UPDATED: NEW content was added to the top of the list on 4/18/2020.
As always, scroll to the very bottom for a day-by-day list of these events.
It’s likely your kids are home from school for the next several weeks, due to widespread school closings.
Children’s book authors are rising to the occasion, presenting FREE online story times, where they read their books out loud. Other organizations are offering other types of liveestreamed activities for kids.
These virtual events will take place on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and perhaps meeting platforms like Zoom or GoToMeeting.
This page is just for live-streamed events, but we’re in the process of compiling a list of fun, educational, and free websites for kids. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss it!
We’re also adding these events to our main Virtual Events Calendar, which includes concerts, tours, talks, and other live-streamed events for both kids and grownups.
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Live-streamed and virtual events for kids
The top section is a descriptive list of what’s available. At the very bottom is a day-by-day calendar listing that lets you see at a glance what’s coming up next.
Michelle Obama hosts Monday story times
Mondays with Michelle Obama will launch on April 2oth at noon. It is currently scheduled to run through May 11, 2020.
The former first lady will read classic children’s books out loud.
The scheduled books are:
April 20: “The Gruffalo,” by Julia Donaldson
April 27: “There’s a Dragon in Your Book,” by Tom Fletcher
May 4: “Miss Maple’s Seeds,” written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
May 11: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
You can watch the live stream either on the PBS KIDS’ Facebook page OR tge YouTube channel — the recording will remain available for viewing on demand afterward.
North Carolina Zoo virtual events
The North Carolina Zoo is offering EDventures Online on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. on Facebook.
Learn about these virtual visits, as well as Zoo Classroom, nature activities, science experiments and more.
LeVar Burton Reads
LeVar Burton, of Reading Rainbow will read family-friendly books on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, on his Twitter account.
He’ll read something for children at 12 noon and then something for teens at 6 p.m.
Story Time with Shelter Animals
Humane Society of Charlotte is presenting a story time with shelter animals on Friday, March 20th, at 2 p.m.
Tune in to on their Facebook page.
Center for Puppetry Arts
Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts is live-streaming FREE performances on their Facebook page.
You can see the performance schedule on their website.
There are usually 2 or 3 performances each day — usually at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
Dance Class with Debbie Allen
Debbie Allen has been hosting dance classes on Instagram Live! The next one is a ballet and African dance class for kids age 3-7 years old. It takes place Saturday, March 21st, at 2 p.m.
Cooking Lessons for Kids, from the $5 Dinners blog
The blog $5 Dinners is offering FREE cooking lessons for parents and kids on Facebook Live.
The virtual events take place every Monday through Friday, at 1 p.m. — and are scheduled through March 27th so far. You can watch from the $5 Dinners Facebook page.
Visit the $5 Dinners website to see the menu for the week, shopping lists, and previous videos that you can replay at your leisure.
Daily Sing-Along/Play-Along with Erin Mae
Each weekday at 1:30 p.m., Erin Mae will host virtual events for kids. These are scheduled through April 10th.
- Mondays and Wednesdays — sing-alongs for pre-K through 2nd grade, with lots of singing and dancing.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays — play-alongs for kids learning to play stringed instruments.
- Fridays — anything goes.
If you’re able to make a donation, please do. And if you’ve lost income, please just enjoy for free.
Draw Every Day with JJK: Webcasts for young artists
Every weekday at 2 p.m., artist Jarrett J. Krosoczka, aka JJK, will be offering up a free art lesson on a webcast. They are currently scheduled through Friday, April 3rd.
This is the Facebook event, or you can go right to his Youtube channel, where they will be streamed.
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Mo Willems invites you into his studio every day for his Lunch Doodle. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. Viewers can see each weekday’s new video at 1 p.m. It’s scheduled on weekdays through March 27th.
Narwhal and Jelly Books
Author and illustrator Ben Clanton is doing two Facebook live streams, where kids can draw with him, and talk about waffles and mermicons.
- March 18th, 2 p.m.
- March 20th, 5 p.m.
Story time with author Mac Barnett
Children’s author Mac Barnett, author of Extra Yarn, Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, and many more books, will be reading one of his books out loud, on Instagram Live, every weekday at 3 p.m. (Eastern Time), until he runs out of books to read. Go to his Instagram page and you should be able to find the streams.
Stories with author Oliver Jeffers
Artist Oliver Jeffers, author and illustrator of Here We Are, The Fate of Fausto, Imaginary Fred, and many more books, will be reading one of his books every weekday, at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time.) He’ll also be talking about some of the things that went into making it.
It’s not clear yet exactly where he will be streaming, but if you go his Facebook page and Instagram page, there should be a link on one of them when the time comes.
Cincinnati Zoo’s Home Safari
Each weekday, starting at 3 p.m., the Cincinnati Zoo is going live on Facebook with their Home Safari. They’ll introduce you to one of their animals, and include an activity that you can do at home. The first event is on Monday, March 16th. We don’t know how long this will go on, but for now let’s take advantage of it.
Go to Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook page to watch Facebook Live event.
This is the link to the specific post with the info about the events.
Weekday Live Streams with Mr. Jon & Friends
Mr. Jon & Friends is a group that writes and performs music just for kids! With schools are closed, they will be hosting weekday live streams and fun videos at 10:30 a.m. each day. These virtual events are all about fun, music, and laughter. Watch live, and then come back to re-watch alter as often as you’d like.
The live stream events are currently scheduled through April 17th.
You can find all the info on the Facebook event page.
Virtual Family Co-Working with MOMentum
MOMentum, a Durham-based marketplace for moms, is offering Virtual Family Co-Working twice a week. Special guests will lead story time, yoga, dance, or music. These are moms who have lost income because the classes the lead in real life have been canceled. You’ll have the option to make a donation at the end of the class, but it’s not required.
After the class, there will be time for moms to connect.
Virtual Family Co-Working will take place Mondays at 11 a.m. and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. through Zoom.
Day-by-day calendar of live-streamed events for kids
Check back, because this list is growing!