20+ (Mostly FREE) Online Learning Resources, Apps, and Games for Kids
As COVID-19 shuttered one school after another in recent days, many parents found themselves taking on the new title of "homeschooler" practically overnight. Thankfully, technology has provided us with many ways to stay connected and engaged during this difficult time, including through online lesson plans for kids and other virtual learning opportunities, from museum tours to math and spelling apps to coding classes. Many online education sites are even waiving their fees during the crisis.
Hopefully, this list keeps the whole family entertained and learning, but you can also find more at-home activities and information in our Pandemic Guide for Parents: Activities and Resources, including STEM Fun for Preschoolers and 5 Slime Recipes.
Tour the best museum collections around the globe...virtually! with Google Arts and Culture.
Virtual Learning for Kids of All Ages
Museums with Virtual Tours Through Google Arts and Culture
Many of the world's largest and best museums have closed to encourage social distancing. You can tour the collections of more than 1,200 museums online through the Google Arts and Culture catalog. Start with its top 10 virtual museum tour list, or just browse through the online catalog for top children's museums, or favorite periods or artist. Arts history hour, anyone? FREE
Khan Academy is always free and provides high-quality content for kids (and adults) of all ages. Make sure to check out Khan Kids for the littlest of learners. FREE
Since 2013, Code.org has been providing free online coding classes for students of all ages. Learn how to think like a programmer while completing online modules. FREE
PBS Learning Media
These interactive lesson plans are curricular-aligned to meet standards from preschool all the way through high school. FREE
Sight words, math problems, and more are available for preschoolers and elementary school kids at Starfall.com.
Preschool Online and Remote Learning
This bright and colorful website will appeal to preschoolers and those in the early elementary years, from pre-K through third grade. The activities are easy to find and arranged by discipline, season, or curricular topic. (Some FREE options, also membership options for more content.)
The Cat in the Hat Invents
Everyone’s favorite Cat is the start of this STEM-based website that challenges kids to be engineers and problem-solvers. FREE
Cosmic Kids Yoga
The Cosmic Kids YouTube channel will get your kids moving for a little post- or pre-study yoga break. Kids follow the poses that also help to tell a story in these short (roughly 10 to 15 minute) yoga sessions. (It also streams on Prime.) FREE
Let them craft the day away at DIY.org.
Elementary School Online Education Options
Wow in the World
Wow in the World is a podcast for curious kids and their grown-ups brought to you by the folks at Tinkercast. These 20-30 minute episodes investigate factual real-world stories. FREE
Mystery Science has opened up its most popular science lessons for FREE and easy for remote learning during the coronavirus crisis. Topics range from weather to who invented pizza. Head to your child's grade level for age-appropriate learning. FREE (for now)
Kids can watch videos and learn how to make something all on their own with DIY.org. Older kids will love creating their own videos to upload and share on the platform. A free 14-day trial is available.
Cool Math Games
This site offers tons of games that incorporate math into the strategy, from virtual Chess to more video-game like math games. Search by skill or take a break with some math trivia. FREE
National Geographic Kids
Explore the world through games and videos on National Geographic Kids. Take a quiz about Mars or explore current topics like Kids vs. Plastic. FREE
Rivet is a free reading app that has over 3500 leveled books for kids. FREE
Kids use their programming knowledge to code with Minecraft.
Middle School Online Education
BrainPop began as a collection of short cartoons that taught students about difficult topics. Over the years, it added a number of interactive features, such as games and quizzes. Teachers can request free access to gain to BrainPop’s entire catalog of educational videos, and there is some FREE access to all during the coronavirus outbreak.
Minecraft Education is so much more than "just a game." This learning platform promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving.
Program your own interactive stories with Scratch. This free learning tool develops important skills like problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. FREE
Sign up for a free account and start playing these standards-based math activities. FREE
Ken Burns in the Classroom series poses thought-provoking questions to students and introduces new ideas, perspectives, and primary sources.
High School Online Education Resources
Ken Burns in the Classroom
Ken Burns has been making historical documentaries for nearly half a century. These thoughtfully developed lesson plans truly bring history to life. FREE
This is the modern-day version of the good ol' graphing calculator. The free app will let you graph all the parabolas you want! FREE