The Best Free Interactive Lessons, Learning Apps & More from LA Museums

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Our favorite LA museums may currently be closed, but that doesn’t mean your kids can’t still experience a little of what they have to offer at home. With free live stream videos, fun DIY projects and interactive maps, places like the Petersen Automotive Museum, California Science Center and more are offering ways to make learning fun (and little easier on you). Read on for the details.



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California Science Center: Stuck at Home Science

Biology class may be on hold, but kids can still experiment with melting ice cubes (while learning how mammals stay warm in frigid waters), build their own mini zipline (and get a lesson in gravity and friction), and more. The California Science Center's Stuck at Home Science currently has more than 50 free videos and activity guides for families to download.


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Aquarium of the Pacific: Online Academy

Get a lesson in marine biology, ocean conservation and more with the Aquarium of the Pacific, which offers on-demand videos and activities for all ages, plus a schedule of interactive live programs with the aquarium's educators. Older kids (grades 6-12) can learn about coral reefs, the science of scuba diving and the anatomy of a squid; while younger ones can meet baby sea creatures, play "eye spy" in the fish tank and practice their ABC's under the sea. See a schedule of upcoming live programs here; and find past videos on the aquarium's YouTube channel.

Field Trip Alert: While the rest of the places featured in this story are closed, the outdoor exhibits at the Aquarium of the Pacific are open, with safety guidelines in place. Get all the details here


Getty at Home

For kids ages 6-12, enjoy learning about art—from art history, to artists, to artmaking—through Getty videos and lessons, available on Khan Academy and the Getty blog. Listen to stories for kids while looking at art Featuring the voices of animals, monsters, angels, demons, and kids. 


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Skirball at Home

Follow Skirball Cultural Center on Instagram to get all their family-friendly art projects, complete with material lists, alternative ways to complete the activity and photos of the finished product. Developed by Skirball's family art educators, these fun crafts (like creature collages, pictured, and nature mobiles) are intended to be completed with simple materials found outdoors or around the house.


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The Broad: Family Art Studio

Kids can create their own masterpieces inspired by artists from the Broad's collection with the museum's new art activity tutorials for families. (Find the tutorials on The Broad's social media channels: InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.) What better way to expose little ones to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and more? 


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Norton Simon Museum: Art-Making Activities

Visit the Norton Simon Museum to discover their art projects and coloring sheets. A couple of our favorites for younger kids? Pattern Play, using recycled materials, and Pop-Up Summer, which you can modify and create with scrap paper—one of our go-to materials for kids crafts. (Get more scrap paper ideas here.)



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Natural History Museum

You can bring the museum's collections home to you with complete lesson plans, virtual tours, activities and how-to's for NHMLA exhibits Becoming Los Angeles (about the history of our city) and the Dinosaur Hall. Get all the details here.


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California African American Museum: 600State

The blog from the California African American Museum, 600State, is a robust resource for Black history, family art projects inspired by Black culture and the museum's exhibits, and playlists curated by artists and museum staff. Follow CAAM on Instagram, too, for regular "on this day" events in #BlackHistory.



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Kidspace Children's Museum: K-Blog

Kidspace's K-Blog is full of fun at-home experiments and activities, including pretend play like The Floor Is Lava and Walk on the Wild Side. Check them out for a fun way to get kids moving and learning.

–Shannan Rouss


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