Have kids bouncing off the walls? Check out this huge list of fun educational activities for kids and keep them busy and entertained while stuck at home.
A couple of years ago, when we decided to give homeschooling a try, I’m not going to lie. I was overwhelmed. I wanted so badly for the entire experience to be enriching and nurturing and not feel like a school structure, but I didn’t even know where to start!
Now, we’ve been at this for awhile, and I feel like I’ve built up a good arsenal of educational activities for kids. Of course, we use an actual curriculum to make sure we’re hitting all the right areas throughout the year, but during our down time, we have no shortage of activities to pull from.
The last couple of weeks, the rest of the country has been in turmoil. Schools have been closing, and parents who don’t usually homeschool have been left very suddenly having to face this without any direction.
There have been tons of posts all over social media with advice, and it made me realize that if I’d had some of these resources listed out for me when I first got started, I would have felt a lot less overwhelmed.
So, I decided to make a list of our family’s favorite educational activities for kids. Some of these are actual homeschool resources, and some of these we just consider fun. But, whether you’ve suddenly been presented the challenge of doing school at home through this pandemic, or whether you’re just a new homeschool mom looking for ideas to fill your days, this list is for you.
Free Educational Activities for Kids
Scholastic: We loved their book fairs as kids, but did you know they have a website full of free learning activities, worksheets, and projects to keep kids learning and growing? Be sure to check out their website and see what’s available!
Education.com: I’m listing this resource under “free,” but some of their stuff does require a premium membership. Still, there are tons of free downloads on the site. Check them out here.
Highlights: This website is free and full of fun educational activities for kids. Find a selection of games, quizzes, jokes, podcasts, crafts, recipes, and more. Check out everything they have to offer on their website.
Cosmic Kids Yoga: One of our favorite ways to “get the wiggles out” during our days is with yoga, and Cosmic Kids Yoga has some really fun themed videos the kids love. Charlotte is especially in love with the Trolls and Alice in Wonderland themed practices. Go check out their YouTube channel here.
Junior Ranger Programs: It’s been almost 4 years since we first discovered the Junior Ranger program through Yellowstone National Park. My oldest became obsessed, and every time we’ve visited a participating park since then, she’s earned another badge. Recently, I learned that many of the parks have programs you can complete at home! This post has a huge list of Junior Ranger badges that can be earned either by mail or online!
Poetry Tea Time: We got this idea from Julie over at BraveWriter, and my kids absolutely love it. Once a month, we pull out the table cloth, thrift store tea set, and bake (or buy) a fun treat. Then, we grab all of our Shel Silverstein (and other fun poetry), and read poems together. There’s no time limit, no structure, and no rules. We just enjoy the poems and snacks until we’re all done.
Subscriptions and Services
Netflix: Okay, I know. We’re trying to keep our kids off screens. But still, sometimes we need down time, and you can find tons of documentaries and educational shows on Netflix that can help your kids learn about a variety of topics. This post has a list of educational shows broken down by age to get you started.
Outschool: Outschool offers unique virtual classes in tons of different subjects and based on your child’s interests. You can find everything from Harry Potter themed writing classes to JoJo Siwa beginner hip hop classes and everything in between, all on the same platform. You pick and choose which classes you want, and pay individually, so there’s no monthly financial commitment. Just be sure to read the description carefully. Some classes are only one day, while others are recurring. Check out what they have to offer here!
Starfall: Starfall has a combination of free and paid content to help young kids (up to grade 3) reading and math using games, songs, movies, and books. You can sign up here to get access.
National Geographics Shows: We recently got with the times and bought our Disney+ subscription, months after everyone else. I was pleasantly surprised to see a whole NatGeo section on the channel that’s loaded with fun documentaries the kids love. Grab your free trial here.
Teachers Pay Teachers: If you’re on the hunt for printables, lesson plans, and activities for your kids, TPT is an amazing resource. You’ll find a wide variety of educational activities for kids, put together by actual teachers, that you can download and use at home. While a lot of it does cost a little, there are even some fun downloads and activities you can find for free! Check it out here to see what they offer.
Games and Subscription Boxes
ABC Mouse: If you’ve never heard of ABC Mouse, it’s an online learning platform for younger kids that teaches everything from colors to letters, and even math and reading. The lessons are designed to be fun for kids so they actually enjoy spending their screen time learning.
Kiwi Crate: KiwiCo is a subscription based company that focuses on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) with hands-on projects delivered monthly. You can subscribe monthly, or grab several months at a time so they come automatically. You can get a $10 credit by signing up right here!
Board Games: Board games are an amazing activity to keep your kids brains busy at home. They’re fun for the whole family, but the kids get to learn a variety of skills at the same time. Check out this post for a list of educational board games, plus reviews!
Fun Enrichment Activities
Of course, there’s more to life than learning to read and do math. As part of our day, we try to encourage our kids to explore their interests, work on personal growth, and learn about new things. These are some of our favorite activities that aren’t strictly educational, but still expand on our kids’ worlds:
- Podcasts like Wow in the World and Buy Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids are really fun and a great way to add something new to our kids lives.
- Have kids that enjoy art? They can enjoy free art lessons at Art for Kids Hub on YouTube
- Work on self confidence and positive mindset at home with the Big Life Journal
More Fun Resources for Learning at Home
Need more ideas to keep busy? Check out these other lists and resources from awesome bloggers!
- 75+ Entertaining and Educational Activities for When You’re Stuck Indoors from Learn in Color
- 30 Science Activities for Kids from Darcy and Brian
- Exploring Nature with Children (an e-book with weekly nature activities) from Raising Little Shoots
Educational Activities for Kids: Final Thoughts
I don’t know about your kids, but if mine go too long without planned activities, they start bouncing off the walls. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about summer vacation, spring break, new homeschoolers, or sudden school closures. This list of educational activities for kids will be sure to help keep your kids busy and their brains growing. Give some of these activities a try, and be sure to share the list with some of your other mom friends who may be struggling!
More Homeschooling Resources from The Angie Cruise Blog:
- From Public School to Homeschool: Our Reasons Behind the Switch
- Free Valentine’s Day Printables Your Kids will Love
- Thanksgiving Word Search: A Free Thanksgiving Printable
- The Best Homemade Play Doh Recipe
- How to Entertain Kids While You Work from Home