If you and your family have chosen to stay at home due to COVID-19, you might be looking for some great ideas and resources to keep your kids entertained and learning during the upcoming school holidays.
Here you can find online activities perfect for kids and families. From crafts, recipes and storytimes, to performances, museums and educational games, there is something for everyone.
While kids have access to heaps of online fun from home, many of us, parents, can be pleased that their kids are doing something educational and not just playing video games. A double win, isn't it?
Online educational resources for kids
Video games are not the only way kids can use technology. There are lots of great resources online for educational games and activities for children of various ages and tastes.
Learn about Space
NASA Kids’ Club is a safe online space for kids to learn about NASA and its missions through various games and interactive activities of various skill levels. Children pre-K through grade 4 and above can enjoy these games as part of their STEM education.
The NASA Kids' Club Picture Show is a fantastic image gallery of NASA's coolest pictures.
This slideshow ‘Find out who is on the Space station’ shows your young explorers the crew who are orbiting Earth on the International Space Station.
Download their awesome Aa-Zz activity sheets, so you can practice writing the alphabet with your kids while learning some vocabulary words.
A free website to learn from home
Scholastic.com has created a free site where kids can learn from home. With some Australian schools closed and the school holidays approaching quickly, your kids can keep learning, reading, thinking, and growing with the day-by-day projects provided on this website.
Every day can include four separate learning experiences, which are built around an interesting and relevant story or video. Let your kids do them on their own, or as an exciting family activity.
How to start? Simply choose one of the grade levels: Pre-K and Kindergarten, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6+ and let the learning begin.
Free e-lessons for kids
E-learning for kids provides many free e-lessons. Simply hit the “Kids - start here” button on their homepage, pick a grade and area you want to explore. It could be Maths, Science, Environmental Skills, Computer Skills, Health, Language Arts, or Life Skills.
Learn how to read
Starfall.com helps kids in kindergarten, pre-K and grades 1-3 start their learning journey.
A $35 annual membership allows accessing their full program that expands on the free content and includes animated songs, maths, and reading activities. The website content was developed to become a great tool specifically for kids with special needs and learning difficulties.
Cool educational games
ABCya provides over 400 fun and educational games for grades Pre-K through to grade 6. Founded by teachers and parents, they create their games believing that the learning process can be fun. Just pick a class and subject, and your kids can have fun while learning multiplication, parts of speech, typing, pattern recognition, and much more.
Their free access allows mobile access to 6 games each week, while their unlimited access costs $69.99.
Even more great educational games and activities
An awesome website with educational games and activities created for kids in grades Pre-K through year 8, Funbrain offers hundreds of games, books and videos that help your kids develop their skills in maths, reading, problem-solving and literacy. Take a look, and you'll love it from the first try!
Fairy Tales online
Storyline Online streams videos featuring famous actors who read children’s books. Those celebrities include Allison Janney, Chris O’Dowd, Kristen Bell, Michelle Yeoh, Rami Malek, Viola Davis, Oprah Winfrey, and many more.
You may know that reading aloud to your kids can improve their reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, general academic aptitude, and inspire them to love reading!
Their fantastic collection of books can surely impress even picky little readers.
Craft, play and solve
Want your kids to have even more creative fun during the upcoming school holidays? Check out Highlights Kids. Their awesome crafts and recipes, jokes and quizzes, games and puzzles, podcasts and playlists can become an absolute hit for your kids.
Learn about our planet
If your kids love science, the National Geographic Kids website is your best choice! Find engaging articles and games on core subjects like English, Maths and Science as well as Geography, History, Art and Culture. They are masters in making learning fun and accessible.
Your little explorers can unearth some pretty awesome stuff there. They will discover amazing facts from around our planet and uncover curious creatures from both land and sea, ancient mysteries and civilisations, incredible destinations and natural wonders.
The Cat in the Hat and his friends
You and your kids can access the incredible legacy of Dr Seuss online by discovering the characters from his famous stories and watching the cartoons' classics.
Museum virtual tours for kids and families
Most museums around the country have closed for protective measures against COVID-19.
If you and your kids love art, there are great ways to immerse yourself in culture and education while you’re on quarantine at home. There is so much to see and explore online as the most famous museums now offer virtual tours.
Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world, bringing everyone a fantastic opportunity to visit famous museums around the globe by getting virtual tours and online exhibits.
Buckle up! As of now, you can visit the most famous museum sitting on your couch.
Google's collection includes museums and galleries like:
- MOMA The Museum of Modern Art in New York,
- Children's Museum of the Arts in New York
- Albertina in Wien,
- Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam,
- Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney,
- National Gallery of Australia in Canberra,
- The British Museum in London,
- Tokyo National Museum in Taito City,
and hundreds of other places where you have an excellent opportunity to learn about art, history, and science.
These collections are especially useful for kids and students who are looking for ways to stay on top of their studies while you are not at school.
Take a virtual tour at some of the top museums around providing your kids with fresh new exhibitions and learning experiences.
- Discover the International Museum of Children's Art in Oslo, the world's first full-scale Museum of Child Art. The museum's art collection contains artworks created by children from more than 180 countries.
- Take a tour at Gyeonggi Children's Museum in Yongin-si, South Korea. This is the first independent and experience-based museum for children in Korea. Being an exciting learning space, it is customized for kids, covering a wide range of subjects and concepts to boost imagination and creativity.
- Explore the Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo, which boasts a comprehensive collection of artworks and antiquities from Japan and other Asian countries.
- Enjoy Albertina in Wien that is well known for its graphic art collections and that displays the most important European collections of international modern art.
- The iconic British Museum in London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover Egyptian mummies. Kids will be excited to see hundreds of artefacts on the museum’s virtual tour.
Opera, circus and ballet online performances for families with kids
Where to watch opera online?
Even more good news for culture lovers! The Metropolitan Opera in New York offers free streaming shows every night at 7:30 p.m. starting from March 16. It is an incredible opportunity to watch a different show every day. Every performance will be available for 23 hours, up until 6:30 p.m. EDT the following day.
However, due to unprecedented demand and web traffic, MET recommends accessing the stream through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple and Amazon devices and Samsung Smart TV.
Enjoy opera and ballet at Vienna Opera in Wien, which offers online broadcasting of 45 of their performances. You can watch them on your computer, mobile device, Samsung SmartTV or Apple TV.
Want to watch the circus online?
You are now able to watch Cirque du Soleil online for free as of 27 March 2020 on YouTube. It's a real gift for the fans who missed their shows due to current restrictions on public gatherings.
Watch the KURIOS shows for free below.
Where to watch ballet online?
Don't miss the free Bolshoi Theatre's performances!
The Bolshoi Theatre is going to present another four performances on its official YouTube channel up until 10 April 2020, for free:
- On April 1, "The Tsar's Bride" Opera in four acts.
- On April 4, the "Marco Spada" ballet performance in three acts
- On April 7, the "Boris Godunov" opera, performed in four acts.
- On April 10, "The Nutcracker" ballet in two acts.
The broadcasts will begin at 7 pm Moscow time (3:00 am Melbourne time next day), and their recordings will be available on YouTube for the following 24 hours after the show ends. Don't forget to set a reminder and enjoy!
If you like these ideas for keeping your kids happy, busy and learning, share this article with your friends and community!
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Looking for school holiday dates in Australia?
School holiday dates 2020 for all Australian states: the ACT, NSW, QLD, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory
Need school holiday dates in New Zealand?
Here you go! School holidays dates and fun school holiday activities in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Queenstown, Christchurch, Fiordland and other places.