Covid Coping: Top Picks for Online Museum Resources for Families


It’s hard to sort through all the many resources on line, so why not start with a few of our best museums in the US. Here, curated for kids, are some choices for activities which are active and creative.

American Museum of Natural History
New York, NY
While the American Museum of Natural History is closed, the Museum is sharing a range of online content that engages audiences in its scientific research and educational mission. Among the resources from the Museum are the OLogy science website, where kids and families can find fun activities and games to learn about the natural world around them; online curriculum collections for teachers, parents, and students on topics ranging from dinosaurs to river ecology; learning opportunities for all ages through Museum courses on Coursera, Khan Academy, and Kahoot; professional learning for teachers on Coursera and through the Museum’s Seminars on Science; and opportunities to visit virtually through the Museum’s YouTube channel, which features videos that take audiences into the institution’s world-class collections and into the field with researchers.

Corning Museum of Glass
Corning, NY

While most people might think that children and glass don’t mix, The Corning Museum of Glass knows the versatile material can be exciting for learners of all ages. The world’s largest museum devoted to glass offers hundreds of hours of glassmaking content on their award-winning YouTube channel. Younger kids will especially enjoy You Design It; We Make It, where glassmakers turn drawings submitted by children into imaginative works of art, and the Museum’s Coloring pages, based on works in the Museum’s collection, are available for download.

Minneapolis Institute of Art
Minneapolis, MN

The Minneapolis Institute of Art offers a variety of engaging and fun art-making ideas, activities, and learning resources that children and their families can enjoy—from wherever they are. Resources include at-home art making projects, including watercolor painting, papier mache paste, and crafts for toddlers, all with step-by-step instructions. There’s also a wealth of coloring pages based on objects in the collection. Children can delve into self-guided virtual tours to learn about art movements like Impressionismand explore the wonders of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as do scavenger hunts in their own home. Educators can also take advantage of tailored learning tools that include guides to teach lessons on Native Art, Arts of Africa, and Mexican Prints. Explore all Mia has to offer from home here.


Louise Lawler (Bunny) Sculpture and Painting (traced). 1999⁄2019

Museum of Modern Art, New York
New York, NY

On March 25, the Museum launched an Artist Project with Louise Lawler, who provided 12 printable, line tracings that are black-and-white line versions of her photographs of places where art is shown and experienced. These images are available for children (and adults) to print and use as coloring sheets. MoMA Learning offers a wealth of worksheets to encourage creativity, from writing to an artist to designing candy packaging. For high schoolers, MOMA’s Coursera offerings provide a wonderful introduction to photography, contemporary art, modern art, abstract painting, and fashion (some courses are even available in Mandarin). There are also three courses available for K-12 teachers, so they can bring these lessons into their classrooms. For learners less interested in structured courses, MoMA’s YouTube channel provides a wealth of video content, including playlists focusing on the permanent collection, exhibitions, conservation, and film. These videos include behind the scenes content developed by MoMA’s Creative Team including At the Museum, How to See, In the Studio, Artist Stories, Fashion as Design, and Modern Art and Ideas.

Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, CA

While field trips and family visits to the Museums are not possible at the moment, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County – including the Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits and William S. Hart Museum – have launched NHMLAC Connects, an online portal continually offering new opportunities to explore natural and cultural wonders: safely, and digitally from home. A special NHMLAC Connects page for families offers games, crafts and interactive activities for early learners, Middle School, and High School students from dying dino eggs to reading a graphic novel about a little mouse in the Ice Age. Watch videos of animals, like Odin the Western screech-owl, from NHMLAC’s Live Animal Program, work with your kids to help scientists collect data onbutterfly migration from your home, and access school curriculum guides and activities for the family. Learn from neighbors’ stories, history and culture in “Becoming L.A.” Join scientists on international expeditions as they share discoveries, from Antarctica toTarpits of the World, including La Brea Tar Pits, the one-of-a-kind active urban Ice Age excavation site. Visit NHMLAC.ORG/connects to begin exploring collections, exhibitions, educational experiences and global science adventures online.