With library buildings closed right now, many of us are relying on the library’s digital books and movies available at librarypoint.org. In my last column, I focused on OverDrive, Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s platform for eBooks and eAudio, which can be accessed at home with your library card number and PIN. But beyond downloadable books, the library has many other resources, both educational and entertaining, that can be accessed online from the comfort of our homes.
One of the library resources I enjoy talking about the most is Kanopy, the library’s video streaming platform with over 30,000 films to choose from. Kanopy for Kids has full-length children’s movies, short films, and beloved TV series for preschoolers, including Sesame Street, Arthur, Dinosaur Train, and Daniel Tiger.
My favorite Kanopy for Kids offerings are their “Story Time” videos. The illustrations from picture books have been animated, and then the creators added theatrical narration, music, and sound effects to create a short movie. Creepy Carrots, by Aaron Reynolds, is one of the books that has been brought to life this way, and the spooky chuckles that come from the carrots in this laugh-out-loud picture book add a new level of enjoyment to this story. Mo Willems, one of today’s most popular picture book authors, has several books here. Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus is hilarious, with a chorus of children’s voices answering the pigeon’s pleas to drive the bus while the driver is gone (the answer to the pigeon is always “NO!”). Jazzy music in the background mirrors the pigeon’s jaunty attitude and allows us to experience the book as a multi-sensory experience.
Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins, is another favorite picture book that kids will love to watch come to life. Bruce’s grumpy sighs and grunts perfectly convey his crotchety nature at the beginning of the story, making his reluctant adoption of baby geese all the more comical. The list of titles available in Kanopy for Kids’ “Story Time” collection is tremendous. In addition to animated versions of current picture book favorites, there are classics, such as Rosie's Walk and The Little Red Hen. There are also stories here with historical and cultural significance, to generate discussion or use in a homeschool lesson, such as Ellington Was Not a Street, by Ntozake Shange, and Martin’s Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport. More titles about historical figures and events can be found in Kanopy for Kids’ section “Tales from History.”
There is a great selection of videos on Kanopy for Kids that are helpful for at-home learning. Several language learning videos designed especially for kids introduce Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and more. Most of these are set up as a series, so when you click on a selected video, you’ll be taken to a screen listing each unit in that series and what is covered in each unit. To get started, you click on “Play First Video” or select whichever unit in the series you’d like to continue with.
There’s also the "Explore Science and Math" section of Kanopy for Kids, which has educational videos and video series just for kids in early elementary grades. There are popular TV series here like SciGirls, Wild Kratts, and Zoboomafoo, as well as video series for specific topics. The "Animals" series has six videos, each of which is about ten minutes long and describes a different animal group, such as mammals, birds, or reptiles. The "Exploring Matter" series includes short videos on how matter is described, chemical changes, and particles.
To watch videos on Kanopy for Kids, all you need is a library card number and PIN. If you don’t already have one, go to librarypoint.org/card to get a card number via email (there’s no charge), and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer!
Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.