11 top-notch free online learning activities to keep your kids busy


You can try limiting screen time for your kids, but sometimes you (and they) need the break it provides. Luckily, there are plenty of rewarding activities for kids online. Even better, many of them are free.

We’ve found a few here for you and your kids to do Pokémon-inspired yoga, conduct science experiments, and more. You’re sure to find the perfect solution to fill a rainy day now that school is out of session or just to have some time to yourself.

1. The American Test Kitchen

Are you a full time chef for your household? Ask your children to help you without them even realizing it. At the start of the pandemic, America’s Test Kitchen set up Kitchen Classroom(Opens in a new window)which features fun videos on food, activities, and yes, easy-to-follow recipes(Opens in a new window). Kids can get started making their own bread(Opens in a new window)start their day with homemade granola(Opens in a new window)cook their favorite chicken fillets(Opens in a new window)where to make arepas con queso(Opens in a new window) while they shoot Encanto Again.

2. Cosmic Yoga for Kids

Yoga and mindfulness have many benefits for children, but can be a bit boring for younger audiences. Enter Jaime Amor, the most engaging yoga instructor you can find. She’s uploaded thousands of hours of Cosmic Kids Yoga content to YouTube(Opens in a new window) channel. There are yoga sessions that tell classic and modern stories that children know (The Wizard of Oz, Frozen), those featuring popular characters (Spider-Man, Pokémon) and new creations from Amor herself, as well as many seasonal and holiday stories. There are playlists for Zen Den and Peace Out features that turn mindfulness and relaxation into fun times.

3. Funbrain

Funbrain Stair Climber Game

For educational games for all ages (well, from 3 to 13), there’s Funbrain(Opens in a new window). The site is sorted by level and children can find games, videos and books for their level.

4. GoNoodle

Fit in some PE time with GoNoodle(Opens in a new window). The site has short videos that feature different styles of music with easy dances for kids to follow. The videos are organized by channel and can excite children (NTV(Opens in a new window)) or calm them down (Flow(Opens in a new window)). Besides the routines, there are many projects to entertain and occupy children. Everything about GoNoodle is the work of child development specialists, educators, and researchers. You can also access GoNoodle on Roku(Opens in a new window)Apple TV and mobile devices (Amazon(Opens in a new window)iOS(Opens in a new window)android(Opens in a new window)).

5.Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts and Culture opening screen with top picks for the day

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

6. Children of Khan Academy

Kids may not have friends around them during the day, but they’ll love learning and playing with Kodi, Ollo, Reya, Sandy and Peck in Khan Academy Kids.(Opens in a new window). The five animal friends promote social and emotional development as children learn language skills and math. They can also hear stories, play games, color and draw.

7. Learn with Smithsonian

Smithsonian site with illustration by Dick Tracy and blurb on Smithsonian Learning Lab

Learn with Smithsonian(Opens in a new window) has an extensive collection of art, history and science learning experiences and projects. There are virtual zoo tours(Opens in a new window)STEM-friendly activities(Opens in a new window)and explorations of ancient Egypt(Opens in a new window).

Recommended by our editors

8. SciShow Kids!

Science comes to life with the SciShow Kids!(Opens in a new window) Youtube channel. Jessi, Mister Brown, Squeaks the Robot Lab Rat and their friends answer questions, interview experts and conduct crazy experiments, like recreating an asteroid impact(Opens in a new window) and make your own watercolor(Opens in a new window).

9. Online Scenario

Hearing a story read aloud is a pleasure, but especially when it’s read by famous actors. Online scenario(Opens in a new window) allows your children (and you) to finally hear Ernest Borgnine read rainbow fish(Opens in a new window) or David Harbor read Snappsy the Alligator (did not request to be in this book)(Opens in a new window).

10. Time for the kids

Time for Kids screen asking if kids are reading alone or with an adult

Knowing the news is an important first lesson for children, but news is overwhelming enough for adults. time for kids(Opens in a new window) solves this problem with news filtered by level as soon as you access 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

screen for Eloise on Tubi

Tubi, one of PCMag’s top picks for free streaming services, has a nice selection for kids(Opens in a new window), too. Although much of it is more familiar to parents than children (Inspector Gadget!), they can also watch animated versions of books turned into cartoons; Magdalene(Opens in a new window), Eloise(Opens in a new window)and babar(Opens in a new window) are all delicious.

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