Whether Ottawa museums are open or closed, their websites are always full of stimulating activities and fun project ideas to keep kids busy at home. On weeknights, weekends or during school breaks, the whole family can spend time together building things, creating art, and even playing with food. Check out some of the amazing ways museums in Canada’s capital region are encouraging kids everywhere to use their heads and hands at home.
The entire family will get inspired to make art based on the National Gallery of Canada’s creative ideas. Enjoy some fun Crafternoons making animals stamps, paper puppets, wreaths, stained-glass designs and more. Most activities are inspired by real art pieces from the Gallery’s collection, which you can explore on their website.
The Ottawa Art Gallery regularly offers virtual programming, such as weekly art and wellness workshops for mental health, Sketchy Thursdays, April Break Art Camp for kids, and more.
Go back in time
Canada’s most visited museum, the Canadian Museum of History, offers several online activities that will have you time traveling through the country. Options include building a time capsule, creating your own family flag, drawing a relationship tree, trying beadless beadwork, and even curating your own exhibition.
Focus on local and learn about the Ottawa’s history through the Bytown Museum’s website. Decide which city should be Canada’s capital by completing the 1867’s Biggest Decision activity, create your own mini boat and make believe it’s floating on the Rideau Canal, or try other fun crafts.
Airplanes and spacecraft are fascinating, especially when you can create and play with them at home! The Canada Aviation and Space Museum website features DIY activities such as build-your-own fleet of 3D paper models, make a homemade edible airplane, and experiments like creating a liquid vortex.
Play the mad scientist or the technology professional at home with the Canada Science and Technology Museum’s educational resources. Use household items to experiment with gravity, illusions and earthquakes, and create your own LEGO braille, kazoo or even a star finder!
Connect with nature
You don’t have to leave home to explore Canada’s fascinating natural world! The Canadian Museum of Nature offers many activities to keep kids engaged and stimulated. Make arctic hare origami, paint a winter snowfall with salt, play bird bingo through your windows, draw animals and plants, and much more.
Food and animals are a blast to play with and learn about! The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum’s educational resources are the next best thing to visiting the farm in person. See how to conduct eggs-periments with eggs, and make your own mini greenhouse, pumpkin boats, salt crystal snowflakes and much more!
Get familiar with Canada’s war-time experiences with the Canadian War Museum’s online resources. Colour your own Victory Garden, complete a crossword about Canadian museums, or play Over the Top, an interactive online adventure game about the trenches during the First World War (the latter requires a device but it’s an instructive game!). You can also immerse yourself into the Canada’s Naval History exhibition through hands-on games and activities.
To see what the Cold War was like in Canada, explore the Diefenbunker’s online activities. You’ll find virtual jigsaw puzzles, colouring pages and virtual tours of the unique bunker.
Fake money, that is! The Bank of Canada Museum’s at-home activities make it fun to learn about the economy. Print your own play money, use art techniques to create your own currency patterns, and learn how to budget groceries.