15 Resources for parents to keep kids busy at home

15 Resources to Keep Your Kids Busy at Home

Although many states are starting to relax their stay home orders, schools in most districts are out of session until the fall. Whether you have several littles at home, one toddler, or a range in ages, you know exactly how hard it can be to keep your kiddos entertained, engaged, learning, or plain-old out of trouble. If you or your partner is also working from home, please know we feel your pain! We’ve collected 15 fantastic (mostly free!) resources to help keep your sanity while also keeping your child(ren) busy. 

Dozens of services are offering really amazing extended free versions or free trials, but it’s never fun to find that surprise charge when you forget. One quick word of caution about free trials: if a site or service asks for your credit card, make sure you either are prepared to pay after the free trial, or set a calendar event to remind you to cancel before the paid subscription starts. 

Learning & Education Resources

  1. Online Courses for Kids by Scholastic Scholastic is offering free online courses so your kids can keep learning while schools are closed. This learn at home website  has daily courses from PreK through grades 6 and higher. Rich stories and meaningful projects will keep kids academically active.
  2. Sesame Street | Content you can use all day long to spark playful learning. Sesame Street is offering free online and offline resources and activities for learning through play.
  3. Educational Games & Activities by PBS Kids PBS KIDS Daily is a newsletter for PBS kids offering daily activities and learning for families. 
  4. Free Resources, FAQ for Families Educating at Home This list from National School Choice Week offers free online resources and answers to commonly asked questions about homeschooling and online schooling. The list includes 100+ free resources for teachers and schools shifting to  online learning.

Virtual Field Trips

  1. Virtual Museum Tours These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch. Experience the best museums from London to Seoul in the comfort of your own home. You can also Google other museums to see which are offering online tours and exhibits.
  2. Home Safari on Facebook Live Cincinnati Zoo is Bringing the Zoo to You! Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Daily is streaming daily Facebook live sessions from the zoo to provide fun and educational content to adults and kids alike.
  3. Oceans Initiative’s virtual marine biology camp Whale experts launched this free, virtual marine biology camp to entertain and inform kids. What’s it look like? Well, a group of scientists hang out online and talk about whales, dolphins and other marine life.They’re live streaming their camp on Facebook and Instagram, responding to questions sent in ahead of time and during the session.
  4. Go to Space with NASA TV When not showing live news coverage, NASA TV airs a variety of programming. Viewers may see views of the Earth from the International Space Station; replays of mission operations or news conferences; or episodes of produced programs. Watch on NASA’s website or on their YouTube channel.

Play & Family Fun

  1. DIY HALLWAY LASER MAZE These instructions on how to make a  hallway laser maze work whether you’re in an apartment or a house. It’s easy to set up and will keep kids active and busy as they jump, crawl and climb back and forth. 
  2. Tucson Weekly‘s 16 Things to Do with Your Kids at Home Tucson Weekly put together a great list of online organizations offering content for kids: Pima County Public Libraries, Scratch from MIT, Virtual Museums, Science Kids, National Geographic kids, Streaming movies. You don’t need to live in Arizona to benefit, either!

Health & Self-Care

  1. Yale Online Course: The Science of Well-Being Yale’s most popular class ever is available free online — and the topic is how to be happier in your daily life.
  2. Online Medical Consultations Child Mind Institute is offering clinical and supportive resource, including Facebook Live Chats with experts, remote evaluations and telemedicine, phone consultations, and daily tips for parenting during the crisis via email. 
  3. Virtual Lactation Consultations and Pumping Consultations We’re also here for you, whether you need a Lactation Consultation with an RN, IBCLC, or a Pumping Consultation with one of our pumping experts. Request a virtual consultation and we’ll follow up to schedule a time.
  4. Action for Healthy Kids: School Closures and Food Access The Action for Healthy Kids site includes News and Resource Guides; food access, strategies and school information.
  5. SEL & Self-Care Resources for Educators and Parents Related to COVID-19 As the coronavirus led to school closures, districts are rapidly thinking about ways to continue supporting children’s health, wellbeing, and social-emotional learning at home—whether or not school will resume online. This site offers a list of informational resources, articles, and guides.

Sign up for Nurturing Expressions Exclusive Offers