It’s pretty difficult right now to go out and find organized family fun. Luckily, there are a lot of Mainers working to bring the fun to you.

People who usually offer in-person cooking classes, dances classes or karate lessons are doing those things online, for free. Several Maine children’s authors are also joining in with live story hours and other activities, while a new Maine web series featuring kids music and activities has just launched.

Here are some suggestions of where to find online activities for kids and families – some happening live, some waiting for you anytime – made by creative Mainers who are stuck in their homes, too.

Chef Amy Kayne and her sons are giving online cooking lessons from their Portland home. Photo courtesy of Amy Kayne


Amy Kayne, a private chef in Portland, is doing weekly kids cooking classes at 11 a.m. on Thursdays. She started the classes for free in March but may start soliciting donations for various community causes. The hourlong classes feature Kayne in her Portland kitchen with her two sons, Nolan, 9, and Jackson, 11. She takes suggestions online for what to make, and so far has made pizza, pesto and Girl Scout cookie ice cream sandwiches, and is considering lessons on dumplings, fried rice and calzones. She wants to focus on things people can make with the stuff they have in their cupboards. Kayne asks that people who want to join the classes go online at around 10:55 a.m. Thursdays and like her Facebook page, 2Gether Private Chefs.


Thirteen-year-old Skylar Cook of Portland is keeping busy at home by giving dance and movement lessons to kids three times a week. “Move with Skylar” features half-hour sessions that can be seen on Facebook live Mondays and Thursdays at 5:15 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. Skylar, who has taken dance herself for 10 years and has taught youngsters in person, got the idea for online lessons after getting a request from one of her mom’s friends who had some bored kids at home. Skylar found she loved doing the online sessions, and expanded them. She says she’s been getting 10 to 30 kids, from preschoolers to dancers of all levels, and touches upon various dance styles. You can join the free sessions on Facebook at Move with Skylar.

Bee Parks and the Hornets star in a new kids web series called “The Hive,” shot in a Rockport home. Photo courtesy of Bee Parks and the Hornets


Brittany Parker has been doing live concerts for kids and families for years as lead singer of Bee Parks and the Hornets, dressed in bumblebee black and yellow. Now that live gigs are on hold, Parker is making a weekly interactive web series for kids called “The Hive” out of her Rockport home. The camera work is done by her fiance, Maine filmmaker Peter Logue, and the shows use a green screen to fun locales and animation. The 20-25 minute shows are geared to ages 3 to 8 and include some stretching, dancing, musics and craft making. New episodes come out Wednesday afternoons.  You can see episodes on Facebook: Bee Parks and the Hornets


Around March 20, Camden-based children’s author Chris Van Dusen decided to start reading one of his books each day, for all the kids who are out of school, he said. As of March 27, he had posted more than 10 videos on his Facebook page of him reading various books, including “If I Built a Car,” “Hattie & Hudson,” “The Circus Ship” and “A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee.” He read “Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee” outdoors at the Camden Snow Bowl. To see all the videos of Van Dusen reading his books, go to Facebook: Chris Van Dusen Author

Maine children’s author Chris Van Dusen has been posting videos of him reading his books. Photo courtesy of Chris Van Dusen

Maine children’s author Lynn Plourde is posting a video of a “read aloud” of one her books every Tuesday, along with links to her website where there are family activities to do for each of her books. She read “Moose, of Course!” wearing moose antlers for a recent posted video. To find the links to the videos and activities, go to Plourde’s author page at Facebook: Lynn Plourde


Some martial arts studios are offering free classes. Fournier’s Leadership Karate, based in Westbrook, has a live streaming “karate PE” class for all skill levels, Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. Teacher Antonio Fournier said he hopes the sessions help kids blow off some steam from being indoors or doing their virtual school work. The lessons are streamed on Zoom or Facebook Live. For more information, go to Fournier’s Leadership Karate page on Facebook and send a message asking for specific details.

Centerpoint Martial Arts in Falmouth is hosting a live and interactive Daily Kids’ Tune Up at 9 a.m. weekdays. It’s free and is best for ages 4 and up. The 30-minute sessions include fun fitness and stretching, karate fundamental skills, balance, discipline and social time. People participate using the Zoom app, and Centerpoint asks that people reserve a spot and get more details online at

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