Free Online Resources

virtual resources, free resources

In addition to the sites mentioned below, use your WNPL card to access online resources for ebooks and eaudiobooks, learning and fun here.

Animal Cams & Videos

Brookfield Zoo – daily live streams through the organization’s Facebook page

Cincinnati Zoo – home to Fiona the hippo, take a digital safari

Lincoln Park Zoo – videos posted at the zoo’s YouTube presence

Marine Biology Camp – whale experts at Oceans Initiative stream two times per week

Milwaukee County Zoo – watch webcams of many of the zoo’s animals

Monterey Bay Aquarium – enjoy calming videos of aquatic scenes from this California-based aquarium

Shedd Aquarium – watch the daily adventures of penguins and other aquarium inhabitants through Twitter

Watching Wildlife – watch wildlife across the U.S. with the National Park Service

 

Arts, Crafts & Writing

From WNPL:

WNPL Bookmobile Cut Out – Make your own version of WNPL’s Bookmobile at home!

Dill Pickle Celebrates Spring Coloring Sheet – celebrate a colorful spring with WNPL’s Dill Pickle by printing this coloring sheet

Dill Pickle Safe at Home Coloring Sheet – print & color a picture of our green icon of WNPL’s Youth Services department while safe at home

Mandala Coloring Sheet – color your worries away with this calming design from WNPL

Mandala Coloring Sheet 2 – another design option to calmly color

Parrot Coloring Sheet – escape to a tropical scene with coloring sheet

 

Other sources:

LEGO Quarantine Survival Challenge – this NBC5 article points to a Facebook Group created by a Downers Grove mom that posts a daily LEGO challenge

Printable Activities from Click, Clack Books – activity sheets from the popular book series

Stuck at Home? Take Free Drawing Classes From Famous Illustrators – a handy list from Fast Company

Websites Where Kids Can Create Books – a list of resources from Scholastic

 

Authors, Videos & Storytimes

In addition to the sites mentioned below, many popular authors and celebrities can be found by searching YouTube or by following their individual social media pages.

Babies & Kids

The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds and Activities – a great selection from WeAreTeachers

The Fable Cottage – children’s stories translated into Spanish, and four additional titles

DPAN.TV – Kids stories in American Sign Language

KidLitTV – find read alouds, book trailers and more

StoryLine Online – your favorite celebrities read your favorite children’s titles

Story Time from Space! – astronauts from the International Space Station read favorite titles

 

Tweens & Teens

All Ages Read Along Bingo – a fun read along opportunity from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Manga Book Club Handbook – start your own virtual manga book club with this downloadable guide

Mouse Circus – author Neil Gaiman’s site for younger readers

 

Adults

CBLDF Book Discussion Guides – explore popular graphic novels in depth with downloadable guides

Goodreads – reads reviews written by WNPL staff at our Goodreads page

Neil Gaiman / Cool Stuff – downloads, excerpts and other cool stuff

WNPL on YouTube – find book and movie reviews from expert WNPL staff

 

Education – Online Learning

50 Amazing Skills You Can Learn on YouTube – an equally amazing list from Mental Floss

60+ Awesome Websites for Teaching and Learning Math – a helpful list from We Are Teachers

BrainPOP – creative videos and games that explain concepts in fun and creative ways

Ck-12 – Interactive lessons for all grade levels for many subjects.

Delish.com – offering free family oriented cooking classes on their Instagram site every day

Hour of Code – learn how to code with a variety of online projects

Ivy League Courses Online – a comprehensive list of free courses from several universities

IXL – Hundreds of interactive lessons for all grade levels for many subjects.

Khan Academy – Video tutorials and interactive exercises for upper grade levels on a variety of subjects.

NASA STEM Engagement – find videos and interactive materials for space learning for all ages

National Geographic for Kids – find out more about animals, geography, the environment and more

ScienceBuddies – STEM activities and experiments

Scholastic Learn At Home – a comprehensive website with day-to-day projects

 

Escape Rooms

Escape from Wonderland Digital Escape Room – created by Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System

Hogwarts Digital Escape Room – created by Peters Township Public Library staff

Wakelet/30+ Digital Escape Rooms – created by Ditch that Textbook

 

Exercise and Meditation

Calm on YouTube – find calming scenes and meditation rituals at the app’s popular YouTube channel

Cosmic Kids Yoga – Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world.

 

Homework Help

Digital Public Library of America – primary source sets developed by educators on a variety of topics

Europeana Collections – Explore cultural texts and primary sources from libraries and museums across Europe

 

Movies and TV

Common Sense Media – reviews from parents, kids, educators and advocates to help you choose the right media for your family

IMDB – the Internet Movie Database is a great place to find more info about your favorite movies, actors and actresses

TV.Com – find info about current television shows, as well as vintage tv

YouTube – for a limited time, view free feature films (with ads) in a wide variety of genres

 

Music and Performance

The Actors Fund – while Broadway has dimmed its lights, you can view live performances at this YouTube channel

Berlin Philharmonic – enjoy music from this digital concert hall

Center for Puppetry Arts – live puppet performances, along with a virtual tour

A List of Live, Virtual Concerts – kept up to date by the wonderful staff at NPR

A List of Vintage Musicals – including film clips from Broadway World

The Metropolitan Opera – free opera performances streamed online

 

Public Domain Books

Books Should Be Free – free public domain ebooks and eaudiobooks

A Kids Book About COVID-19 – from the staff at the Fergus Falls Public Library

Open Library – read classic books, including children’s and non-fiction titles

Project Gutenberg – over 60,000 free ebooks, including free epub and Kindle ebooks

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – 200+ art books for free on the Internet Archive

 

Virtual Tours

Art Galleries

The Art Institute of Chicago – visit the museum’s collections online

The Getty – explore the collections of the Los Angeles based museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – explore online exhibits from the museum’s collections in New York

Van Gogh Museum – reveal the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings from the museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Victoria and Albert Museum – browse online exhibits from a leading museum of art & design in London, UK

Museums

The Field Museum – experience the museum from home and watch Sue’s adventures on the Field’s social media sites

The Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago – tour the Museum through Google Arts & Culture

The Palace of Versailles – walk through the incredible UNESCO World Heritage site

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources – a thorough list of museum experiences around the globe

Nature & Parks

BloomCam– View the cherry blossoms on the National Mall in Washington DC

Google Earth – take a digital hike through several U.S. National Parks