The Learning Centre
- *New this week* For students: what is Ramadan? Ramadan will end on May 23, 2020. Cartoon takes a trip inside and learn about rules for the holiday and what many families around the world do to celebrate Ramadan.
- *New this week* The many worlds of English: English is English, right? Find out how the same words can mean vastly different things even though you're speaking the same language.
- *New this week* Diversity in Canada
- *New this week* Great Cross-Cultural Books: recommendations from Good Reads
- *New this week* Diversity books for children: 30 Children's Books that celebrates diversity and our differences for kids age 1 to 8 or see the selection from Free Kids Books.
- *New this week* 5 Fun Activities that Teach your Kids about Culture & Diversity
- *New this week* Coursera: online learning platform that offers open online courses, specializations, and degrees. Hundreds of free courses give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums.
- *New this week* How Slow-Looking can Help Students Develop Skills Across Disciplines.
- *New this week* Teens talk about Diversity https://youtu.be/LFNuRJm4LMs
- *New this week* Guide to be Racially Conscious by Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
- Are you a fan of Lord of the Rings? Tolkien, Maker of Middle Earth is a documentary by Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries about the 2018 exhibition "Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth". Experts talk about Tolkien's literary and artistic creations of the Middle Earth and where he drew his inspirations. P.S. Tolkein studied at Exeter College at Oxford University.
- Talks at Google - Frank Abagnale: "Catch Me If You Can": Frank Abagnale, Renowned Cybersecurity And Fraud Prevention Expert, Bestselling Author speaks at Google. Abagnale is the subject of Catch Me If You Can, the character Leonardo DiCaprio played in the movie version. Abagnale transformed from one of the world's most notorious con men to an international cybersecurity expert trusted by the FBI has been mythologized in film and literature – but the takeaways he shares are the real deal.
- Have older children leaving the nest soon? Improve their financial literacy: FREE online programs will introduce students to work readiness, financial literacy & entrepreneurship.
- The Group of Seven celebrates 100 years of its first exhibition on May 7 to 27, 1920 at the AGO. Explore the works by the Group at the National Gallery of Canada, at the AGO where they held the inaugural exhibition, at the McMichael Gallery, or listen to the Curatorial Talk "A Like Vision" with Ian Dejardin.
- The Teenage Brain Explained: Hank explains what is happening to the brain during the angsty-time of adolescence.
- How the inventor of Mario designs a game: Shigeru Miyamoto's design philosophy, explained.
- Coding Games & Lessons: Learn everything from the basics to advanced, real-world coding with these engaging online games and activities.
- Learn about the 10 Ways Young People are Leading the Way against COVID-19 from Women Delivers.
- TEDx Talk: Microplastics are everywhere: We live in a world of plastics. In this talk, Canadian biologist and university professor Susan Dudas will lead us through a day of plastic use, how and where we use and generate microplastics, and what we can do about it.
- Learn Spanish: Follow Online Spanish Lessons for Beginners, free lessons on Duolingo or learn through games and activities for kids.
- TEDTalk: Drawing on humour for Change; New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly shares a portfolio of her wise and funny cartoons about modern life and talks about how humour can empower women to change the rules.
- Explore TEDTalks: +3400 talks to stir your curiosity. Learn through videos about Technology, Education, Design with thought leaders and practitioners in their fields.
- Khan Academy: A web resource by the nonprofit organization to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Parents, do you need to brush up your own skills to help your children with their homework? This is the FREE resource for you!
- Tumble Math: great resource for children from kindergarten to grade 6, available FREE until August 31, 2020
- Gamification of Math! Try Online Math Games
- Skill Share: 2 FREE months of online courses; great videos on skill development like computer programming, art, music, graphic design, productivity, etc. Currently offering 2 free months of premium access to all videos.
- How to Host Online Meetings or Trainings with Zoom: Learn from Louise Henry, how to host online meetings, trainings or just friend group catch-ups easily with Zoom.
- Family Learning Centre by Microsoft: engage your family with these safe and simple, family-led learning experiences for ages 3 to 12. FREE activities, curated out of educational resources from around the world.
- Hacking STEM Library with lots of downloadable, hands-on, teacher-tested projects and activities that use everyday materials to make STEM affordable, accessible, and fun for everyone. Developed by Microsoft.
Activities & Games for All Ages
- *New this week* Greetings from around the world: Kiss? Hug? Handshakes? Light grip or firm? Learn about greetings around the world from The Travel Channel.
- *New this week* 9 Multicultural Games and Activities for Kids.
- *New this week* Match Patterns Game courtesy of Aga Khan Museum.
- *New this week* Spot the Bird: play a game of "I Spy" outdoors.
- *New this week* Take a walk in the York Region Forest.
- *New this week* Participaction: practice your mind and body.
- Toronto Zoo: Virtual Camp (May 16 to 17): join the Zoo's first virtual "camp out" of the season. Meet animal friends and their keepers.
- "Happily Ever After" at the Magic Kingdom: watch virtual fireworks at Disney.
- Ever wondered what it takes to be a part of Cirque du Soleil? Getting to be a one of a kind performer is no small feat. For four months, 16x9 followed Cirque Du Soleil scouts as they scoured the world, searching for the best of the best.
- Calling All Harry Potter Fans! Enter the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter and his friends - find out your Patronus, your wand type, the Hogwarts House you belong to (of course), and much more. Listen to famous people reading The Philosopher's Stone.
- Watch an Airbus take off & land right from the cockpit! Subtitled. Watch from the cockpit and air traffic control tower as this Lufthansa Flight Deck records what it's like to prep for departure and take off from San Fransisco and all the prep and communication involved. This is what we don't see from our passenger seats! Buckle up and enjoy! (Plus some great in the air views of the Golden Gate Bridge)
- Puzzle play with these virtual pieces: Celebrate with Happy Victoria Day Canada or Queen Victoria & Prince Albert at Windsor Castle
- Have older children leaving the nest soon? Improve their financial literacy: FREE online programs will introduce students to work readiness, financial literacy & entrepreneurship.
- Can't head to the beach? No problem. Create your own beach indoors: sensory play for your kids and yourselves.
- 20 Backyard Games for Kids
- Backyard Scavenger Hunt: ideas for kids but also for the young-at-heart to get them outside the house.
- Have a Dress Up Party: make it family playtime with dress-up.
- Go analogue and try old fashion outdoor games: leapfrog, jump rope, hopscotch—in your front or backyard.
- Virtual story times for kids (and adults too!): join live streams or replays of reading from authors and publishers like Michelle Obama, Eric Carle, Mo Willems, Dolly Parton, Penguin Kids and more.
- Canada's Great Kitchen Party: Home Edition returns for an encore, tonight (May 6 at 8 p.m. EST) on Facebook Live, to encourage Canadians coast-to-coast to order food from local restaurants and then sit back and enjoy performances and food-related greetings from notable Canadians from musicians to Olympians. Every Wednesday, if you didn't know, is now #TakeOutDay so order in and enjoy the shows! Donations will benefit goodfoodfund.ca and the Community for Food Centres Canada.
- Local youth Nicholas Nelson at the ISA Men's World Scooter Competition from 2019. Nicholas competed in our recent Spring Shred 2020 Scooter Competition in March at Newmarket's Recreation Youth Centre & Sk8Park, and is at the forefront of all the amazing local scooter talent we have in Newmarket and the surrounding area.
- TedEd: A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome – an animated story of Lucius Popidius Secundus, a 17-year old living in Rome in 73 AD. His life is a typical one of arranged marriages, coming-of-age festivals, and communal baths. Take a look at this exquisitely detailed lesson on the life of a typical Roman teenager two thousand years ago by Ray Lawrence.
- Activities to keep teens engaged
- Voices of Youth: get inspired, share, act, react - hear from youth around the world and share your own story.
- Copycat Recipes: cook together to re-create these food or condiments from your favourite quick-serve restaurants.
- Make Mirvish Keep Calm Digital Slogan for a chance to win a $100 Mirvish gift certificate. Last week to enter as the contest ends In April! Enter your slogan to see your name on the digital marquee sign and 2 winners are chosen every week.
- Hogwarts Digital Escape Room: an amazing challenge adventure through an escape room. You will master your math science and literacy!
- Netflix Party: with this Google Chrome extension, you can watch movies simultaneously with your friends and family. Remote movie night, anyone?
- Balloon-powered up-cycled speedster: Build your speed machine and race each other.
- Build Machines that Emulate Humans: Using teaching kits by STEM lessons developed for educators by Microsoft, you can build robotic models from cardboard and straws to understand the anatomy and biomechanics of the human hand. Then, they conduct trials visualizing data in Excel to generate new ideas for improving its performance.
- FREE Backgrounds for your Zoom meetings: Seinfeld's livingroom, Monica's New York Apartment, Star Wars, The Simpsons...customize your next Zoom call with an iconic background or try these rooms with a view
- Home School with a Virtual Dive into the Ocean
- The 20 Coolest Treehouses in the World
- Reuse those water bottles and make your own DIY bird feeders. Try this birdfeeder by eco Sapien or this one by HGTV Handmade.
- DIY Tomato Garden. Start now on your own container garden of tomatoes.
- Parents & children, get an orientation Shop Class at home: kids doing school from home right now, it's a great time to give them a simple Shop Class and learn some safety rules, the basics, and build a project together! Saws & Clamps | Drill, Hammer & Speed Square
- How do airplanes fly? Watch this animated video to the physics behind how this works and how pilots control the planes. A "how to" for the mechanical minds in your house.
- Learn how to make 5 EASY Paper Airplanes that Fly Far. Compete against your family members to see who can set a record and fly the farthest!
- 20 Fun Games for Family Games Night
- Build your own family tree
- LEGO is not just for kids. Make it a family project and take
The 30 Day LEGO Challenge
Giant Screen Films together with titles like Dinosaurs from Antarctica, Wild Ocean, Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, etc.
- Read our Weekly Seniors e-bulletin “Let’s Stay Connected” with fun facts, trivia, puzzles and entertainment specifically curated for older adults –
Cool Apps & Podcasts
- *New this week* Bilingual Kids Rock (Podcast)
- *New this week* Multiculturalism Happens Here (Podcast) is centered around understanding how multiculturalism happens and why it is still an important idea today.
- *New this week* Planet Money: the Restaurant from the Future (Podcast): with over 5.5 million workers unemployed or furloughed, no other industry has been hit harder than restaurants. Yet one guy is thinking about expanding his Chinese restaurant in NYC.
- *New this week* Learn to Relax and Sleep Better with these 13 Meditation Apps: meditation can help with anxiety and sleep during stressful times. Some of these apps are offering free services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- *New this week* Work Life with Adam Grant (Podcast): a New York Times best selling author, organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside some truly unusual places, where they've figured out how to make work not suck.
- *New this week* Levar Burton Reads (Podcast): host Levar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story.
- Sherwin Williams Color Snap and Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio: Trying to decide what colour would be best for your room? Try either the Sherwin Williams Color Snap app or the Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio app to virtually try out any paint colour on your phone. Many local paint stores are still open for call-in orders with curbside pick-up. Once you've narrowed down your selection from the app, the store can leave paint chips for you to pick-up curbside so you can double check your colours before ordering. Android & Apple iOS
- 7 Podcasts that both Kids & Adults will Enjoy: perfect way to entertain your kids without screen time.
- Skype a Scientist (Podcast): Bringing scientists to kids out of school, asking questions from the public.
- Trickster Cards: Play the card games you love with friends and family or get matched with other live players at your level. Trickster Cards offers customizable rules so you can play cards your way!
- Maplestory M: a multiplayer mobile game app with explorers that you know and love: Dark Knight, Bow Master, Night Lord, Bishop, and Corsair!
- Candy Crush Saga: switch and match your way through hundreds of levels in this divine puzzle adventure. Join Tiffi and Mr. Toffee on their epic journey in an online game full of delicious treats! Ain't it the sweetest game ever?
- 10 Best Video Game Design Podcast
- Forest: an app helping you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your work.
- 15 of the Best FREE Workshop Apps to use on your device
- The best 20 Apps for your kids who are stir crazy: A list of FREE and paid apps courtesy of The Guardian.
- Food for Fitness FREE Podcast
- Podcast: We Regret to Inform You - The fascinating stories of successful people who triumphed over debilitating career rejection and the insights those rejections provide.
- Guardians of History: an immersive audio adventure game for kids by Britannica that takes you on top-secret missions into the past - to save time from unravelling. Free if you own an Amazon Alexa or Google device. A screen-free option to entertain your whole family.
- No Equipment Home Workout (for Android): Guided workouts FREE until July 1, 2020.
- SuperCook: Just add your ingredients and Supercook instantly finds matching recipes from the most popular cooking websites! Or, if you already have a dish in mind - just type it in!
- The Nature Conservancy of Canada Podcast Series: Fascinating stories about nature, why we need it in our lives, and the passionate Canadians helping to protect it.
- Houseparty: A free app that is a virtual version of a massive get-together. If your friends are "in the house," you can chat them up one on one or you can gather a group in a room to talk or play games. You have to power to lock your room's door or leave it open for new people to walk in and join you.
- Perfect for all ages!
Song-Maker: make songs with just your fingertips-an experiment in Chrome Music Lab.
- A Soft Murmur: an app that provides customizable white noise
- Letter School: As highlighted by Canadiannanny.ca, Suitable for pre school aged children, this award-winning app allows kids to practice writing letters right on the screen. It gives kids a fun and interactive way to learn letters before they go to school.
Click here to learn more
- Winky Think Logic Puzzles: Courtesy of Canadiannanny.ca, What kid doesn't love puzzles, right? Geared toward kids from 6-8, this app offers more than 180 logic puzzles from simple matching games to more complex games.
Learn more about the app here
- 70 Best Apps for Families
- 17 Best Apps according to Parents & Kids
- 10 Best Family Game Apps to play with your whole family
Just for Kids
- *New this week* CBC Kids: Irish Dancing
- *New this week* Science for Kids: how your body prepares itself - from the Unluckiest Kid series: understand how your body prepares itself with cuts, broken bones, bruises, burns and more.
- *New this week* Kids try breakfast around the world
- *New this week* Sesame Street: The Colour of Me - what is the color of "you?" Is your skin color tan, light brown, milky white, or dark dark brown? Whatever color you are, be proud and sing along.
- *New this week* Sesame Street: What Makes You Special? Is it your cool curly hair or the way you tell funny jokes? Can you stand on one foot or is it the song you play on the kazoo? Everyone is special and so are you.
- *New this week* Sesame Street: We're Different, We're the Same (read-along). Elmo and Abby want to learn about things that are different and the same. Gordon is reading a great book that might help Abby and Elmo called "We're Different, We're the Same".
- Interactive scrapbook to discover Queen Victoria's life and times. Includes activity suggestions.
- Mary Queen of Scots Colouring: Help design an outfit.
- Download and design a Coat of Arms
- Learn to draw from Children's author Mo Willems
- TedEd: How the Monkey King Escaped the Underworld
- Pin prick drawing lesson
- Do a virtual puzzle of a train from one of Toronto Railway Museum's collection.
- Jays Care - Unstoppable Challenge: New challenges every week in a full day plan, with tracking outline and successes.
- 100+ fun things to do with your kids while at home isolating courtesy of Simple Booth.
- Time to Come In, Bear: A Children's Story about Social Distancing by Children's Author, Kim St. Lawrence.
- TEDEd How to make your writing funnier: The Emmy award-winning writer Cheri Steinkellner offers a few tips in an animation.
- Cookie Monster hosts a weekly "Snack Chat" just for kids
- Celebrating Ramadan: got 5 minutes? Learn about this sacred month in the religion of Islam with your kids, courtesy of National Geographic.
- Enjoy short videos where Mystery Doug answers questions from kids. Topics include everything from who invented pizza to why do we have tears when we cry?
- PBS Kids: Educational games and videos from Curious George, Wild Kratts and other PBS KIDS shows!
- Carole Lindstrom Reads-Aloud: Children's author reads "We are Water Protectors" a story from the perspective of an Indigenous girl.
- How to Draw a Puffin by the Aurora Culture Centre
- 50 Riddles and Brain Teasers for boys and girls by frugal fun! Scroll to the bottom of the article for the link to a printable copy
- Guardians of preschoolers, take a stroll down Sesame Street together and learn how we can all care for each other. Enjoy Games, Art and Videos and hang out with your favourite characters like Elmo, Grover, Abby, the Count plus many more.
- Kids at Home activities by National Gallery of Victoria (Australia): Art activities and ebooks for kids from early years to age 8.
Create Your Own Planet Worksheet,
Daily Forecast Worksheet,
Estimation Station Freebie,
Freebie Word Work Activities Handwriting Galore,
I Sense Something Worksheet,
- Scholastic Canada's
Things to Do
Boredom busting ideas for preschoolers and school aged children
- TVO Kids 24/7 Live Stream
- 10 hilarious kid-friendly knock-knock jokes
- Games & Apps recommended by
Royal Ontario Museum
Fun Science Experiments for Kids
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