15 Preschool Friendly Virtual Sites & Off-Screen Activities for Your Child.
With the current pandemic of the Corona, COVID-19 virus, many schools have closed as a safety precaution. Many students grades K-12 (and even college), have transitioned to virtual classrooms. However, there is still a group that may easily be overlooked – Preschool students!
I’m talking about Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K), 4 and 5-year-olds who will be attending Kindergarten in the Fall. What can parents do to help their preschool kids stay on task, and retain what they’ve learned so far? How can we help our soon to be Kindergartners get ahead of the “game” as they prepare for Elementary school?
Well, being a preschool mom myself, and coming from a family of educators – I knew I had to put together a guide to help us out.
So in true Sincerely, Mrs. Mommy fashion, I’ve done some digging for you. With the help of recommendations from my educator friends and family, plus my own personal research by visiting and reviewing each resource myself, below you’ll find an easy to follow reference guide of websites filled with helpful educational tools for your preschooler.
Also, if you want to give your kids a break from screen time for some hands-on learning I’ve included some tips and stores where you can purchase materials for preschool activities.
Many of these resources will still be available once the school year is over. So pin this article on Pintrest, share it with your preschool parent tribe, and come back to visit as often as you need to help keep your preschooler on task and ahead of the game for the new school year.
Virtual Classrooms and Educational Activities
Kahn Academy Kids – Dedicated to kids age 2-7, this is a FREE educational app by Kahn Academy, a non-profit educational website that provides free online courses designated by age and grade. They focus on the “whole child” by creating a program based on subjects like early literacy, reading, writing, language, and math. They also promote creativity and building social-emotional skills. There are thousands of fun activities to help your child reinforce what they have learned and to help them progress as well. The main website Kahn Academy also has a helpful age guided daily schedule, which you can view here. The app boasts there are no subscriptions or ads, which is great if you’re on a budget and want to avoid your child from making accidental purchases. Visit Kahn Academy Kids.
ABC Mouse – Possibly the most recognized and highly recommended online educational resource for kids. Your kids can learn at home on a computer, their iPad/Tablet, and even a smartphone! Activities vary by subjects including reading, math, art, puzzles, the world, and much more. They also offer printables, and assessments to help you see what your child needs to learn and then assigns appropriate activities. You’ll also be able to see how well your child is progressing. You can currently try for free with a 30-day trial. Plus they have great discounts on various subscription plans. Visit ABCMouse.
Scholastic Learn At Home – Scholastic provides 20 days (divided into 3 weeks) of remote learning activities and lessons for your little learner. The goal is to help reinforce and maintain your child’s education when they are not able to attend school. They breakdown activities by grade level including Pre-K and Kindergarten. The activities are divided into weeks, then each day includes a story to watch, a book to read, a video related to the days’ story/reading, plus an activity. Visit Scholastic Learn at Home.
PBS Parents – The parent side to PBS, where you can sign up for a weekday newsletter, and also gain access to activities, videos and other resources based on age. Subjects include emotions and self-awareness, social skills, character, literacy, math, science, and arts. Visit PBS Parents.
Beyond the Chalkboard – Created by the Boston Children’s Museum, they provide activities in the following categories: science, literacy, culture, health, art, math, engineering, and NASA. Each activity is created to support what children are already learning in school. The best part is each activity is driven by 4 sections to help you facilitate learning effectively. Although it is geared for groups of children, you can easily adjust it to fit one child or multiple children in a close age range. Examples of preschool-friendly activities include Moon Leap, Tracing Shadows, Color – Colorcito (age 5+), or Story Tag (age 5+). Visit Beyond the Chalkboard.
Virtual Field Trips
Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! – Ripley’s is a fun attraction to visit with the family. It’s like an interactive museum of all things weird and strange. You can visit Ripley’s Aquariums at Home and Outside the Odditorium where you’ll find live Facebook events, downloadable educational materials (categorized by age group including pre-k), arts-and-crafts, and more. You can also follow their Facebook page to tune into events such as Story Time Live!, Champs & Chumps with Dustyn, and even live readings of Moby Dick… on toilet paper! Bookmark and visit their site often as it is updated with new lesson plans and activities throughout the week. Visit Ripley’s Believe it Or Not!.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens – The Zoo is temporarily closed however that hasn’t stopped them from sharing a close up of their animals that call this Zoo home. Every day at 3 pm you can visit their website or watch live via their Facebook page as they give us an up-close and personal view of their wildlife. If you miss the live video, no worries! You can catch up with past videos on their Youtube channel. Visit Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens Zoo Home.
Eggs in Schools – Created by The American Egg Board, The Eggs in School program features cooking classes, virtual egg farm field trips, lesson plans and materials categorized by age group so you can choose the activities appropriate for your child, including Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten. They even have a cute memory matching “Eggucational Game” that you can download and print at home. Visit Eggs in Schools.
Want more virtual field trip ideas? Check out this article by We Are Teachers, “25 Amazing Virtual Field Trips for Kids – Spring 2020“
Hoopla Digital – Use your library card to borrow digital movies, audiobooks, ebooks, music and more, 24/7. You can view and listen on any digital device including your television! Visit Hoopla Digitial.
International Children’s Digital Library – This is a non-profit free online library for children. Once you create an online account, you’ll have access to a wide collection of books from around the globe. You can search for books by country, subject, author, and award-winning titles. Visit the International Children’s Digital Library.
As one of my son’s preschool teachers told me, frequent review and repetition are important – days of the week, months, vowels, weather, and more.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to keep your little one learning and active offline, here are some options to consider:
- Workbooks (Practice writing the alphabet, their name, short sight words, simple math, and counting, matching games, etc.)
- Flashcards (Numbers, Colors, Words, Shapes, Counting, etc.)
- Puzzles and Games (Mix & Match, Building Blocks, etc.)
- Arts and Crafts (Coloring Books, Sidewalk Chalk, Painting, Practice Cutting colored strips, etc.)
In this video, I share some of my preschool-friendly learning materials and activities from the Dollar Tree.
Where to Find Supplies
The following are links to ideas for Preschool, Pre-K learning materials
Do You Have Recommendations?
If you have some recommendations for virtual or offline educational and fun activities for preschoolers please leave them in the comments, or email me so that I can add to this list. Also, if you’d like me to put together a list of arts and crafts activities let me know as well.
Happy learning, stay safe, and well!
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