Learning Tools for Children & Teens

We know the little (and maybe not so little) ones in your life may be sad that they can't visit our Children and Teen areas or attend a fun program. LCL has compiled an array of online learning tools and literacy resources to keep the youth in your life engaged.

This is Marisa! She is the Youth Services Coordinator at LCL. She is spending her social distancing days helping her kids with distance learning, enjoying the spring weather, snuggling her cat, baking, and working on home improvement projects that literally took a global pandemic to make time for.

Just for Kids!

ODE At Home Science Explorations: These investigations are designed to be completed in a home setting and are specifically targeted to each of Ohio’s Learning Standards for Science from the Ohio Department of Education for students in grades K through 6. The materials needed for these activities are common household items. The projects are intended to be used by parents to supplement instruction in the classroom or for teachers to assign during remote learning, particularly for students who do not have access to online resources.

Parent Trapped Podcast: This new podcast created by the dedicated folks at Common Sense Media wants to help listeners navigate the wild west of parenting generally, and the Covid-19 crisis specifically. Each week, host Ann Marie Baldonado checks in with authors, educators and celebrities to bring you real-world stories and tips. You'll hear from experts and listeners on everything from juggling work and school with kids at home to awesome pillow fort designs and great family movies.

Andrew McMeel Publishing Kids: At-home learning resources featuring popular book characters like Big Nate and Phoebe and Her Unicorn.

Go Noodle: Kids maxed on screen time? Wiggles out of control? Did you skip your workout again this morning? Well boot up a quick video from Go Noodle and get moving! These activities are fun for the whole family. We find the app interface easier to interact with than the website. Make to check out House Party—a series of a videos totaling about 30 minutes, selected to provide short bursts of intense activity with some active recovery time in between.

COSI Connects: COSI goes digital to keep your kids engaged in the scientific process during Covid-19 closures!

Common Sense Media: This is your one-stop-shop for any and all concerns about appropriateness of media, platforms, social media and more for kids of *all* ages. From detailed book and movie reviews that rate areas of potential concern (like graphic violence, foul language, sexual content) on a 1-5 scale, to app and game reviews, to resources on responsible screen time, to a special section just for Coronavirus support, this site really does have it all. Much of the content is also sortable by age. Ms. Marisa ranks Common Sense Media 15 out of 10 for robust content and usability.

Messaging Apps  My kids are too young to have their own phones, but they are desperate to stay in touch with their friends and family. If you’re dealing with the same thing and find yourself spending a lot of time setting up FaceTime sessions for your kids and their friends, now might be a good time to check this collection of messaging app reviews from Common Sense Media. If you’ve got an old cell phone or tablet laying around, your kids can be hooked into safe social distancing connections with their friends with little to no involvement on your part! Huzzah!

TEDeD  All the fun and educational opportunities of your favorite Ted Talk, created just for kids. You can even sign up for a daily email with lesson plans for kids of all ages. ​

Virtual School Activities  Running out of fun, educational ideas at home? This website is the motherload of free educational resources from all over the country.

Dav Pilkey At Home  Do you have a Dogman lover? Are your kids crazy for Captain Underpants? Then you’re going to want to check out Dav Pilkey at Home, where the man, the myth, the legend will be posting drawing tutorials, videos, and all sorts of fun stuff every week!

Bedtime Math  Fun, short math activities that can be completed with items you have around the house!

Wow in the World  If your kids are curious about *everything* and you just can’t answer another “why,” this is the social distancing content you’ve been looking for. This podcast explains wild, wacky, and surprisingly sophisticated content in a manner that’s not only easy to understand, but also hilarious! Once you get to know Guy, Mindy, Reggie, Dennis, Grandma G Force, and all the other wacky characters, you’ll wonder how you managed without them. Podcasts can be streamed from the Wow in the World website or your favorite podcast app.  ​

Scholastic Learn at Home  Free day-by-day educational activities separated by age level---so all the kids have something to do!

Kids Info Bits  This database made just for kids is great for homework help, online trivia, or settling family bets. With topics ranging from Demi Lovato to Dark Matter, it’s got what you need, and it’s FREE with your Licking County Library Card!

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems  Is your preschooler or early reader crazy for all things Mo? Whether you’re a fan of pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, or any of Mo’s other fabulous characters, the whole family will enjoy learning about Mo’s creative process and drawing some of their favorite characters. Tune in every weekday at 1pm for the live show (all videos posted for streaming at other times).

Celebrity Storytimes  Storyline Online is an amazing FREE website featuring hundreds of readings by celebrities like Eva Longoria, James Earl Jones, Betty White and more! Plop the kids down and enjoy five blessed minutes of quiet. Go ahead, you deserve it.

Virtual Zoo Tours  Join the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium every Tuesday at 2pm for a virtual tour on their Facebook page. And if one day a week isn’t enough for you, the Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a virtual tour every day at 3pm. Dreaming of the beach? Check out the live webcams at the Georgia Aquarium. 

Day By Day Ohio  Check this site every day for simple early literacy activities you can do with simple things you’ve got lying around at home

Virtual Programs  Are your kids missing story time? Need your kids to pay attention to someone else for a while? Check out this amazing calendar the State Library of Ohio compiled. It is an ever-changing list of virtual programs happening all over the state.

Goodnight with Dolly  Gather round the laptop, ya’ll, end enjoy a good ol’ fashioned bedtime story with everyone’s favorite fantasy family member, Dolly Parton. She’ll go live on Facebook every night at 7pm. And don’t forget to sign your little cutie up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library – they’ll receive a book in the mail every month until their 5th birthday!

Smash Boom Best  If Wow in the World is a little too wacky for you, or if you’ve already listened to every episode twice, Smash Boom Best is your next step. This podcast teaches kids the basics of debate with silly matchups like, “Chocolate vs. Cheese,” or “Sharks vs. Skunks.” Available for streaming online or your favorite podcast app.

Middle School and Teens!

Common Sense Media: This is your one-stop-shop for any and all concerns about appropriateness of media, platforms, social media and more for kids of *all* ages. From detailed book and movie reviews that rate areas of potential concern (like graphic violence, foul language, sexual content) on a 1-5 scale, to app and game reviews, to resources on responsible screen time, to a special section just for Coronavirus support, this site really does have it all. Much of the content is also sortable by age. Ms. Marisa ranks Common Sense Media 15 out of 10 for robust content and usability.

Everyone On: Search your ZIP code and answer a few questions to see if you qualify for free or reduced technology equipment and internet access.

Ohio History Connection Learn at Home: The Ohio History Connection buildings and village may be closed, but their website is still open for business! Their engaging educational resources are sorted by age level (including adults) for your convenience.

Amazing Educational Resources: Search by grade level and/or subject to find TONS of free resources and lesson plans for kids of all ages, from phonics for young kids to Virtual Reality content design for teens and adults!

Free Rice: Feed the world and earn money for the World Food Programme (WFP) just by playing a game! As you play Free Rice and answer questions right, advertisements appear on your screen. When you see one of these advertisements, you trigger a financial payment to the WFP to support its work saving and changing lives around the world. This money is used for many types of assistance—not just rice—depending on where needs are greatest. A mobile app version is also available.

TED Talks  While tweens and younger kids might enjoy the TED Talk site just for kids, if you (or your teen) have a more refined taste and you’re always thirsty for new ideas, deep thoughts, and insights into why we do the things we do, TED Talks are for you! These videos pack a punch---be prepared to be blown away!

Radio Lab  This is Ms. Marisa’s absolute favorite podcast. If you find yourself wondering "why" often, this will be your new favorite random fact generator. Warning: these are created for adults, so there is some occasional swearing and adult content. Episodes with sensitive content usually have disclaimer at the beginning. The good people at RadioLab also compiled a list of episodes that are family friendly --- so go ahead and listen with your little brother.

TeachRock Virtual Lessons  TeachRock Distance Learning Packs offer project-based learning, collaboration, authentic assessment strategies such as art, podcasts or videos. They include clear, concise instructions that empower non-educator family members to help a student succeed.

High School Resources for Covid-19 Support  Scroll to the “FOR FAMILIES” and “FOR STUDENTS” sections for a variety of resources and tips for supporting your tween/teen both academically and emotionally during COVID-19 school closures. There is even a section with wi-fi troubleshooting tips!

Wide Open School  This free site is offers a plethora of resources for staying healthy and happy, and supporting emotional growth during a difficult time. Articles and videos are generally pretty short, so it’s easy to quickly check out tips for a huge range of topics including mindfulness, addressing social stigma and racism, geometric proofs, gerrymandering, tips for writing a strong thesis statement, engineering principals, and so much more! The site is categorized by age, and you’ll find plenty for your younger kids!

Scratch  With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Harry Potter - Muggles Rejoice! JK Rowling and Pottermore Publishing announced access to the first Harry Potter book in every available language through ebook and audiobook. Free - with no waitlists! Click for the book via Ohio Digital Library now. 

National Theatre At Home  Recorded plays from the National Theatre, displayed on YouTube on Thursdays at 2pm EST. See the current planned theatrical lineup here.

College and Career Readiness Tools  Job skill assessment tests offered by Ohio Job and Family Services to help measure real-world skills.