Schools and children's museums are closed, but the learning can continue at home with these local New Orleans resources. Children can learn how to cook a classic New Orleans recipe, virtually meet the animals at the Audubon Zoo, or get crafty with a kit from a local toy shop. With our boredom busters, kids will experience New Orleans like never before.
Learn about New Orleans
Designed to teach children about the landscape of Louisiana, The Louisiana Children’s Museum has gone virtual. Children can experience the museum online with Connections at Home, a YouTube series with interactive, kid-friendly tutorials. Learn how to weave a pinecone, make your own instrument, or even build a birdhouse. Their website also features a plethora of resources on how to help children of all ages cope with the pandemic.
Editor's Note: Audubon Zoo reopened its doors on June 3, 2020. Reserve your visit online.
The Audubon Nature Institute has a variety of resources and learning tools available online. Home to the zoo, aquarium, insectarium, and nature center, kids can virtually meet the animals and see what they’re up to via Facebook and Instagram. They can also participate in various learning activities, such as quizzes and puzzles. Once your kids meet Zion the penguin, they won’t be able to stop asking about him.
Who dat! Where y’at? Yeah, you right! Kids can learn the best of New Orleans phrases and lingo here. We have a different way of speaking down here, with words full of culture that any child will find endearing.
Read and Watch: New Orleans
Put down the screen and pick up a book! There are plenty of wonderful children’s books about New Orleans, many of which you can find relevent e-resources at your local library. Want a physical copy for story time? Order from a local bookstore, like Garden District Book Shop or Octavia Books. Goodnight NOLA, The Runaway Beignet, and What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo are some of our favorites.
Children of all ages will enjoy the Princess and the Frog, where New Orleans native Princess Tiana goes on a journey through the swamplands where they encounter many spirits and creatures throughout the way. Afterwards, go on a virtual tour of the places featured in the movie and make plans to visit. The movie is available on Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
Cook like a New Orleanian
So much learning can be done in the kitchen, not only math and art, but also a little New Orleans history. Kids can learn how to make classic New Orleans foods, like beignets, pralines, and red beans and rice with these recipes. Kids will love shaking a warm beignet in a paper bag full of powdered sugar or peeling a freshly-set praline off a piece of wax paper.
The Southern Food & Beverage Museum is all Louisiana food, all the time, and regularly hosts kids cooking classes. While the museum is closed, they’ve come out with a kids cooking YouTube series, where children can learn how to make macaroni and cheese, blueberry pancakes, and other simple kid-friendly recipes.
Turn your kitchen into a pizzeria with a little help from Reginelli’s. The Make Your Own Reginelli’s Pizza Kit is the perfect activity for kids and comes with everything you need to build your own 10” pie, including a ball of dough, cheese, sauce, and a coloring sheet with crayons and instructions, all for $9. Add toppings for an additional cost.
Create a New Orleans Craft
Download a free New Orleans coloring page from Walking Man Studios, which features different illustrations of New Orleans architecture. Sarah Clostio Artistry, a Mandeville-based artist, also has free coloring pages available for download on her website. Kids can enjoy coloring snowballs, a Mardi Gras mask, the St. Louis Cathedral, and more.
Children will delight in a craft from NOLA Craft Culture, known as the go-to place to glitter Mardi Gras throws. Beading, painting, and decorating kits are also great kids activities from NOLA Craft Culture.
Order from these NOLA Stores
Shop local for toys and activities to keep the kids occupied. Magic Box Toys, Lionheart Prints, and Little Pnuts Toy Shoppe have STEM learning activities, art kits, dolls and puppets, and games to keep the little ones busy and learning. Dirty Coast and Fleurty Girl have crawfish boil sets and books available as well. Each purchase will go a long way in supporting a local business.