Free Stay-At-Home Sites & Activities

Free Stay-At-Home Sites & Activities2020-07-08T15:05:03+00:00

Please enjoy these free online resources curated by our library staff.

If you find a dead link or would like to suggest a resource, please email contact@crcpl.org.

Check out Online Programs from Ohio’s Public Libraries, including daily virtual storytimes, reference and book chats, crafting programs, and more!

Education

Ohio At-Home Learning Initiative | The initiative hosted at coronavirus.ohio.gov provides information for parents, family activities, and online learning opportunities for students K-12 during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

Class Central | Are you looking to start online classes? Class Central is a crowd sourced list of online courses across many topics. Classes are scored based on reviews by students, helping you find the right class.

Documentary Heaven | Documentary buff? Documentary Heaven is a curated list of documentaries available on websites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Khan Academy | Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization looking to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Enroll in classes and learn through interactive tools and videos.

Smithsonian Learning Lab | Large scale learning platfrom with a focus on imagery. Account required to save to collections, but website seems generally open without registration.

Smithsonian Collections | The scope of objects in Smithsonian collections is staggering—from ancient Chinese bronzes to the Star-Spangled Banner; from a 3.5 billion-year-old fossil to the Apollo lunar landing module; from the ruby slippers featured in The Wizard of Oz to presidential memorabilia. Scholars and scientific researchers at the Smithsonian—and around the world—use these vast collections in their research to expand human knowledge.

Typing.com | Online typing teacher, make account to save progress.

Kids

TumbleBookLibrary | TumbleBookLibrary is a curated database of children’s eBooks for students grades K-6.

TumbleMath | TumbleMath is a comprehensive collection of math picture books complete with animation and narration for students grades K-6.

TeenBookCloud | TeenBookCloud is a curated database of eBooks and other digital content for students grades 7-12. The growing collection features over 1,000 titles, including Graphic Novels, enhanced eBooks with full audio narration and highlighted text, classic literature, national geographic videos, and more!

Miss Humblebee’s Academy | Miss Humblebee’s Academy is an award-winning, online and offline curriculum that prepares children ages 3 to 6 for kindergarten proficiency.

KidsGardening.org | The mission of KidsGardening.org is to create opportunities for kids to play, learn, and grow through gardening, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder.

Scholastic Learn-At-Home | Day-by-day projects to keep kids learning, thinking, and growing.

PBSKids | Play hide-and-seek with Daniel Tiger or belt out a sing-a-long with the Sesame Street crew! PBSKids includes games and family activities featuring your favorite PBS characters.

Wordsmyth Children’s Dictionary | Wordsmyth strives to provide a personalized experience for every student. Registered users can customize their dictionary settings, entry display, look-up history, word lists, and activities.

Fact Monster | From the solar system to the world economy to educational games, Fact Monster has the info kids are seeking.

Word Central | The word-spelling robot hosts the latest amazing word game and challenges spellers of all ages.

International Children’s Digital Library | The ICDL Foundation is a free online library of digitized children’s books in 59 languages from various countries.

Ducksters | An educational site covering subjects such as history, science, geography, math, and biographies. Pages are written to be easy to read and understand.

Circle Round | Created and produced by parents of young children, WBUR’s Circle Round is a podcast that adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10. Each 10- to 20-minute episode explores important issues like kindness, persistence and generosity. And each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups.

Wow in the World | NPR radio hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. Go inside your brain, out into space, and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

Stories Podcast | New stories for kids every week, ranging from retellings of fairy tales like Snow White to classic stories like Peter Rabbit, and even completely original works. Everything is G-rated and safe for all ages. The perfect kids podcast for imaginative families. Whether you’re driving with your children or just want to limit your kids’ screen time, Stories Podcast delivers entertainment that kids and parents alike will love.

Arts & Crafts

Paris Museum Collections | Explore the Museum of the City of Paris through their online catalogue. This collection offers downloadable public domain images of 150,000+ works from artists throughout history.

The Louvre Online | Visit the Louvre without leaving your seat! Browse select collections via the museums virtual tours.

The Vatican Virtual Tours | Get an in depth look at the Vatican through their virtual tours. Zoom in on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, walk amongst the statues of the New Wing, and much more!

Google Arts & Culture | Explore a seemingly endless collection of artwork, cultural movements, and human achievements. Google Arts and Culture also contains links to other virtual collections.

Adobe Color | Create color palettes from photos with Adobe Color. Great for graphic designers, web designers, and artists!

Open Drawing Books | Want to learn how to draw the world around you? Open Drawing Books collects online versions of classic art instruction books.

Artplace America | Artplace America gathers resources for artisans looking to make a change in their community. Guides provide insight into topics such as civic engagement, fundraising, and more.

Jerry’s Artarama | Learn art and drawing techniques with Jerry’s Artarama. Over 2000 hours of instruction is available for free!

Art Graphica | ArtGraphica features drawing, sketching and painting techniques. Guides include step-by-step photos and videos. Disclaimer: This website also contains paid content.

WetCanvas |  Learn new techniques, view exciting demonstrations, and get tips straight from the pros! Whether you’re a Pastellist or Watercolor Artist or an Artist just starting out, you will discover new approaches to value and shape, color and composition. Disclaimer: This website also contains paid content.

Greyscale Gorilla | Want to learn 3D rendering, but don’t know where to start? Greyscale Gorilla features tutorials on 3D rendering programs such as Cinema 4D and AfterEffects. Disclaimer: This website also contains paid content.

Metropolitan Museum of Art | Need photos of classic artwork for a report or other project? Browse items from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, including 400,000+ public domain images freely available to use.

Getty Virtual Library | Explore the arts with Getty Publications’ Virtual Library. Books are available to view online, or download for offline reading.

AutoDraw | Create freehand doodles and watch them magically transform into beautiful drawings powered by machine learning.

Stitch Pallets | Working with embroidery and looking for some color inspiration? Stitch Palettes features color palettes with DMC thread colors. Disclaimer: This website also contains paid content.

Unsplash | Need some photos for an upcoming project? Unsplash features free stock photos from photograhpers around the world.

Google Fonts | Google Fonts is a collection of open source web and downloadable fonts. Great for websites and design projects!

Free Fonts for Designers | If you’re on the hunt for free fonts for your business needs, you’ve probably hit some roadblocks along the way.  This site compiles 70+ fonts that offer free licenses for commercial and personal use.

Flip Anim | Online flipbook maker.

Vectr.com | Create vector graphics and export them as SVG or PNG files.

Instructables | Instructables has crowd sourced DIY guides for everything. From permaculture to knitted sweaters, enjoy step-by-step tutorials and community forums on just about any topic.

Color Our Collections | Vintage ads and medical texts as coloring sheets? Why not! The #ColorOurCollections campaign features historic artwork and manuscripts made into printable coloring sheets.

Draw.io | Flow chart maker, lots of presets.

Bubble.us | Brainstorming map maker, must register to save.

Clyp.it | Voice recorder and uploader, no account required.

12 Famous Museums And Galleries You Can Visit Virtually From Your Own Couch

History

National Women’s History Museum | March is Women’s History Month! Take a look through our history with the National Women’s History Museum’s online exhibits.

British Museums Online | With the British Museums online tool, you can explore the world’s collective history. Their global timeline chart features information in 5 categories, so you can see how humanity grew across the globe.

National Museum of African American History & Culture | Explore the National Museum of African American History & Culture presented by the Smithsonian. The museum features a digital collection of the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.

Irish American History & Heritage | The Smithsonian Museum has a great collection of Irish American history and heritage. Explore collection items related to Ireland and Irish American history and heritage. Enjoy the music of Ireland with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Smithsonian Open Access | Smithsonian Open Access provides a deep look into their museums without leaving your home (or library!) Enjoy images and more from Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.

Ohio History Connection | Discover museums and historic sites, exhibits, events, projects and blog posts about the Ohio topics you enjoy most.

FamilySearch | Learn where you came from, and get to know who you are. FamilySearch’s free family tree gets you started.

National Security Archive | The Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) is an invaluable online collection of more than 100,000 declassified records documenting historic U.S. policy decisions. Read the documents that shaped U.S. responses to the Cold War, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, nuclear weapons proliferation, and beyond.

NewspaperArchive | NewspaperArchive is offering remote access to their collection of over 300 million digitized newspaper pages, now through May 15, 2020.

Science & Nature

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks | Follow rangers on a journey to places most people never go in stunning 360-degree video.

Biodiversity Heritage Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is an open-access digital archive that preserves images and documents related to botany, wildlife and biodiversity. New content is regularly added, and most images are in the public domain.

Audubon’s Birds of America | Browse a digital catalogue of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. Each print is also available as a free high-resolution download.

San Diego Zoo Online | Learn fun animal facts and make lots of animal crafts! This online educational platform from the San Diego Zoo includes videos, activities, and games. You can even get a view of the zoo through their live animal cams.

Map of Life | Animal species global locator, quick facts, biodiversity.

Causes

Freerice | Answer questions/view adds to donate to the World Food Program.

FreeKibble | FreeKibble works to donate food to animal shelters in need. Answer questions and view ads to donate “kibble” each day!

Greater Good | Greater Good helps people and pets around the world. In just a few seconds each day, visitors can click on the large colored button on each home page and, at no cost to them, support causes they care about. Donations are paid for by the website’s sponsors and distributed by GreaterGood.org and its charity partners.

Peace Corps Stories | Peace Corps volunteers share their diverse experiences serving others.

UNICEF Stories | Meet the children and young people whose rights UNICEF works to protect every day.

International Committee of the Red Cross | Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war.

Human Rights Watch | Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

Slavery Footprint | Slavery Footprint is a survey that asks and responds to the question, “How Many Slaves Work For You?” The survey allows users to input select data about their consumer spending habits, which then outputs a graphical “footprint” of the user’s participation in modern-day slavery (as quantified by their consumption of items created by forced labor and child labor.)

Entertainment

Internet Archive | Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. Also, explore the history of the internet with the WaybackMachine. Why not try taking a look at crcpl.org in 2003?

This American Life | This American Life (TAL) is an American weekly hour-long radio program produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media and hosted by Ira Glass. It is broadcast on numerous public radio stations in the United States and internationally, and is also available as a free weekly podcast. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, it has also featured essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage.

A Soft Murmur | Ambient sounds generator.

Noisli | Another ambient sound generator.

Rainy Mood | Rain noise generator.

20 Fantastic Webcams You Can Watch Right Now

Music

Free Music Archive | A resource for free music, podcast safe and royalty free music for video. Supporting creators, rewarding creativity.

Mountain Stage | Mountain Stage is a two-hour music radio show, first aired in 1983, produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and distributed worldwide by National Public Radio (NPR). Hosted by Larry Groce, the program showcases diverse music, from the traditional to modern.

Justin Guitar | Justin Guitar has online guitar lessons, from beginner to expert. Chords and play-along videos for popular songs are also available. Disclaimer: This website also contains paid content.

Music Theory | Music theory lessons. Some premium content.

International Music Score Library Project | Public domain sheet music.

Classical Guitar Tablature | Classical guitar tabs.

Pianu | Digital piano with basic lessons for free. Some premium content.

Type Drummer | Fun typing widget, turns type to drum beats.

Midomi | Sing or hum to identify songs.

Spanish Language

SpanishDict | Spanish-English dictionary and translator.

Study Spanish | Learn Spanish with free online tutorials with audio, cultural notes, grammar, vocabulary, verbs drills, and links to helpful sites.

La Aventura Literaria (in Spanish)

Lecturalia | Literature social network, community of readers and book reviews (in Spanish).

Spanish Language & Culture | Site formerly known as Spanish Grammar Exercises.

Using English | UsingEnglish.com provides a large and growing collection of English as a Second Language (ESL) tools & resources for students, teachers, learners and academics, covering the full spectrum of ESL, EFL, ESOL, and EAP subject areas.

The Fable Cottage | Children’s fairy tales translated into Spanish with optional English translation and slow audio from a native Spanish speaker. Great for kids and adults alike.

Books

AudioBookCloud | AudioBookCloud is a curated database of streaming audio books, featuring over 1,200 titles, including dozens of genres and interest levels. The collection includes popular literature, classics, children’s and teen books, mystery, sci-fi, history, biography, and more!

RomanceBookCloud | RomanceBookCloud provides 24/7 unlimited and unrestricted simultaneous usage for over 1800 romance eBooks.

Project Gutenberg | Looking for a classic novel for a last minute book report? Project Gutenberg is here to help! Read (and keep) public domain works on your Kindle, web browser, or even smart phone.

Librivox | Enjoy public domain audiobooks read by volunteers around the world. Have a great voice? Volunteer to record audio for your favorite classic novels.

Internet Archive eBooks | The Internet Archive offers over 20,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts. There is also a collection of 1.3 million modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free archive.org account.

Writing

ZenPen | For distraction-free writing, try out ZenPen, a minimalist writing widget with an option to save to text document.

Storywars | Storywars: a collaborative writing platform! Read stories written by people around the world. Contributed ideas are added into stories by community voting.

Dictation.io | Voice dictation platform.

Health

Xhalr | Digital breathing exercise tool

KidsHealth | Includes both a parents’ site for advice on children’s health, behavior, and growth, as well as a kids’ site with homework help, info about how the body works, and more.