Virtual Community Center

Kids & Families

Many parents are at home with their children, and there are many online options to keep kids occupied. Browse the educational resources below for ideas on keeping your young ones entertained while continuing your child's schooling at home.

Talking to Your Kids About COVID-19

It can be hard to explain to your young ones about COVID-19, why they're missing school, or why they can't see their friends while we work to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. Sesame Street is here to help! They've created a website where parents can get ideas on how to comfort their families and help children thrive amid change. Learn more at sesamestreet.org/caring.

Resources & Talking Points for Older Children

Educational Resources

General Education

Bilingual Learning: Keep your kids learning in English and Spanish while at home. PBS LearningMedia offers bilingual resources that can be filtered by grade and subject. Learn more here.

Girl Scouts: Girl Scouts of Orange County is offering free, self-guided badge activities, programs, and resources to the community, regardless of if your child is already a scout. Learn more here.

Khan Academy Remote Learning: Khan Academy is a nonprofit offering free live streams, quizzes, activities, and tests in all subject matters for students, parents, and teachers to use from home. Learn more here.

National Geographic: Learn about science, history, animals, and current events from National Geographic. Learn more here.

PBS SoCal | KCET: PBS SoCal and KCET are offering free programming and educational resources that adhere to California's state curriculum for grades Pre-K through 12th. Learn more here.

Pretend City: While at home, use Pretend City's Way to Play activity guide to track your child's developmental milestones. Learn more here.

Arts & Crafts

Irvine Fine Arts Center: Art @ Home

The Irvine Fine Arts Center offers virtual arts classes taught by center staff to keep your kids creatively inspired while safe at home. Check back here as new classes are added, or visit yourirvine.org today, and Mondays through August, to see the latest camps and activities for kids. 

Also, try out these fun, at-home art projects designed by Irvine Fine Arts Center staff. Click the links below for easy-to-follow PDF instructions.​

• Bubble Wrap Collage
• Foil Stained Glass
• I Spy Activity #1
• I Spy Activity #2
• Recycled Egg Carton Spring Wreath
• Printmaking at Home
• Spring Flower Prints
• Yarn Painting

 


 

Bowers Museum: Download new home art lessons every week from Bowers Kidseum at Home, take virtual tours of exhibitions, and enjoy audio lectures. Learn more here.

Kids Think Design: Find fun art projects for your kids to do from home in graphic design, interior design, architecture, animation, and more. Learn more here.

LACMA: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be sharing artwork, activities, and stories from the museum every Monday morning. Learn more here.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems: Children's writer Mo Willems is partnering with the Kennedy Center and inviting kids into his studio every day for a virtual doodle session. Learn more here.

Metropolitan Museum for Art: Explore the world of art with #MetKids. Explore art history, discover fun trivia facts, and try out creative projects all from home. Learn more here.

Muckenthaler: Drive by the museum and pick up a weekly free art project kit for your kids. Learn more here.

History

New American History: This nonprofit offers free tools and resources on a variety of history topics including politics, civil rights, and much more. You can search by reading and grade levels. Learn more here.

Women's History: Check out exhibits exploring women's contributions to history, including women in STEM, NASA, and more. Learn more here.

Fitness & Outdoors

8 Shields Institute: Subscribe to the 8 Shields Institute newsletter, and take part in a 28-day podcasting adventure about nature while still practicing safe social distancing. Learn more here.

Back Bay Science Center: Find online educational resources for kids ages 13-18, including online classes, a virtual aquarium, live webinars, and more. Learn more here.

California State Parks PORTS: California State Parks is broadcasting its PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students) home-learning program catered to grades K-12 from park locations all over the state. Learn more here.

Environmental Nature Center: The Environmental Nature Center is bringing the Earth's wonders right to you through your computer screen! Take virtual field trips; subscribe to their YouTube channel for fun and informative videos; and enjoy live streams of their butterfly house, reptiles, birds, and more. Learn more at encenter.org.

FindNature.org: Help kids stay connected to nature while at home through online tools, webinars, and blogs by the Children & Nature Network. Learn more here. Visit childrenandnature.org for more ideas on nature-related activities to do while indoors.

Go for a Drive: Change up your scenery by taking a short drive around the block or along Pacific Coast Highway.

INaturalist.org: Kids can become a citizen scientist! Contribute to biodiversity science by recording observations in your own backyard or neighborhood, then sharing them online with fellow naturalists. Learn more here.

OC Parks' Wild Tales: OC Parks is hosting Facebook Live events weekly that feature a fun-filled child and parent experience that includes storytelling, educational activities, and crafts. They'll also post videos of previous Wild Tales for your kids to enjoy. Follow OC Parks on Facebook for more information.

Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo: Explore the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo online during its virtual explorations, with new scenes revealed Thursdays every week. Learn more on the nonprofit's Facebook here.

Take a Walk: The City of Irvine's parks and open spaces remain open for passive use, and are the perfect place for "recess!" Take a walk or run, while still making sure to practice social distancing (maintain a distance of 6 feet from other individuals). Alternatively, enjoy a short outing in your own neighborhood for some fresh air. Find information on Irvine trails and maps at cityofirvine.org/trails.

UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County: Use this flier from the UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County, and explore your backyard or neighborhood to identify insects that are good for your garden.

Virtually Tour National Parks: Even if you don't want to step outside, you can enjoy virtual tours of national parks — including Arches, Chanel Islands, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite — from your couch. Learn more here.

YMCA 360: Take on-demand video classes from YMCA, including barre, yoga, weightlifting, tai chi, and more. Classes cater to all ages. Learn more here.

Reading & Literature

YAT Reads to Kids

The City's Youth Action Team staff and students — along with special guests such as the Mayor and Councilmembers — read their favorite children's books. More videos will be added regularly, and are available on the City's YouTube channel.

 


 

OC Public Library: The library is now offering bookdrops and contact-less curbside pick-up for the community. Learn more here.

Project Gutenberg: A free library of more than 60,000 ebooks that include a children’s literature category where kids can download or read online classics. You can search for books by keyword, title, author, or subject! Learn more at gutenberg.org.

ReadWorks: Have your kindergarten through 12th grader take online classes, print out curriculum to read through at home, or turn your own living room into a classroom with ReadWorks' education resources. Learn more at readworks.org.

Scholastic Learn at Home: Encourage your children to read outside of the classroom with day-by-day projects by Scholastic. Learn more here.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)

Bedtime Math: Nonprofit whose mission is to make math a fun daily part of your family routine by teaching kids to love numbers and recognize them in real-world scenarios. Learn more here.

Code.org: Learn computer science with fun projects and online courses. Learn more here.

Discovery Cube Connect: Discovery Cube Connect connects you to 150+ free, hands-on, interactive science activities for grades K-5 that you can easily complete at home, with new content added regularly. Learn more here.

Edgerton Center: The Edgerton Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides ideas for hands-on engineering and science projects for students of all ages. Build a balloon-powered toy car, make an LED flashlight, build and create a 3D snake, and much more. Learn more here.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Enroll in free online classes where kids can learn about tidepool science, kelp forests, ocean pollution, and more. Learn more here.

NASA Media Library: Explore the stars, moon, and the universe beyond thanks to NASA, which has made its entire media library available online. Learn more at nasa.gov.

PBS SoCal Science Documentaries: Browse through 161 free science documentaries on animals, engineering, biology, chemistry, computers, and more. Learn more here.

Smithsonian Learning Lab: Get access to millions of digital resources from the Smithsonian's museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. Learn more here.

Stuck at Home Science: Use easy-to-find items you already have lying around your household for fun science projects and activities from the California Science Center. Learn more here

YouCubed.org: Use videos and online tasks to teach kids math, with projects searchable by grade and topic. Learn more here.