Circle’s 100 Teachable Moments

Circle’s 100
Teachable Moments

Screen time is on the rise as kids are sheltered at home through the school year. Make your child’s time online and off more creative and educational with our curated picks for all ages.

Apps. College Prep. YouTube.

Whether your teen is into art or science, or somewhere in between, here are creative ways to keep their minds engaged online and off.

Online Classes to Take

  • Khan Academy is a nonprofit program with free online classes, including SAT prep

  • Teens can learn from masters in photography, acting, cooking, and more in MasterClass

  • Universities like Cornell offer pre-college classes for high school students

  • Art budgets getting cut? Teens can get art video lessons via Sparketh

  • BraveWriter offers teen courses in writing poetry, songs, fan fiction, and more

YouTube Channels to Follow

  • TED-Ed offers inspiring and educational stories by teens and for teens

  • Smithsonian Channel has great storytelling about science, nature, history, and more

  • Big Think brings together bright minds to talk about topics from COVID-19 to climate change

  • Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls empowers young people to be their authentic selves

Apps to Download

Podcasts to Listen In


Average time teens spend
passively on screens per day

Books to Read

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • I Am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

Ways to Prep for College

  • Prep teens for college interviews with sample Qs online

  • Take a virtual tour of colleges that interest you

  • Study for the SATs

  • Volunteer or sign up for community service, even during SIP (shelter-in-place)

  • Connect with others in your community who’ve recently gone through the application process or mentors who can help

Rockets. Virtual Camp. Redecorate.

Tweens can learn to create everything from apps to appetizers when they choose QT with tech and IRL activities.

Online Classes to Take

YouTube Channels to Follow

  • SoulPancake aims to get kids to “think, question, and act ethically”

  • Geek Gurl Diaries is for tweens who love to geek out on science and tech

  • React teaches kids how to view media critically in an entertaining way

  • The Brain Scoop shares the work of natural history museums around the world

  • Minute Physics simplifies, in one minute, complex ideas about science

Apps to Download

Podcasts to Listen In

Books to Read

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in 10 Blocks by Jason Reynolds

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Creative Activities to Try

  • Redecorate your room!

  • Cook a favorite recipe for the family or learn a new one

  • Journal your stay-at-home experience with photos and drawings

  • Start an herb or vegetable garden

  • Write old-fashioned letters to school friends and distant family

Crayons. PBS. Legos.

While independent play is crucial at this age to keep imaginations flowing, creative screen time can be the next best thing when learning about the world around them.

Online Activities to Try

  • ABCmouse offers reading, math, science, and art for kids ages 2 to 8

  • Discovery Education Experience is offering free access through the rest of the school year

  • Scholastic offers a schedule of activities for kids, including virtual field trips

  • Treat your space lover to astronauts reading stories from space!

YouTube Channels to Follow

  • Seasame Street offers your favorite episodes, new and old

  • PBS Kids features read-alongs and shows to help kids cope with difficult feelings

  • National Geographic Kids takes kids around the world to learn about amazing adventures

  • Children’s book author Mo Willems hosts fun and creative Lunch Doodles for kids

Apps to Download

  • Caribu connects kids with grandparents with activities like drawing and reading together

  • Marco World School emphasizes STEAM learning for little ones 4 and up

  • Kanopy has educational shows and videos for littles with a library card

  • Kahoot is a learning and trivia app for ages 4 and up

Podcasts to Listen In

  • Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl is a DJ radio show for kids that parents will love too

  • Pinna offers ad-free podcasts and audio books for kids 3-12

  • But Why? tackles questions about nature and our world for all ages

  • Ear Snacks teaches kids about music, science, art, and culture

  • Storytime offers 20-minute stories to engage kids while they play or ride

I let my son build ‘box forts’ with all the boxes we receive from our online orders (after 24 hours). He’s taken up the whole living room!


Independent Play to Inspire

  • Freeze plastic toys in ice and have kids excavate them using salt or play tools

  • Water play with a toy car wash, doll bath, or dishwashing play sets

  • Create an obstacle course with painter’s tape and cushions

  • Do a rainbow-themed backyard scavenger hunt

  • Play hospital or Circle Time with stuffies


  • Build a city with Legos or blocks (schools, hospitals, grocery stores…)

  • Use tracing paper to trace over a photo of themselves for a self-portrait

  • Teach them finger knitting finger knitting and have them practice on their own

  • Tape up butcher paper for mural painting or drawing

  • Download free coloring pages

Board Games. Cooking. Movie Night.

The silver lining of sheltering in place? More time with the ones we love. Here are ways to make the time count (and cure your cabin fever), online and off.

Virtual Tours to Share


Clue is a fave over here. Also, playing cards, building Legos, and baking!


Creative Activities to Do Together

  • Start a family book club that meets regularly

  • Create chalkboard sidewalk art for neighbors to enjoy

  • Go on a bike ride and wave hello to neighbors from a distance

  • Play family sports like soccer, basketball, or even freeze tag


  • Board games and puzzles are always a great way to bond

  • Celebrate birthdays and graduations with a Zoom costume, silly hat, or dance party

  • Break out a sprinkler or play water balloons, whatever keeps you in the moment!

Share stories and #StayCreative

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