Image source: Pexels
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought a certain unknown and surreal feeling to people across the globe, and we know our kids are feeling it, too. Take a break from home learning (or family feuding?) and tune into a therapeutic podcast, a virtual doodling lesson, or a live-streaming symphony concert. Because in times like these, taking care of our mental health is one of the best things we can do.
Imagine Neighborhood. There are several great episodes on this podcast, but the Talking to Kids About Corona Virus Fears episode in particular helps explain some of the fears (both adults’ and kids’) that are being talked about in the news.
No matter the season, Bedtime FM’s Peace Out is packed full of calming material for kids and adults alike. Listen to other kids’ share about their happy and safe spaces, do a kid-friendly mindfulness or yoga practice, or just listen to the host’s soothing voice to calm down.
Honeybee Kids: Calming Children. Mrs. Honeybee takes favorite characters from children’s stories like Frozen, Toy Story, Pokemon, and more, and creates fun, new spins on them. Listen to her soothing voice and drift off to sleep.
Be Calm on Ahway Island. Designed to teach calm bodies and self-regulation to kids, this podcast uses fun characters like sea creatures and forest animals to reinforce positive behaviors and self-acceptance.
Seattle Symphony free live broadcasts. The Symphony will share performances that provide calm, joy, strength and comfort during this time of uncertainty. And what could be more soothing than classic, instrumental music?
Northwest Folklife Listen & Learn. All about building community and sharing stories about culture, Northwest Folklife brings (virtually) to audiences archived musical performances, festival clips, and neighbors telling their stories.
Songs of Hope & Healing. Live music while you work, learn or play at home? Yes, please! Artist Home presents musical performers featured throughout the day, playing virtual live music, free to viewers. Support these artists by donating to a list of Venmo accounts, online record stores, or other organizations during this difficult time for artists. Most songs bring a message of bringing people together, and conveying emotions and thoughts of healing around difficult situations.
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Take a break with artist Mo Willems (of the Elephant & Piggie series) as he presents guided doodles, perfect for kids ages 0-100, designed to help viewers forget their worries and access their creative brains. This lovely 15-episode series has ended, but you can still access all of them on The Kennedy Center website.
Home Based Art Making with Cassie Stephens. If you’re not a part of the Instagram or YouTube art teacher scene, you may not know that Cassie Stephens is at the top of her game. Her bright, festive outfits match her theatrical, fun personality, and kids absolutely LOVE her. Share her guided drawing videos with them for 20-or-so minutes a day, learning through themes like pirates, robots, and superheroes, and join in if you want! You won’t regret it.
Art for Kids Hub. Free online art lessons, led by a family of six who want to share their love of art with the world. Take a lesson in drawing, painting, origami, and much more. Required supplies are minimal; you usually just need a piece of paper and something to draw with!
Online Art Gallery Tours. CNN has put together an awesome list of art galleries from around the world, like Paris, Florence, Johannesburg, and D.C. This list also features symphonies, operas, plays, ballets and even zoo tours that you can stream from home for free.
Big Kid Pick! Go on a treasure hunt for street art and see Banksy’s murals around the world, and pose questions about what classifies as street art, how to define art in general, and our own interpretation of these images.
Stories & Theater
The Social Distancing Festival. Created by and for artists who’s productions have been canceled due to the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, this site features streamed events and performances by artists all around the world. Check out this high school performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow from a canceled production of Wizard of Oz. So lovely!
Seattle Children’s Theater @ Home. STC has put together daily activities like drama games, movement activities, games, coloring, and more that are downloadable and accessible online, so you can do them whenever it’s convenient. The first activity is based on the children’s book Go Dog, Go!
Storytime with Frozen 2’s Josh Gad. Already pretty popular with the kids, the voice of the beloved Olaf brings his voice to audiences everywhere with 10 minutes per night of bedtime stories. Feel stress about the current state of the world? This is a great way to "Let it Go."
Storyline Online. Created to instill a love of reading in young people, this website has a collection of children’s stories read aloud by actors and actresses from the Screen Actors Guild.