Keeping kids engaged during the time of lockdown is tough. With not much to do, we can’t really blame them; however, spending too much time in front of the TV isn’t beneficial either. That is when I started hunting for some good educational resources that children can watch and learn in their free time. These lessons are free and they can be used even after the lockdown period is over to learn a new skill.
I have divided the educational resources by age and subject. At the start, there is another section for art and vocation which purely focuses on various skills that can be useful for any age. Apart from that I have also added a section for coding. This too is for anyone who is interested in learning coding.
For those interested in history and museums around the world, google brings you some great educational resources in the form of the best-known museum exhibits in the world and that too for free! You can see amazing museums and their exhibits up close on the site. A few interesting ones that we have seen as of now are Ann Frank House, Palace of Versailles and the National Gallery of London. To check out the whole list visit Google Arts and Culture
The best part about these online museums is
- They offer some important detailing and information about each portrait. Things that you might normally miss if you were physically visiting the museum are available with detailed information thereby offering a truly enriching experience.
- For museums like Ann Frank House, there is a timeline of the events that followed which makes it easy to understand the whole situation. There are accompanying videos from her friends, helpers, etc. which makes the experience more engaging.
- The fantastic use of technology helps us better experience historical exhibits as well. For eg – In the Palace of Versailles, the portraits with kings and courtiers help you to identify their names by way of numbering and referencing.
- The quality of the exhibit’s images is fantastic which makes it a joy to see.
- Another interesting experiment in using AR for museums is British Museum. Just click on the launch experiment to experience the fun!
This is a virtual gallery dedicated to images and music from India. It has educational resources like images from historical places around India. There is a music timeline as well as a music map of India. This is a collective effort by the Indian Government and the American Institute of Indian music.
The image gallery includes images from a lot of historical and archeological sites in India while the music has audio clips and information about folk, classical and tribal music.
Art and Culture
Cultural stories from the world
Another initiative by Google, here topics related to culture are exhibited and showcased in the form of collection. I found an interesting collection about the Maharanis of India- Unheard stories. This too is in the form of presentations where good quality images and byte-sized information is paired for easy understanding and skimming. The collections are varied right from scientific topics like science inventions and science museums to natural history and cultures of various countries. It showcases the heritage of various countries and also shares light on the food and sporting histories. In today’s times when history and culture are not a big part of formal education, with the help of these educational resources we can introduce our children to these things via these cultural stories from Google
If your child loves drawing and wishes to learn drawing then this is a great resource to learn drawing landscapes, cartoons, human figures and more. The videos are divided based on skill levels and it has options like kids, beginners, intermediate, etc. So this is a great way to get children to try their hand at art, one day at a time. If the child is younger, you might have to help them as they might not understand the instructions.
While not many of us have a piano at home, but this is similar to a keyboard and so you and your child could try your hand at the keyboard while in lockdown. This one starts with the very basics and hence no prior knowledge is expected. Have some fun playing your favorite rhymes or songs and learn a new skill.
In today’s times where core values like empathy, collaboration, social skills etc. are missing from our regular discussion it is important to inculcate them among children. This is a YouTube video series that talks about some of the core values like inclusiveness, compassion, empathy etc. in a fun video series. There are no dialogues in it so any child can comprehend it. Perfect for ages 3+ Peppy Pals as the series is called, also has a website by the same name which has a few printables for free.
Science and Maths
Class 1 onwards
This is a free educational resource of study material that is divided classwise. They have something called flex books where topics are divided into chapters and kids need to solve them to move forward. It has a lot of interactive quizzes and that makes learning fun. Overall it is useful for children from classes 1-12th however for younger children parental assistance might be required in understanding the concept and questions.
It covers a lot of topics but mostly focuses on Science and maths of all grades. They have an India specific section but it caters to students from 9-12th std. It is definitely a good resource to check out.
This is another free resource that has a lot of videos on various subjects. Some are interactive, while others are video lessons. Some even have DIY’s that can keep the kids engaged. Simply click on the correct grade and access age-appropriate videos. For older kids, I also found videos that showcased various careers and I found that concept extremely interesting. As these are again geared towards US curriculum, do not try looking based on the exact grade but look for concepts that have been taught in school to make it more engaging.
If your child loves making science projects, this is a great resource. With the lockdown, you might not be able to get material that is needed for these projects right away but you could be ready with the list by exploring various videos. The videos are again divided based on age. There are science projects for all age groups and it is a great way to learn while doing.
Classes 8 onwards
Another gem from the world of Google- YouTube learning has interesting videos about a lot of topics. While a lot of content is geared towards US education system, there are a few topics that anyone from around the world can learn and find helpful. They cover topics like Black holes, Introduction to Economics, SQL, how to build an app to leaning physics and maths via these videos.
This is another youtube channel that talks specifically about Maths. This is not something where you are taught a particular lesson or concept but they look at maths from an everyday perspective. There are a lot of interesting videos that talk about various mathematical concepts. This is definitely a higher level, so I would recommend it for kids who love maths and are in classes 8 and above.
Gone are the days when people asked for proficiency in English. Today in the times of globalization people are looking for candidates with multiple language skills. If your child has a knack for languages then this is the time to focus on that area. Here are two sites that teach multiple languages online. You can choose from French, German, Spanish to even Korean! Take your pick and get started! Your child might surprise his friends with his language skills when the new session begins.
I have added the links for Duolingo and Memory here. Both the sites need registration and then you are good to go!
StarFall is a perfect site for children aged 3 onwards. It has a lot of activities around the English language for grades Kg to class 3. The site has activities for English and Maths. The animation is basic however the units are well divided and planned. It is simple for children to follow and need minimum parental intervention.
Fun activities for 3+ ages
Keeping toddlers and younger kids is tough during the lockdown. Here are a couple of sites that have fun activities that are good for 3-8-year-olds and would be fun and entertaining.
HighlightKids – This is a site which has a lot of quiz, DIY, interesting facts and other activities. It is a great way to engage children while they learn something new. The content is not structured according to the classes hence don’t expect curriculum-based learning but it is a good way to introduce children to a lot of fun facts and gamification of learning.
National Geographic Kids – This one is a good resource for reading and improving general knowledge about various subjects. It also includes a few videos and quizzes that kids can play. In general, if you wish to expose your child to birds, animals, nature and other interesting aspects of the planet then this is the site to go. As the site is rather content-heavy, it would need parental assistance for younger kids. This could be a fun way to bond and learn about our nature while at it.
Today, coding starts from as young as class 3 for kids hence this is another aspect that you can focus on and help them brush their skills.
Scratch – This is free coding software developed by MIT. The platform has everything that a child might need to learn the programing language of scratch. You have a code editor, tutorials, practice projects as well as projects done by others for reference. This is great for kids above 6 years of age.
Future Learn is similar to Udemy or Coursera with the only difference being that they offer a few courses free. If the intention is to understand a particular language or its uses in the real world then this is the place to be. You can check out if a particular skill or course is for you and if you think you want to do a certificate-level program then go in for the paid version. Future Learn offers courses in various fields and is not limited to computer programing.
Codecademy as the name suggests is a pure coding skill learning platform. Here too there are paid and free versions available and as a student, you can pick up free courses and then decide later. Codecademy overall offers courses in programming, data science, web development, design and game development.
I hope you find this list useful and your children to learn something new and spend their time productively while being under lockdown. I had a lot of fun researching this. Do share if you enjoyed reading this resource guide and share your comments below.