Between school closures, social distancing and spring break, many kids are stuck at home. Face it, there’s only so many times you can watch Frozen or Nick Jr. shows. To keep their busy brains from getting rusty, try these FREE and fun educational websites to help they stay occupied and learn from home.
Harry Potter At Home
Bring Happy Potter and all the Hogwarts characters (and creatures) into your home. You’ll find all the latest things to keep you occupied – from special activity kits from Bloomsbury to Scholastic, to nifty magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!) fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and more. They’re casting a Banishing Charm on boredom. You’ll also find out how to read the first Harry Potter book for free.
Peanuts Worldwide is offering free educational materials that give students from Kindergarten through eighth grade the chance to develop their STEM, language arts, and social studies skills with the help of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the whole Peanuts Gang.
All the materials were developed by the award-winning curriculum specialists at Young Minds Inspired (YMI), the nation’s leading provider of free educational outreach programs. Besides the lesson plans, Peanuts also offers free out-of-this-world coloring pages featuring Astronaut Snoopy and his crew.
Hasbro’s Bring Home The Fun
Explore this new website for family-focused resources, including tips for family playtime, activity challenges to keep kids occupied, ideas for using games and toys to stimulate kids’ brains, and suggestions on how to cope with increased emotional stress.
Features crafts using Play-Doh compounds, trick-shot challenges that get kids up and active with Nerf blasters, entertaining content including Transformers, Power Rangers, My Little Pony, and more.
The new, free online resource which features activities and content from the company’s iconic portfolio of brands including American Girl, Barbie, Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and more, along with play-from-home information and tips, for parents and caregivers to encourage kids to keep playing.
The site gives parents and caregivers easy access to content from Mattel brands including printable coloring pages, puzzles and activities, free and ready-to-play games featuring Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and others, crafting and DIY projects, animated, stop-motion and live-action videos and downloadable apps.
Do you know how to get to Sesame Street? I do. Younger kids will love all the activities they can do online through Sesame Workshop from home. From playing games to learning letters and colors. They can watch literally hundreds of the shows video clips that will keep them busy for hours.
If you sign up for a FREE Sesame Street account you can get access to more games, videos, start favoriting content and more.
I’m a huge fan of PBS, but had no clue there was a section designed just for kids. Each of the educational shows your children watch on PBS has its own learning section through PBSKids.org.
The site has a ton of activities such as counting games, sing-alongs and more. PBS Kids Games App includes nearly 200 educational games, which can be downloaded for offline play anytime, anywhere. You can also sign up for a FREE newsletter with daily tips and activities you can use to help kids learn and play at home.
Scholastic Learn At Home
As we reported in this post, the educational company has launched a FREE “Learn at Home” website that has daily courses for students from Pre-K to grades 6 and higher. Scholastic Learn At Home provides approximately three hours of learning opportunities per day, for up to four weeks of instruction.
Scholastic’s learning plans cover all the subjects your student would be taking at school. The digital learning hub covers ELA, STEM, Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning.
Home Schooled with The Moth
The Moth’s Education Program is publishing a weekly storytelling activity. Each Tuesday, the website will bring you a story from The Moth’s archive paired with fun and educational activities including how to write or tell your own story, journal prompts, word searches and reflection questions. These activities are designed for you and your child or young adult to enjoy the power of storytelling.
Designed for tweens and teens, Amazon Future Engineer is offering FREE online computer science classes (including coding, statistics and computer science principles) to any student. All middle school and high school classes, including Advanced Placement, are provided through Edhesive. Students and teachers will maintain free access through August 31.
NatGeo @ Home
I used to write for National Geographic Kids magazine so was thrilled to see their new online presence. NatGeo@Home combines the enriching educational resources of the National Geographic Society with the fun and informational offerings of National Geographic Kids to create an online hub to help future explorers fill their time and their minds.
From boredom busters and games, to videos and live daily talks with National Geographic Explorers, NatGeo@Home aims to help inspire young people and support caregivers by offering a one-stop destination from a brand they know and trust. Kids of all ages can get interesting tidbits about animals, see and share photos of nature, learn about different countries and try science experiments.
Time for Kids
From the publishers of TIME magazine, TIMEforKids.com has tons of stuff just for the younger crowd. The sites is filled with stories, photos and videos with sections devoted to business, the; environment, science, health, history and current events.
Stories are also divided by grade from K to 6, so you can choose the appropriate level. Time for Kids may be more suitable for older kids as it isn’t as interactive as some of the others.
Once THE monthly magazine every kid waited for in his or her mailbox, Highlights is now digital only and branded Highlights Kids. But you’ll still find games, craft projects, things to explore and other activities, just like in the former magazine. There’s even a joke section and kids can send in their own jokes and riddles.
Learning Games for Kids
This site is full of everything learning when it comes to kids. These online learning games and songs for kids are fun, teach important skills for preschool and elementary school kids and they’re free. The games help build skills in math, language, science, social studies and more.
Old Farmers Almanac for Kids
The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids features riddles, puzzles, a question of the day, a timeline of interesting history facts, sky events and weather conditions to track at home with your children.
Daily STEAM Challenges are posted to their Facebook and Instagram pages every day by 9 a.m. When people like and follow their page, they will see the challenges every morning. It is free to participate and the winners are announced the following day.
Kiddos receive bragging rights and are entered into the weekly live drawing held every Saturday morning by 11 a.m. Prizes include LEGO sets, various LEGO items, interactive virtual classes, virtual playdates and more.
Find an array of STEM activities including paper model kits, coloring pages, step-by-step instructions to make a telescope, Worldview-3 Label activity and more. Great resources for parents and teachers, too.
Download children’s digital content including apps, story books, coloring books, audio books and music all for free from Sidewalk Stories The Lemonade Landing Mat. Sammie Squirrelly has lemonade that doesn’t belong to him. Which Sidewalk path will he choose? A, B or C? Join Bethany Butterfly and friends at The Magical ABC Sidewalk and sing the Stop-Think-Act Song to unravel the mystery of…Sidewalk Stories The Lemonade Landing Mat.
Very timely, thank you so much. Renee Moore. 3/19/2020
I am an educator and these will be useful sites to add to my lessons. Thanks!
This is fabulous! Thanks so much!