Being stuck inside can give everyone a bad case of cabin fever, and if you’re working from home, you’ll need tools to entertain the kids so that you can get your job done. Here are some free online educational resources that are also fun for the kids – most from Orange County or nearby, so you can explore again later in person.
Visit Back Bay Science Center’s website to find virtual educational resources including printable lesson plans, interactive online lessons ad activities, links to downloadable resources and activity books, K-12 educational lessons about birds from the Cornell Lab, live virtual marine science classroom lessons and more.
The Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students presents amazing learning opportunities for all grade levels throughout the day at State Parks across California. From story times to Gold Rush History, to Mysteries of the Deep, there is always something new to explore and learn. Advance registration is required. Access the digital content library for more videos and tours. For more from California State Parks, explore the online museum collections and Kids In Parks.
Explore the National Parks with virtual field trips, junior ranger programs, lesson plans and kids activities. View the page Park Activities You Can Do From The Comfort of Home for downloadable activity books and virtual tours with Dierks Bentley and Jordan Fisher, sounds of the national parks, and more.
Animal lovers can spend Spring Break exploring the San Diego Zoo virtually. The site offers real time wildlife webcams, digital versions of ZooNooz magazine, youtube videos, San Diego Zoo Kids site with games and activities and more. Bonus: Get free access to San Diego Zoo Global Academy courses to become a wildlife expert in your free time. Courses are free through June 18th.
AOP features free virtual educational programming with live streams, web cams, coloring and activity pages, resource kits, and more. Pacific Pals videos are also available on YouTube. There is also programming for adults including guest speaker series, Aquatic Academy courses, and YouTube videos.
Bring the annual Boysenberry Festival to your very own kitchen with these themed recipes created by Knott’s Anniversary Ambassadors. From salads and sangria to ice cream and shortcake, there’s something the whole family will want to try.
While all Orange County Public Libraries are closed, card holders can access a large selection of electronic and digital resources.
Newport Beach libraries have a huge collection of digital resources, plus cardholders can log in to learning programs like Rosetta Stone and World Book for free. Plus access over 4,000 online classes through Udemy, virtual story times, and more.
While the library is closed, Huntington Beach Public Library card holders can access virtual programming, online databases, ebooks, magazines, and more.
The Mission is closed to the public but they are expanding their digital resource center to keep the community connected and engaged. Parents and teachers looking for educational resources can visit the Teachers & Kids page for videos, lesson plans, activities and more.
Bowers Museum presents Bowers At Home – free digital exhibition access plus virtual education programs and community resources. For fun kids activities, check out the Kidseum Learning Resources where new content is being added weekly. Don’t forget to check out Bowers’ Digital Guide for the latest content.
Keep the kids busy by challenging them to learn a new skill, practice creativity, and just have fun. This collaborative program with Bear Grylls features recipes, crafts, creative thinking activities, self-care ideas, and life skills development.
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Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights.