Orlando offers more than 20 new virtual learning experiences that are fun and free
Lessons in science, art, biology and more take a fun twist as students can learn about space from astronauts, engineering from theme park designers and P.E. tips from a golf pro
To help millions of parents juggling triple duties of working, sheltering and now teaching from home, Visit Orlando has compiled a list of more than 20 free online learning
“Millions of families are not only learning how to school at home, but also missed out on a fun spring break vacation, so we hope this helps ease the pain on both fronts,” said George Aguel, President & CEO of Visit Orlando. “As the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is home to some of the most creative minds and entertainers out there, and our tourism industry has teamed together, using their skills to help kids and parents who are adapting to this current reality.”
- The creative masters at Disney have several new options:
Learn how to design theme parks, engineer thrill rides and develop characters straight from Disney Imagineers in a free online program created in partnership with the Khan Academy and Pixar.
- Draw Mickey Mouse with Disney tutorials on the Disney Parks YouTube channel. Cast member Stephen Ketchum provides expert tips on how to draw the famous mouse in progression from vintage 1920s Mickey to the more contemporary “pied-eyed” version.
- Characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and Disney Parks help with lessons on the new Disney Magic Moments website, from story times with celebrities to cooking recipes to educational activities.
- Interact with droids in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, test your Disney trivia, download official Disney playlists and more with Play Disney Parks, a mobile app that offers unique experiences and activities that bring the theme park environments to life.
- Go behind-the-scenes to learn how your favorite roller coasters run through the Science of Universal Orlando Resort program produced by NBC Learn in partnership with Universal Orlando Youth Programs. Quick 3-4 minute videos talk through STEAM concepts found in attractions at Universal, such as how engineers rely on physics concepts such as Newton's Laws of Motion and potential and kinetic energy, to design all the twists, turns and loops along the track.
- Find live singalongs with celebrity musicians, techniques for sidewalk masterpieces, art tutorials, and a fun new craft each day on Crayola Experience’s Facebook channel. Sign up for e-mail alerts to find out when new activities are posted.
- Stretch the limits of your imagination by exploring life’s oddities – such as how to make a shrunken head from an apple – on Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums at home. Visit the website for a schedule of live Facebook content, at-home activities tailored for all ages, and unusual facts about famous people throughout history.
- Practice building flowers, dinosaurs and flying cars with the new LEGO challenges, tips and activities on the LEGOLAND Florida Facebook page.
- Young squires and princesses can revert back to medieval times by creating their own coat of chivalry or coloring a princess crown via the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Orlando's Facebook page. Or play medieval bingo with activities like having a royal parade in your living room, creating a family crest and battling a pretend dragon.
- Kids will love “Story Time from Space,” a series of audiobooks read by real astronauts. They can also learn about living in space, Mars and rocketry or tour Space Shuttle Atlantis during an ongoing series of Facebook lives from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Parents can find additional downloadable activities here.
- Budding scientists can find videos on do-it-yourself projects like making rock candy and slime on the Orlando Science Center's website. Other tutorials include making your own superhero training camp and creating dinosaur fossils.
Biology Class Gone WIld
- It’s readin’, writin’ and reptiles during Gatorland’s School of Croc’s Facebook lives every day at 10 a.m. showcasing amazing animals and adventures to entertain and educate viewers of all ages. You are encouraged to post comments, ask questions in real time to really take part in this interactive experience. At 3pm daily, their YouTube channel shares live-action encounters with animals including Burmese pythons, crocodiles, alligators and lizards.
- Explore animals all over the world, including their habitats, diets, behaviors and
scientific classification, through SeaWor ld Parks & Entertainment’s distance learning resources. The site includes hands-on classroom activities, teacher’s guides, videos and info books.
- Read with sea creatures during “Under the Sea Story Times” every Sunday and watch interactive and educational animal encounters on SEA LIFE Aquarium’s Facebook page. Audience interaction is encouraged using #MakingMagicwithMerlin.
- Pretend you’re exploring the jungle by listening to noises from nature, from sunrise in the swamp to giraffes munching their dinner. Wild Wednesday Nature Sounds is a new listening experience on Wild Florida’s social channels.
- Put your problem-solving skills to the test through The Escape Game’s TEG Field Trips, with free online games that take students on virtual field trips through museums and historic landmarks by uncovering clues and solving puzzles.
- P.E. goes online as students can practice their virtual swing at home with Topgolf’s WGT Golf online or on mobile devices. Find additional resources like tips, drills and printable puzzles through their downloadable guide.
- Learn how to juggle, face paint or dance like a Cirque du Soleil performer via CirqueConnect, a new digital content hub featuring a section devoted to kids' content.
- #MUSEUMFROMHOME with Orlando Museum of Art's free online archives and
social media channels, with options ranging from live video streams to critically acclaimed children’s book readings, to art-inspired coloring books.
- Comedy and magic come together to teach lessons about bullying, during two full-length productions filmed live onstage of “Pip-Squeak, An Anti-Bullying Magic Show,” presented by The Orlando Repertory Theater, in partnership with Tony Brent.
- In times of crisis, it is important to be a helper. The Holocaust Memorial & Resource Center of Florida’s is encouraging kids to share their stories of how they have helped others through YouTube video submissions.
- Learn about native Americans, pioneers and famous people in history on the Orange County Regional History Center’s website, with activities ranging from historic coloring pages to lesson plans to virtual tours of recent exhibitions.