Things for Kids to Read, Listen to, and Do

New additions for May:

Another way to find good e-books: the Junior Library Guild. You don’t have to sign in--just click on the book cover.

Films for kids and families, from the Museum of Modern Art (also known as MOMA) in New York City. All three of these films appear on YouTube, so let the grown-ups at home get you started. There are also some things to talk about with a grown-up, after you watch the film together!

This film features a ship similar to the one in Stuart Little.

Shipwrecked.  10 minutes 2006. Canada. Directed by Devon Bolton

A lonely 10-year-old boy discovers a magnificent miniature shipwreck on a cold, isolated beach and sees dozens of tiny footprints leading away from the sailing vessel. He follows the prints, uncovering and examining tiny artifacts left behind by the crew, and clue by clue he tries to piece together a story.

What did the boy discover? What do you think might have happened to the boat? Talk with your family about what happened at the end of the film. What do you think was going on? Was it magic, the boy’s imagination, or something else? What did you see that gave you that idea?

Both of these two films are about “sticky situations” where the characters have a big problem to work out.

The Moustache. 4 minutes 2015. Finland. Directed by Anni Oja

This town is not big enough for the two of them…or their mustaches. No dialogue 

What was the sticky situation in this film? How did it get resolved? Can you imagine a different way the conflict could have ended?

Dinner for Two. 7 minutes 1997. Canada. Directed by Janet Perlman

Peace in the rainforest is disrupted when two chameleons get “stuck” in conflict, with catastrophic results. Luckily for the lizards, a frog sees the whole thing and turns into exactly what they need: a mediator or helper. 

Compare Dinner for Two to The Moustache. How were they similar?How were they different? How did the chameleons get out of their sticky situation? What‘s one lesson you can learn from this story?

Celebrate Earth Day any day with these activities

from the WGBY website:
Animals, Maps, and Habitats, oh my!

From the Springfield Museums:

Earth Day Activity : Junior Refuge Ranger Workbook

Mini Microbe coloring book--learn all about soil and the microbes that live there

Life in the Soil: grades 2-3

Life in the Soil: grades K-1

Celebrate Earth Day by listening to astronauts in the International Space Station read stories about Earth and the Solar System
Story Time from Space

SORA News:
No waiting for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first Harry Potter book.
SORA is now making certain books available for anyone, anytime, with no waiting. This
includes audio books, so look for the “Always Available Titles” to see what is there.

SORA also offers this link, for lots of wizarding activities:
Harry Potter at Home.

Puppets and More

The Gottabees--Theater Ensemble’s Try This At Home series:

Wonderspark Puppets--Streaming a free puppet show on Friday mornings at 11 am and puppet craft every weekday afternoon at 4 pm plus Saturday morning at 10 am

Get Up and Move

Try the KIDZ BOP Shuffle:

Watch all kinds of creatures live on WebCams:

Zoo Atlanta’s Panda Cam:

Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager: [watch for the whale shark!]

San Diego Zoo Kids
Lots of Animal Cams at this link:

This link takes you directly to the videos [look for the “Best Zoo Vine Videos of All Time”]

All About Birds:

Choose one of four places in the USA to watch eagles;

Take a virtual field trip--go to faraway places without even leaving your home!

Seattle Aquarium Virtual Field Trip on YouTube: [approximately 30 minutes]

For grades 3-6:
Nature Works Everywhere/The Nature Conservancy

Virtual Field Trip to the Deserts and Grasslands of Africa

Virtual Field Trip to China’s Great Forests [where you find Giant Pandas]

Things for Kids to Read, Listen to, and Do with Illustrators, Authors, and more--all on the Internet, any time, all day!

this just in . . . free e-books in addition to those on SORA:
Families can use Junior Library Guild to download hundreds of free e-books by going to this site:
For username type in: JLGELM
for password: JLGFREE

Activity Pages

Scholastic Learn At Home: has lots of articles for kids to read, organized by grade levels up to 6th grade. The offerings for younger kids automatically reads out loud and for older kids, look for the “Text to Speech” button on the left hand side--when you click on this, a voice will read the article to you.

For younger audiences, especially grades K-3,
PBS Kids:
For kids of all ages:
author of Lunch Lady series Jarrett J. Krosoczka:
Draw Everyday with JJK --new video every day at 2 pm but you can see it anytime!

Daily Doodles with Mo:
Mo Willems has a webcast through the Kennedy Center in NYC--but anyone can use it!! New video every day at 1 pm but you can see it anytime!

Finish This Comic
with Jarrett Lerner [looks good for older kids grades 3-6]

Authors & Reading/Listening websites

StoryLine Online offers authors and actors reading kids books out loud:

has reading & math activities for kids up to grade 3:

And if your child just feels like listening to books & stories,
StoryNory is a collection of audio:

Author Kate Messner
has many different choices here, of hearing her own books read out loud and other books too:

Mo Willem’s website
looks fun. This part of it includes the Daily Doodles as well as fun activities with Pigeon. Look for the Elephant & Piggie Dance game:

Mac Barnett is a favorite author amongst Erving kids, both for his picture books and his chapter books like The Terrible Two and Kid Spy. He reads from his own books over Instagram every day at 3 pm [but you can watch him read them anytime]:

For older kids, especially grades 4-6:
Anyone can listen anytime to local author Grace Lin’s podcast Kids Ask Authors