Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

online learning

Free, local online learning for kids

Museums, art galleries and libraries make learning at home fun and fascinating

You don’t have to home-school your kids to see the benefit of online learning resources, and in this area, the greater Seattle area has a lot to offer. Many local museums, zoos, and other educational organizations have continued offering or expanding their free online education components post-pandemic. Here’s a look at these exciting and often fun resources.


Online learning at Burke Musem

Online learning from the Burke Museum.

Burke from Home / Seattle: Download free lesson packets, each with a different weekly theme, or have them sent to your inbox by subscribing. Learn about Mesozoic dinosaurs, prehistoric whales, bats, and more, and solve scientific mysteries from your kitchen. The Burke also offers free coloring pages, instructions for dinosaur crafts, and a nature scavenger hunt.

Museum of Flight at Home / Seattle: Travel through time and space on over 150 types of space and aircraft through virtual tours or a 3-D expedition. The museum also offers many fun and exciting online STEM family activities.

Job Carr Cabin Museum Learn at Home / Tacoma: Head here for a list of sweet, simple activities, including a drawing contest, how to make homemade butter, and printable activity pages like word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, and more.

Seattle Children’s Museum at Home: The Children’s Museum YouTube page is an excellent source for fun, how-to video tutorials for exciting activities like cooking, painting with scissors, science projects, and more. Also, learn about weekly Zoom meetings and other live events on our Virtual Calendar.

Living Computer Museum Online Education Resources / Seattle: Access the museum’s tools and websites for learning to code, play retro video games like the Oregon Trail, and connect to Living Computer’s vintage computers from your home. Also, visit the museum’s YouTube channel for a wide range of videos, from gallery talks to tutorials.

Imagine Children’s Museum/ Seattle: Just like the museum itself, Imagine’s YouTube channel offers various activities for various interests. Participate in storytime, watch a doodle drawing tutorial, make lily pad art for preschoolers, build a catapult for science time, get your dance on, and much more.

MOHAI History at Home / Seattle Connect with MOHAI digitally and examine the museum’s artifacts, watch historical films, do crafts, and find story suggestions.

Nordic Museum Crafts for Kids: Read books, make a hedgehog, create a paper bag puppet, and more! Nordic Museum is releasing these how-to tutorials on their Facebook and Instagram pages. They have crafts and creative challenges for adults, too!

Seattle Art Museum’s SAMBlog / Seattle: Can’t make it to the museum or want to help kids understand art? The SAMBlog offers images of artworks, insights about them, and step-by-step art activities that help connect kids to art styles. The blog provides numerous ways to engage online by reading, watching, creating, learning, or listening to guided tours of exhibits.

Animals & Nature

Online learning

Photo courtesy Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Nature at Home / Tacoma: Be a wildlife detective and go on a nature scavenger hunt; get up close and personal at the zoo and watch animal videos, or learn how to make a pollinator garden for your backyard bees.

Seattle Aquarium “Experience the Aquarium Anywhere”/ Seattle: Watch live otter and seal feedings (check times on our Virtual Calendar), explore a different marine animal each week with weekly themes, check out animal facts sheets and infographics, and more.

Seward Park Audubon for Kids / Seattle: Download beautiful online content on a different bird-related theme, such as “All About Owls” or “Birds on the Move,” and learn about the topic through vivid infographics and fun learning challenges like scavenger hunts.

Tacoma Art Museum (TAM at home): Try printmaking, learn how to be a scientist-artist, create a landscape collage, and more fun and artful ideas are featured on Tacoma Art Museum’s page, offering video tutorials as lessons. Also, check out the Museum’s social media pages for deep dives into individual artworks from TAM’s collection.

Magnuson Children’s Garden / Seattle. This wonderful organization offers over one hundred free downloadable, nature-inspired activities on its website, ranging from worm bins to wetlands to ocean creatures.

Woodland Park Zoo / Seattle: Go to the educator resource page on the zoo’s website, and you’ll find all sorts of learning activities. Print them out, and, among other things, you’ll have all the instructions to help a kid build their own “mountain” and practice navigating the rugged terrain like a mountain goat.


Online learning

Using online library resources at Seattle Public Library. Photo by Cheryl Murfin

Seattle Public Library:  SPL offers online learning resources, including digital subscriptions to newspapers and other periodicals, audiobooks, and more. Check out these programs:

  • LinkedIn Learning: Learn a new skill at your own pace, with thousands of courses covering animation, business skills, marketing, design, photography, programming, and much more. Also available via app. Use ID: Seattle
  • Mango Languages: Want to improve your conversation skills in another language? This interactive tool offers more than 70 languages, including English, for children and adults. Also available via app.
  • Microsoft Learn: Prepare for school or career by improving your knowledge of Microsoft products and technologies. Basic skills, advanced training, and certification are available.
  • O’Reilly Complete Public Library: Improve your computer and business skills. Access nearly 50,000 titles, including 7,000 videos about computing, databases, programming, web design, and more. Formerly Safari Books Online. Website only – Not available via app.
  • Signing Savvy: Learn American Sign Language (ASL) online with this visual dictionary. Searchable by word or phrase. Create word lists, flashcards, and quizzes. Also available via app.
  • Log in with a Library card to get free online tutoring from live tutors for K-12 students, adult learners, and job seekers.

King County Library System: KCLS offers digital access to periodicals and newspapers, LinkedIn Learning, Mango Languages, and other programs SPL offers. In addition, it provides families with several other online resources, including:

  • Northstar: Build technology skills you can use in school, work, and personal life. Take self-paced lessons and online tests to grow your knowledge.
  • Driving Tests: Get ready for the Washington State Driver’s License test. Access online practice tests and the official Washington State Driver’s Manual. Commercial Driver’s License materials and the Washington Motorcycle Handbook are also available. Tests are in English, Russian, and Spanish. An audio version of the manual is also available in English.
  • Brainfuse Free Online Tutoring: Get one-on-one, real-time tutoring from 1-11 p.m. daily. Get writing help. For students in grades K-12, college, and adult learners. Available via chat and audio.
  • Britannica Library: Find accurate information to help kids complete school assignments or explore their interests. Read or listen to articles at a reading level that is right for you. Get articles, images, definitions, and websites from trusted sources.
  • Daily Life Through History: Explore the details of daily life worldwide from pre-history to today. Learn through articles, maps, charts, and primary documents. Engage your students with lesson plans.
  • Kanopy Kids: Watch a streaming collection of age-appropriate films and TV series selected for kids. Finding the right video is easy using Common Sense Media ratings. Titles selected help children develop empathy, mindfulness, and self-esteem.

Music, Theater, Science, Activism & More!

online learning

Instant Ice lesson from Pacific Science Center. Photo courtesy PacSci

Washington State Fair At-Home Educational Activities: Interested in learning about agriculture? How about animals, food production, and farming? The Washington State Fair has compiled free activity books, coloring sheets, and a series of wonderful lessons that kids and parents will enjoy.

PacSci Curiosity at Home: Pacific Science Center is quickly becoming a go-to local resource for online learning. You’re all set with fun, exciting YouTube (pre-recorded) science presentations on topics like combustion, Tinker Tank at Home how-to videos, and an extensive list of lesson plans arranged by grade level.

The Creative Advantage Seattle: A collection of arts learning videos created by local teaching artists. Visit their YouTube page to learn how to make paper puppets, sing with your diaphragm, practice creative drama, or watch a storytelling performance.

Worksheets: Not local, but a labor of love

online learning

Free worksheets from

15 Worksheets. Retired teachers on the East Coast want to make it easy for teachers, homeschool parents, and tutors to access free subject worksheets to help kids gain the academic skills they need to thrive in today’s world. At 15 Worksheets, volunteer teachers are creating a minimum of 15 worksheets in a wide range of study areas, all free for download.

Read more:

How to spell student success? PUBLIC LIBRARIES

KCLS best books of 2023

Wordle ’round the family for FREE!


About the Author

Leah Winters