Free Online Program Ideas for Kids During Library Closures

by - May 07, 2020

COVID-19 has closed libraries, and it looks like we won't be doing much programming for a while when we reopen. Whether you are using a program like Beanstack or just social media to facilitate your library's online presence, here is a growing list of ideas for ways to keep exploration going.

Language Challenges

Create mini-challenges for learning how to say things in different languages. A simple idea is to encourage kids to learn how to count to ten in another language, or learn how to introduce themselves. 

Rocket Languages has some cool resources for learning to count to ten.

Experiencing New Music from Around the World

Smithsonian Folkways has tons of music online, and offers some full videos or 30 second previews of different styles of music. Here's a list of options we're putting our Beanstack page:

Listen to 30 seconds of traditional Indian music featuring the sitar.
India's Great Shamim Ahmed: Three Ragas

Listen to 30 seconds of traditional music from the country Turkey.
Songs and Dances of Turkey

Check out this group of musicians from Ghana. They are truck drivers who play music using truck parts to draw interest to the importance of truck drivers. How creative!
Por Por: Honk Horn Music of Ghana

Listen to 30 seconds of traditional American bluegrass music featuring the banjo.
Bluegrass Breakdown

Check out this video of son jarocho music from Veracruz in Mexico.
José Gutiérrez and Los Hermanos Ochoa

Listen to 30 seconds of this music group from Western Samoa.
Lau lupe Youth Group from Saleufi, Apia

Encourage engagement with the outdoors.

Many of us live our whole lives unaware of what species of birds or trees are around us. Look up local guides to the birds and trees in your area and encourage patrons to journey outside and see which ones they can identify.

Here's one such example for the Chicago area.

Other ideas:

The Smithsonian Institute has this landing page of tons of kids/teen activities. has a daily math word problem with difficulty settings from toddler to high school.

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