Discovery at Home

Family Play and Learning at Home

Looking fun at-home activities? Below are some favorite at-home fun-and-learning activities from our staff, and also share some of the terrific interactive opportunities offered by museums, individuals, organizations, and other creators around the world.

Children learn through play, and these resources are intended as guidelines and inspirational starting points that can be adapted to your situation and your child. Expanding on your child’s curiosity is always the primary goal, even if that looks different than what the activity instructions suggest. We hope the links below inspire fun and interactive ways to play, learn, and explore with your children.

And, at the same time…

We want to be sure to mention that it can be really good for your kids to be bored, too! Check out this article, The Importance of Letting Your Kids Be Bored from Fatherly. And, Boredom May Actually Be Good for You, by Tony Rao and Paul Napper.

At-home activities from Discovery Museum staff

Backyard and Beyond

5 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day Every Day
Build a Bee Bath
Full Moon Walks
Giant Bubbles
Icy InvestigationsVideo: Colored Ice Art
Journey Sticks
Making Music in Nature
Nature Journals
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Patterns in Nature
Snow Day Science + Video: Make Your Own Snow
Tips for Getting Outdoors with Little Ones
Tracing Shadows
Water Filtration Experiment + Video: Experimenting With Water Filtration
Video: Flower Take Aparts
Video: Make a Bee Hotel
Video: Mud Painting
Video: Observing Outdoor Sounds
Video: Simple Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Video: Spring Nature Observations with Liz
Video: Things to Do With a Rock

Especially for Littles

Creative Caps
Flashlight Play
Greetings for a Caregiver
Messy-Sensory Guide

Everyday Engineering

Balls and Ramps + Video: Balls and Ramps with Household Items
Cup Towers
Engineer a Bird Feeder + Video: Backyard Birding with Little Ones
Let's Go Fly a Kite  +  Video: Tips for Making a Kite
Light Maze
Make a Buzzing Bee Hummer + Video: Make a Sound Sandwich
Make a Map for a Treasure Hunt
Make a Spinning Top + Video: Make Spin Art with a Spinning Top
Parachutes
Sail Mobiles
Simple Machines Scavenger Hunt + Video
Strike a Balance
Take Aparts
Taking Flight: Hoop Gliders and Flutter Fish
Tinfoil Ferries
Zoom-a-rang
Video: Make a Paper Helicopter

Kitchen Science

Colors on the Move + Video: Colors on the Move
Autumn Leaf Chromatography+ Video: Fall Inspired Chromatography
Chromatography
Kitchen Chemistry: Mix It Up
Kitchen Chemistry: Oobleck + Video: Make Some Ooey Gooey Oobleck
Make a Bubble Snake + Video: Make a Bubble Snake
Pasta Science with visual supports + Video: Be a Pasta Scientist
Sink or Float? + Video: Sink or Float?
Water Drop Races
Video: Making Rainbows

Make a Masterpiece

Create Your Own Découpage + Video: Create Your Own Découpage
Draw Your Own History Like Tree Rings + Video: Draw Your Own History Like Tree Rings
Dress Your Stuffed Pet + Video: Dress Your Stuffed Pet Hammered Flower Prints
Make Your Own Stamps and Wrapping Paper + Video: Make Your Own Stamps and Wrapping Paper
Paint With What? + Video: Paint With What
Paint-sicles - with visual supports + Video: Making Paint-sicles
Paper Sculptures + Video: Paper Sculptures
Resist Painting
Rolling Action Art + Video:Paint with Marbles
Salad Spinner Spin Art
Story Stones
Subtractive Printmaking - with visual supports + Video: Multiplying Art with Printmaking
Sun-Melted Crayon Art + Video: Sun-Melted Crayon Art
Upcycled Art + Video: Creating Upcycled Artwork
Video: Cardboard Creations
Video: Foamy Fun Shaving Cream Art
Video: Rain Art Experiment
Video: Suncatchers

Math Mania

Birthday Square
Circle Hunt + Video: Measure for Pi
Tangrams
Tesselations
Toothpick Puzzles
Video: How Many Times Can You Fold a Piece of Paper?

Move Your Body

Balance Like an Animal
Video: Animal Movements

Great resources we are seeing from others

Things To Do Outside

10 Garden Based Activities to Calm Your Family from Mommy Nearest.

Everyday Nature: Simple Activities for All Ages and Seasons, from Take A Child Outside.

At-Home Learning Activities

Learn how to make paper beads, weave, quill, and more in Museum At Home from our friends at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.

At-home activity guide for little ones, from Zero To Three.

100 Ways To Play, from our friends at Boston Children's Museum.

10 Prop Box Ideas: Mini Learning Centers at Home from NAYEC, the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Exploratorium Science Snacks are tabletop exhibits or explorations of natural phenomena that can be made using common, inexpensive, readily available materials.

Check out these cool and very approachable art lessons from author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka—author of Punk Farm, Lunch Lady, Jedi Academy, and the young adult graphic memoir Hey, Kiddo, which was a National Book Award Finalist.  "Draw Every Day with JJK"

Online Story Times, Podcasts, and Audiobooks

Circle Round from WBUR offers podcasts of carefully curated folktales from around the world for kids ages 4 to 10. Each episode ends with an activity that inspires a deeper conversation between children and grown-ups.

Remember Highlights Magazine? Highlights Hangout is a monthly podcast that brings the classic magazine to life in a whole new way. Includes “Hidden Pictures”—with sounds!

Celebrated actors are reading children’s books on Storyline Online.

The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds & Activities (yes, it includes Oprah!).

Virtual Tours and Interactives

Check out these Virtual Tours of 12 Famous Museums from Travel + Leisure.

For our Especially For Me families

Basic CDC information about COVID-19 in American Sign Language.

Coronavirus: An ASL Social Story from Marie Philip School

National Homework Hotline for Blind/Visually Impaired Students for help navigating remote schoolwork.

Activities and Lessons from Perkins School for the Blind.

School Closure Autism Toolkit from Easter Seals.

Talking to Kids about Coronavirus: ASL & English Resources from the American Society for Deaf Children.

Coronavirus & COVID-19 Specific Resources

Coronavirus and Family Mental Health from The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Clay Center is a free, practical, online educational resource dedicated to promoting and supporting the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of children, teens, and young adults.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children, from the CDC.

Cover Your Cough and Sneeze! How to Teach Kids to Cough/Sneeze into Their Sleeves, from Boston Children’s Museum.

Small people can have big feelings when they hear about scary information on the news. Here is a great article from Huffington Post on how to talk to them about coronavirus from experts.

Talking To Kids About the Coronavirus, from the Child Mind Institute

Just for Kids, a comic exploring the new Coronavirus, from NPR 

A video to teach your children how hand washing helps prevents the spread of Coronavirus from Nanogirl.

And for older kids, Transmissions: Gone Viral, by the New York Hall of Science, an interactive comic book on the topic of viruses the scientific process–how to collect evidence and draw conclusions.

Brains On: Understanding Coronavirus and How Germs Spread, a podcast from Minnesota Public Radio.

Tips for Families Coronavirus from Zero To Three

Just for Fun!

There are some incredible videos in How Things Are Made. Don't miss Pasta with Red Sauce by Andrea Love.

The World’s Largest Elephant Toothpaste Experiment by Mark Rober

Love Note from the Goats from Sunflower Farm Creamery

The Cake Server, Joseph's Machines' most complicated Rube Goldberg machine ever. Seriously, this is incredible. 
 

Ideas? Questions? Comments? At-home inspirations? We would love to hear from you!