Pittsburgh schools have shut down in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving already stressed parents scrambling to keep their kids occupied. Luckily, a number of local and national organizations are providing free resources to entertain and educate young minds. After all, there’s only so much Disney+ to stream and Minecraft to play before it’s time to get learning.
Scholastic Learn at Home
The education company Scholastic is offering free Learn at Home courses for kids from pre-K to sixth grade and higher. Parents, older children, and teens can easily access the portal online and choose courses by grade level.
A statement from Lauren Tarshis, senior vice president, editor-in-chief, and publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, says the free resource provides children with articles and stories, videos, and “fun learning challenges.” Lessons can be completed anytime, in any order, and cover a variety of subjects. The content is not only age-appropriate, but relevant and interesting. Your kindergartner can explore basic reading and more through books about bunnies or space, while your teen can learn about the music industry and math through Korean pop music, or geography through an article about all the Star Wars filming locations.
The Frick Pittsburgh
Right now, in addition to its virtual museum experiences, The Frick Pittsburgh has youth-oriented art-making activities with a springtime flair, with a new one promised each day. They’re also made of common household items like dried beans, old socks, and rubber bands, so you won’t have to make a run the craft store, which is probably closed anyway.
The mother-daughter crafting duo Made With Lev launched the #The100DayProject as a way to provide creative projects for parents to do with their children. Originally set to start in mid-April, project creator Emily Levenson says she decided to push the start date a month early to help families forced to stay home from work or school. Hopefully, this crisis won’t last for 100 days, but if it does, you’ll at least have plenty to make, bake, and create. You can even follow Made With Lev (@emilylevenson) on Instagram to follow their progress.
How to Toon with Joe Wos
“HowtoToon” on YouTube
If your child likes to draw, tune in to How to Toon with Joe Wos. Starting Wed., March 18, the Pittsburgh-based professional cartoonist will provide a series of free, easy to follow, all-ages live cartooning classes on YouTube. “Teaching the cartooning has been my life-long mission,” said Wos in a press release. “I realized [that] with so many kids stuck at home, they would be missing out on much needed art classes and this was a great opportunity to share my love of the cartoon arts.” The live classes will take place on the YouTube channel HowToToon at 1 p.m. three days a week from Tuesday-Thursday. Each session lasts between 20-30 minutes and covers everything from basic line work to creating characters.