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.

Scroll down the page to see the resources for Middle Schoolers and Teens!

Just for Kids!

Kid World Citizen: Shares ideas to teach kids about world cultures and our planet through travel, food, music, celebrations, service, maps, art and projects.

TumbleMath:  Love Tumblebooks? Check out this free and fun math-tastic collection for kids K – 6th grade, free through August 31!

KidLitTV:  Want to hear a song? Want to hear a story read by the author? Would you like to learn to draw book characters? Then this site is for you. Sit back and be entertained.

A Little Pinch of Perfect: Click around to discover all the kid activities, printables, crafts and resources that are available for your home or school to enjoy with your children or students. Most of the activities are based on favorite children’s books.

Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network Summer Activity Guide: This summer activity guide is a suite of fun and engaging activities and challenges designed specifically for this atypical summer, with unique content for ages 5 through 18.

The Ickabog: Check out the newest work by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter Series, being published for free in installments online this summer. There’s also a drawing contest. Enter for a chance to have your artwork featured in the published version of the book due out later this year!

Lift Lessons: Lift Lessons is offering free subscriptions through August to help keep kids learning about science throughout the summer.  These educator-created lessons focus on science vocabulary and topics for 6 – 14-year-olds.  The free subscription covers working scientifically and physic vocabulary.  Biology and chemistry lessons will be added in the coming months.

Macaroni Kids of Northeast Ohio:  Your one-stop-shop for fun activities, events and resources. Northeast Ohio isn't the closest to Licking County, but if you’re up for a drive, check out Northwest Columbus as well.

Free Virtual Summer Camps:  Searching for something to keep your kids entertained and their brains sharp during this extended break from school? Check out this *amazing* collection of virtual summer camps for kids with topics like Introduction to Mandarin Chinese, improv and stand-up comedy and magic potions!

Sew a Softie: Got a crafty one on your hands? Check out these tips and free patterns to get your kids sewing at home.

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!

Destinations Career Academy:  Check out free summer courses and career exploration programs. Some even earn kids high school credit!

Online Summer Programs for Teens:  Amazing virtual summer programs from prestigious organizations such as Carnegie Mellon, Idyllwild Arts, Columbia University and Boston Architectural College. Make sure to spend some time poking around www.teenlife.com and exploring all their resources and guides.

Jackbox Games: This is the only paid resource on this list, so bear with me.  If you want to hang out with friends in a socially distant but still super fun and engaging manner this summer, Jackbox Games might be well worth your money.  Friends play in real-time on their phones, tablets, or other devices!  Grab some friends, pool your money, and get started – with individual games as low as $5.99 and game packs around $25, it (probably) won’t break the bank.

Just Color:  Need a little Zen in your summer? Download free adult coloring pages including mandalas, zentangles, art deco themes and more!

Learn a New Language:  There are so many languages you can choose to learn. Check out Mango and Transparent Language Online, both free with your library card, and impress your friends with your language skills when you head back to school this fall. Oui, oui, mon ami!

Common Sense Media: This is your one-stop-shop for any and all concerns about the 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.