Best Free Online Learning Activities for Kids

Best Free Online Learning Activities for Kids

You may try to limit screen time for your kids, but sometimes you (and they) need the break it provides. Fortunately, there are plenty of enriching activities for kids online. Even better, lots of them are free.

We've found a few here so that you and your kids can do some Pokémon-inspired yoga, conduct science experiments, and more. You're sure to find a perfect solution for filling a rainy day now that school's no longer in session—or just for getting a little time to yourself.

1. America's Test Kitchen

Are you serving as full-time chef for your household? Get your kids to help out without them even realizing it. Back in the early days of the pandemic, America’s Test Kitchen put together Kitchen Classroom, which has fun videos about food, activities, and, yes, easy-to-follow recipes. Kids can get into making their own bread, start their day with homemade granola, cook up their favorite chicken tenders, or make some arepas con queso while they fire up Encanto again. 

2. Cosmic Kids Yoga

Yoga and mindfulness have many benefits for kids, but they can be a bit boring to a younger crowd. Enter Jaime Amor, the most engaging yoga instructor you'll find anywhere. She's put thousands of hours of content on YouTube on the Cosmic Kids Yoga channel. There are yoga sessions that tell classic and modern tales kids are familiar with (The Wizard of Oz, Frozen), ones that feature popular characters (Spider-Man, Pokémon), and new creations from Amor herself, as well as lots of seasonal and holiday stories. There are playlists for Zen Den and Peace Out features that turn mindfulness and relaxation into fun moments.

3. Funbrain

For educational games for all ages (well, three to 13), there's Funbrain. The site is sorted by grade and kids can find games, videos, and books for their level.

4. GoNoodle

Fit in some phys ed time with GoNoodle. The site has short videos that feature different styles of music with easy dances kids can follow. Videos are organized by channel and can get kids hyped up (NTV or calm them down (Flow). Aside from the routines, there are plenty of projects to keep kids entertained and occupied. Everything on GoNoodle is the work of child-development specialists, educators, and researchers. You can also access GoNoodle on Roku, Apple TV, and mobile devices (Amazon, iOS, Android). 

5. Google Arts & Culture

You don’t have to pay admission fees for kids to walk through museums or burn through your airline miles for them to see the wonders of the world. Google Arts & Culture is filled with a seemingly infinite number of places to “bring” them. Some places to start: meet a Jurassic giant face to face(Opens in a new window), project famous artworks right where you stand, or choreograph a dance with AI. Google Arts & Culture can be used on your computer(Opens in a new window) or on a phone or tablet (iOS, Android). 

6. Khan Academy Kids

Kids might not have friends around them during the day, but they will love learning and playing along with Kodi, Ollo, Reya, Sandy, and Peck in Khan Academy Kids. The five animal friends promote social and emotional development while kids learn language skills and math. They can also hear stories, play games, color, and draw.

7. Learn With Smithsonian

Learn With Smithsonian has an exhaustive collection of art, history, and science learning experiences and projects. There are virtual zoo visits, STEM-friendly activities, and explorations into Ancient Egypt. 

8. SciShow Kids!

Science comes to life with the SciShow Kids! YouTube channel. Jessi, Mister Brown, Squeaks the Robot Lab Rat, and friends answer questions, interview experts, and conduct some wild experiments, such as recreating an asteroid impact and making your own watercolor paint.

9. Storyline Online

Hearing a story read aloud is a pleasure, but especially so when it's being read by celebrated actors. Storyline Online lets your kids (and you) finally hear Ernest Borgnine read The Rainbow Fish or David Harbour read Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book).

10. Time for Kids

News literacy is an important early lesson for kids, but the news is overwhelming enough for adults. Time for Kids(Opens in a new window) solves this with news stories that are filtered by grade as soon as you get to the site. You can choose from kindergarten to first grade, second grade, third to fourth grade, and fifth to sixth grade.

11. Tubi for Kids

Tubi, one of PCMag's top picks for free streaming services, has a nice selection for kids, too. Though much of it might be more familiar to parents than kids (Inspector Gadget!), they can also watch cartoon versions of books that have been turned into cartoons; Madeline, Eloise, and Babar are all delightful. 

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