The Ultimate Guide to At-Home Activity Videos from Local Businesses

We are working with local businesses to create a virtual library of fun videos with activities, tutorials, classes, and more! All from places we know and love.

While lists of resource links are helpful, I’m personally getting a little overloaded with trying to sort through what to actually watch and do. Our hope is that this gives you bite-sized videos that you can do right now with your kids! 

We will be posting each video on the Kidlist Facebook page as well as compiling all of them right here. Bookmark this link so you can check back as you need more entertainment and activity ideas!

Goldfish Swim School Burr Ridge

Goldfish reimagined their swim lessons so they can be done from your living room! It’s unconventional, but actually makes a lot of sense. Your kids can practice their strokes and swim skills from home.

Head to the Goldfish Swim School YouTube channel to view all of their videos!

Virtual Puppet Theater by Chicago Children’s Theatre

“Frederick” by Leo Lionni is one of our favorite books, so we were overjoyed to see that Chicago Children’s Theatre created this puppet show to tell the story of this creative little mouse.

Click on the image to be taken to the video

Local Author, Rachel Ruiz

Rachel Ruiz is the author of eight children’s books, including her debut picture book, When Penny Met POTUS, which she was inspired to write after working as a video producer for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 — and her young daughter’s curiosity about the name “POTUS.”  Rachel also has written two non-fiction picture books, When Hillary Rodham Clinton Played Ice Hockey and When Rosa Parks Went Fishing, and the Superhero Harry chapter book series for Capstone. Her first graphic novel, Martin Luther King Jr.: A Graphic History of America’s Great Civil Rights Leader (Great Lives) was released in June 2019.  

About When Penny Met POTUS
Penny’s mom works at a big white house for a boss named POTUS. POTUS? Just who – or what – is a POTUS?Penny’s imagination runs wild with possibilities! When she gets to spend a day at the office with her mom, she sets out on a mission to discover exactly who POTUS is. Will he, she, or it – live up to Penny’s expectations? When Penny Met POTUS is a unique and clever picture book about the power of imagination and dreaming big. Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

Lil Beast Ninjas

Lil Beast Ninjas is a fast growing mobile preschool Ninja Warrior program In the Chicago area. However, due to the recent events, they have decided to turn lemons into lemonade and launched their very own YouTube channel!

Head to Lil Beast Ninjas YouTube channel that not only includes ninja classes at home, but fun challenges and ideas from our team to keep your little ones busy during this time of change. Their hope is that this sparks additional creative play at home!

Oak Brook Park District

The Oak Brook Park District understands this is a difficult time for families. There might be many more wiggles than giggles, so they are putting together a few videos for everyone’s physical and mental health. These videos are produced by their fitness staff, and include modifications for all fitness levels. Everyone in the household will find something for them, including some to do as a family!

Family Cardio Workout

Following our first Family Fitness Workout, our instructor, Mike, is back with cardio, cardio, and more cardio! This workout gives parents heart-pumping cardio moves to do at home with no equipment, while kids can have fun getting some energy out, too! Show us your moves and let us know how you liked it! #happyfitactiveThe workout:3 rounds doing 1 min. each of the following:Mountain climbersJump ropesTuck jumpsSide to side jumpsSquat jumpsHigh kneesOne-legged jumpsTake a one-minute rest between rounds, but try not to stop between exercises!

Posted by Oak Brook Park District on Monday, March 23, 2020

Let them know what you like and share your videos or photos on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/obparks. We hope everyone stays happy, fit, and active!

Breakaway Basketball

Greg from Breakaway is uploading two videos per day: one basketball-related drill that you can do at home and one P.E.-type game to keep your kids active, getting better at basketball, and having fun!

Check the Breakaway Basketball YouTube channel every day for more videos!

Breakaway Basketball is the largest skill development program in IL training over 8K players a year and over 300 teams. Their mission is to teach players how to work hard and understand that being successful at anything is a process. This process takes focus, hard work, perseverance, and patience. Breakaway uses the game of basketball to teach these lessons that will translate to their everyday lives.

Flying High Sports & Rec Center

Before they closed, Flying High put together a great video in their gym on how to safely practice backbends at home!

For more videos, tips and more, follow along on the Flying High Facebook page.

I have two videos we were able to film in the gym featuring some of our athletes before we closed. One video features how to safely practice backbends at home and one video features a little contest!

Jo’s Footwork Studio

Are your kids interested in dance? Or just want to get moving? Jay Fagan, world-renowned tap dancer and director of Jo’s Footwork in Western Springs put together this video for you!

Jay is the go-to guy for tap and we enjoyed watching this reel of performances and classes he has taught over the last several years. We are lucky to have him so close!

Jo’s Footwork Studio offers a wide range of dance classes for preschoolers through adult, from beginners to advanced levels, with master and professional instructors. Their classes include Mommy & Me, Twinkle Star program for 2 year old through Kindergarten, Ballet, Cecchetti, Pointe, Demi-Pointe, Tap, Progressions in Tap & Jazz, Leaps & Turns, Jazz, Lyrical, Conditioning//Tumbling, All Star-Pomdance (competition teams), Contemporary Modern, and Hip Hop. Jo’s Footwork is a technique-based studio, concentrating on dance methodology.

Ms. Clara’s Mini Musicians

In the past 48 hours, the video below from Ms. Clara in Brookfield, IL has traveled across the nation to the tune of almost 6,000 views (so far), and they even got a special check-in from France and a like from Asia!

Ms. Clara will be offering these interactive virtual music classes on Facebook Live every Monday: 10:15 am (CST) for 2 years and up and 11:15 am (CST) for 4 – 23 months. She will also release a 1-2 song video once a week on Thursday afternoons. You can also check the virtual class options page on her website.

Her virtual classes are interactive, engaging, creative, and educational. As the daughter of 2 symphony musicians and a graduate of Northwestern’s Master’s Degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy, Ms. Clara combined her love of music and educational background in child development to create an early childhood music curriculum that targets developmental skills at every age level from infancy up. The curriculum consists of about 200 songs (mostly originals), and it is her pleasure to share them with your kiddos during this time of isolation and potential boredom for the little ones. All videos are available at no charge, but they do accept donations at PayPal.me/msclarasmusic to help them continue to pay their teachers during this indefinite studio closure, and to ensure that we come back stronger than ever when this is all over. We are all in this together!

Thrive Speech & Language Therapy

Cooking together is a great way to keep little hands and minds busy while also developing language and math skills.  Here’s a simple and easy recipe for preschoolers: Tortilla Pizzas!

Jennifer Houch, MS, CCC-SLP is a pediatric speech-language pathologist at Thrive Speech & Language Therapy, a newly opened private practice located at 15 Spinning Wheel Road in Hinsdale. All visits are now virtual!  To inquire, visit www.thrivespeechandlanguage.com or call (630) 492-1112.  Check out @play.read.thrive on instagram for more simple ideas to develop your child’s speech, language, and literacy skills.

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium has a video series called Sea Curious where kids ask questions and they answer them with fun videos with adorable and interesting animals.

Go to the Shedd Aquarium YouTube channel to see the rest of the Sea Curious videos. They also have a variety of online resources for families, outlined below.

Underwater Beauty Live Cam
Need to recharge? Take a break for beauty with our special exhibit, Underwater Beauty, live cam! Discover the dreamlike patterns of angelfishes, wrasses, tangs and butterflyfishes.

Shedd’s Audio Guides
Dive deeper into some of your favorite habitats at Shedd! Our free audio guides share everything you’d want to know about some of the aquarium’s most memorable species, from a beluga whale “who’s who” to the amazing rescue story of green sea turtle Nickel. Download and listen now!

Virtual Reality Penguin Expedition
Utilizing Google Expeditions, the free virtual reality experience allows users from around the globe to digitally visit Shedd’s penguin exhibit, going behind the scenes to learn more about how the aquarium cares for two species of penguins – rockhopper and Magellanic. explore 360-degree scenes shot in the aquarium’s animal hospital, kitchen spaces and of course, the penguin exhibit. Written content, spotlight images and pre-drafted discussion questions accompany the expedition scenes, providing tons of information on penguin behavior, biology and morphology. (Can be viewed with or without VR googles)

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry has a plethora of kid-friendly videos, including the Brain Games series with tutorials on how to make toys and games to enjoy at home. We would recommend this series for older kids or younger kids with adult help.

Click here for the rest of the Brain Games activity videos on YouTube. You will find more videos on the MSI YouTube channel, such as adorable chicks and MSI Asks where experts talk about various STEAM topics. Click here for science experiments and activities to do at home.

We will be adding more videos, so check back!

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie, her husband, and their kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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