Help your kids adjust in the wake of COVID-19

Check out these educational resources and activities to keep your student occupied, entertained and most importantly, learning.
COVID-19 has changed how we go about our daily lives—especially when it comes to how our children learn.

With widespread closings of schools and before and after-school programs, students and families are being challenged to continue learning in a very different environment. Educators are finding innovative and creative ways to help students stay on track, and we wanted to join them by sharing some helpful resources we’ve discovered.

As a community, it’s so important that we support our students to continue to succeed academically despite the circumstances.

For students who have yet to enter 3rd grade this is especially important as 3rd grade reading proficiency is a key predictor of high school graduation. Community organizations including United Way of the Midlands are working together to ensure our youngest students are on track to succeed by supporting the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading – locally called Raise Me to Read.

So, whether you’re attempting to keep your toddler entertained so you can get some work done or want to supplement video game/screen time with activities that are more hands on, we hope the online education resources below give you a break, keep your kids entertained and help make learning and education a priority in your household.

This page will be updated periodically with new resources. If you know of additional resources that you think should be featured, please let us know! Just send a note to communitystrong@uwmidlands.org.

Scholastic Learn At Home

20 day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing.

Switch Zoo

Watch, listen and play games to learn all about amazing animals and their habitats.

PBS Kids

Discover fun, educational games and sign up for a daily newsletter with at-home activities and tips for students.

Omaha Public Library

OPL has free online resources for kids and teens. Some activities require a library card.

Omaha Public Schools

OPS has activities available for all families (regardless of your district) with K-6th grade students.

12 Museum Virtual Tours

Explore 12 museums from across the world from the comfort of your couch.

National Geographic Kids

Learn all about animals, geography and science through games, quizzes and more.

Highlights Kids

Develop reading, thinking and reasoning skills through games, jokes, stories and more.

Storyline Online

Have some of your favorite stories read to you by famous celebrities.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media has compiled online learning opportunities for students, as well as guidance for talking about COVID-19 with kids.

ABCmouse

Learn about reading, science math and art – now offering a free 30-day trial.

Reading Rockets

Discover reading resources and ideas to help kids develop literacy skills.

Fun Brain

Play games, watch videos and read books while practicing math and literacy skills.

Into the Book

This reading comprehension resource is full of games that incorporate research-based strategies.

ABCya

Learn numbers, letters and other skills through interactive games and activities.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

Zoo from Home! The Omaha Zoo is bringing the zoo to you with videos of animals and corresponding acitivites.

Girls Who Code

Learn about coding, do activities and sign up for a newsletter to stay updated on new, free coding projects.

The Wellbeing Partners

Discover screen-free activities and other at-home learning resources.

Enriching Activities for Kids While Parents Work Remotely

Parents around the country submitted ideas for enriching activities to keep kids engaged while parents are working. Activities are for ages 0-18 (and beyond!). You can search by age, parental involvement level, prep time, cost, whether it’s for a group or one child, whether it involves a screen or not, and more. Please feel free to add the activities keeping your kids busy and happy to the list as well!

Podcasts for Kids and the Family

Looking for something less hands on that doesn't involve screens? Explore some of these podcasts for kids.

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

But Why is a show led by you, kids! You ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.

Circle Round

Created and produced by parents of young children, Circle Round adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10.

The Kids Are All…Home

This new podcast is designed by kids for kids stuck at home because of COVID-19 school closures. The creators solicited homemade podcasts from kids all around the world offering tips on how to stay safe, the activities they’re occupying themselves with and even snack ideas.

Want more ideas?

Click the button below to find the “25 best podcasts for kids” – approved by Common Sense Media.

Local Education Groups to Follow

These community organizations are continuously sharing and posting fun, creative and educational activities and ideas. Follow their pages to stay in the loop!

Partnership 4 Kids

Completely KIDS

Kids Can Community Center

Family Inc.

Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands

Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

More about Raise Me to Read

Read below to learn more about efforts in our community to help young students achieve 3rd grade reading proficiency and academic success.

In 2019, the Omaha metro became the first community in Nebraska to join the nationwide Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Known locally as Raise Me to Read, the campaign is a collaborative effort by schools, government agencies, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and foundations to improve students’ reading proficiency by the end of third grade so they are prepared to succeed in school and life.

Raise Me to Read focuses on three key challenges that can keep young children, especially those living in poverty, from learning to read proficiently. In alignment with its 2025 goals, United Way of the Midlands also invests over two million dollars annually in programs that address these challenges:

School Readiness

Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. By providing early literacy resources and improving access to quality early-care environments, the Campaign ensures that children are ready for school and families are ready to support their children’s learning.

School Attendance

Elementary school children who are chronically absent are more likely to repeat a grade and struggle with grade-level reading. By monitoring attendance data, addressing attendance barriers and developing attendance plans with parents and caregivers, we can reduce absenteeism and keep children on track to succeed.

Summer Learning

Summer learning loss, or “summer slide,” can occur when students don’t have access to books at home or out-of-school education programs and can leave low-income students 2.5-3 years behind their peers. By providing quality out-of-school opportunities we can help students maintain their progress toward third grade reading proficiency.

Raise Me to Read is supported by MOEC (Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium), Iowa West Foundation, the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, Family, Inc. and United Way of the Midlands.

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