Online Activities for Kids during Covid

Parent Q&A

Family Capoeira Virtual Options Jan 2, 2021 (2 responses below)
Online classes for toddlers - any you've enjoyed? Jun 30, 2020 (16 responses below)
Online Interactive Classes for Teens this Summer? May 20, 2020 (3 responses below)
Online/Virtual activities for kids Apr 4, 2020 (6 responses below)
Online Piano Instruction Mar 28, 2020 (9 responses below)
Kids chess online with a friend Mar 25, 2020 (3 responses below)
Desperate for Virtual Workouts for Adults Mar 24, 2020 (21 responses below)
Online yoga for kids Mar 21, 2020 (5 responses below)
  • Family Capoeira Virtual Options

    (2 replies)

    Greetings! I have an almost 4 year old who I planned to take Capoeira with before everything went awry. How can I incorporate capoeira music, instruments etc. into our lives until we can get to a class after everything clears up and social distancing isn't necessary. I believe he can benefit from the discipline, strength and comeraderie that Capoeira embody.

    My kid practices capoeira with Professor Malandro, who runs the Filhos de Bimba School. Before the pandemic he taught at Emeryville Parks and Rec. 

    Professor Malandro is patient, kind, and firm. The school teaches the music, history and present of capoeira, and its values, like strength, control, discipline and community. He offers Zoom class, sometimes with visits from his teachers in Salvador. 

    My 9yo currently attend a kids' class biweekly with masks and distance at Bushrod Park in North Oakland. It's mostly older kids right now but you should inquire about the online schedule and get on the email list. I feel lucky and grateful to have found Professor Malandro and Filhos de Bimba... 

    My 9 year old has been with Profesor Malandro for a couple of years.  We started with live instruction as an after school class on his school campus.  We then went on  to classes at the Emeryville Senior Center with older kids as well as occasionally tried a class with adults.  When the pandemic hit, Malandro’s dedication to capoeira brought us Zoom classes that included participants from all over the world including from his own mestre in Brazil who was actually the son of Mestre Bimba (founder of modern capoeira).  Later in the pandemic he took the children’s classes live outdoors to Bushrod Park with masks on.  Malandro’s relationship to capoeira goes DEEP and it is a part of who he is as a human being.  It is so much more to him than a hobby or a teaching job and this shows in every detail he brings to his classes and his dedication to enrich others lives with capoeira even with the pandemic going on.

    He now expanded to livestreaming and creating videos on Twitch.  I highly recommend subscribing to his Twitch account, MrMalandro81.  My son now regularly practices capoeira using his Twitch video classes which have the advantage of being available 24 hours a day and he can go back and rewind parts that are more difficult (not to mention zero chance of COVID19).

    Despite his passion/dedication for capoeira, he has always been great at connecting with kids in a positive way with patience during his classes.  He motivates his kids to improve their capoeira skills by inspiration and dedication rather than by displaying frustration.  I feel so lucky that my son has him as a mentor in his life.

  • We're not feeling comfortable enough to send our son to daycare yet, but we'd like to add some structure to his days. Wondering if anyone has done any toddler classes that you think are worth signing up for. Would love to hear about any type of class - music, sports, art, etc. Zoom is always challenging for this age but I'm running out of ideas, and I think our kid could use a break from his mom all the time too!

    Jon's School of Music has zoom classes, and my son (2.5) has loved them and been super engaged for the whole 30-40 minutes (not the case with other zoom things we tried). I think he's considering adding outdoor classes as well. 

    We've been doing classes with Jon's School of Music, and my daughter has loved them. He's really silly and engaging with the kids, and has a storyline that keeps them paying attention (they have to watch out for Darth Flubber, who is trying to defeat them 😁). He has classes for toddlers up through young elementary school, and the classes are designed to teach the kids beginning music theory about rhythms, scales, keyboard skills (for the older kids) and playing together as a group. For the online classes you just use whatever instruments you might have lying around the house (we use a little drum and xylophone). I think he's exploring doing in-person physically distant classes soon. You can find his contact information and more info on the classes at

    My kid (2.5) hates zoom. The only thing he’s willingly participated in via zoom was the parent-child dance class at Shawl-Anderson. Fun and low-key “dances” like “prance across the room” or “dance close to the computer and then far away.” 

  • Hello Community,

    Can anyone recommend places where high schoolers can take online (ie video-taught) classes this summer?  We're looking specifically for art or other non-academic, creative, fun classes, but curious about all places offering virtual classes.


    If you have a child interested in learning coding, I recommend the Coder School in Berkeley. My 11 year old son did their  Python Start Up Camp on-line during spring break and loved it. The camp was from 9:30-2:30 with and hour lunch break. It was well run and he learned a lot.  We are going to sign up for more camps this summer.

    A lot of the local camps, classes, and tutors/teachers are offering online classes. Recent posts on BPN include art, musical instruments, philosophy, circus arts, coding, creative writing, meditation, languages, singing, theater, and more! Check out these lists on the BPN website (can also be found on the BPN home page) :

    Another resource for online classes is You can search for classes for certain ages or specific topics. My kids have been using it regularly over the last few months.

  • Online/Virtual activities for kids

    (6 replies)

    In early December we cancelled all but two of our kids' after-school activities  as we wanted to change up the activities a bit and take a break for a couple of months and enroll in different ones in late Jan.  We then got busy and did not get around to re-enrolling in activities.  Now it is April and the pandemic is happening.  On the bright side I don't have the usual number of after school activity vendors to pay since my kids were no longer enrolled (we are still paying the two activities we kept to support them and getting limited services online though as those are sports it is not the same), but the kids are also bored as remote learning only takes up half the day and both parents are still working from home.  My kids are early elementary school aged.  Do you like your kids' online/virtual activities and think they are worth it even though they are done remotely, and if so what are they?  Or does it makes sense to not enroll in anything new now and wait to enroll in new activities in the fall when hopefully the shelter in place is lifted and the activities are back to being done in person?   

    Classroom Matters, an excellent place which offers classes, workshops, and one-on-one learning support, has just pivoted to on-line supports and learning. I have always been super-impressed with them and their community supports, and know so many parents who sing their praises on the quality of support their kids get from them. A number of things they're offering are free, and they also offer need-based scholarships. Check their website for courses they've got up now.

    I highly recommend Yama Kids Yoga. Beth is fantastic and offers all age groups. She has gone virtual and when this is over you can easily switch to in person. She is fun and silly and a really good instructor. 

    I’m a board member with the Homeschool Assocation of CA. We have our top 5 tips for crisis schooling to share and we have a living document that gets added to daily where we are keeping track of the mostly free online resources being offered to families at home now by individuals, vendors, institutions, and companies.

    Top 5 tips for Quarantine Homeschooling 

    1. Don’t attempt to replicate school at home

      1. The world is normally our classroom, this is different

      2. Let go of expectations, you don’t have 30 students, you are a facilitator of learning and your child’s parent, not a traditional “teacher”

      3. It’s going to be messy, and that’s ok

      4. Don’t worry about being “behind”, everyone’s in the same boat

    2. Be gentle with yourself, your child, your partner, and your coworkers

      1. We are in an unprecedented situation and everyone, including your children, is under stress

      2. Both parents should share child care and homeschooling to support each other

    3. Ask your children what they’d like to learn

      1. Trying doing “real life” (cooking, chores, gardening, sewing, fixing things, etc.)

      2. Also, read, play, invent, make, build, sing, dance, experiment, have fun!

      3. This document has loads of resources for those who are suddenly homeschooling

    4. Learning doesn’t only happen with a book at a desk

      1. Try something different, your kids will learn no matter what you end up doing

      2. Self-directed learning is the best kind, what is your child passionate about?

    5. Be flexible

      1. Share child duties so each parent has focused work time

      2. Use the internet or games as a tool, but don’t feel guilty if you need to rely on them at times to get things done

      3. Academics and learning doesn’t have to take place only during regular school hours

  • Online Piano Instruction

    (9 replies)

    Do you have a recommendation for a piano instructor who could teach by Zoom or some online format? Teaching 2 girls, ages 5 and 8. The piano teacher can reside anywhere, really. But should be fun, creative, patient, engaging. Or could you advise where I might search for an online piano teacher? Thank you!

    RE: Online Piano Instruction ()

    My seven year old daughter is continuing her piano lessons on Facetime with her teacher Nava Dunkleman.  You can find her here:  We feel lucky to have found such a good fit for our family.  Nava is gentle, patient and fun.  She was coming to our house, but remote lessons are working well too.  My daughter, who was ready to quit the piano entirely, now practices without my reminding!

    RE: Online Piano Instruction ()

    Ronna Honigman, she is a great teacher! I don't know if she has space for new students, her email address is 88keysforkids [at] She's been teaching my son since 2011 @ her studio in El Cerrito and now online due to the Shelter in place order. 

    RE: Online Piano Instruction ()

    Our seven-year-old daughter takes piano with Ayden Graham - aydengraham [at]  Our usual lessons are after school on campus at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland, but he has moved to teaching via Zoom and it has gone well for us.    I've been listening in on lessons and he is very patient and teaching her more than I remember learning when I was that age.

  • Kids chess online with a friend

    (3 replies)

    My son is in 2nd grade, loves chess, and would like to have virtual chess playdates with buddies from school. (possibly with facetime set up next to him so they can talk while playing.) When I google, I am overwhelmed by options and wonder if anyone has already figured out the best solution to this.  I'm not interested in him playing against a computer or playing strangers on the internet. It's not about learning chess. It's about having some social time with friends during this time away from school. Any recommendations? Thank you!

    We have been using Chess with Friends app since last week to play with family and friends.  There are ads to close but it works great otherwise and is free! We all had to download the app and make usernames but that was it.

    My daughter just started playing chess with a friend on the app. It’s great! They FaceTime at the same time using a separate device.

    My third grader uses ChessKid app on our iPAD. It seems to work fine. Would you like to join and play with us?

  • Desperate for Virtual Workouts for Adults

    (21 replies)

    My kid is occupied pretty well with virtual school 5 days a week but I am going out of my mind with boredom and inactivity. Does anyone have any recommendations to share for Zoom group workouts for adults? (Yoga, weights, HIIT, stretching, etc.) I don't have a stationary bike and I'm not looking for youtube video workouts. I could really use some interaction with actual people, preferably through Zoom as that is the virtual software I'm most familiar with. Thank you!!

    My women's boot camp (Oakland Adventure Boot Camp) has started offering a Zoom class daily at 7:45AM. Email Anna Gunn for the details: oaklandbootcamp [at] 

    There are many sources for online yoga, some of which are recorded and some are in real-time through Zoom, which definitely gives more of a sense of a real class. Check out The Green Yogi (a fantastic local studio), which is offering real-time classes with a few of their best teachers (sliding scale for payment). There are tons of other sources too, some free, including many recorded classes on Twitch (search "quarantine yoga" to find some). I don't know about the other types of classes you mentioned but I'm sure there are many options available. Good luck!

    I just went on the YMCA website and they have loads of classes via Zoom.  You don't have to log in so I don't think you have to be a member.

  • Online yoga for kids

    (5 replies)

    Can anyone recommend online yoga classes for kids? (Other than Cosmic Kids Yoga.) Also open to live online classes, but they have to be in the afternoon. My kid is six. Thank you!

    RE: Online yoga for kids ()

    Barefoot Yoga in Oakland is doing live kids and family classes--may be worth checking their schedule to see if a time works for you, and help support a local business in the process.

    RE: Online yoga for kids ()

    Hi, Yama Kids Yoga is doing online classes and they have live classes in the afternoon.

    RE: Online yoga for kids ()

    Yama Kids Yoga (physical location Elmwood, though obviously closed now) has online classes. Go to to sign up. We are trying an online class later today, so I can't speak to that aspect, but my son loved the in person classes we previously went to.