Online Educational and Entertainment Resources for Children and Families

Online education and entertainment resources for children and families for during the Coronavirus pandemic.

NOTE: If you need access to the internet to use these educational resources, Comcast is making Xfinity Wifi free for the next 60 days. Find more information here. 

Click this link to access our ebook, e-audiobook, and streaming music and movie services for free! Note: you must have a library card to use these resources.

Click this link to get to our Homework Help resources! We have many resources that you can use at home. Some require a Springfield Library card while others are open to all. Check out our list to learn more!

Online Classes and Educational Resources

Need a project during your child’s computer time? Try out some of these websites with activities for anyone in grades K to 12. You don’t need to be a computer whiz to play!

Click to open list of Online Classes and Free Educational Resources for Families
  • Code.org – Learn how to code for free! Try making your own games, apps, and computer drawings.
  • Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.
  • Scratch – With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.
  • Scholastic Learn at Home: Day by Day – Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin! -The Editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazines.
  • List of Educational Companies Offering Free Subscriptions During School Closings – Check out this long list of online companies currently offering free subscriptions!
  • Free Educational Kits and Downloads for Families -Raddishkids.com is offering free activity guides, recipes, and more to support families unexpectedly at home.
  • The Kennedy Center: Interactive Media – Featured content and media for students of all ages.
  • PBS Learning Media -Inspire students with thousands of free teaching resources including videos, lesson plans, and games aligned to state and national standards.
  • NeoK12 -Designated a “Great Site for Kids” by the American Library Association, this site provides educational videos, lessons, quizzes and educational games for K-12 students in various subject areas, such as science, math, health, social studies and English.
  • The Kid Should See This -This blog aggregates interesting, kid-friendly videos focusing on science, art, technology, and more. The videos weren’t necessarily made for kids, but kids can get a lot out of them. That’s the premise of the site.
Educational Online Games:

Looking for librarian-approved education games? Check out some of these links below.

Click to open list of Educational Online Games
Arts and Crafts Ideas for At Home

Get crafty at home to pass the time!

Click to open list of Arts and Crafts Ideas for At Home
  • #StoryMarch – The Greater Boston Illustrators’ Group dreamed up #StoryMarch as the Covid-19 pandemic took over the daily lives of everyone we know. As schools and offices close and people are stuck at home without their usual activities and diversions, we hope that #StoryMarch might be a fun way for all artists of every age to stretch themselves a little and have fun.
  • Jarrett J. Krosoczka—author & illustrator -Award-winning illustrator will be hosting free drawing webcasts every weekday at 2pm EST for at least the next few weeks.
  • Lunch Doodles With Mo Willems – Join Mo’s videostream at 1pm EST each day, and follow along while you doodle together! Mo Willems is the author of the Pigeon series, the Elephant and Piggie series, and many more.
  • Ben Clanton: Squiggles and Scribbles on FB Live -Ben Clanton: FB Live Author Visit March 18th at 11:00 a.m. PST and March 20th at 2:00 p.m. PST “Stuck at home? Want to draw with me and talk about waffles and mermicorns? I’m doing two FB LIVE sessions this week. Hope to see you then!”
  • Craft Ideas Using 3 Supplies or Less -Try out this craft idea list using supplies you may already have at home!
  • MakeZine Projects -From electronics to crafts to robots with a side of drones, the Make: edit team picks the latest products, projects and tools to make you a better maker.
  • Instructables -Instructables is a place that lets you explore, document, and share your DIY maker creations.
Digital Storytime/Video Read-Alouds

Missing storytime? Check out these authors and storytellers online!

Click to open list of Digital Storytime/Video Read-Alouds
  • Authors Everywhere – This is a Youtube Channel created and run by children’s book writers and illustrators. On this channel, you’ll find workshops, readings, activities, art projects, writing games, writing advice, and more. We hope that we can offer you some fun, some distraction, and a creative outlet for any feelings that might come up during this time.
  • Story Preservation Initiative – You’ll find a selection of audio stories from three master storytellers on the K-3 Storytelling Learning Lab, found at www.storypreservation.org To access click K-3 Learning Lab on blue banner. A one-time registration is required and then click on “storytellers” and listen and enjoy at no cost.
  • KidLit Tv – Explore and enjoy a collection of children’s authors and illustrators reading out loud.
  • Authors/Illustrators Sharing Resources – This is a library of resources for kids, families, teachers, and librarians to make sure that reading & learning can happen anywhere this spring. You’ll find a growing collection of resources that include everything from first-chapter and picture book read-alouds (shared with permission from publishers!) to drawing and writing mini-lessons. Be sure to check back often, as new resources will be added every day.
  • HarperKids Storytime Read Alouds – We’re HarperCollins Children’s Books and we’re all about stories that young minds never forget. Whether for preschooler, tweens or teens, we’re home to the likes of Shel Silverstein, C.S. Lewis, Maurice Sendak, Beverly Cleary, Neil Gaiman, The Berenstain Bears, Fancy Nancy, Divergent series, The Selection series, Red Queen series and many more.
  • Story Time From Space – Astronauts from the International Space Station read children’s books in outer space for children on earth to listen to. They have science videos that compliment the books.
  • International Children’s Digital Library – ICDL is a nonprofit organization that provides access to the best children’s books of their culture, and cultures around the world regardless of where they live. There are over 4,000 titles in 59 languages to choose from that you can read to your children.
  • Phone-a-Story by Denver Public Library – Call 720-865-8500 and listen to stories, songs and rhymes in English, Spanish, Amharic and Vietnamese.
  • Physics Central Comic Books – PhysicsCentral, a web site run by The American Physical Society (an organization representing 48,000 physicists), has created a series of comic books designed to get kids excited about physics.
Songs, Rhymes, and Movement

Have little ones missing the library’s song times and playgroups? Check out these online resources here to sing and move together!

Click to open list of Songs, Rhymes, and Movement
  • Emily Arrow – YouTube – At Home with Emily Arrow Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. PST -“Singalong with me all week! And don’t worry, you can catch each show after if you miss it live.” Author Emily Arrow is an award-winning children’s songwriter with 10+ years of experience working with children in music education. Emily is also on Facebook Live – http://www.emilyarrow.com/
  • StoryBlocks – “Storyblocks is a collection of 30-60 second videos designed to model to parents, caregivers, and library staff some songs, rhymes, and fingerplays appropriate for early childhood.” Includes 9 languages.
  • Tell Me a Story by KCLS – The King County Library System has a HUGE collection of songs and rhymes to sing with little ones.
  • Miss Nina – Children’s Sing & Move Along Songs – Miss Nina has a mix of original songs, old classics, and popular children’s books read aloud and paired with music.
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga – To help with panic and anxiety try this YouTube channel which is “yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world. “
Recommended Podcasts for Kids

Looking for a podcast to share with your children while you’re stuck at home? We’ve got recommendations for young children to middle schoolers.

Click to open list of Recommended Podcasts for Kids
  • Kids Ask Authors podcast with Grace Lin – A podcast where kids ask authors their burning questions. Kids Ask Authors is aimed for elementary and middle school students.
  • Grim, Grimmer, Grimmest – (60 Days Free on Pinna.fm) A wildly enchanting original podcast series from Adam Gidwitz, bestselling author of A TALE DARK AND GRIMM. Weaving in and out of a classroom full of witty grade-schoolers and a weird world full of curious creatures and mischievous foes, each episode features a Grimm fairy tale retold with a fresh and surprising flourish. Join in as the students anticipate plot twists and question the logic of these very Grimm tales.
  • Storytime Seedlings – Provided by the Santa Clara County Library District, this podcast features “books, fingerplays, rhymes, stories and songs for a screen-free storytime experience, anytime.”
  • Sesame Street Podcast – “Featuring the furry and loveable Muppets of Sesame Street. Sing songs with Elmo, Abby, Cookie Monster and Grover. Learn about friendship, patience and sharing with Bert and Ernie.”
  • Circle Round – “Created and produced by parents of young children, WBUR’s Circle Round is a podcast that adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound- and music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10.”
  • Story Pirates – “Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater.” Great for older kids too.
Virtual Field Trip Ideas

Stuck at home? See the world with these virtual tours.

Click to open list of Virtual Field Trip Ideas

Resources for Families During Coronavirus Closures

Links and information about resources for families during this period of Coronavirus closures and service changes.

Coronavirus Tips for Kids and Caregivers
Diaper Banks

Libraries are not distributing diapers at this time.

  • Springfield WIC Offices (North and South)
    WIC will offer emergency diapers to WIC participants with a scheduled appointment.
  • The Gray House Food Pantry (The Market)
    Located at 22 Sheldon Street in Springfield, the Market will be open Thursdays, 9 AM-12 PM; 2nd & 4th Friday of the month from 4 PM-6 PM (ID, proof of income and address needed-intake form to complete). Please contact (413) 734-6696 for more information.
  • The Family Resource Center
    Located at 18 Gaucher Street, Springfield will provide emergency diapers. They are open Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM. Please contact (413) 733-7699 for more information.
  • The Square One Family Center
    Located at 1095 Main Street, Springfield will continue to offer emergency diapers to families. They are open Monday –Friday 9 AM-5 PM. Families must call ahead: (413) 732-5183
  • Open Pantry Community Services
    Located at 2460 Main Street in Springfield will provide emergency diapers. They are open 9 AM-3 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Families can call (413) 737-5354 for more information.
School Information:
  • Springfield Public Schools – Schools will now be closed until Monday, April 6th per an order by Governor Charlie Baker made Sunday, March 15th. Schools are now scheduled to  re-open on Monday, May 4th, 2020. 
  • Tenga en cuenta que durante una conferencia de prensa esta tarde, el gobernador Charlie Baker extendió el cierre de la escuela hasta el 4 de mayo. Nuevamente, las escuelas AHORA están programadas para volver a abrir el lunes 4 de mayo. Se compartirá más información a medida que esté disponible.
Meals
  • MEALS FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES – The district’s food service provider Sodexo will set up meal centers at several locations during the closure. Most up-to-date details here: https://www.springfieldpublicschools.com/news/News/food_when_school_is_out
    El proveedor de servicios de alimentos del distrito, Sodexo, ha establecido centros de comidas en varios lugares durante el cierre de la escuela COVID-19.
  • Western Mass Food Bank Statement on Services during Covid 19 emergency – check their website for the latest.
  • Mass Food Delivery – Delivers food throughout Massachusetts from Massachusetts farmers. Deliveries to Western Mass happen once a week.
  • Open Pantry Community Services – Groceries will be provided at the Emergency Food Pantry at 2460 Main Street in Springfield will be open 11 AM- 2 PM on  Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Families can call (413) 737-5353 for more information.
    Take-out meals at Loaves & Fishes locations (Lunch at 12pm, Dinner at 5pm except on Sundays lunch will be served at 1pm.)

    • Monday – South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street, Springfield
    • Tuesday – South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street, Springfield
    • Wednesday – Christchurch Cathedral, 35 Chestnut Street, Springfield
    • Thursday – South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street, Springfield
    • Friday – South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street, Springfield
    • Saturday – South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street, Springfield
    • Sunday  – Seventh Day Adventist Church, 797 State Street, Springfield
  • The Gray House Food Pantry (The Market) – The Market at 22 Sheldon Street, Springfield will be open Thursdays, 9 AM-12 PM; 2nd & 4th Friday of the month from 4 PM-6 PM (ID, proof of income and address needed-intake form to complete). Please contact (413) 734-6696 for more information.
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services Emergency Food Pantry  – Located at 3 Rutland Street in Springfield. Open on Thursdays from 6 –11 AM. Please contact (413) 746-3655 for more information
  • The Salvation Army Emergency Food Pantry – Located at 170 Pearl Street in Springfield will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 AM-Noon. Please call (413) 733-1518 for more information.
  • The Community Survival Center Food Pantry – Located at 240 Main Street, Indian Orchard. The food pantry will be open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9 AM –3 PM and Thursday 9 AM-4:30 PM. They serve Ludlow, Wilbraham, Hampden, Sixteen Acres, Indian Orchard and Pine Point. Address, income, and other verifications needed.Please contact (413) 543-3930 for more information.
Health Insurance
  • MassHealth Coronavirus Updates – Wondering about your healthcare coverage through MassHealth and what it will mean through this pandemic? Check out more information here.
  • MassHealth Enrollment – In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, an extended enrollment period is available through April 25, 2020 for qualified Massachusetts residents who are uninsured. You can enroll online, by phone, or by mail.
Parent Support

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.

  • Parents Helping Parents – The current national health emergency is causing many parents anxiety. Online Parent Support Groups, Parental stress line counselors are still there to listen to your concerns and problem-solve with you. 24-7, free and confidential. CALL: 800-632-8188
  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers a 24/7 Crisis Textline. Text NAMI to 741741. For mental health resources that are no urgent, contact the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-6264
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you or someone you know is in crisis—whether they are considering suicide or not—please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: Please call 800-799-SAFE (7233) to speak with a trained expert advocate. They are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking resources and information. Help is available in Spanish and other languages.3/17/2020
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: Please call all 800-656-HOPE (4673) to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area that offers access to a range of free services. Crisis chat support is available at Online Hotline. Free help, 24/7.
  • Postpartum Support International:For those pregnant or postpartum seeking support and not in crisis or an emergency, call 1-800-944-4773 or text (English) 503-864-9453 or (Spanish) 971-420-0294
Employment
  • Applying for Unemployment Benefits – If you are out of work or have had your hours cut back due to coronavirus closures, this is the link to apply for unemployment.
  • COVID-19 Guidance and Directives – From Mass.gov, guidance and directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and other state agencies related to COVID-19.

Library Services During Coronavirus Closure

Available services from Springfield City Library during the coronavirus closure.

How You Can Reach Us

At this time, all library locations have staff available for phone support, and you can still email us at Ask A Librarian for help.

Staff are available for phone and email support during the following times:

LocationPhoneHours
Central Library413-263-6828Mon-Sat 9am-5pm
Brightwood Branch413-263-6805Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
East Forest Park Branch413-263-6836Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
East Springfield Branch413-263-6840Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Forest Park Branch413-263-6843Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Indian Orchard Branch413-263-6846Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Library Express at Pine PointCall CL at 413-263-6828
Mason Square Branch413-263-6853Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Sixteen Acres Branch413-263-6858Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Online Resources in our eLibrary 24/7

You can find a world of resources at your fingertips in our eLibrary! Ebooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, Movies, TV, Music, Language learning, Newspapers – all available 24/7. Check it out, and call or email us with questions.

If for some reason your card doesn’t work for the eLibrary, please call us and we will do our best to solve the problem. Please note that some resources depend on having a card specifically from Springfield, and they indicate that in the description.

Hang On To Your Checked Out Items for Now

  • Late fees accrued during our closure will be waived.
  • Our book drops are closed – please don’t worry about going out just to return books. We can’t take them back at this time.
  • We will happily extend your due dates – call us if you want to do that now, but it’s also okay to just wait until we re-open.
  • We are committed to making sure no one is penalized for late items during this time!

Springfield children clock over 500,000 summer reading minutes… so far

MassLive highlights Springfield kids’ summer reading totals so far – join our Summer Reading Club to contribute!

From the article at MassLive:

So far this summer, Springfield children have read 27,919 times at 20 minutes a session, amounting to 558,380 minutes of page-turning as part of the Springfield Reads to Build a Better World summer reading project. The results were announced at an assembly Tuesday at Central High School.

“We’re more than halfway there, and we have a few weeks left of the summer,” said Goren-Watts, a principal planner and manager of data, education and municipal technology at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. “We need you all to keep reading, tell all your friends to keep reading.”

Springfield Reads to Build a Better World started in 2017. It is made up of 13 summer reading programs throughout the city along with the city’s summer schools.