Free Educational Resources from the Van Andel Institute to Make Homeschooling More Fun for Everyone

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If you are homeschooling your kids and running low on ideas, the Van Andel Institute for Education is here to help!The Van Andel Institute for Education is working diligently to support teachers, students and parents by curating a number of free educational resources that can be used at home to keep curiosity, creativity and critical thinking skills alive during mass school closures.

Have an idea you’d like to see added to the list? Share it here!

Science Experiments and Engineering Activities

Invisible Writing (VAI) I K-3

Let kids make a drawing on the bathroom mirror using diluted dishwashing detergent, and when the mirror fogs up during the bath or shower, it will reveal the message when they get out!

Dissolving Peeps (VAI) I K-4

Using different liquids, discover how peeps can dissolve right before your eyes!

Recycled Music (VAI) I K-12

Using recycled materials found around your home, create an instrument and investigate how sound is made!

Incredible Egg Geode I K-8

Make a geode from an egg, just in time for Easter!

Snow Fluff I K-6

Discover how cornstarch and shaving cream can be used to make snow. You can create your own snowman or snow angels!

Science Bob I 4-8

Great science experiments with instructions that you can do right at home. Safety instructions included.

10 Ingredients; 14 Experiments I 4-8

With only 10 easy to find ingredients, conduct 14 different experiments.

Maker Stations I K-12

3 Free Weeks of Maker Stations to keep your students creating at home! Each challenge includes simple instructions using materials around the house, QR code video resources, and a student recording sheet.


Mr. Losik’s Family Survival Guide I K-8

One of our favorite Blue Apple teachers, Mr. Andy Losik, shares his ideas for keeping the learning going!

Mystery Science I K-5

Free resource for science lessons to do at home.

Wings of Life: Disneynature Documentary (VAI) I K-4

Watch the documentary Wings of Life (disney+ and amazon prime) to discover the importance of pollinators. Then build your own pollinator from the movie!

After the Hoarding (VAI) I K-5

Did your family make a run on toilet paper? Make good use of the old rolls by putting them to use in a creative engineering challenge!

Sports and Science! (VAI) I K-12

Kids want to go outside and play. Parents might ask them to do some science. Why not both?


Scavenger Hunt! (VAI) I K-12

Get outdoors during the COVID19 crisis! A scavenger hunt like this one can help spark questions and lead to great explorations!

Microwave Lightning (VAI) I K-12

When you microwave a grape something unexpected occurs. Try it out and see for yourself! Learn about a type of matter that doesn’t often show up here on earth! 

Elephant Toothpaste! (VAI) I K-12

Create a fun, flowing chemical reaction using simple ingredients. 

NEW Skittles Rainbow! (VAI) I K-3 

This easy to do at home activity will help your youngster explore colors and science through making rainbows! 

NEW Paper Pillars! (VAI) I K-6

This is a simple, inquiry based, investigation that can be done with minimal materials and all things you are sure to have laying around the house! It is a great way to get your child thinking and acting like a true scientist! 

NEW Lungs: Learning and Activities (VAI) I K-6

Teach your kids about the human body at home. Your kids will find this topic fascinating! Included in this resource you will find easy-to-make at home models and fun videos/activities. 

MAKE-A-DIFFERENCE ACTIVITIES`

Senior Notes (VAI) I K-12+

Make notes/color pictures to send to your local retirement center to brighten the day of a resident during visitor restrictions.

TECH ACTIVITIES

Disney+ (VAI) I K-12

Have Disney+? Check out this resource as a way to connect its content in an educational way!

Virtual Museum Tours (VAI) I K-12

These fascinating museums have virtual tours…no lines! We’ve added a discussion guide to help students think creatively and critically as they enjoy these virtual exhibits.

Stop Motion Movies! (VAI) I K-12

Using a free app on any mobile device, create endless hours of fun by writing and directing your own stop motion film!

NEW Code.Org (VAI) I K-12

A free resource with tons of online coding activities. Make screen time more meaningful by building 21st century skills! 

NEW School House Rock! (VAI) I K-12

Don’t forget about the classics! Use this opportunity to make sure the next generation keeps the love going for School House Rock! All your favorites are available on YouTube. They hold up, I promise!

Math and Reading Lessons I K-8

Adapted Minds

One month free membership to reading and Math Lessons.

OTHER EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

Funny Read-Alouds for Growing Readers (VAI) I K-3

Get your young readers laughing out loud with these picture book stories.

Newsela (VAI) I K-12

Current and cross curricular nonfiction texts that can be adjusted to the readers level. Parents can use this at home (free) and it is currently offering free subscriptions to teachers through the end of the school year.

Scholastic: Learn from Home I K-12

Scholastic created a free set of daily resources and activities for students to stay busy during school closures. Each day of content is filled with exciting articles and stories, videos and fun learning challenges. Students can even go on virtual field trips or meet best-selling authors!

Jennifer Fisher’s YouTube Channel I Pre K-2

Jenny Fisher is a 1st grade teacher in Cedar Springs, Michigan. She has created a YouTube channel to help her first grade students stay busy and engaged with fun activities that reinforce what they have learned thus far. She’s happy to share!

Five Useful (and Fun) YouTube Channels I K-12

A curated list of YouTube channels kids can watch guilt-free!

Educational Companies Offering Free Memberships I K-12

A host of companies are offering parents free educational resources to help get through this tough time.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! I K-5

Acclaimed children’s author Mo Willems conducts a daily doodle session to spark creativity.


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