Resources for At-Home Learning

The Sycamore Library has compiled a list of free resources for parents (and others) who need ideas for engaging activities while practicing social distancing.  Only some require a Sycamore Library card.


Explore this extensive list of free homeschooling resources complied by Sycamore Library staff. Perfect for those learning at home this semester!


Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Home Safari Events

Each weekday, starting at 2 p.m. Central time, the Cincinnati Zoo will introduce one of their animals, and include an activity to do at home. Go to Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook page for the Facebook Live event.

Animal Webcams:

Aquarium of the Pacific Webcams

The Aquarium of the Pacific has live images of sharks, sea jellies, fish, and penguins

Monterey Bay Aquarium Webcams

Check in on sea otters, moon jellies, open sea creatures, or a kelp forest.

Houston Zoo Webcams

Watch giraffes, gorillas, elephants, and more

San Diego Zoo Webcams

Live and recorded webcams of pandas, penguins, koalas, and other animals

Virtual Farm Tours

Take a tour of real farms and see what they’re like


Creativebug has more than 1,000 award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.

Sycamore Library card required.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Daily drawing session with author Mo Willems every weekday at 12pm Central time.

Wild, Free & Crafty

Cooking Kids Young Chef’s Club

Drawing: Bob Shea


Scholastic Learn at Home

Daily projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.  Pre-k and up

Khan Academy

Free resources for ages 4-18, or a free app for ages 2-7.  Requires signing up for a free account.

Homework Help:Brainfuse HelpNow

Sycamore Library card needed for access

Magazines: Ranger Rick

(free digital subscription through end of June)

Math: Bedtime Math


Disney Imagineers (lessons about Disney park design/engineering)

Generation Genius (free month subscription to Next Gen Science Videos for Grades K-5) – K-6 math ebook database
Direct Link:
Username: tumble2020
Password: A3b5c6 – gr 7-12 ebook database
Direct Link:
Username: tumble2020
Password: A3b5c6 – all ages audio book database
Direct Link:
Username: tumble2020
Password: A3b5c6 – a huge collection of steamy Romance novels for the older crowd!
Direct Link:
Username: tumble2020
Password: A3b5c6


Digital Public Library of America

DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format. The cultural institutions participating in DPLA represent the richness and diversity of America itself, from the smallest local history museum to our nation’s largest cultural institutions.

Illinois Digital Archives

The Illinois Digital Archives is a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library as well as other libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois. It contains historical photographs, slides, glass negatives, oral histories, manuscripts, letters, federal government documents, postcards, posters, videos, newspapers, and maps.


Mango Languages

Reach conversational proficiency in 72 languages, including English as a Second Language, good for tourists or beginners. Free app for iOS and Android available.

Sycamore Library card required.


The Kennedy Center Digital Stage

Archive of the nation’s busiest performing arts center.

Metropolitan Opera Nightly Met Opera Streams

Daily series of free streaming opera presentations, available to stream from 6:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. the next day.

Jim Gill – Music Play for All Young Children
Jim Gill is a musician, author and child development specialist. His recordings, books and live concert appearances create unique opportunities for playful interactions between children and caring

Justin Roberts (variety of music related crafts & some live stream concerts)

Laurie Berkner (daily 9 am concert)—to view: like her on Facebook. Visit website at for over 20 educational music videos

Tom Chapin (Mornings with Papa Tom) (scroll down to uploads—each concert is approximately 30 minutes long)


The Lucky Trikes Storytimes From a Short Distance 

Nightly live-streamed storytimes on Facebook Live at 8 p.m. Central Time

Story time with author Mac Barnett

Children’s author Mac Barnett will be reading one of his books out loud, on Instagram Live, every weekday at 2 p.m. Central time until he runs out of books to read.

Stories with author Oliver Jeffers

Artist Oliver Jeffers will be reading one of his books and talking about being a writer every weekday, at 1 p.m. Central time.

TumbleBook Library

Over 1100 titles for grades K-6, including unique animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, graphic novels, math stories, national geographic videos, non-fiction books, playlists, as well as books in Spanish and French.

Requires Sycamore Library card.

NASA Storytime from Space

Storyline Online

The Story Seeds Podcast


Access Mars

Check out a 360 degree tour of Mars from the Mars Rover

Air Pano

Air Pano is a group of Russian photographers that takes 360 degree photos and videos of important places around the world.  Many beautiful places are available to explore.

Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips

STEM field trips to the Johnson Space Center, arctic tundra, and more

The Louvre–Paris

Virtual tours of some of the historic museum’s most famous collections

National Museum of Anthropology–Mexico City

Collections related to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic civilizations.

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art–South Korea

Modern Korean art and design.

The Vatican–Rome

Tour one of the world’s most beautiful buildings.

Yellowstone National Park

Watch live footage of the Mud Volcano, Fountain Paint Pot, and more

The Art Institute of Chicago’s collection is searchable online and includes additional information for each artwork.

The British Museum has an interactive timeline. Just pick a date and learn more about the thousands of artifacts that make up their collection.

The Metropolitan Opera will live stream an opera each evening at 6:30 pm central time. The recording will stay on their homepage for 20 hours.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams highlight penguins, sea otters, and sharks.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has a variety of online resources, including family activities and recorded lectures.

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections curated by the Museum Computer Network, includes archives and libraries, virtual tours, art collections, and resources for kids.

Virtual Vacations

Looking for ways to keep everyone entertained while on lockdown? Blast through your bucket list with these top virtual vacations the whole family will love.