DAILY DISTRACTION 3/30/2020

As social distancing continues and we all do our best to stay home, parents might be getting some tough questions about COVID-19 and its effects. This kid-friendly comic does a great job of explaining the virus and is a must read for any curious kid:

SO, YOU’RE STUCK INSIDE…

Although our immediate worlds may be smaller, there’s no reason we can’t all continue to expand our minds. Here is a list of websites that you can visit to learn, explore, contribute and create:

READ a book. Enjoy some digital books:

  • Gwinnett County Public Library has TONS of digital resources for all ages that you can easily access with your library card. Read  storybooks, magazines, encyclopedias, and newspapers. Study for your driver’s test, get homework help or learn a new language. It’s all here: CLICK HERE

Books for all ages:

  • Find free online reading material here: CLICK HERE
  • Free eBooks for all ages: Powered by eSebco (Student ID = 1 upon login) CLICK HERE

HEAR a story. Here are some websites where you can hear a picture book read aloud:

Picture Books

  • Kids books on Audible are temporarily free: CLICK HERE
  • Hear Quackenstein Hatches a Family read by Kristen Bell: CLICK HERE
  • Listen to Harry the Dirty Dog read by Betty White: CLICK HERE
  • Actor Chris O’Dowd reads Arnie the Doughnut: CLICK HERE
  • Actor Reid Scott reads Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: CLICK HERE
  • Actress Sarah Silverman reads A Tale of Two Beasts: CLICK HERE
  • Actress Melissa Gilbert reads My Rotten Redheaded Brother: CLICK HERE
  • Listen to a story read in space! CLICK HERE
  • Children’s publisher shares read aloud picture books on YouTube: CLICK HERE
  • Subscribe to this publisher’s YouTube channel for weekly storytime videos: CLICK HERE
  • Hear kids’ stories read by author Neil Gaiman: CLICK HERE
  • Author Nick Bruel reads some of his Bad Kitty stories: CLICK HERE
  • Author Kate Messner reads her book, The Brilliant Deep: CLICK HERE
  • Author Carole Lindstrom reads her picture book, We Are Water Protectors: CLICK HERE
  • Author Kate Messner shares an excerpt from her non-fiction book, Tracking Pythons: CLICK HERE
  • Author-illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads her picture book Where Are My Books? and gives a drawing demonstration: CLICK HERE
  • Author Kate Messner reads her picture book Up in the GardenCLICK HERE
  • Author Nancy Castaldo reads from her non-fiction book about endangered species, Back From the BrinkCLICK HERE
  • Author Aisha Saeed reads her picture book Bilal Cooks Daal: CLICK HERE
  • Author Emily Jenkins reads her picture book  A Greyhound, a Groundhog: CLICK HERE

Chapter Books

  • Author Leah Henderson reads the first chapter of her middle-grade reader, The Magic In Changing Your Stars: CLICK HERE
  • Author Jason Reynolds shares an extract from his novel, GhostCLICK HERE
  • Author Jo Knowles reads from the first chapter of her book, Where the Heart Is: CLICK HERE
  • Author Chris Tebbetts reads the first chapter of his book Stranded and gives you a writing prompt: CLICK HERE
  • Author Ann Braden reads the first chapter of his book The Benefits of Being an Octopus: CLICK HERE
  • Author Mae Respicio shares an excerpt from her book, Any Day with You and gives a writing prompt where you imagine a day at the beach gone wrong: CLICK HERE
  • Author Lisa Schroeder reads an excerpt from her book My Secret Guide to Paris and shares a writing exercise: CLICK HERE
  • Author Janet Fox reads an excerpt from her book The Artifact Hunters: CLICK HERE
  • Author Abby Cooper reads the first chapter of her book Friend or Fiction: CLICK HERE

YA BOOKS

  • Read a synopsis for popular teen titles. After you’ve read on of the books, use the discussion questions provided and host a virtual book club: CLICK HERE
  • Read books for grades 7-12 here (Username: tumble2020 Password: A3b5c6): CLICK HERE
  • Author Victoria Schwab shares the first chapters of her books: CLICK HERE
  • Follow author Nic Stone on Instagram and hear her read from her books on Fridays: CLICK HERE

WATCH author book talks:

Picture Books

  • Meet the creators of the New York Times bestselling picture book Hair Love! Author Matthew Cherry and illustrator Vashti Harrison talk you through the creation of Hair Love and the important and empowering message they convey through the book. CLICK HERE

Teen Books

  • Author and illustrator Rob Harrell is here to introduce you to his newest middle grade novel Wink! Based on his real life experience, and packed with comic panels and spot art, this incredibly personal and poignant novel is a story of survival and finding the music, magic, and laughter in life’s weirdness. CLICK HERE
  • Padma Venkatraman, author of the critically acclaimed The Bridge Home, is here to answer your questions! Click on the link below to hear Padma answer common questions she gets from students about her latest novel. The Bridge Home, is a part of the Global Read Aloud.  CLICK HERE
  • We all could use a laugh right now! Watch author and YouTuber Akilah Hughes try to describe the plot of a YA novel with only the title for context! Then check out her own hilarious memoir, Obviously. CLICK HERE

LISTEN to music. Here are some sites with book-related songs, early literacy songs, and educational songs:

  • Go on a Bear Hunt with author Michael Rosen: CLICK HERE
  • Listen to songs inspired by children’s books: CLICK HERE
  • Listen to a song about protecting the oceans: CLICK HERE
  • Learn all 50 states with this song: CLICK HERE
  • Learn about sentences with this song: CLICK HERE
  • Here’s a song explaining the silent “e”: CLICK HERE
  • Get the wiggles out with this song: CLICK HERE
  • Celebrities sing the ABC’s: CLICK HERE
  • Bruno Mars and some friends from Sesame Street sing about not giving up: CLICK HERE
  • Jason Mraz sings about being stuck inside and going outdoors: CLICK HERE
  • Lighten the mood and watch the video for Pharrell Williams song, Happy: CLICK HERE
  • John Legend sings on Sesame Street: CLICK HERE

LEARN: Check out these sites with all kinds of information about the world around us.

  • Here is a kid-friendly comic that explains the COVID-19 pandemic: CLICK HERE
  • This podcast episode gives family friendly advice on staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak: CLICK HERE
  • Learn about archeology while virtually exploring digs at the Grand Canyon (requires Adobe Flash Player) CLICK HERE
  • Learn about the Civil Rights Movement by looking at this photo display from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta: CLICK HERE
  • Here’s a mini-lesson on comparative mythology from kids’ author Tracy Baptiste: CLICK HERE
  • Learn the sad story of Anne Frank with a virtual trip through her home: CLICK HERE
  • Learn more about President George Washington with a virtual tour through Mt. Vernon: CLICK HERE
  • Learn about history while exploring the exhibits at the British Museum in London: CLICK HERE
  • Find lessons on Native American History here: CLCIK HERE
  • Take a virtual tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture: CLICK HERE
  • Test your math skills for grades K-6 here (Username: tumble2020 Password: A3b5c6): CLICK HERE
  • Print out some simple space themed activities to do at home: CLICK HERE
  • Learn your family history with these genealogy tips from the Ellis island Museum of Immigration: CLICK HERE
  • Help kids learn social and emotional skills with this video: CLICK HERE
  • Learn about nuclear power with this virtual field trip: CLICK HERE
  • Explore the world of technology with this virtual field trip: CLICK HERE
  • Learn how pharmaceutical companies use science with this virtual field trip: CLICK HERE
  • Learn about geology with photo tours of the Grand Canyon: CLICK HERE

EXPLORE:  Look around the world from the comfort of your own home:

Animals & Nature

  • Investigate some of the exhibits at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum: CLICK HERE
  • See what the pandas at Zoo Atlanta are up to. Are they awake?: CLICK HERE
  • Look at the fish and other animals at the Georgia Aquarium. How many different species do you see? CLICK HERE
  • Check out some of the animals at the San Diego Zoo. Can you find one mammal and one bird? What about one primate and one marsupial? CLICK HERE
  • Watch wild animals from around the world. What do you like to watch? https://explore.org/livecams
  • Take a virtual field trip to learn more about the world of polar bears: CLICK HERE
  • See what’s happening at the Monterey Bay Aquarium by looking at their webcams. Can you find a mammal, a bird, a fish and a reptile? CLICK HERE
  • Take a virtual tour of the US Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC: CLICK HERE
  • Fancy a dip? You can virtually swim with dolphins and learn some dolphin facts here: CLICK HERE
  • Meet a hammerhead shark in this 360 degree video: CLICK HERE
  • Virtually explore an active volcano: CLICK HERE
  • Take an up close look at a beehive: CLICK HERE
  • Take a look at a desert biome. What plants and animals do you see CLICK HERE
  • Look at a temperate forest. How does it change with the seasons? What signs of animals do you find?CLICK HERE
  • Learn more about the life found in a rainforest here: CLICK HERE
  • Explore the collections at the Natural History Museum in London: CLICK HERE
  • Take a 360 degree aerial tour of the Grand Canyon: CLICK HERE

Art

  • Watch 360 degree videos and explore fashion, art, architecture, space, dinosaurs and more: CLICK HERE
  • Check out the works at the National Gallery of Art: CLICK HERE
  • See if you recognize any faces from the National Portrait Gallery: CLICK HERE
  • Take a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: CLICK HERE
  • Learn about the creations of Latinx artists in this exhibit from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: CLICK HERE
  • Explore the exhibits at  the J. Paul Getty Museum here: CLICK HERE
  • Enjoy the online exhibits at the Guggenheim Bilbao here: CLICK HERE
  • See the works of the Dutch masters at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: CLICK HERE
  • See the exhibits at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea: CLICK HERE

Famous Places

  • Take a virtual tour of the Vatican:CLICK HERE
  • Check out the view from the Statue of Liberty: CLICK HERE
  • Take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China. No passport required: CLICK HERE
  • What do you think it looks like on Mars? Take this virtual tour to see: CLICK HERE
  • Can’t make it to the beach? Take this virtual tour of Hawaii: CLICK HERE
  • See the pyramids of Egypt without leaving home. Virtual tour here: CLICK HERE
  • Take a virtual stroll through the Taj Mahal: CLICK HERE
  • Become an armchair traveller with virtual tours from places around the globe: CLICK HERE
  • See the view from the top of the Washington Monument here: CLICK HERE
  • Drive across the Golden Gate bridge using just your computer: CLICK HERE
  • Take a virtual tour of the Eiffel Tower: CLICK HERE
  • Watch the cherry blossoms bloom on the National Mall: CLICK HERE
  • Take a virtual look at Buckingham Palace: CLICK HERE
  • Check out a 3D map of Mt. Everest: CLICK HERE
  • Explore the Holy Land using just your computer or other device: CLICK HERE
  • Take a relaxing virtual fly-over of Norway: CLICK HERE

Sports & More

  • Visit online exhibits at the National Football Hall of Fame: CLICK HERE
  • Even if there are no games being played, you can still see the online exhibits at the National Baseball hall of Fame. Who is your favorite team? CLICK HERE
  • GOAL! Take a quick virtual tour of the National Soccer Hall of Fame: CLICK HERE
  • Take a virtual ride on a roller coaster. Count the number of drops. Can you draw a picture of a roller coaster with as many drops? CLICK HERE
  • While you are eating the things from your pantry, do you ever wonder where that food comes from? Explore farms with 360 degree virtual tours here: CLICK HERE
  • Tour the Ferrari Museum to see some fabulous cars: CLICK HERE
  • Learn about the secret gadgets of spies while you explore these items from the Spy Museum: CLICK HERE

CONTRIBUTE: Help the world around you through citizen science projects:

  • Count chimps in Africa, help identify stars, read historical documents or fight resistance to antibiotics. A world of science, arts, history and other projects can use your help: CLICK HERE
  • Play a game while helping scientists defeat Alzheimers: CLICK HERE
  • Do you have a Twitter account? Help MIT improve AI recognize emotions with this quick survey: CLICK HERE
  • Help scientists learn about the effects of screen use on our sleeping patterns: CLICK HERE
  • Help scientists learn about light pollution: CLICK HERE
  • Do you have a bird nest in your yard? Monitor it carefully and report results to help ornithologists learn about bird populations: CLICK HERE
  • Watch the birds in your yard for just a few minutes and report what you see: CLICK HERE
  • Do you have a rain gauge? Monitor rainfall and report your findings here: CLICK HERE
  • Concerned about climate change? Submit your observations about weather and wildlife in your area as part of an effort to collect data: CLICK HERE
  • Observe how plants are changing each season and report your findings here: CLICK HERE

CREATE: Here are some websites that will inspire you to make social media content, kid friendly crafts, and more!

STEM

  • Do a pet-themed kids maker activity led by kids’ author with Megan Frazer Blakemore: CLICK HERE
  • Solve a STEM mystery with author Sarah Albee: CLICK HERE
  • Learn from Disney’s imagineers and explore methods to create your own theme park: CLICK HERE
  • Do some simple gardening activities at home: CLICK HERE

Art

  • Tips and print outs for daily art activities for little ones:CLICK HERE
  • Author-illustrator Jarrett Lerner teaches kids how to draw anything: CLICK HERE
  • Author Grace Lin teaches you how to draw a Chinese dragon: CLICK HERE
  • Illustrator Kelley McMorris talks about how to illustrate a book cover and prompts you to design your own book cover: CLICK HERE
  • Author- illustrator Lita Judge gives advice on sketching: CLICK HERE

Writing

  • Author Veera Hiranandani gives a writing prompt to help you with creating characters: CLICK HERE
  • Author Erin Entrada gives you a writing challenge about keeping notebooks: CLICK HERE
  • Author Chris Tebbetts gives you a writing challenge about being stranded in a strange setting: CLICK HERE
  • Author Chris Tebbetts talks you through a mini-workshop on creating characters: CLICK HERE
  • Author Nikki Grimes gives you a prompt for writing poetry: CLICK HERE
  • Author Paula Chase gives you a writing prompt to help you build stories about yourself: CLICK HERE
  • Author Michelle Cusolito offers a mini-lesson on how to make your writing a more sensory experience for the reader: CLICK HERE

Author Permissions

  • Learn from Penguin House how you can temporarily upload your own story time video without concerns for copyright infringement: CLICK HERE
  • Kids’ author Todd Parr gives permission for you to record story times of his books: CLICK HERE
  • Kids author BJ Novak gives permission for you to record story times of his book: CLICK HERE
  • Kids’ author Peter H. Reynolds gives permission for you to record story times of his books CLICK HERE
  • Kids’ author Mo Willems gives permission for you to record story times of his books: CLICK HERE
  • Kids; author Karma Wilson gives permission for you to record story times of her books: CLICK HERE

AND MORE!

  • Hear read-alouds, book talks, get art instruction, play games and more– all led by authors! CLICK HERE
  • See if you can set a Guinness World Record. Here are some feats you can try at home: CLICK HERE
  • Escape the Room – virtual-style in a Hogwarts themed game for Harry Potter fans: CLICK HERE