19 free online activities to keep your kids educated and entertained at home all summer long

July 29 , 2020 12:30 PM

Dad washing up while mum looks after daughter and uses laptop

As the summer continues, parents are trying to maintain an impossible balance: Keeping kids entertained and safe, and working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re looking for some ways to keep kids entertained while sneaking in some educational content, try giving these expert-approved online activities a try.

The 19 activities below are all free to use, but may require parents to create an account on some sites.

1. The Wave Learning Festival: These three-week courses, taught online by college students, teach middle and high schoolers about topics ranging from accounting to stand-up comedy!

2. Child Mind Institute’s Parenting During the Coronavirus: Parents aren’t the only ones having a hard time right now—the pandemic is taking its toll on kids, too. Daily Q&A video sessions with child psychologists can help families navigate this difficult period.

3. The Crayola At-Home Creative Hub: Who needs art class? Get started on some DIY craft projects with step-by-step instructions on projects like a festive wreath. There’s easier crafts, too, like printable coloring pages for both kids and adults!

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4. JumpStart Academy: With a free math program available all summer long, this course can help children in kindergarten through sixth grade master core math concepts across four main subjects: Operations, Measurement & Data, Fractions & Geometry.

5. Prodigy Math: Looking for even more math learning? This curriculum-aligned math platform, used by many school districts, has free video game style math learning for students in first through eighth grade.

6. HISTORY at Home: The History Channel started “HISTORY at Home”—a free video series of brief history lessons designed to teach, inspire and motivate children airing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

7. Sesame Street: Sesame Street is offering special resources during the pandemic. Their website is filled with videos, playful learning activities, and ways to help families stay physically and mentally healthy.

8. NBC’s Nightly News Kids Edition: The NBC News family has put together content to explain current events in a kid-friendly way.

9. Learning Resources: Educational toy company Learning Resources is offering tons of free worksheets, printable and DIY activities for children aged 2 through 8.

10. KIDZ BOP YouTube: The KIDZ BOP YouTube channel has free dance-along videos so your kids can squeeze a physical activity in.

11. National Geographic Kids: National Geographic Kids has a site full of free educational videos, games, and activities that center on wildlife and preservation, social studies and more. Kids can sink their teeth into a quiz all about sharks or explore a continent by watching a “Destination World” video.

12. Metropolitan Opera: Each week the Metropolitan Opera is offering one opera specially selected for young audience members around the world, along with a collection of educational materials that will help viewers engage with and enjoy the performance.

13. Duolingo: Learn a language! Duolingo is a free program offering instruction in different languages—including Arabic, Welsh, and Spanish— all in a colorful and easy-to-follow format that feels more like a game than a class.

14. Thames & Kosmos Science at Home: Thames & Kosmos, the company behind lots of at-home science kits, has introduced a new Science at Home portal. It’s filled with downloadable instructions for everything ranging from DIY science experiments to fun videos showcasing scientific effects.

15. Storyline: Enjoy story time with a read from a celebrity! The site offers a selection of videos of famous actors reading children’s books.

16. Philadelphia Zoo: The Philadelphia Zoo is hosting a “Philly Zoo at 2,” where each weekday at 2:00 PM East Coast Time, they introduce viewers to one of the zoo’s animals.

17. Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos for K-14 and test prep video that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.

18. Ted Ed: Ted Ed provides thought-provoking and educational videos on a range of topics and also includes quizzes, further readings and discussion boards.

19. Smithsonian Learning Lab: Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free resource that provides access to easy-to-use tools to explore ideas such as taking a journey through an exploded star or creating projects.