
- Talking About Politics With Your Kids from GoodHousekeeping.com
- Putting On The Oxygen Mask – How To Take Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Your Child from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting from COVID-19 from NASPonline.org
- Magination Press Family – Free resources to help children and teens cope with stress and anxiety, and the need for mindfulness brought on by COVID-19 and other life situations. Brought to you by the American Psychological Association.
- Talking with Your Children about COVID-19 – Concern about COVID-19 can make children and families nervous and upset. Here is a one page list of suggestions for ways to help your children feel secure and happy during this uncertain time from the Georgia Dept of Early Care and Learning.
- Teaching Our World: The Coronavirus – Many children are worried about the new coronavirus. This collection of information is to help ease fears with age appropriate information. Arranged by grade level PreK-12th grade. From Scholastic Classroom Magazine.
- Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus – A comic based on an NPR interview asking experts what questions kids might have about the coronavirus. For kids about 10 and up. Available in a printed Zine format and also in Spanish .
- Kids Want To Know: What is Covid 19? – Unite for Literacy’s free ebook talks about COVID-19 in simple terms that young children can understand.
- Coronavirus PSA: How to Fight the New Bad Guy in Town – The Story Seeds Podcast by Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, gives kids eight tips for fighting germs and staying healthy. Designed for kids 6-12 years old.
- Coronavirus: A Book For Children – Free downloadable book from Nosy Crow (A UK based publisher) talking about COVID-19 and answering many questions children might have. Geared for 5-9 year olds.
- COVID-19 Time Capsule – Download a free workbook to chronicle this historic time. Available in English, Spanish, and French. Find editions for kids and adults.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus – An article for parents from PBS kids.
- Parenting During Coronavirus
- Sesame Street in Communities Health Emergency guides
- First Aid For Feelings: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic presented by Yale Child Study Center and Scholastic
- COVIBOOK – Explore this short, free printable e-workbook to support and reassure children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed for kids under 7 years old. Available in 25 languages.
- The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus
- My Hero Is You Storybook For Children on COVID-19 – Available in 78 languages!