So it’s been 4, 5, 6, 7 weeks of this new normal? I’m not counting. That’s just one of the ways I’m coping these days.

School’s back in, or still out, depending on how much effort you and your kids are putting into the new online learning.

As rules continue to evolve on how we can interact outside our homes, families are still testing ways to navigate this temporary normal. The online world has certainly become a bigger space to play (or to police). And when we’re allowed to get back together again, how we interact with each other in real life and online will certainly have changed.

While many of ideas we first shared on how to be Socially Distant with Kids in TOw (Part I) are still relevant, many things have changed. City and provincial parks, playgrounds and beaches have closed. You can walk, run, bike through some of these spaces (I think) but don’t linger. And if you do stop to rest, stand in line, say hello to your neighbours – make sure you’re a hockey stick or three geese a part from one another.

Sometimes staying at home feels like the easiest and laziest thing to do for the greater good.

So many resources and ideas have been circulating on how to keep your kids active and learning. It has been both tough and inspiring as businesses and organizations have been struggling and creatively shifting their products and offerings to stay afloat until the new normal arrives.

We’ve put together some new offerings for families to stay connected and engaged with real life while (sadly, mostly) online. Here they are:

READING AND STORYTELLING: Michelle Obama reads every Monday at noon on PBSKids on Facebook and Youtube (see below). Author Dav Pilkey (of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man fame) has a weekly drawing challenge. For Harry Potter fans, there is a whole world of wizarding to explore online.

STAY-AT-HOME TRIP TIP: For more local content, the Toronto Public Library has 38 ways to use the library from home.

LEGO: Lego is certainly on our essential list with lots of building and making Lego movies. The Lego Discovery Centre in Vaughan has been hosting live weekly trivia nights on Facebook and videos with Toronto’s Master Builder Nole.

NATURE AT HOME: One of our favourite places to play the Children’s Garden at Evergreen Brick Works is temporarily closed. One of Evergreen’s Outdoor Educators, Skunk (that’s his nature name) shares nature stories and songs on IG Live every Friday at 11 a.m. It’s great for kids of all ages.

ART & DRAMA: The Young Peoples’ Theatre has been posting activities for kids to get their imagination going inside (see video below.) You can join #Crafternoons with Harbourfront Centre on Thursdays at 2pm livestreamed on Instagram.

FAMILY FRIENDLY DOCS: Need a Netflix and Disney break? CBC Docs has this list of docs to accompany your kids’ Social Studies at-home learning. And Hot Docs has provided free access to their Docs for Schools program. 

SCIENCE: The Ontario Science Centre has been providing some #ScienceAtHome through videos, online resources and Facebook Live events. They’ve also released some of their family-friendly films for free like—Dinosaurs Alive!Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs and Wild Ocean—in English, French or Spanish. Each film comes with a downloadable education guide with try-it-at-home activities.

STAY-AT-HOME TRIP TIP: On Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m., join us for a stellar Facebook Live event to celebrate International Astronomy Day. 

PODCASTS: When you’re need a break from the apps, movies and video games, you might just want to listen. CBC Parents put together this list of family-friendly listening. Commonsense Media always provides some good digital recos according to age. Here is their Top 25 Podcast for Kids. Missing is one of our faves Pants on Fire.