At-home resources for kids and parents during Covid-19

To our KiwiCo community:

As parents, we share the same concerns about the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, and the impact it will have on our families. Here at KiwiCo, we asked our team to work from home. Many of us have children who will be home with us for the foreseeable future due to school closures.

We know a lot of you are also trying to find a new normal, including keeping your kids busy at home. So today, we’re launching a resource hub for parents to help support learning at home, with loads of stay-at-home educational activities for every age, tips from teachers on effective remote learning, and kid-friendly content that connects science with their daily lives. To start with, we’re bringing you an explanation of the science of handwashing, to help kids understand why it’s so important. We’re going to be adding new content and resources to the hub regularly. We’ll also be switching up our newsletter to bring you helpful resources more frequently, and you can follow us on Instagram for daily updates.

Please take care of yourself, and reach out if we can help. We’re here to support you and your family during this time. We’re in this together.

Founder & Mom of 3


5 Science Experiments & Pumpkin Projects for Halloween

From bubbly cauldrons to creepy crawlers, science is all around us during the Halloween season. At KiwiCo, we love turning fun crafts into engaging experiments. Try out these activities with your kids and help them see that science happens every day!

Leaky Pumpkin

Get one last use out of all your jack o’ lanterns before you throw them away! This leaky pumpkin foams up all over the place because of a special organism called yeast. You can teach your little chemists how to turn yeast into oozy foam with this simple experiment.

Learn more: Leaky Pumpkin

Spider Launcher

The product designers at KiwiCo love launchers because they’re a super fun way to play with physics! With this project, your kids can turn a few rubber bands into a stretchy web that launches spiders across the room. While they make their launchers, you can talk to your kids about potential and kinetic energy!

Learn more: Spider Launcher

Creepy Crystals

In nature, crystals form in caves and caverns, but you can create your own Halloween-themed crystals at home! Mix up a special solution with your kids and watch science unfold before your eyes.

Learn more: Creepy Crystals

Count Popula

Turn your kitchen into a chemistry lab and have your mad scientists create their own bubbling brew that blows up a balloon! As Count Dracula rises from the dead, you can explain the science happening in his head.

Learn more: Count Popula

Q-Tip Skeleton

This is a simple project that can consume hours! You can turn it into an anatomical learning lesson by looking at different kinds of skeletons beforehand. Challenge your child to create a unique skeleton by combining different types of bones!

Learn more: Q-Tip Skeleton


Like many events in 2020, Halloween is shaping up to look different than years past. But no matter the fate of trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, you can still make for a very happy Halloween at home! For more awesome activities and DIY decorations, check out our blog post here:
Make Halloween at Home Fun with DIY Crafts & Experiments

Ask Dr. D: How Can Parents Help Kids Safely Socialize?

Socialization: Some of us miss it, some of us don’t, but regardless of how we feel, our kids need it. When the pandemic put playdates on hold, many parents thought it would be temporary. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for many families. 

“Well, it’s been five, six months and it’s going to be, I hate to say it, at least another six months, a year, a year and a half. That’s too much time for our children to not be around other children in a real and physical way,” Dr. Dimitri Christakis tells us. 

According to KiwiCo’s child development expert and pediatrician Dr. D (Dimitri Christakis), playdates during the pandemic are a must. But there are a lot of questions that come into play with safe socialization. So our Director of Brand (and mom of a toddler), Clara, turned to Dr. D for answers. If you don’t know Dr. D, you can learn more about him here before diving in.

Many parents in the KiwiCo community want to know if their children are missing out on key socialization opportunities because of the school and daycare closures. Is this the case?

School is incredibly important for cognitive development. But it’s incredibly important to social-emotional learning – across the entire age spectrum. We’re very social creatures. We need to be around other humans. Our older children clearly can get some connection with their friends over social media and Zoom. But I want to emphasize, it’s even more important for young children who cannot get the same, cannot get any of that mediated through a screen. They still need to see their friends and we need to find ways for them to do that safely.

So how can parents go about planning playdates during the pandemic?

The first thing you want to do is limit the number of friends that they’re around. Ideally, these are kids who you know, whose parents you know and trust to be as responsible as you are. They’re also being careful about who their kids are exposed to. They’re wearing masks when they go out. They’re washing their hands when they come home – all of those things.

Then find ways for your kids to get together with them. If they can be socially distanced, that’s obviously ideal. If they can wear masks, that’s ideal. If they can be outside, that’s ideal. Take full advantage of the opportunities that the weather allows you to get your kids together outside. As the weather changes and they have to come inside, again, it’s best to practice those mitigation strategies. 

I have a two-year-old. I would love to ask, what about socialization for babies and toddlers?

For very young babies, thankfully, during this time, really all they need is parental love. You’re the most important thing in their lives. Up until the age of six months, they’re delighted to just be around you. I think starting from six months and up, they do start to benefit from being around other children. Play is really children’s work. It’s how they develop their minds. It’s how they develop their social skills. It’s how they learn to share. It’s how they learn to negotiate. It’s how they learn empathy. All of those things are incredibly important.

If you have a six-month-old, you’ve already noticed that they’re fascinated by other babies. They already recognize them as something that’s like them. They want to interact with them. They want to be near them. You have to allow them that opportunity. It’s important to find ways for your children to do that safely. Make a point of them washing their hands as frequently as possible. Point out social distancing when you do it. 

For a two-year-old, they can wear a mask maybe if they’re able to. If they’re not able to, that’s okay. I think we should be socializing our children to wear masks. One of the most important things you can do to get your child ready for school is to practice the things at home that you want them to do at school or other social situations. So make a point of them wearing masks every time they go out. Let them choose a mask that they like that has special value for them, so it’s a prized possession and they’re happier to wear it.

Will masks impact children’s ability to develop social skills like the interpretation of emotional cues?

The truth is a lot we don’t know about this pandemic. That’s one of them. We don’t have much data on children wearing masks or being around people that wear masks all the time, but I do think it’s really beneficial, at least from a theoretical perspective, for children to see faces and have an opportunity to read emotions. That’s where social distancing becomes important. That’s where people that are in your pod become even more important since they’re around them without masks on. 

How can parents help their babies and children read the emotions behind face masks?

It’s really an interesting test because the entire face is very expressive and there are a lot of cultures as people know that cover everything but the eyes. In Islamic countries, for example, some women cover everything but their eyes. The eyes actually convey a fair amount of emotion. In most western countries, we tend to look at the entire face. In fact, we rely much more on the mouth than we do on the eyes. All of it is very expressive. It’s not enough they see this on screens. They do need to see it in three dimensions and with real people. I think you should make sure they have such opportunities and that they will. 

One parent told us that their child freezes when someone unknown is near. How can we help kids who are developing a fear of strangers or people getting too close?

It’s a really good question. Many children are having increased anxiety in particular around strangers. I think like any anxiety, it’s important that you recognize it, that you validate it, that you understand it, and that you help your child get through it. The best way to get through it, like with any phobia, is exposure.

How do you do that? Well, you can’t expose your child to strangers that they don’t know and you don’t know. But there are also people that you know and they don’t. In that scenario, you can make a point of introducing them in a way that you feel is safe. Over time, they can slowly get over the anxiety of meeting strangers.

All of this will pass. I don’t want people to be so panicked to think that their child is going to be irrevocably harmed by the situation we’re finding ourselves in. We’ll get through this together. Our children will be fine. I do think though, that we should do everything we can to help them – to nurture them, to support them, and to support ourselves. I think it’s incredibly important that we have grace with each other, grace with our children, and grace with ourselves. Forgive yourself. It’s a very, very difficult time to be a parent.


To help parents with kids of all ages get the answers they need, we asked Dr. D to talk about all things COVID-19. From stress to education and future implications, he shared detailed evidence-based research and advice in response to questions from parents in our KiwiCo Community. Now, we’re sharing everything Dr. D had to say with you! Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all his advice in your inbox. If you have questions you want answered, follow us on Instagram @kiwico_inc and send them our way!

Meet Dr. D: KiwiCo’s Go-To Childhood Development Expert

Since there isn’t an instruction manual for parenting, sometimes we have to turn to experts for answers. And when it comes to childhood development, Dr. Dimitri Christakis is kind of like a walking how-to guide.

Dr. Christakis, or Dr. D for short, is a pediatrician, epidemiologist and child development expert at the University of Washington. He’s also the director of the Center for Child Health Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

Some KiwiCo subscribers may recognize Dr. D from the pages of the Panda Crate Wonder Magazine where he dishes out advice to new parents. KiwiCo works with Dr. D and his team at the Christakis Laboratory to make sure the products and content in Panda crates are rooted in evidence-based research. And what makes Dr. D especially suited for this partnership is the fact that he’s a parent himself.

“What I wish I had is exactly what Panda Crate is”, Dr D says. “A box that gives you hands-on materials to play with your children in an engaging, developmentally appropriate way, and evidence-based answers to questions that you might have.”

And we know all too well parenting comes with an endless amount of questions. This year, the questions continue to pile up. Families across the world have faced a multitude of challenges since the rise of COVID-19, and the impact has been felt by both parents and children. 

“We’re seeing an increase in anxiety and depression in older children and a fair amount of fear and concern in younger children. Every child, of course, is different, but I think the first thing that a parent should do is meet your child where they are,” Dr. D tells us. 

To help parents with kids of all ages get the answers they need, we (virtually) sat down with Dr. D to talk about all things COVID-19. From socialization to education and future implications, he shared detailed evidence-based research and advice in response to questions from parents in our KiwiCo Community. Now, we’re sharing everything Dr. D had to say with you! Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all his advice in your inbox. If you have questions you want answered, follow us on Instagram @kiwico_inc and send them our way!

How KiwiCo Product Designers Deliver Wonder with Every Crate

KiwiCo is nine years old! The company has come a long way since the humble beginnings in our founder and CEO’s garage. Today, KiwiCo is delivered to doorsteps around the world! And each dropoff is jam-packed with hands-on projects, activities, and content so kids can learn as they do. That’s in part thanks to our brilliant team of product designers. Collectively, they’ve helped design more than 1,500 KiwiCo projects. To mark this milestone, we want to introduce you to some of our product designers and give you an inside look at how they deliver a sense of wonder in everything they create!

Continue reading “How KiwiCo Product Designers Deliver Wonder with Every Crate”

How to Throw an Awesome Birthday Party with KiwiCo

We all want our kids’ birthdays to be magical and memorable, but let’s face it, planning a party for your child can sometimes be a bit of a struggle. There’s the sending of invitations, collecting supplies, searching for fun activities, and do we even have to mention the making of goodie bags? Oof. Well, some parents in our KiwiCo Community have shared how they managed to combine all their birthday party needs in one place — or rather, one crate!

Step 1: Pick the Perfect Party Project or Crate

The KiwiCo Store has STEAM projects to ignite amazing hands-on fun for kids of all ages! Take a spin with your little one to see what kind of project or crate catches their eye.  Art? Engineering? Chemistry? We’ve got something for every kind of innovator. At the KiwiCo Store, not only can you pick your crate’s theme, but you can also order multiples of the same item so your guests can discover and explore together. You can either order them to your house for an in-person party or send them to your guests for a virtual celebration!

“I just wanted to email you and thank you for everything – the parties went amazingly well and the crates were a HUGE hit!” – Sarah, Mountain View, CA

While sheltering in place, one mom reached out to the KiwiCo customer care team to ask about a bulk order for her son’s virtual 7th birthday party. She ended up sending an Atlas Crate to each of her son’s friends, so they could do an activity together, while apart!

Step 2: Attach an Invite & Send to Friends 

“Happy Trails for Landry’s 2nd Birthday! How adorable is this invitation box that every kid received to be party ready.” – @cecinewyork

For Landry’s 2nd birthday, their grownups attached party invitations directly to the Koala Crate projects they ordered! We loved this personalized twist to make these party packages even more special, but if you’re looking for a lower lift, you can always send a classic email invitation and let your guests know that a KiwiCo surprise awaits their arrival.

Step 3: Celebrate & Create!

Whether you’re throwing an in-person party, putting together a virtual affair, or a little bit of both, KiwiCo gives all guests near and far a way to explore hands-on creativity together!

5 Science Projects to Celebrate Fall

Fall is the season of pumpkin spice and cozy nights, but it’s also the season of science! From chlorophyll to chemical reactions, the wonder of the world is unfolding all around us. KiwiCo founder and CEO, Sandra, walked through her favorite fall experiments live on KTLA, so now we’re sharing them with you! Try out one, two, or all of these projects with your kids to celebrate the season with science.

Chlorophyll Colors

Fall is full of color, and this experiment helps bottle it up! Leaves are full of chlorophyll which works to convert the energy of the sun into food for the plant. Chlorophyll also makes leaves appear green. In the fall the chlorophyll in leaves starts to break down and their green hue changes to yellow, orange, or red. By boiling leaves and submerging them in alcohol, you can separate the colors and capture a fall-themed rainbow in liquid form. You can start this project with a nature walk with your kids to collect colorful leaves!

Skeleton Leaves

With every leaf that falls, a different experiment awaits! Similar to humans and animals, leaves are made up of a system of veins that transport food and water to its cells. When leaves hit the ground, the decomposition process starts. You can speed up and simulate this process at home to reveal a series of skeletons! While you do this simple science experiment, you can talk to your kids about the anatomy of a leaf and its similarities to our own vein systems!

Erupting Apples

This experiment makes for a super sensory experience! Surprisingly, no apples are actually needed for this project. Instead, tour kids will make their own “apples” with baking soda, soap, and water. Then, you just have to add vinegar to create an explosion of fizzy bubbles! While you do this project, talk to your kids about the causes of this chemical reaction.

Acidic Apples

If you have an apple orchard nearby, kick this project off with a field trip! When apples are cut, an enzyme (polyphenol oxidase), that reacts with oxygen, is released–causing the apple slices to turn brown. In this experiment, you and your kids are going to test out different liquids to see which one keeps the apple slices from browning. If you have an apple orchard nearby, you can kick this project off with a field trip!

Pumpkin Power

Like lemons, pumpkins have acidic juices that help transport electrical energy! Put your pumpkin’s power to the test by combining copper, zinc, and electrical wire. The flow of electrical energy starts by dissolving charged ions of zinc off of the zinc metal. The zinc ions leave behind extra electrons in the zinc metal which travel over to the copper through the wire. That movement of electrons creates electricity!

Make Halloween at Home Fun with DIY Crafts & Experiments

Like many events in 2020, Halloween is shaping up to look different than years past. But no matter the fate of trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, you can make for a very happy Halloween at home! We collected some awesome activities to get your kids into the spooky spirit.

Spooky Science Projects

Leaky Pumpkin

Take your pumpkin game to a new level this year with this creepy chemical reaction! The leaky pumpkin foams up all over the place because of yeast. Yes, the same fungus that’s normally used to make bread rise! You can learn more about the science behind the reaction as you try it out.

Count Popula


If you want more chemistry this Halloween, mix up some citric acid, baking soda, and water to create a bubbling brew that blows up a balloon! Acids (like citric acid) and bases (like baking soda) do something special when they’re combined in water. In water, their molecules (the smallest piece of a substance) are free to float around and react with each other. This chemical reaction creates something completely new and gas is released into the balloon!

Creepy Crystals

This project is a perfect way to combine science and art! Your kids can create their own pipe cleaner crystals using borax and water. We recommend doing this experiment in late-September or early-October, so your kids can watch their crystals grow in the weeks leading up to Halloween!

Spider Launcher

At KiwiCo, we love launchers because they’re a super fun way to play with physics! With this project, your kids can turn a few rubber bands into a stretchy web that launches spiders across the room. While they make their launchers, you can talk to your kids about the difference between potential and kinetic energy!

Bendable Wire Mummy 

This may not seem like a science project at first glance, but you can easily turn this craft into a hands-on lesson about the science behind mummification. You can get even more use out of your kid’s mummy by starting a new at-home Halloween tradition! While your kids are sleeping, move the mummy into a different spot in the house just like the holiday tradition of Elf on the Shelf.

DIY Decorations

Ghost Tealights

Candles make for a perfectly eerie Halloween glow. Grab some air dry clay and mold little ghosts to illuminate Halloween dinner-time stories. These ghosts can serve as fun gifts for friends!

Soap Bar Mummies

These cute little mummies are the perfect craft for preschoolers. It’s simple and my kids loved adding the googly eyes. If you pick a scented soap, you can actually have your home smell extra yummy too!

Pillowcase Ghosts

This project is a Halloween classic! All you need are a few old white pillowcases, scissors, and a marker to make your yard a spooky scene.

3-D Yarn Spider Web

Add some dimension to your decor with a spherical spider web!

Creepy-Crawly Pipe Cleaner Spiders

We love DIYs that only use two ingredients! Create some creepy-crawly spiders to pair with a 3-D yarn web or have your kids hide them around the house!

Pins and Yarn Pumpkins

Decorate your pumpkins without the goopy mess! Inspire your kids to come up with unique designs using different shapes.

Flying Bat Ornaments

Save your next egg carton for this craft! You can use fishing lines to hang your kids’ bats from the ceiling so they look like they’re in flight.

Paper Plate Monsters

Create this trio of Halloween characters using dessert plates from the dollar store and a short list of supplies!


Creepy Crafts & Snacks

Spider Lollipops

These spiders bring a different meaning to trick-or-treat! Hide them around the house or take a walk and leave them in your neighbors’ yards as a spooky surprise.

Shrunken Apple Heads

This is a nostalgic craft for a lot of parents at KiwiCo! Use a few bad apples to carve some spooky shrunken heads.

Wooden Spoon Monsters

Stir up some fun by transforming simple wooden spoons into silly Halloween monsters. Have each family make a different monster to make up a spooky squad!

Crow Puppets

Give your scarecrow a job to do this Halloween with these cute puppets! 

Creepy Witch Finger Pretzels

With just a couple ingredients, you and your kids can whip up this wicked treat!

Q-Tip Skeleton

This is a simple project that can consume hours! You can turn it into a learning lesson by looking at the different bones that make up a skeleton before you start. 

Caramel Apple Monsters

Caramel apples are one of the best parts of fall! Turn this treat into a craft with a few extra ingredients.

Spider Web Snacks

While you wouldn’t eat real spider webs, you can make an exception with this sweet treat.


5 Easy & Edible Science Experiments

Whether it’s during meal prep, service, or clean-up, we spend a lot of time during the day in the kitchen. So to help bring more learning into the room where it happens, we collected some of our favorite kitchen science activities! As a bonus, with these projects, your kids can actually eat what they create (but we don’t recommend replacing meals entirely)!

Square Egg

Is a square egg possible? Not in nature – but you can re-shape a hard-boiled egg in just a few easy steps. Use this experiment for a hands-on lesson in molecular chemistry! This project is great for kids ages 5-16. 

Edible Paint

Did you know the science of color is also known as chromatics or colorimetry? While some people wouldn’t pair color with science, experiments on the topic have been unfolding for centuries! Learn more about the science behind color mixing while making edible paints. This project is best for ages 4-11, but it can be fun for all ages.

Apple Oxidation Experiment

Have you ever noticed that if you slice an apple in the morning, it turns brown by lunch? This is actually a chemical reaction at work! In this experiment, you’ll learn more about how the oxygen in the air around us causes this reaction (also known as oxidation). Spare some slices for this science experiment, and eat the rest! This project is best for kids ages 3-8.

Edible Candle


Today almost one-third of the energy we produce in the U.S. comes from oil, and we use it daily — for transportation, to create electricity that powers our houses, schools, offices, and stores, and to run industrial factories. But we only have a limited amount of crude oil on Earth! One healthier alternative to burning crude oil is burning vegetable oil! Show your kid about the power of plant energy with this easy experiment! This project is great for kids ages 5-16.

Fluorescent Jell-O!

Experiment with light as you make Jell-O glow! Check out this simple, but awesome trick, and learn a bit about the science behind fluorescence in the process! This project is great for kids ages 9-16.

For more kitchen science experiments, check out KiwiCo’s list of activities for kids ages 3-8 and activities for kids ages 9 and up!

7 Brain Break Ideas & Activities for Staying Active at Home

Whether it’s between learning from home lessons or during homework time after hours, your child’s brain needs a break! Short, physical activities throughout the day can help improve your student’s attention, mood, and creativity. These brain breaks get blood and oxygen flowing through the body and to the brain, calming the nervous system and decreasing stress. It’s a win/win for everyone (that includes you too, grownups)!

Experts recommend brain breaks every 30 minutes if possible. To help kickstart your brain break collection, we reached out to some of our favorite teachers for suggestions!

Superhero Workouts

Tabata is one of our favorite workouts at KiwiCo, so when elementary school teacher Kim Eagleson shared the Avengers Kids Tabata Workout with us, we knew we had to add it to the list! A Tabata workout requires 20 seconds of all-out intensity, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This four-minute version is perfect for a brain break. You can also try the Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Black Panther, or other Get Kids Moving workouts!

Screen-Free Scavenger Hunts

Courtesy of Kohl’s Heathy at Home

Scavenger hunts get kids moving while also encouraging curiosity and problem-solving. These Active At-Home Scavenger Hunts put a creative spin on a classic game. This is also an activity that can be done with friends and family over Zoom!

Little Language Lessons

High school Spanish teacher, Andrea Ruiz, gives her students’ brains a break by taking a tour of the world. You can do the same by learning languages at home! These printable flashcards and activities from Mr. Printable will help give your child a much-needed screen time break. If you want to get your child’s tiny fingers moving, try practicing sign language with help from Start ASL!

Sing-Alongs

We’re huge fans of GoNoodle at KiwiCo! Banana Banana Meatball is a go-to favorite brain break for high school special education teacher Andrew Boven. It’ll have your kids singing and laughing. GoNoodle is home to 300+ videos that feature kids songs, dance, yoga, mindfulness, stretching, and more! Make a list of your favorite videos and try a new one every day.

Choreographed Dances

If you haven’t given in to the TikTok temptation yet, now may be a good time (it’s for the kids after all). Learning a choreographed dance is a fun creative challenge that the whole family can take on. You can start small by learning from the pint-sized professionals at Kidz Bop. They also have a live daily dance break at 3 pm EST/12 pm PST!

Yoga & Meditation Moments

Courtesy of ©Sanford Health 2019

Yoga can be a fun way to reduce stress and anxiety while also building strength and coordination. If you’re looking for a screen-free brain break, check out Sanford Health’s free printable yoga cards. Another teacher favorite is Cosmic Yoga which will give your kid a dose of “healthy screen time”. They have hundreds of videos with different themes for learning and practicing new poses. If you want more moments like this in your house, also try out a few of the ideas we compiled in our post: Mindfulness Activities for Kids and Parents.

Quick DIYs & Easy Experiments

Shake up the scenery and take the at-home learning into the kitchen! We put together lists of our favorite kitchen science projects by age. For quick and easy projects in our list of activities for kids ages 3-8, we recommend the Milk Swirl Experiment, Fizzing Colors, Invisible Ink Messages, and the Pepper Swim-Away Experiment. And in our list of activities for kids ages 9 and up, we recommend the Flying Tea Bag, Dancing Salt, Underwater Fireworks, and the Bubble Lamp in a Bag. For longer projects, try spreading out steps to fill multiple brain breaks. Be sure to check out KiwiCo Corner for more DIYs!

If you’re looking for more screen-free activities, check out the KiwiCo Store! We have a bunch of hands-on projects that your child can take on independently or with a little grownup help. Kiwi projects come with multiple activities that you can spread out and use for brain breaks all week long!

Free & Fun Resources for Extended Learning at Home

Getting kids excited and engaged while learning from home can be a struggle. To help encourage learning beyond your child’s daily curriculum, we gathered fun and free resources that cover a wide variety of subjects. If your favorite site is missing, please drop it in the comments for us — we’d love to hear what works for you!


One-Stop Shops

Khan Academy

If you haven’t visited Khan Academy in a while, you’ll be amazed by how much they’ve expanded beyond just math. You can learn grammar, try the Hour of Code, practice ELA (English Language Arts) for grades 2 through 8, and even explore storytelling from Disney’s Imagineering in a Box class. 

Khan Academy is good for ages 4–adult. (Try the Khan Kids app for ages 2–7.)

BrainPOP

BrainPOP is a favorite with kids, with insightful videos on a huge range of topics (including social studies, English, math, and engineering), with related reading and quizzes to check comprehension. They always offer free sample videos, but right now are offering access for free to families with classes closed due to covid-19.

BrainPOP is good for ages 9-13 and BrainPOP, Jr. for ages 5-8.

PBS

You may already be familiar with the games, videos, and activities on the PBS Kids site, but PBS Parents is where it’s at. You can get daily activities and ideas for kids ages 2 through 8, as well as tips for parents on managing learning at home. For older kids, check out PBS LearningMedia for lesson plans and videos curated for teachers.

PBS Kids & PBS Parents are good for ages 2-8 and PBS Learning Media for ages 9–adult.

Scholastic Learn at Home

Beloved by teachers everywhere, Scholastic is offering lessons for learning at home tailored by age: pre-K and kinder, grades 1–2, grades 3–5, and grades 6+. With reading and videos to watch, the lessons are easy to work into a day without a lot of parent involvement.

Scholastic Learn at Home is good for ages 3–12.

ABC Mouse and Adventure Academy

ABC Mouse, for ages 2–8, and Adventure Academy, for ages 8–13, offer a full set of subjects in fun, kid-pleasing game formats. The games or lessons will level with your child, so you don’t need to search for the right one. Both are paid but offer a free month’s trial, and are worth checking out as an option that feels more like a game than like homework.

ABC Mouse is good for ages 2–8 and Adventure Academy for ages 8-13.

Outschool

OK, so Outschool isn’t technically free, but with online video classes taught by real teachers as low as $5 a class, it’s worth checking out. Where else can you find lessons on learning the ukulele, playing a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and discussing Diary of a Wimpy Kid all in the same place? (They’re also running a program for free classes for kids impacted by public school closures, pending enough donation support.)

Outschool is good for ages 5–15.


Reading and Social Studies

NEH EDSITEment!

The National Endowment for the Humanities has a large collection of lesson plans and teachers guides for K-12 students that cover arts, history, social studies, language arts, and more. Parents will need to dig through to select the appropriate, but with so much to choose from there’s something to interest every kid.

NEH EDSITEment! is good for ages 5–18.

Storyline

Storyline is a non-profit that brings celebrated actors to read illustrated storybooks to kids (kindergarten through grade 3). The performances make these videos fun and engaging for parents as well as kids. 

Storyline is good for ages 4–8.

Time for Kids

Time for Kids is exactly what it sounds like: Time magazine’s journalism written at a range of reading levels from kindergarten through grade 6. Just choose your child’s level for short nonfiction reading practice.

Time for Kids is good for ages 5–13.

CNN 10

CNN 10 is a daily 10-minute broadcast, specially reported for elementary-age kids. It’s great for discussion or writing prompts, or just an easy, educational distraction during lunch prep.

CNN 10 is good for ages 5–13.

Newsela

Newsela is used by many schools for reading and research in social studies across a wide range of topics and from numerous publishers, including PBS, The New York Times, and Scientific American. Parents can register for a free account to gain access to all their content products through the end of the 2020 school year. 

Newsela is good for ages 6–18.


Science, Tech, and Math

Mystery Science

We love the videos and activities from Mystery Science for the way they inspire kids to love science, so we were delighted to learn that they’ve shared a starter list of free lessons for grades K–5, no account needed. You can just watch the lesson for an all-online experience or pair with a home hands-on activity to explore the topic further.

Mystery Science is good for ages 4–12.

Funexpected Math

Looking for a way to get your kid excited about math? Check out Funexpected Math – an interactive environment that embeds findings in educational neuroscience into digital learning games.

Funexpected Math is good for ages 3–7.

Code.org

Code.org is a fantastic entry into coding, absolutely no experience required. Jump in with the resources on their at-home learning intro page, then pick a game or character your child likes from one of the Hour of Code activities. 

Mystery Science is good for ages 5–adult.

American Chemical Society

In response to school closures, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has released a collection of free online lesson plans for grades K-8. With games, videos, and lesson plans to explore, you’ll find ways to explore chemistry with stuff you already have at home (warning: may get messy!).

ACS activities are good for ages 5–13.

Prodigy

Even math-fearing kids tend to love Prodigy. With a combo of cute little monster and curriculum-aligned lessons for grades 1–8, it’s a solid choice for homeschool math time, and the lessons will adapt to your child’s level.

Prodigy is good for ages 6–14.

National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids is a hub for tons of content about the natural world, perfect for kids to explore independently.

National Geographic Kids is good for ages 4–12.

Teach Engineering

Teach Engineering is an enormous collection of hands-on STEM activities for kids K-12. Since it’s geared towards teachers, activities will require some parent setup time, but the lesson plans will walk you through everything.

Teach Engineering is good for ages 5–18.

NASA

For kids in elementary school, NASA Kids’ Club has games and activities they can engage with independently. For a deeper exploration of space space, check out NASA for Educators to browse STEM resources for K-12.

NASA Kids’ Club is good for ages 5–8 and NASA for Educators for ages 9–18.

National Museum of Natural History

Museums may be closed, but the National Museum of Natural History is always open for virtual tours. The Hall of Fossils is a great place to start.

The National Museum of Natural History is good for all ages.

San Diego Zoo

With fantastic pictures and fascinating facts, San Diego Kids lets kids explore the zoo any time. And don’t miss the live animal cams!

The San Diego Zoo is good for ages 4–12.


Brain Breaks

GoNoodle

Every kid needs a brain break, and GoNoodle is our favorite go-to to get help the wiggles out. You can use GoNoodle for a 5-minute break between lessons or a full 20-minute dance session — whatever you need that day.

GoNoodle is good for ages 3–12.

CosmicKids Yoga

Feeling a little stressed? Us too. We could probably all use a little more yoga right now, and CosmicKids Yoga makes it accessible and fun for little ones as well.

CosmicKids is good for ages 3–12.


Arts and Creativity

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met (New York City) has loads of exhibits online, but we especially love the #MetKids site, which features kid-friendly videos about creating and enjoying art, as well as a “time machine” that allows kids to search the collection for by time, place, and theme. 

The Met is good for all ages and #MetKids for ages 6–12.

Louvre

Try a visit to the Louvre, minus the crowds and the flight to Paris. This collection of selected works is a great place to start, but (as you’d expect), there are countless works to explore. We loved the “Closer Look” collection, which allows viewing of works much closer than possible in person.

The Louvre is good for all ages.

Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney features over 25,000 works by contemporary artists to browse through, as well as a Watch & Listen section with artists’ stories, videos of exhibitions, and musical performances.

The Whitney is good for all ages.

Google Arts & Culture Collection

Explore collections from hundreds of museums around the world. You can jump off to a creative exploration by picking a painting your child likes and prompting them to create a drawing inspired by it.

Google Arts & Culture is good for all ages.

KiwiCo Corner DIYs

We have a huge collection of DIYs that combine art and science! Your child can learn more about the human body by building a pumping heart or create a chemical reaction with a fizzy candy balloon! Check out thousands of awesome DIYs with KiwiCo Corner.

KiwiCo Corner is for kids of all ages.