Links, videos, and instructions for really fun family projects.
With summer in full swing, lots of kids (and parents) are going online for ideas to keep busy. At Common Sense Media, we're partial to activities that are a little, well, different. We've rounded up 30 unique things you and your kids can learn 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 sites 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 while indoors.
- Learn geography and your family's history
Printable jigsaw puzzle makes learning fun.
- Make it rain
Simple condensation project for budding scientists.
- Construct cardboard tube binoculars
A must have for young explorers.
- Paint your toast
Create edible art with food dye.
- Build a marble slide
Tons of fun and creativity for future architects.
- Make homemade bubbles
Blow your friends and family away.
- Test for bacteria
Easy science fun once you have a few supplies.
- Modify water guns
Tons of different ways to tinker with Super Soakers.
- Make embossed pendants
Cool craft for making badges, medals, or coins.
- Learn long division
Easy to master once you follow these instructions.
- 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 repertoire.
- Concoct ice cream in a bag
It's hot out, but this is cool -- and tasty.
- Whistle with a blade of grass
The best nature trick ever.
- 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.
- Facepaint superheroes
Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, and more.
- Understand your prejudices
We've got a lot to learn about each other.
- Deal with feeling angry
A step-by-step guide to getting through strong emotions.
- 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.
- Play "Ghost in the Graveyard"
Grab all your friends, go to the park, and have fun.
- Sew a tablet case out of jeans
Kindle? iPad? Whatever you've got, it could use some denim.
- Build a bird house
Got a hammer and a few nails? Perfect summer project.
Amanda Nojadera, Editorial Assistant, contributed to this article.