Free & Fun Online Courses for Kids

As a parent, there is no denying the fact that our children’s education changed drastically in 2020. During my research on remote learning and homeschooling, I compiled a list of free and useful home learning resources for kids and parents. Please leave a comment below if I missed any good resource!

Big List of Free & Fun Online Courses for Children

These resources are my favorites. I list more below the table, but this is definitely the place to start. I’ve tried to list the subjects covered,the age range that is supported and just “how free” they really are.

Free Resource Topic Description Age Range How Free Is It?
Beanstalk All Topics Beanstalk offers a bunch of live classes as well as on-demand video courses. Each class generally requires a few school supplies or arts and craft materials, so you’ll want to prepare before the live session so that your children can follow along with the rest of the class. 2-6 They offer a few free on-demand courses at that link, but you need to start a 14 day free trial if you want to try out the rest of the service.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan All Topics Lots of fun stuff to try at home with your kids. These activities all have an educational aspect and come in PDF or YouTube video format. All ages. Free, with some membership upselling.
E-learning for Kids Math / Science E-learning for kids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free courses on math and science with helpful sections for parents, teachers and children. 5-11 Free.
iRobot Education Learning Library STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) with a focus on coding and robotics. If your child has an affinity for robots then these free courses might be a good fit. If you “Filter by” and change “Subscription” to “Non-Premium” and then press the search button, it will show you only the free courses. 6+ Enough free courses to make it worthwhile, with some membership upselling for their “Premium” courses with additional features.
Khan Academy Kids Math, reading, writing, social-emotional learning, and creative play Khan Academy Kids is a free app with no upsell or ads, which is nice. Covers all the essential topics and includes a weekly planner, printables and fun learning activities. 2-7 Free.
Storyline Online Reading Celebrities reading children’s books for free. I won’t lie, I got sucked into their YouTube channel a bit after the YouTube algorithm caught on. You should still read to your children, but if they like a certain celebrity or you want something to watch with the subtitles turned on, then this is a good free site you should check out. All ages. Free.
Zearn Math For some kids, math is boring which makes it hard to learn. “All kids can love learning math” is their slogan, which they aim to achieve by making math fun and interesting. Zearn is aimed at teachers, but for individual tutors or homeschooling parents, it’s a great free resource. 5-10 Free for one classroom with one teacher and up to 35 students, paid subscription for schools.

Courses & Other Educational Resources for Children Ages 2+

These are some of the bigger names in online children’s education, so my list wouldn’t be complete without them. Note that although I list this as 2+, that’s just a general guideline. You should check out each site for details on what ages they work best with.

Learn the Basics Using Games With: ABC Mouse
ABC Mouse has been around for awhile, but for younger children it’s a fun and educational site that is still worth the subscription fee. My kids loved it and I kept a subscription for about 18 months before my household had exhausted their interest in it. It’s good while it lasts and it does teach the basics of the ABCs/123s in a way that kids love.

You can get a free month to see if it’s a good fit for your kids by following this link:
https://www.abcmouse.com/subscribe/free_month

Help Your Child Learn to Read Fast With: Hooked on Phonics
Hooked on Phonics worked for me! Okay, it didn’t because I haven’t tried them, but that is what their marketing has drilled into my brain over the decades… yes, decades that this has been around.

I did some research into their current offers and it appears that they have modernized and kept up with the times. Your children can learn on your TV, computer, smart phone or tablet and get access to HD videos which slowly introduce your children to foundational topics that prepare and eventually directly teach them to read.

You can get your first month free or for $1 depending on their current promotions. Check the site for current updates.

Give Your Children Toys That Teach With: Fat Brain Toys
Fat Brain Toys combines what children love with what parents want for their kids: fun toys + an education. Not only that, but they offer educational toys for babies, toddlers, 2 to 12 year olds, teens and adults. Definitely worth a look if you’re trying to teach your kids in a fun and interesting way.

They have a series of free activities which you can find here:
https://www.fatbraintoys.com/play/keepthebrainfat.cfm

Give Your Child a Virtual Library With: Reading IQ
Reading IQ has over 7,000 books for children of all ages 2 through 12. Great for kids with access to a tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

You can sign up for a free month to see if it’s a good fit for your children.

High Impact Learning for All Ages With: Learning Resources

Learning Resources has a large selection of fun and educational activities for children 18 months old and up. I mean, they have a set of toys that teach 4 year olds the principles of coding through a fun dog figurine. That’s the awesome level of innovative educational toys you will find here.

They offer a wide selection of free learning @ home activities and free courses that you can find here:
https://www.learningresources.com/free-at-home-learning-essentials

Courses & Other Learning Tools for Children Ages 4+

SAT or GCSE Early Preparation With: EdPlace
EdPlace is designed to help children from Grade 1 onward in preparation to master their SATs or GCSEs through a series of worksheets, structured lessons and a bunch of helpful related content that is meant to help parents and students stress less and learn more.

They offer a free parent/single student account for life. Teachers, tutors or parents with multiple children will need to look into one of their monthly or annual plans.

Fun Science Experiments for Kids 4+ With: Steve Spangler Science
Steve Spangler Science is the place to go if you want to teach your children STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at home. They offer science experiments and kits for home use, including seasonal activities such as Halloween slime activities. They also have a rather inexpensive monthly subscription service which sends fun STEM related activities each month.

Their “Science from Home” series is free, you can check it out here:
https://stevespangler.com/science-at-home/

Teach Your Kids Math the Fun Way With: The Maths Factor
The Maths Factor has a series of course for ages 4-12 years that provides games, rewards and achievements for completing academic goals.

You can try out the service for free for 21 days by following this link:
https://www.themathsfactor.com/try/

Courses for Children Ages 8+

Keep Older Kids Interested in Edutainment With: Adventure Academy
Adventure Academy – Eventually, your children will outgrow ABC Mouse, but if they’re age 8 or older, they may appreciate Adventure Academy which is the follow up from the same team only aimed at older kids and young teens. It’s basically a MMO with an educational slant to it.

You can try it for free on their website.

Complete Creative & Artistic Projects With: Creativebug

Creativebug is good for teens who have an interest in arts and crafts. They do have a kids section with categories for children of all ages 5 and up. Online classes include knitting, crochet, art and design, paper, sewing, quilting, jewelry, kids, food + home, and holiday & party. This site is also good for creative adults.

They have a large selection of free arts and crafts classes that you can take now, located here:
https://www.creativebug.com/free-arts-and-crafts-classes

Free eLearning Sites That Are Good for Kids

I already had started compiling this list before I decided to write this article. After I got close to finishing my writing, I decided to search for other free kids courses so that I could add any resources that I missed. One of the most compelling things I forgot to add was general purpose e-learning platforms that also have kid appropriate content and/or sections.

Free Resource Type Description Age Range How Free Is It?
edX – Learn K12 Online Courses edX is mainly known for bringing top name university classes to anyone anywhere, but they do have a few free courses for children. 8+ Free, with some upselling.
The Great Courses – High School Courses Online Courses High quality courses aimed at high school level learners. You can view 30 minute lessons for free here. 14+ Courses are paid. You can do a free trial and every now and then you can grab a free course on promotion.

Other Great Kid Learning Resources

The following resources are not online classes, but do represent resources that can be extremely valuable to the right learner. All of these home-based online classes are best when used in conjunction with proper school supplies, binders, notepads, pens and pencils. These things are all creative tools that also allow your student to fully participate in the classes. I also list some cool educational toy companies that make learning a blast.

Scholastic is almost synonymous with children’s education at this point and for good reason. Check out their massive selection of books, workbooks and other educational resources.

Discount School Supply lives up to it’s name. With learning from home exploding in popularity, it’s essential for parents and teachers to find affordable school supplies and that’s exactly what this site offers. Perfect for teachers or parents who are teaching from home.

Bright Star Labels (US) or Bright Star Kids (AU/NZ) feature a large selection gifts appropriate for children, many of which have an educational side to them. Worth a look if you’re searching for fun activities or rewards for games.

Really Good Stuff has a large selection of teaching supplies and homeschooling resources for remote learners.

eFollet is a great resource for college students, because you’re able to rent college books, buy them used or even buy them digitally. In addition to that, you will find apparel for over 1,200 colleges.

eCampus is all about cheap textbooks, either renting, buying or even selling school textbooks or etextbooks.

The Best Children Education YouTube Channels

If I’m going to make a list of the best online learning resources for children, it would be incomplete without a list of good YouTube channels. While not all of these channels provide courses, they do provide educational content in a fun, informative and age appropriate way.

Channel Description
Alphablocks This is a great channel to build early English skills for toddlers through pre-school by working on phonetics and basic reading skills.
Deep Look Run by PBS Digital Studios, this channel video by video takes an exhaustive look into a single subject. The narrator is lively, fun and informative. Recommended for viewers of all ages, adults included.
It’s Okay To Be Smart Run by PBS Digital Studios and created by Joe Hanson, Ph.D. this channel focuses on science videos that explain why?
Khan Academy Kids I already mentioned Khan Academy Kids earlier in this article, but this is their YouTube channel, which is full of good content including stories and activities.
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell Not every kid should watch every video on this channel… for instance the explaination of a nuclear bomb explosion is still graphically terrifying despite the cute animation. However, this channel is great at simply explaining some hard to understand concepts. Safe for any teen, but parental guidance suggested for younger audiences.
Learning Blocks Learning Blocks has Alphablocks and Numberblocks videos on the same channel! Useful if you introduce those channels separately and later want
Math Songs by NUMBEROCK This isn’t math rock, this is music videos which teach math through song and dance. For some kids, this will be an easier way to introduce math concepts than through boring old people talking about numbers.
Mathantics Mathantics breaks down math subjects into easy to digest videos with some personality. This channel covers alegbra to some trigonometry so it’s most appropriate for middle school/high school on up.
minutephysics I’ve been watching and loving minutephysics for years. Not the best channel for holding the attention of younger children, but middle schoolers and above will learn interesting things about physics.
National Geographic Kids I linked to their playlists because they upload a bunch of different shows and the playlists are the best way to sort through the shows. Great for elementary school age children.
Numberblocks Numberblocks is for preschool children to learn all about numbers.
SciShow Kids Covers all foundational and major subjects with videos aimed at younger children.
Sesame Street It’s Sesame Street, so I think you know what to expect. Great learning and a lot of fun.
thebrainscoop Run by Emily, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago who shares the “work and research of natural history museums with the world.”

Concluding Thoughts

A recent study showed that students are more likely to finish an online course if there is a certificate of completion waiting at the end of the process. If your child is goal orientated, offer to buy them their favorite ice-cream when they get the certificate of completion.

It’s interesting to browse through all these options, especially because some are aimed at parents and others aimed at teachers, but the best are aimed at helping children first and foremost.

I learned about a few of them after one of my kids asked for an account. After I vet the site, read other parent’s reviews and make sure my child is actually interested for more than a moment… that’s when I’ve pulled the trigger on most of the sites I listed above.

There are a lot of options today for teaching your kids online, which is good. Hopefully the events of 2020 help to increase the number of options as well as the polish and satisfaction of these online learning platforms. Only time will tell.

Let me know if this article has given you and your kid(s) some fun new ways to learn. Again, if I missed any amazing resource please let me know in the comments so I can add it to the list. I’m always looking for new courses for myself, friends and family.

I will try and periodically update this article so please bookmark and share it so that other parents and students can benefit. Thanks for reading and happy learning!


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