With summer in full swing, lots of kids (and parents) are going online for ideas to keep busy. At Common Sense, we’re partial to activities that are a little, well, different. We’ve rounded up 30 unique things you and your kids can learn to do online (for free!) by a). watching a video, b). following instructions, or c). reading about a subject.
Note: Many videos include an advertisement at the beginning, and some websites might link off to other topics or websites that might not be appropriate for your kids. We suggest previewing or watching along with your kids.
- Create a constellation jar.
Appreciate the night sky — indoors.
- Make summer snowballs.
Snowball fights all year round.
- Make it rain.
Simple condensation project for budding scientists.
- Play Calvinball.
Rules are optional, masks are not.
- Paint your toast.
Create edible art with food dye.
- Write a “Who I Am” poem.
Creative and thoughtful self-reflection exercise.
- Make homemade bubbles.
Blow your friends and family away.
- Test for bacteria.
Easy science fun once you have a few supplies.
- Create an online storybook.
Bring unique tales to life.
- Make embossed pendants.
Cool craft for making badges, medals, or coins.
- Create comics together.
Marvel at your child’s creative and artistic skills.
- Construct paper dolls.
You can make these adorable dolls all by yourself.
- Teach your dog to roll over.
Good for hours of rewarding fun in the backyard.
- Play the Star Wars theme on piano.
Beginning pianists will love adding this to their repertoires.
- Concoct ice cream in a bag.
It’s hot out, but this is cool — and tasty.
- Make your own Frozen silly putty.
Elsa and Anna-inspired glittery fun.
- Build a house for fairies.
These can be simple or super complex for fantasy-loving kids.
- Invest in stocks and shares.
Soon, kids might be teaching Mom and Dad a thing or two about money.
- Set up your own Minecraft server.
Minecraft masters will want to try this advanced project.
- Face-paint superheroes.
Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, and more.
- Cook tasty meals and treats.
Easy recipes for small chefs.
- Make retro bead art.
Level up with video game inspired art.
- Program software.
Kids, this is your future. Learn it.
- Make a balloon animal.
Start with a dog and graduate to giraffes, rhinos, and more.
- Disappear a card or coin.
Future magicians have to start somewhere.
- Construct a worm composter.
Eco-minded kids will dig into this project.
- Grow a plant.
So simple and yet so amazing.
- Build a pillow fort.
A secret hideout inside the house.
- Sew a tablet case out of jeans.
Kindle? iPad? Whatever you have, it could use some denim.
- Build a bird house.
Got a hammer and a few nails? Perfect summer project.
Editorial Intern Nayanika Kapoor contributed to this article.