At-home Learning Resources for Kids
Living room turned into a makeshift classroom? We're here to help with hand-selected lessons and activities for cooped-up kids.
During these interruptions to learning, the Mensa Foundation is proud to provide you with resources that can offer enrichment and educational opportunities for your child. Mensa for Kids, powered by the Mensa Foundation, is full of lesson plans, activities, TED Connections, and other learning opportunities. Check back with us as we continue to update and add to these resources.
May you live in interesting times — and we do! As many of you find yourselves in the challenging position of providing learning opportunities and enrichment for your children, the Mensa Foundation is here to help.
In addition to the myriad resources the Mensa Foundation offers here at Mensa for Kids, including robust lesson plans, activity plans, and TED Connections, we offer these additional resources to engage your young learner.
We’ll continue to add to this curated list as we find quality material we think might be meaningful to you in the coming days and weeks, so check back often.
Cross-Curricular Online Platforms
- The San Diego Zoo Academy is providing eight weeks of complimentary animal species online learning modules.
- MIT’s Full STEAM Ahead project curates exsisting STEAM resources for K-12, higher education, and workforce learners, including a weekly package of relevant materials for K-12 students and teachers.
- Education.com is providing free access to some of its best resources during school closures, including printable workbooks, independent learning worksheets, games, activities, songs, stories and exercises.
- Time for Kids has opened up all of its 2020 content, including teaching materials, its entire digital library, and teaching tools utilizing Time for Kids Magazine.
- Renzulli Learning is opening its remote elearning platform for free for rest of year. Create individualized, highly engaging learning opportunities to help students at higher levels, with adaptations for those who are not.
- The You Can Do the Rubik’s Cube Program offers free, downloadable K-12 lessons written by teachers and tested in the classroom. Available in multiple languages.
- The New York Times Learning Network vertical hosts lessons across subjects and current events using the Times multimedia content.
- Scholastic’s Learn at Home program includes immersive day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
- Hand2Mind hosts daily activity and lesson plans for grades K-5.
- The Smithsonian’s children’s website
- Kids Discovery is a cross-curricular learning platform for elementary and middle school children, with access to more than 2,000 visually stunning science and social studies articles.
- IXL hosts personalized curriculum for teaching and self-learning, including a searchable index.
- The National Endowment for the Humanities hosts an impressive collection of lesson plans and teacher’s guides.
- Super Charged School features lesson plans and activities taught by educators covering several subjects.
- Education.com provides open access to resources for students in pre-K through 5th grade, with printable lessons and guided instruction.
- Khan Academy offers helpful daily learning schedules for kids ages 4-18.
- Baltimore City Schools has published learning packets for pre-K through 12th grade, as well as gifted and advanced learning materials.
- The Compton Unified School District also has learning packets for pre-K through 12th grade.
- Kerens Independent School District has published printable learning packets for grades K-5.
- Albert.io features 105 tools for distance learning that are perfect for educating kids in the home.
Math and Science
- NEW: ExploreLearning offers a 60-day free access trial to its hands-on math and science simulations for grades 3-12
- NEW: With games on subjects such as geometry, algorithms, logic, and more, Funexpected’s free app and activities help kids ages 3-7 build mathematical thinking from an early age.
- The NROC Project’s HippoCampus.org features more than 7,000 educational videos in 13 subject areas.
- Ology, a science website for kids from the American Natural History Museum, features hands-on activities, stories, games, and videos across multiple science subjects.
- Fizzics Education hosts more than 150 free science experiments for older students.
- The Crash Course provides 15 free courses, ranging from the humanities to the sciences, meant to accompany high school and college level classes.
- The free Seek app, by iNaturalist, uses image recognition to help kids learn more about the plants and animals around them.
- The American Chemical Society provides a host of free chemistry education resources for elementary through AP/undergrad students.
- Science Buddies, an award-winning educational nonprofit, hosts more than 1,200 free science experiments and activities, from astronomy to zoology.
- Skype a Scientist invites parents and kids to connect directly with scientists volunteering their time for fun, educational Q&A conversations.
- The James Dyson Foundation’s Challenge Cards are designed by engineers to get young minds excited about engineering.
- The Art of Problem Solving’s Alcumus is a free online learning experience featuring more than 13,000 math problems. The program’s problems and lessons are specifically designed to provide high-preforming students with a challenging curriculum appropriate for their abilities.
- Carolina Biological Supply Company’s Building Blocks of Science program is home to free science lesson and activity plans for K-5 students.
- Mystery Science hosts free, open-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science.
- The Exploratorium has fun, timely science topics and interactive activities under “Science Snacks.”
- NASA has pulled all of its activities, DIY projects, virtual tours, and more into a single repository, NASA at Home.
- NASA hosts a ton of fun STEM activities to do at home for grades K-12.
- Innerbody’s interactive human anatomy systems includes more than 1,000 interactive body maps.
- Science News for Students has free resources for learning at home.
- Math Celebrity provides instant help to solve math problems with detailed tutorials.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium has fantastic pre-K through 12th grade curriculum and resources related to aquariums and animals.
- Steve Spangler’s experiment library is a collection of at-home science experiments for grades K-12.
- The CK-12 Foundation hosts science, math, social studies, and photography learning activities for K-12 learners.
- Ancestry.com’s AncestryK12 program is home to free history lesson plans, including subjects such as the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, WWI and WWI, the 1940 Census, and more.
- The Natural History Museum of Utah hosts free middle school supplemental science instruction.
- The National Archives’ DocsTeach hosts activities for all learning levels using documents from the National Archives. Search by historical era, thinking skill, activity type, or grade level.
Reading and Writing
- Free for limited time, Sir Linkalot hosts animated videos and quizzes to help students of any age with spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- Big Universe’s free digital reading platform hosts more than 17,000 free social studies and language arts ebooks for students in grades K–12.
- CommonLit hosts a free collection of fiction and nonfiction texts for 3rd-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter their collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
- National Novel Writing Month has published a trove of K-12 language arts curriculum, including lesson plans, student workbooks, classroom kits, and more.
- Audible hosts free stories for kids of all ages, including audio titles in six languages.
- Read Print is home to thousands of free books.
- Poets.org hosts materials for learning or teaching poetry, like lesson plans, essays, and more.
- The World Digital Library provides open access to thousands of books, documents, and photography from various countries and cultures.
- Classroom Cereal provides grammar practice in the form of free, printable short stories.
Music and the Arts
- NEW: NYU Music Experience Design Lab’s free Groove Pizza app is a circular rhythm app for creative music making and learning based on math concepts like shapes, angels, and patterns.
- Art teacher Caroline Velazquez has published a wonderful Google Doc virtual museum field trips, art contests and games, and educational resources to help kids stay creative from the couch.
- These 12 famous museums offer virtual tours that you can take from the comfort of your couch (or pillow fort).
- Kid Art makes teaching art easier with lessons for kids in grades pre-K through 8.
- The National Gallery of Art’s Kids Art Zone hosts activities that focus on introduction to art and art history.
- Learn how to play and create music with virtual musical instruments.
- Google Arts & Culture includes immersive features on famous cultural sites, artists, and pop culture.
- Music Theory hosts some of our favorite free music lessons, including note and chord construction and identification, interval training, and more.
- Use this coupon by March 31 to gain free access to all concerts and films from the Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall.
- Learn how to draw and doodle with Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems during his Lunch Hour Doodles.
- The Metropolitan Opera streams a title from its Live in HD series each night while it remains closed.
- The Museum of Modern Art offers customizable and downloadable resources for teaching art, including self-guided learning.
Other Educational Resources & Round-ups
- NEW: The Kid Should See hosts more than 4,500 free kid-friendly videos curated for teachers and parents who want to share smarter, more meaningful media in the classroom and at home.
- NEW: Scratch, a free platform by MIT Media Lab’ Lifelong Kindergarten Group, helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively through free interactive stories, games, and animations.
- A teacher resource for typically for classroom use, Kialo is a free platform for hosting debates online.
- Highlights at Home offers free weekly content bundles designed to help build happy memories, including puzzles, stories, videos, games, and physical activites which can be done alone or with familes.
- GoPeer matches families with qualified college undergrads from top-tier universities for K-12 tutoring.
- Explore the The International Spy Museum virtually and download some fun spy-based activities and lesson plans.
- Sage Publishing, the textbook/educational book publisher, is providing free resources to help you transition to teaching online, including free access to textbooks, learning management system resources, and more.
- Amazon’s Future Engineer program is home to a round-up of free robotics, computer science, and coding courses for kids.
- Tynker, an award-winning coding platform for kids 5 and up, is opening its premium coding courses, challenges, and tutorials for free during school closures.
- The Amazing Educational Resources Facebook Group has published a Google Doc containing a comprehensive list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closures.
- Class Central has more than 450 free classes from Ivy League schools.
- Cambridge University is offering free access through May 2020 to higher education textbooks, including 58 textbooks in language and linguistics.
- The National Park Service offers immersive virtual tours of the nation’s National Parks.
- This Principal’s List of Things to Do During COVID Closures is going viral for all the right reasons.
- The Texas Association of Gifted and Talented has published a special set of resources to help out parents while schools are closed.
- Explore this list of 35 useful remote learning resources from Lucky Learners.
- Check out this list of 37 free educational resources kids can use at home by Macaroni Kid.
- Our friends at Educational Insights host a number of great activities for your little learners.
- Check out these math activities and lesson plans by Youcubed, a free K-12 math resource from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.
- Curriculum Associates has curated a fantastic list of activities for children and their parents.
- Prepare for distance learning with Newsela, an instructional content platform.
- ABCmouse.com, an early learning academy, hosts online curriculum for kids ages 2-8.
- Explore this comprehensive list of subjects and learning resources put together by the Kentucky Gifted Association.
- The Minecraft Education Edition is available free through June 20, including a remote learning toolkit, more than 50 STEM lessons, and project-based learning activities.
- Go Noodle features videos and games created by a team of child development experts designed to get your little ones moving.
- Arcademics helps boost student engagement and fact fluency with free multiplayer educational games that focus on academics.
- Nitro Type hosts fun real-time, worldwide typing competitions. Parents can set up a “classroom” and monitor their kids through a teacher’s portal.
Need help with high-speed internet? Charter Communications says that as part of the effort to help people deal with impacts of coronavirus, they’re offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription.
Jamie Uphold, American Mensa’s Gifted Youth Programs Manager, has been a state-licensed teacher for more than 15 years. She received her Gifted Education certification in 2016. Jamie was recognized as the 2008 Teacher of the Year at Bowie Middle School in Amarillo, Texas, and was a finalist for the 2011 Texas Speech Communication Association’s Teacher of the Year.