Fun at Home: Free Online Resources for Kids
Are you running out of things to do with the kids? Want to keep them entertained but also learning independently at home? It can be tough to find online resources that are 100% free, but we’ve got you covered!
From toddlers to teens, there’s something for everyone on our list below – so pick out a few things that catch your eye and open up a whole new world for your kids… right from the comfort of your own home. ????
Traveling Around the World
Explore to your heart’s content with amazing glimpses into museums, galleries, zoos, and aquariums worldwide! Children can learn about art, history, geography, and science, and get a peek into the daily lives of animals with these virtual tours and live-streaming cameras:
- 10 famous museums explored via indoor Google Streetview tours.
- Virtual field trips showcasing heritage sites, street art, science spaces, and more.
- Live travel via EarthCam, with webcam views of popular destinations and unique landmarks around the globe.
- Streaming camera views from Aquarium of the Pacific and the Georgia Aquarium, showing beluga whales, puffins, otters, piranhas, penguins, sea lions, and jellyfish.
- Zoo webcams featuring land animals of all kinds – elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, polar bears, and more.
Kids can also complete educational activities while exploring the National Zoo’s animal cams! The downloadable packet is available on the zoo webcam page here.
Brain Games & Creativity
Spark your child’s interest in geography with GeoGuessr! It’s a browser-based game where you find yourself dropped into a random location anywhere in the world – and using Google Streetview-style maps, you can travel around to pick up clues about where you are. Once you’re ready, you pinpoint your estimated location on a world map and see how close you got!
Gather points, compete with friends, and build your knowledge of the furthest corners of the globe… The website offers unlimited play with 2D panorama view, as well as free once-a-day play using classic 360° Google Streetview when you create an account.
Some other great websites with games for younger children include:
- PBS Kids Games
- National Geographic Kids
- FunBrain (where you can even read books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid!)
- Cool Math 4 Kids
Plus, you can spark your child’s creativity with hundreds of arts and crafts activities from The Artful Parent, free printable coloring pages on the Crayola website, and artistic challenges and science experiments from TinkerLab.
That’s hours of fun for kids of all ages – and parents might even want to participate, too!
Free Classes & Online Lessons
Did you know there are over 400 free courses from Ivy League schools available online?
If your older teen is interested in learning more about classical music, sustainable development, modern American poetry, the Civil War, or any of a huge number of topics, they’ll find a ton of classes here to enrich their knowledge! (And best of all, many of the courses are self-paced, so they can be completed anytime, as fast or as slow as desired.)
The Museum of Modern Art also just launched a series of five beginner courses covering contemporary art, fashion, and photography. Art lovers will definitely appreciate the introduction to modern art, abstract painting, and fashion design – while budding photographers can explore the difference between seeing and understanding images. Get those creative juices flowing!
For younger kids, check out the grade-specific guided lessons, worksheets, and independent study packets from sites like Education.com (for preschool through fifth grade), Great Schools (providing thousands of printable worksheets), Scholastic (with their Learn at Home Program for kids up to ninth grade), and PBS Kids (offering lessons on emotions, self-awareness, and social skills in addition to traditional classroom subjects).
Last but not least, there’s the amazing nonprofit Khan Academy. With a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere, their standards-aligned instructional content is proven to help students meet grade-level requirements from K-12. Your child can enjoy free personalized learning – including AP lessons and SAT prep! – developed in partnership with school districts across America.
Making the Most of YouTube
From sing-alongs and recipes to storytime with celebrities… YouTube has it all! The following channels offer a great variety of kid-friendly videos for children and teens:
- Sesame Street – songs, crafts, simple recipes, and clips from classic episodes.
- Storyline Online – a huge collection of videos featuring celebrities reading books aloud, with accompanying animations.
- Brave Wilderness – exploring the great outdoors and crazy bugs and animals with Coyote Peterson!
- Smithsonian Channel – highly engaging content about nature, history, and the animal kingdom.
- TED-Ed – short educational videos for kids from the nonprofit responsible for TED Talks.
- SciShow – great for teenagers, a science-based exploration of what makes the universe tick!
- Crash Course – a series of 15-minute crash courses for older students on a huge selection of topics.
- Nerdy Nummies – a creative baking show with Disney, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pokemon, Minecraft, and other geeky-themed recipes.
- America’s Test Kitchen – expertly tested recipes and kitchen tutorials suitable for older kids.
- Plus music and dance videos for little ones from The Learning Station, KIDZ BOP, and The Kiboomers.
That’s it for now… We hope you and your family have a wonderful time checking out these amazing online resources. There’s a whole world out there to explore!