Fun and Educational Field Trip Ideas for Students in Central Ohio

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Round out your child’s homeschool or virtual school education with these fun and educational field trip ideas around Central Ohio!

No doubt school looks different for many of us this year! Many Central Ohio school districts are starting out the year virtually or in a hybrid model. Many families have chosen to homeschool for the first time or to enroll in a fully digital academy! Our family has enrolled in a digital academy for the first semester and while it’s not what I anticipated for this year, I’m hoping to make the most of it by supplementing our screen time with some fun activities and local field trips!

boy looking for butterflies at Ohio Bird Sanctuary Field Trip

I’ve put together this list of field trip ideas for the upcoming school year! Please make sure to check with each location before visiting as their guidelines and activities will most likely vary throughout the year.

Field Trip Ideas for Homeschoolers and Virtual Schoolers in Columbus

These Central Ohio locations would make perfect field trips for kids who are homeschooling, doing virtual school or a hybrid model during the 2020/21 school year!

Make sure to check out Amazing Online Learning Opportunities for Kids When School is Closed and How to Access Books, Magazines, Movies and More for Free Online with Your Central Ohio Library Card for more educational activities for school at home!

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Central Ohio Field Trip Ideas for Homeschoolers and Virtual Schoolers

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Fun (and Local) Ways to Supplement Your Digital or Home School Curriculum

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Whether you’re homeschooling, doing virtual school, going hybrid or just looking for some extra enrichment for your kids, check out this list of supplemental ideas provided by Columbus businesses to help your kids learn AND have fun!

We’re doing our district’s Virtual Academy for at least the first semester of this school year. But I’m also intrigued by the idea of including some extra enrichment activities to break up the day! I’ve been collecting this list of some fun opportunities from local businesses who have been getting creative with their offerings to help out kids and parents during this very different looking school year!

This list of activities, subscription boxes and classes will help you add some fun and variety to your at-home school day!

1. Wonderment Art

Kinder Explorations

Kinder Explorations

Curated especially for kindergarteners, Kinder Explorations is a curriculum-driven, open-ended art kit filled with high quality re-usable art supplies. The explorations within the kit focus on strengthening fine motor skills, building art literacy, making decisions, and exploring new materials. In addition to the kit contents, we provide digital resources to parents including book lists, videos, and other resources to continue and expand upon the journey at home.
The perfect way to supplement your child’s online/hybrid art class this school year. We provide the materials, suggestions and 20+ years of expertise in the areas of K-8 education and art.  Purchase Kinder Explorations individually or sign up for a school-year membership. (Explorations in these kits are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.)

2. Highlights for Children

highlights for children

15 Minutes a Day to School Success Subscription Box

Highlights is introducing a FUN NEW way to support learning at home. It’s the quickest and easiest way to ensure your child’s school success in just 15 minutes a day. Each month, you’ll get a blend of skills practice and fun activities, tailored for their grade. They only need minutes a day but might not want to stop!

The 15 Minutes a Day to School Success Subscription Boxes15 Minutes a Day to School Success Subscription Boxes are available for Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade. Each box includes an award-winning blend of skills practice and puzzles – all designed to be used in just 15 minutes a day! 

3. Musicologie

Online Music Lessons

Musicologie provides simply delightful music lessons to all ages and abilities.  With online or in-person lessons, Musicologie makes music accessible to everyone by nurturing students’ innate curiosity and empowering them to achieve their musical goals. Learn piano, voice, guitar, drums and more.

Lessons are weekly one-on-one sessions with expert teachers via live video conferencing or in studio at one of our four central Ohio locations. Music is truly for everyone, at every level of playing or singing, and Musicologie wants to help you make music a deeper part of your life.  Get started at

4. Columbus Metropolitan Library

Online K-12 Homework Help

Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, CML staff is available online to answer questions about homework for grades K-12 and help students in grades K-3 practice reading!

You can text them at 614-810-4457, call them at 614-645-2275 or use the chat box on the website

5. The Penmanship Lab

The Penmanship Lab

Get A Grip! – Hand and Finger Strengthening For Improved Handwriting

Online hand exercise program, led by an OT, teaching basic hand exercises using fun activities, for hand strengthening, finger dexterity, and control. Does your child display hand fatigue when writing or coloring? This can be due to hand weakness. Poor hand strength and fine motor skills can affect a child’s ability to learn and develop good handwriting. It can also make other everyday grip patterns difficult as well. This program is designed to help improve your child’s overall hand and finger strength.

Virtual Tutoring and Support

Last school year presented unexpected challenges, and this school year will continue to present both similar and new ones. Overwhelmed? Concerned your child is “losing” out or falling behind? Let me help! My goal is to augment the transition from classroom to virtual learning. 

With The Penmanship Lab, students get, the individualized attention that they need, assistance in boosting their confidence and an educational support system and exposure to effective and relevant skills for academic success. Tutoring is available in reading, math, handwriting, science, social studies, phonics and organizational skills. Pricing will vary depending on frequency and type of sessions.

6. Clay Cafe Columbus

clay camp clay cafe columbus

Clay Camp

Clay Cafe has created a space where kids and parents can get out of the house and get their hands dirty for a while! 

Our clay camps are half day experiences for kids ages 7-14.  It’s the only time we work with wet clay and each project is unique. We limit camp to 6 kids to keep everyone safe and distanced. We are trying to gear some projects towards what kids might be learning in school too. Even if parents aren’t quite ready to commit to a week of half day camp, any time they come in with kids is an experience of painting and creating something totally individualistic and something they’ll remember for a long time! 

7. Kindermusik with Emily

Kindermusik with emily columbus ohio

Kindermusik Young Child 

Kindermusik Young Child classes are an early introduction to singing, reading, and writing music & rhythm. Through dances and games that focus on rhythmic development your child will learn a keyboard instrument (the glockenspiel) which will be used throughout the lessons. 
Your child will delight in being able to read and write music, as concepts are layered for optimal learning. Children gain an appreciation and understanding for music and musical concepts and receive a complete introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. Classes are available for ages 5 – 7 years and can take place in person or virtual. You can also build your own class with friends!

8. Goldfish Swim School

Goldfish Swim School Swimming Lessons Columbus Ohio

Swimming Lessons

As more families start to learn the ins and outs of teaching their children at home, they may want to consider alternatives to traditional Physical Education classes! Not only is swimming great for exercise – but it is also great for social interactions!

We know the school year looks a little different this year. Whether your little fish will be learning in-school, trying out distance-learning or you are testing the waters with homeschooling, we’re here to support families by providing kiddos a platform to make BIG waves wherever they are, while giving parents peace of mind.

If you’re interested in making swimming lessons part of your weekly routine visit the website for location info and class availability

9. Spanish for Niños

spanish lessons in Columbus Ohio

Spanish Lessons

Spanish for Niños, LLC is located inside Fun Town Play and Learn Café! Options include both online and in person classes with a limit capacity in our location to 10. ⁣Open registration is available for Spanish classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Your first class is free! Ages and times include:

  • Spanish for Bebés and Mami (6-15 months) 9:30 AM-10:00 AM⁣
  • Spanish for Chicos (16-36 months) 10:15 AM-10:45 AM
  • Spanish for Pre-Escolares – (3-5 years old) 11:00 AM -11:30 AM
  • Spanish for Niños (6-12  year olds) only Saturdays 11:45 AM-12:15 PM
  • Spanish for Homeschool (all ages) now 1:00 PM-2:00 PM, will change in September to 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM
Private Spanish lessons are also available as well as a Private Bilingual Preschool from 1pm-4:15pm. Meeting via Zoom is also an option!

10. COSI

COSI Connects Kits

COSI Connects Kit: Water

COSI’s education experts have designed STEM-focused themes to reinforce school-age standards in these hands-on science kits! Each kit includes every item and ingredient you need to complete 5 activities. The kits are recommended for grades K-8, but can still be fun for the whole family.
Cost is $30 per kit, $25 for COSI Members. Kits are shipped for free. Place an order at 

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Amazing Online Learning Opportunities for Kids When School is Closed

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If you’re like me and your school-aged kids are at home needing education and entertainment, this is a list of online educational resources and extracurricular activities that kids can participate in from your home computer or tablet!

 online learning opportunities for kids

There is a lot here, especially if you click through the links, which lead to more links, which lead to even more resources!

You will not be without help if you are helping to supplement your child’s education, home schooling or needing some educational opportunities for kids to use during screen time! 

Online Reading and Educational Opportunities:

LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Williams!

“Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.” 

Scholastic Learn at Home

“Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!”

Home Safari Facebook Live with the Cincinnati Zoo

“While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed and kids are home from school, let us help make your children’s hiatus from school fun and educational. Join us for a Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday at 3pm EDT where we will highlight one of our amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. Join us starting Monday, March 16 at 3pm EDT for our first Home Safari- featuring Fiona!”

Virtual Field Trips

A Google Doc with “Over 30 Virtual Field Trips with Links”.

Mystery Science Online Lessons

“All of the lessons below are expertly designed to engage students, achieve learning outcomes, and be easy for teachers to use. We have short mini-lessons that are completely digital and full lessons that include an activity. All of the activities are designed to use simple supplies a parent will likely already have at home.”

Storyline Online


“The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.”

Online Arts and Culture Classes:

Art For Kids Hub

“Here you’ll find all kinds of art lessons for kids, including how to draw for kids, even painting and origami for kids.”

Wild, Free and Crafty Online Art Lessons

“Join us for FREE online art lessons for kids (and adults). Ease some anxiety with art therapy, learn how to create awesome projects, and enjoy getting creative.”

20 Virtual Field Trips to Take with Your Kids from Adventures in Familyhood

“Explore zoos, aquariums, museums and destinations around the world without leaving home. Here are 20 virtual field trips you can take with your kids.”

Online Art Classes with McHarper Manor


“Beginning next week, our studio will be going live daily Monday through Friday at 1pm Eastern Time, with free art & craft tutorials to create at home with your kids! We’ll have shopping lists (with links to the supplies you can order from Amazon) so you can have supplies on-hand to complete the projects with us!”

Tour Over 500+ Museums with Google Arts and Culture

Click on each Museum for virtual tours and online exhibits!

Step by Step Painting Tutorials

“This website/ painting blog is filled with easy beginner acrylic painting tutorials designed by Tracie Kiernan! Each tutorial has step by step pictures, written directions and videos to help you learn at home for FREE!”

Draw Everyday with JJK

“You won’t need anything fancy. Some paper, a pencil. Maybe a marker. As we go along—and I plan to keep this going as long as we need—I may work in color lessons. (Color pencils, watercolor.)”

Nightly Met Opera Streams from The Metropolitan Opera


“Beginning tonight and continuing each day for the duration of the Met’s closure, an encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series will be made available from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 3:30 p.m. the following day.”

Online Ballet Instruction with Cleveland Inner City Ballet


“Cleveland Inner City Ballet be launching our first ever Virtual Online Ballet Instruction Program, FREE of charge. You will be able to access the program on our Facebook page at Cleveland Inner City Ballet Facebook and here on our website under the tab Virtual Ballet Instruction. We want to keep your little ones moving over the next three weeks as they are off from school. We will be offering fun and engaging ballet instruction and tutorials you can practice in the privacy of your own home. Remember to check back here or on Facebook for your first virtual ballet lesson Monday 3/16/20. See you Monday!”

Even More Online Resources:

How to Access Books, Magazines, Movies and More for Free Online with Your Central Ohio Library Card – a list of ways that Central Ohioans can access loads of online resources with their library card.

Fun and Free Resources for Kids a huge list of resources from EatPlayCbus

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings – an long list of free resources in the form of an online Google Doc.

Tons of Free Online Learning Opportunities – a large, viral Facebook post with links to online learning opportunities!

Over 75 Free Online Learning Resources for Teaching Your Students Virtually from We Are Teachers


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