Events · Ramblings

70+ Virtual Field Trip Opportunities and Resources You Can “Visit” From Home

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. The only way I get compensated for this post is through these affiliate links, so any purchase you make is greatly appreciated. Thank you!)  

My daughters and I have enjoyed going on many field trips over the years. We’ve had the opportunity to take a “behind-the-scenes” tour of two post offices, a few stores, a police station, a fire station, an apple orchard, multiple farms, a sawmill, a fish hatchery, a radio station, a couple of recycling centers, and more. There truly are so many interesting places to explore!

I even created a field trip journal earlier this year to record all of our field trip adventures.

Field Trip Journal Available

My daughters had the chance to fill out their first field trip journal entry after we toured an airport in February. Unfortunately, other planned field trips have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19.

So, does that mean we can’t take any field trips at this time? No! Thanks to technology, there are a lot of opportunities to take virtual field trips. No dress code, no preplanning, no commute, and no fee required!

“Visit” zoos, aquariums, observatories, museums, food factories, and more from the comfort of your home with these web cams, virtual tours, and videos.

This is a long list of virtual field trip opportunities. I would not recommend doing them all at once. You don’t want a field trip burn out! Choose the ones you are the most interested in and do them as time and patience allow. It’s okay to bookmark this page to come back to for future field trips. That’s what I plan to do! With that being said, some of these virtual field trip opportunities have been created within the last few weeks in response to COVID-19, and I don’t know if they will remain after the quarantines have ended. You may want to do those field trip opportunities first if you are interested in them just in case.

(As a side note, I can’t control what others put on their websites, so please use with caution. I have clicked through many of the links to make sure they work, but I don’t have the time to explore all of them completely. Some of these links I have included are links to YouTube videos.)

Zoos

My family has had the opportunity to visit the Minnesota Zoo, Milwaukee Zoo, Racine Zoo, Madison Zoo, and (my personal favorite) Omaha Zoo. If you are unable to visit a zoo in person, watching the various zoo animal cams may be the next best option.

In the Lied Jungle Building at Omaha Zoo (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

Zoo Cameras Around the World

As the title suggests, this website offers links to zoo cameras all around the world. The list of zoos with webcams page includes the Alaska Zoo, Baton Rouge Zoo, Blank Park Zoo, Chattanooga Zoo, Chester Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Columbus Zoo, Cotswood Wildlife Park & Gardens, Dublin Zoo, Edinburg Zoo, El Paso Zoo, Greenville Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary, Highland Wildlife Park, Houston Zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, Kansas City Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Melbourne Zoo, Metro Richmond Zoo, Milwaukee County Zoo and Zoological Society, Minnesota Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, North American Bear Center, Red Park Zoo, San Diego Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, Tallinn Zoo, Tennessee Aquarium, The National Zoological Park, Toledo Zoo, Tulsa Zoo, Virginia Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Zoo Sauvage, and Zoo Montana. The live zoo cameras page offers a long list of animals to watch via webcams.

Some of the links may not direct you to an exact webcam, but many of them still offer information about the zoos. For example, when I clicked on the “Ant Webcam”, a page about the Marwell Zoo Webcams with interesting facts about the Marwell Zoo appeared. At the bottom of the page, I clicked on “view the Marwell Zoo webcams”, which opened a new tab with links to the webcams Marwell Zoo currently offers. These include a flamingo, lemur, giraffe, and penguin webcam, so I didn’t find the ant webcam I had originally clicked on. I guess that is kind of like actually going to visit a zoo when you expect to see a certain animal but that animal’s exhibit has been closed for some reason.

Ants (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz while visiting a nature center)

San Diego Zoo Animal Cams

Watch the cams for an ape, baboon, condor, elephant, koala, panda, penguin, polar bear, and tigers at the San Diego Zoo.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati Zoo is currently sharing information about their animals through a Home Safari Facebook Live each day at 3pm EDT. If you are like me and don’t have a Facebook account (or are unable to watch the presentations live), you can watch all of the videos on their YouTube channel.

Omaha Zoo- Zoo From Home

The Omaha Zoo is offering daily interactive videos and activities to do at home during this time. Some animals they currently have information for include rhinos, frogs, sloth bears, chinchillas, red pandas, sea lions, rattlesnakes, goats, bongos, and aye-ayes.

Milwaukee County Zoo

The Milwaukee County Zoo offers a “zoo view” of some of their animals.

Zoo Guide: A Bible-Based Handbook to the Zoo

Learn about more than 100 animals you may find at the zoo with this zoo guide written with a Biblical perspective from Answers in Genesis. This is a great resource for animal-loving kids and your next zoo visit, whether virtual or in-person.

Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day 

I had a daughter who went through a phase years ago where she wanted to learn all about animals. This book was a great curriculum option for that time. We learned a lot about flying creatures!

Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day

We also learned a lot about land creatures with this Apologia book around that same time.

More Animal Cams

You might be able to see birds live through your own windows! As I write this, I can see a robin in the grass and two birds on my deck. But if you are looking for more choices of watching birds and other animals around the world, you may be interested in these options.

Earth Cam – Animal Cams

This website links to multiple other animal cams around the world. I spent quite a bit of time watching the meerkat cam from Miami, Florida. The meerkats were very active and so adorable!

The Cornell Lab- All About Birds

If you like watching birds, this is the website for you. They offer links to live cams of multiple bird feeder locations and specific birds such as owls, red tailed hawks, Bermuda petrals, northern royal albatrosses, and more.

Decorah Eagle Cam

This is a live feed of a bald eagle family in Decorah, Iowa near a fish hatchery that my family has had the opportunity to visit.

Aquariums

My family has had the pleasure of visiting the Georgia Aquarium, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Reiman Aquarium, and other aquariums. Something about watching the fish and sea creatures swim around is mesmerizing!

Going to an aquarium provides so many wonderful experiences. We have touched jellyfish, horseshoe crabs, stingrays, sharks, sea anemones, sea urchins, and sea stars. We have watched sharks, penguins, and stingrays being fed. We have seen Winter and Hope (the dolphins from the Dolphin Tale movies) in person, and we have been awed by the size of the sea creatures as they swim over our heads. Isn’t God such an amazing designer?

Unfortunately, traveling to an aquarium is not always feasible (especially at this time). So, here are some aquarium cams and at-home resources to check out at various aquariums in the United States.

Touching Sea Stars at the Omaha Zoo and Aquarium (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

See what Winter, the dolphin from the movie Dolphin Tale, and the other animals are up to at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with the live web cams.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Check out the sea otters, sharks, penguins, jellyfish, birds, and other animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with the webcams.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Watch the penguins above and below the water, the creatures of Shark Lagoon and the Tropical Reef, sea jellies, and other fish on the webcams at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is offering quite a bit of at-home educational resources. Check out their website for videos, facts, webcams, lesson plans, teacher resources, and more. They are also currently accepting artwork from kids and have a gallery of some artwork that has been submitted to them.

MangoLink- Live Animal Cams and Videos

This website offers links to various aquarium webcams. Listed aquariums include the Blank Park Zoo Aquarium, Aquarium of Pacific, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and National Aquarium Baltimore.

Aquarium Guide: A Bible-Based Handbook to the Aquarium

Learn about more than 100 animals you may find at the aquarium with this aquarium guide written with a Biblical perspective from Answers in Genesis.

Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day

Of course, we couldn’t learn about land animals and flying creatures without learning about swimming creatures, too. This is another Apologia book my daughters and I completed years ago.

There are quite a few hands-on activities to do along with the Apologia books. Below is a picture of an underwater-themed diorama we created as an idea from this book.

Our Underwater Diorama (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

Planetariums and Observatories

My family has had the opportunity to visit a few planetariums together, and I have had the chance to visit the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. We’ve also taken part in an event at a nature center where we looked through telescopes, went into a portable planetarium, and learned about space. I don’t remember ever visiting an observatory, though.

Years ago I wrote a story about a boy who insists “I’m a big kid now, and I can count really high, so let’s try to count all the stars in the sky.” The boy learns a lot about stars and the solar system while on a visit to a planetarium with his grandma, but he discovers there really are too many stars in the sky to count (even for adults). That story is still in a file of “unpublished works”. Looking into the night sky, whether in person or in a planetarium, is a reminder of Psalm 147:4.

Anyways, below are some planetariums and observatories you can virtually visit.

Our Homemade Constellations Chart (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

European Southern Observatory

This website offers different virtual tours of various observatories and planetariums.

NASA at Home

Learn more about the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, International Space Station, and more through the virtual tours and apps available on NASA at Home.

Palomar Observatory

Take a virtual tour of the Palomar Observatory and learn about their telescopes on the Palomar Observatory’s website.

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium offers a variety of online resources to check out.

Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy

This is another Apologia book my daughters and I have completed together.

Museums

Children’s museums, art museums, natural history museums, living history museums, city museums, and more. There are so many different types and sizes of museums to visit. I think the living history museums are my favorite!

From the 1700 Ioway Farm at the Living History Farms in Urbandale, IA (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

There are a few virtual tour options available at the National Museum of Natural History.

Boston Children’s Museum

My daughters have had fun at the Madison Children’s Museum, Milwaukee Children’s Museum, and the Children’s Museum of La Crosse. I really think children’s museums are more fun to explore in person, but the Boston Children’s Museum does offer you a glimpse of their museum through their virtual tour.

Louvre

I am the only one in my family who has actually had a chance to visit the Louvre in person and that was over fifteen years ago. I’m pretty sure we will not be taking any family trips to France, so this virtual tour of the Louvre will have to suffice.

Vatican Museums

See the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Room, and more virtually. This is probably the closest I’ll get to seeing them myself!

Scholastic Interactive Tour of Ellis Island

Learn all about Ellis Island through the stories of some immigrants who stopped in Ellis Island, photos, facts, and more on this interactive tour of Ellis Island brought to you by Scholastic.

The Henry Ford

This offers only three views of the Henry Ford Museum (at the bottom of the page), but it does have a lot of pictures to look through.

National Museum of the United States Air Force

Take a virtual tour of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and check out the interiors of aircraft.

Museum Guide: A Bible-Based Handbook to Natural History Museums

Read about more than 100 common museum exhibits in a Biblical perspective from Answers in Genesis.

More Virtual Tours and Resources

View of the Mississippi River from Pikes Peak in Iowa (photo by Brigitte Brulz)

I was disappointed to see that WebRangers retired at the end of 2019, but I guess we will see what they have in store for the future.

Son Doong Cave

My family has had the opportunity to explore quite a few caves, but none of them come even close in size to the Son Doong Cave. Explore the world’s largest natural cave located in Vietnam virtually from your home through National Geographic’s website. Many interesting facts are provided as you journey through the cave. (As a side note, it does state the cave was formed “over the course of hundreds of thousands of years.”)

The Nature Conservancy

Videos and teacher guides are available to learn about rain forests, deserts, coral reefs, renewable energy, and more. Curriculum is also available to download on the Nature Conservancy’s website.

Great Lakes Now

Learn about coastal wetlands, algae, and lake sturgeon through the “virtual field trip” videos Great Lakes Now has on their website.

The Great Wall of China

Visit a few portions of the Great Wall of China virtually. No hiking involved!

Orlando Virtual Tour

Visit Orlando offers virtual tours of the things you can see and do in Orlando including Sea World Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort, and Universal Orlando Resort. All places I have never visited!

Pyramids of Giza

Travel virtually to the Pyramids of Giza through Google Maps.

Food Production Tours

FarmFood 360

These FarmFood 360 videos are really neat! Not only can you watch a video tour of an egg farm, sheep farm, pig farm, cheese processing center, grain farm, apple orchard and more, but you can also move the video screen around to see a full view of the area. Hence the name 360 (for the 360 degree view). FarmFood 360 also has a website you can view here if interested.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is an online homeschool curriculum site with over 425 courses and resources for all ages at one low price for the entire family. My daughters have used SchoolhouseTeachers.com for quite a few of their own school subjects, which I hope to write more about in future posts. SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership also includes a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, RightNow Media videos, course certificates, and much more.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com does not have virtual field trips directly on their website, but the course I created last year entitled Foods and Food Production does provide links to some video tours.

The Foods and Food Production course includes 154 pages of information about 26 different foods and how they are grown, harvested, processed, and used. I included opening and closing questions, links to videos, book lists, interesting facts, geography information about where each food is grown with a flag matching worksheet, information about what the products can be used in, and recipes for each of the 26 foods.

Of course, I won’t be listing all of that here, but the following food tour links are some of the links found within that course. My daughters and I watched all of these videos (and more) while I was creating the course.

Foods and Food Production
Foods and Food Production Course from SchoolhouseTeachers.com

Orchard to Table: Almond Life Cycle (2:48)

This is a quick video about the process of growing almonds throughout the year.

Blue Diamond Growers 2014 Plant Tour (22:37)

This is a very detailed video that shows the outside process of almonds as well as an inside tour of Blue Diamond factory. It has interviews of some employees of Blue Diamond, history of Blue Diamond, interesting questions and answers about almonds, and discusses the variety of foods almonds can be used in. Since the video was done by Blue Diamond, it does advertise Blue Diamond.

Touring an Apple Packing Facility (3:34)

This video shows the process of washing, waxing, and packaging apples at an apple packing facility.

Dole Harvesting Bananas (5:12)

This video goes through the process of picking and packaging Dole bananas.

Blueberry- How Does it Grow? (can stop at 8:33)

This video talks about the history of blueberries, differences of wild blueberries and cultivated blueberries, the stages of a blueberry as it ripens, how to pick blueberries by hand, the machine used to pick remaining blueberries, how blueberries are sorted and processed, and where blueberries may go once sorted.

Budding Broccoli: From Picking to Packing (2:19)

This video shows how purple sprouting and broccoli crowns differ in harvesting techniques, the amount of broccoli picked, and how the broccoli is processed before reaching your local store.

Georgia Broccoli Farm (3:59)

This is a video of a news report showing how broccoli is grown, harvested, packaged, and iced on a farm in Georgia.

Brussels Sprouts Harvesting (3:28)

This video has a Brussels sprouts farmer talking about growing Brussels sprouts in the UK. He talks about harvesting as the video shows the process.

Crunchy Carrot: From Farm to Fork (3:49)

This video shows carrots being harvested and packaged in a factory in Britain.

Western Australian Carrots: From Paddock to You (3:50)

This video shows carrots being harvested, prewashed, polished, sized, cooled, and boxed as music plays in the background.

Washington Cherry Harvest (5:45)

This video talks about the history of one family-owned cherry farm, Allan Brothers Fruit. It shows how the cherries are handpicked, the different varieties of cherries, ways they keep birds away from the cherries, some information about a cherry farm, and how the cherries are processed in the packing plant. This company can process up to twenty-seven tons of cherries per hour according to the video!

Washington Fruit and Produce Company (1:41)

This video gives an inside view of the Washington Fruit and Produce Co. factory and shows some machines used to check and process cherries for packaging.

How Does Corn Grow? (5:24)

The beginning of this video is a cartoon of ducks planting corn, but then it moves on to real pictures and discussion. It talks about sweet corn, field corn, and popcorn. It also shows the different parts of a corn plant including the roots, stalk, leaves, tassel, silk, ears, and kernels. It also shows how the corn grows with a video of roots forming underground, and it lists a number of items that can be made with corn such as candy bars, ethanol, bubble gum, soap, and more.

Cranberry| How Does it Grow? (5:22)

This video shows how cranberries are grown and harvested. It also shows how to make fresh cranberry sauce at home.

Best Maid Pickle Factory (3:07)

This video shows the production of Best Maid pickles made in Texas.

Watch Mount Olive Pickles Company Tour (13:19)

This video shows the processing of pickles at Mount Olive Pickle Company up until 9:35. After that, the video discusses Mount Olive Pickle Company’s recycling program, community service activities, yearly Pickle Festival, and New Year’s Eve pickle drop.

Mt. Olive Pickle Gift Shop Signs
On the Corner of Cucumber and Vine at Mt. Olive Pickle Company (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

Tour of Welch’s Grape Farm (3:13)

This video shows the process of growing grapes beginning with pruning in the winter (by machine and hand) and ending with harvesting.

Kiwi Picking and Packing Process (stop at 10:00)

This video shows what happens to kiwifruit plants in preparation for growing season, harvesting of kiwifruits, how to wear the collection bag for harvesting, and the steps the kiwifruit goes through inside a processing center all the way until it is loaded in the back of a trailer by forklift. Text on the bottom of the screen labels each stage.

How Olive Oil is Made (4:45)

This video shows two different ways olives can be harvested and processed into oil. It also shows the olive oil being sampled and mentions why olive oil may be bottled in green glass jars.

California Ripe Olives: From Orchard to Store Shelf (2:40)

This video shows green and black olives being processed and canned in a factory.

Minute Maid: From Grove to Glass (1:00)

This fast-paced video has no explanation, but is shows orange trees being planted, oranges being harvested, and oranges being processed to make orange juice.

How Does It Grow: Oranges (7:38)

Learn where oranges are sold with a green peel, how oranges grow, about different types of oranges, how oranges are harvested, and information about pests that affect the orange groves.

From the Farm to Factory (:30-11:32)

This video shows a peanut field being prepared, peanut plants growing, peanuts being harvested, and the process the peanuts go through once at a factory. A man narrates what is happening throughout the entire process.

Prickly Pineapples: From Farm to Fork (4:01)

This video shows how fields are prepared and how pineapples are grown at a farm in Costa Rica. It also demonstrates how each pineapple plant is planted and how each pineapple is picked, placed in bins upside down, checked, and processed in a factory.

Dole- Growing Pineapples (4:45)

This video shows the different stages of flowering, harvesting pineapples by hand, temperatures needed for proper tasting pineapples, how pineapples are planted, how to properly prepare fields for pineapples, and how the pineapple fields are maintained once planted. The video states that it takes 13-16 months per plant to produce a pineapple!

Growing Potatoes: From Field to Supermarket (4:17)

This video shows potatoes being planted, harvested, and processed in a factory for packaging. At one point, the video says that the fields are desiccated prior to harvesting, which is a word many kids (and possibly adults) may not know. Desiccated means to dry up, so it is saying the fields must be dry before they can harvest the potatoes.

How Does it Grow: Potatoes (stop at 4:02)

This video shows how potatoes grow, what tubers are, and what turns some potatoes green. It also shares information about potato beetles and Ireland’s potato famine. Then, the potatoes are taken to a factory where they are peeled, sliced, fried, and prepared as chips.

Pumpkin- How Does it Grow (3:56)

This video talks about the history of pumpkins, how they are harvested, and more facts about different kinds of pumpkins.

pumpkins on deck
Pie Pumpkins for Our Grand Pumpkin Experiment (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

How Does It Grow: Raspberries (4:06)

This video shows how raspberries grow and are harvested (very carefully).

Sweet Strawberries: How Do They Grow? (2:15)

This video shows how strawberry plants are planted, grown, and watered. It also talks about pollination and maturing strawberries.

Tomato | How Does it Grow? (11:02)

This video shows a farm in Northern California, explains where tomatoes come from, how they are grown, and how they are harvested for processing.

From Farm to Fork: Tasty Tomatoes (3:03)

This video shows tomato plants grown inside. It also shows how the tomato plants grow, how the tomatoes are harvested by hand, how they are transported inside by driverless mini tractors, and packaged at a packing plant.

Even More Tours

How It’s Made (YouTube Channel)

I love watching videos of how things are made, so the How It’s Made YouTube Channel is a place I will definitely have to come back to again. It offers over 1,000 videos that are each about 5 minutes long on how various items are made. That’s over 1,000 short virtual field trips! My daughters and I recently watched the videos of how rubber bands, balloons, crayons, toothbrushes, and aluminum foil are made.

Blippi (YouTube Channel)

Blippi is a very energetic character! This YouTube channel provides video tours of quite a few places including a children’s museum and bakery for toddler and preschool age.

Take a Field Trip to the Recycling Center (7:51)

My daughters and I have had the opportunity to tour two different recycling centers. One was much larger than the other, so it was interesting to see the different aspects of each. This video field trip to a recycling center is available on the South Florida PBS channel and is intended for a younger audience. It has cartoons along with actual recycling center tour footage.

Memphis Fire Department Virtual Field Trip (21:43)

Years ago, my daughters and I toured a fire station with our homeschool group. The kids had a lot of fun trying to control the fire hose as water gushed out of it (with the help of others). This virtual video of the Memphis Fire Department is a great alternative if you can’t visit one in person.

Collum’s Lumber Products Saw Mill Tour (12:31)

My daughters and I toured a saw mill a few years ago with a couple of friends, which I found to be quite interesting. This video tours a saw mill beginning with trucks loaded with logs. It shows the process of the logs being unloaded and transformed into utility poles, cut boards, and more. The video was put together very well. The camera goes places (in the machines) that we obviously couldn’t go through in person. (There were a couple of commercials at one point during the video, which I was able to skip after a few seconds each.)

Watching Logs Being Processed at a Saw Mill (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

Vehicle Tour: Post Office Delivery Truck (2:46)

My daughters and I have had the opportunity to tour two different post offices, but we didn’t get to see the inside of any of the post office delivery trucks since they were delivering mail at the times of our tours. So, this video was a nice complement to our post office tours. It shows the inside of an LLV (Long Life Vehicle) including some of the gauges and gadgets. The man videotaping kept mentioning how old these vehicles are, which is something that was discussed on our most recent post office tour. Towards the end of the video, he unsuccessfully shows how to latch the seatbelt (probably because his one hand is preoccupied with holding the camera).

Raising Hatchery Trout (6:39)

I love feeding the fish at fish hatcheries. The fish swarm to where the food is and splash all over (as seen in the photo below). The fish even follow you as you walk along their tanks as though they are waiting for you to feed them (at least on certain days). This video gives a tour of a fish hatchery starting with the delivery of fish eggs via FedEx. It goes through the process of taking care of the eggs and the fish as they mature. The fish hatchery shown in the video raised over 1 million trout in 2015!

Fish Hatchery – Daniel, Wyoming (8:42)

Yes, this is another video of a fish hatchery, but different tours offer different perspectives of the industry. This video also goes through the process of raising trout, but it doesn’t discuss the process of taking care of the eggs like the last video did. It also provides more information on the machines used to filter the water. The fish hatchery in this video raises 250,000-300,000 trout each year.

Feeding Fish at a Fish Hatchery (photo taken by Brigitte Brulz)

Obviously, there are many other virtual field trip opportunities available. Virtual School Activities currently offers additional links to webcams, virtual tours, and other educational sites that may not have been mentioned here.

Makes sure to check out this list of 110+ free resources for kids to use during the Coronavirus school closures found on A Fine Parent for even more learning opportunities. If you are a homeschooling parent like me, this will be a great reference even after the schools open again!

I’m looking forward to being able to go on field trips in person again when we are able, but there are so many options here to explore with my daughters in the meantime. I definitely want to watch more of the FarmFood 360 videos and How It’s Made videos!

What is your favorite virtual field trip?

Being an Author · Ramblings

37 Children's Book Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thank you!)

Authors who want to have a book traditionally published must submit their manuscripts to literary agents or publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. Unsolicited manuscripts are manuscripts that have not been requested.

Submitting manuscripts often leads to rejection. But not submitting any manuscripts guarantees no book deal with a traditional publisher.


 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Many literary agents prefer receiving manuscripts that have not already been sent to multiple publishers. On the other hand, having a publisher interested in a manuscript may help gain the attention of a literary agent. So, what is an author to do? Each author must make his or her own decision.

If you are a children’s book author looking for resources concerning the publishing market, you may be interested in looking through The Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2020, The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children (provided by SCBWI to its members as a free download), The Writer’s Market 2020, or The Christian Writers Market Guide 2020.

Keep reading if you are a children’s book author specifically looking for traditional publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. I have listed 37 traditional publishers who are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts (at the time of this writing) along with the links to their submissions pages.

Even though these publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts, quite a few of them have separate links or instructions for agents to submit manuscripts. I’m guessing these publishers will take agented manuscripts more seriously than unagented manuscripts since the manuscripts have already been vetted by someone in the writing industry before being submitted to them. With that being said, please do not claim you have an agent for your manuscript if you don’t.

Please visit their websites (not just their submissions pages) before submitting to them to make sure they are still accepting unsolicited manuscripts, to see what style of books they publish and if your manuscript would be a good match, and to read their manuscript submission guidelines.

All of these publishing companies are kind enough to allow authors to submit unsolicited submissions. As a result, they may receive literally thousands of manuscripts each year. Please don’t waste their time (or your own time) by submitting manuscripts that do not fit their book lists. Make sure to properly format your manuscript, cover letter, and whatever else you are required to submit. Follow their submission guidelines exactly as stated.

Some of these publishers may respond within a specified time frame. Others will only respond if they are interested in publishing your manuscript. Please don’t continually pester them if you don’t hear back from them. Be patient and professional.

These are all publishing companies I have found on my own, but I have not had personal experience with them. Please do your own research to make sure they are reputable companies before submitting to them. You can do this by checking out books they have published and reading reviews of their companies online.

Traditional publishers will not charge authors any money to publish their books.

37 Children's Book Publishers Accepting Unsolicited Manuscripts

1. Albert Whitman & Company

Currently seeking fiction and nonfiction picture book manuscripts, middle grade fiction submissions, and young adult fiction submissions. Accepts manuscripts by email.

2. Andrews McMeel Publishing

Publishes “poetry, inspiration, humor, and children’s books”. Accepts submissions by mail or email.

3. Arbordale Publishing

Currently seeking books on “physical science, engineering, earth science, science or math manuscripts with a cultural/social studies connection, and manuscripts for Pre-K3 to kindergarten-age children”.

Won’t accept manuscripts in rhyme. Does not want books about pets, new babies, magic, fantasy, biographies, counting, ABCs, poetry, fairy tales, or holidays. Also does not want any book series.

Accepts submissions by email only.

4. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.

“Currently interested in children books, foreign language learning books, business and financial advice books, parenting advice books, art instruction books, sports, fashion, crafts, and study guides.” Accepts queries by email.

5. Cardinal Rule Press

Publishes children’s realistic fiction picture books with less than 1,000 words only. Accepts unsolicited submissions only at certain times of the year by email. (The submission window just closed on February 1st.)

6. Charlesbridge

Publishes fiction and nonfiction children’s books. Accepts manuscript submissions by mail.

7. Chronicle Books

Currently seeking fiction and nonfiction children’s books. Accepts submissions by mail.

8. Creston Books

Publishes picture book biographies, informational picture books, picture books, middle grade, and young adult books.

9. Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers

Publishes a total of 12 to 18 books each year. These include “picture books, middle reader and young adult fiction and nonfiction” Accepts submissions by mail.

10. Enslow Publishing

Has multiple children’s book series for elementary, middle school, and high school ages. Accepts queries by email.

11. Flashlight Press

Publishes fictional children’s picture books under 1,000 words in length with a universal theme dealing with family or social situations targeted to ages 4-8. Accepts submissions by email.

12. Flyaway Books

Seeking “manuscripts that reflect themes of diversity, inclusivity, compassion, care for each other, care for the world, social justice, and contemporary issues…appropriate for a general trade market and found in bookstores, libraries, and schools.”

13. Flying Eye Books

Publishes picture book manuscripts up to 1,000 words long and children’s nonfiction books. Accepts submissions by email.

14. Fox Chapel Publishing

Publishes (along with its imprints) “illustrated, nonfiction, instructional books for children and adults”. Accepts submissions by email.

15. Free Spirit Publishing

Does not accept biographies, autobiographies, or religious content. Publishes early childhood board books and picture books on social skills and positive behavior. Accepts submissions through Submittable or by mail.

16. Holiday House Books for Young Readers

Publishes children’s books for ages 4 and up. Accepts submissions by mail.

17. Immedium

Currently seeking children’s picture books. Accepts submissions by mail.

18. The Innovation Press

Interested in nonfiction and fiction submissions for picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and graphic novels for PreK-5th grade audience. Accepts submissions by email.

19. Jolly Fish Press

Accepts submissions for middle grade and young adult fiction. Welcomes “applications from authors interested in producing fiction manuscripts on a work-for-hire basis.” This is an imprint of North Star Editions. Accepts submissions by email.

20. Kane Miller

Currently not seeking holiday stories. Accepts submissions by email.

21. NorthSouth Books

Accepts picture book manuscripts under 1,000 words. Don’t like rhyming text. Seeking “fresh, original, fiction with universal themes that could appeal to children ages 3-8”. Accepts submissions by email.

22. North Star Editions

Accepts resumes from experienced authors for work-for-hire on fiction and nonfiction projects intended for a middle grade and high school-aged audience.

23. Page Street Publishing

Publishes picture books (ages 4-8), biographies (ages 8-12), young adult fiction (ages 12+), “nonfiction books in such categories as cooking, sports, science, nature, interior design, crafts, and parenting”, and occasionally board books (ages 0-3). Accepts submissions by email.

24. Peachtree

Publishes fiction and nonfiction picture books, Early Reader fiction, nonfiction chapter books, fiction and nonfiction for middle grade, and young adult fiction and nonfiction. Accepts manuscripts by mail.

25. Pelican Publishing Company

Publishes young adult fiction and nonfiction with a minimum of 25,000 words, juvenile fiction and nonfiction for ages 8-12 with a maximum of 25,000 words, and juvenile fiction and nonfiction picture books for ages 5-8 with a maximum of 1,100 words (plus author’s note). Genres include holidays, history, biography, African American, regional, and STEM depending on the age range. Accepts manuscripts by email.

26. Peter Pauper Press

Publishes journals, personal organizers, and children’s activity and picture books among other works. Accepts manuscripts by mail.

27. Phaidon

Publishes board books, novelty books, and picture books for children ages 0-8. Accepts submissions by email.

28. Pow! Kids Books

Prefers author/illustrators. Seeking children’s books that “represent diverse characters, cultures, identities, and points of view” and “deal with contemporary topics”. Prefers submissions by email, but does allow submissions by mail.

29. Press Box Books

Seeking “new projects that offer a fresh perspective or untold story in the sports realm.” This is an imprint of North Star Editions. Accepts submissions by email. 

30. Quarto Knows

Has multiple imprints. Quarto Kids is the imprint for children’s books. Accepts submissions by email.

31. Ripple Grove Press

Currently only accepting manuscripts from July 1 to September 30. Seeking unique picture book manuscripts for ages 2-8. Accepts submissions by email.

32. Sky Pony Press

Publishes “picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA fiction and nonfiction.” Accepts submissions by email.

33. Sleeping Bear Press

Publishes fiction and nonfiction picture books and middle grade novels. Accepts submissions by email.

34. Star Bright Books

Publishes board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books (fiction and nonfiction). Seeks to publish “books that are entertaining, meaningful and sensitive to the needs of all children.” Accepts submissions by mail.

35. Sterling Publishing

Publishes picture books, board books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction under the Sterling Children’s Books imprint. Accepts submissions by mail.

36. Versify

States that part of their mission “is to publish writers whose voices haven’t been heard before.” Accepting picture book and graphic novel submissions by email.

37. Workman Publishing

Publishes nonfiction books for children and adults. Not accepting picture book submissions. Accepting submissions by email.

Whether you decide to submit to literary agents or directly to publishers, you should keep track of all your submissions. If you have your own way of doing this that works for you, great! I’d love to hear about it. If you don’t have any chart of your own, you are welcome to download the chart I use to track all of my submissions.

The chart is pretty self-explanatory. I write the title of the submitted manuscript in the column that says “Manuscript title”, the name of the publisher or the literary agent (along with the name of the agency the literary agent works at) under the “Publisher/ Lit. Agent”, and the date I sent the submission under the “Date Sent” column. Under the “Method” column, I record whether I sent the submission by email, mail, Submittable, or some other online portal. I write the response (along with the date I receive the response) under the “Response” column. Any additional information such as how long it generally takes for them to respond if they do respond and what was submitted (if different than usual) gets written under the “Additional Info.” column.

I keep the chart in an easily accessible folder, so I can update it as needed. Color coding the book titles by putting a specific color dot (with a marker) next to the manuscript title (just to the left of the chart) makes it easier to find specific titles.

This is just what has worked for me up to this point. I’d love to hear what has worked best for you or if you know of any other children’s book publishers currently accepting unsolicted submissions in the comments section below.

If you would like to receive a monthly e-newsletter for all of the available freebies, journals, books, and more as they are added to my website, please join my email list.

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Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Now Available as Hardcover Edition

The hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles is now available with an updated cover my daughter helped me create.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Book Available

The softcover edition will remain the same. Here is the back of the updated version.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles

Free coloring pages, activity ideas, and a teacher’s guide to go along with Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles can be found on Fun Extras.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Free Coloring Pages Available!

I love that the book is now thick enough to have text on the spine of it.

pickles pickles i like pickles

The hardcover version is now available on Amazon and BN.com. It is more expensive than the softcover edition, but it should also be more durable.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles!

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles

Secret Project Revealed

I’m still waiting for the Sermon Notes journal I created to be approved and published, which should be any day now as long as everything goes as planned. When I was giving a sneak peek to the Sermon Notes Journal, I mentioned I had a secret project I was working on. Well, here it is…

It’s a hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles with an updated cover. The softcover version will remain the same.

I was really excited to receive the hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles by mail today. Unfortunately, I noticed a couple of mistakes on the first page.

The comma is missing and the words are too close to the picture. I’m disappointed I had missed that, but I’m glad all of the other pages looked good.

I have corrected the mistakes and reuploaded the file. I’m hoping the updated version without the mistakes will be approved really soon because the original file with the mistakes is already available for sale on Amazon. Oops! I will let you know as soon as the updated version is available.

I’m really excited about having Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles as a hardcover book. Not only was the front cover updated, but the back cover was also updated.

And it is now thick enough to have a spine with writing.

Hardcover copies are more expensive than softcover copies, but they are generally more durable so kids can read them over and over again more times.

Free coloring pages, activity ideas, and a teacher’s guide to go along with Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles are still available under Fun Extras.

Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles Free Coloring Pages Available!

Do you think I should create a hardcover version of Jobs of a Preschooler? I’d love your thoughts!

Journals

Sneak Peek of Sermon Notes Journal

I have really enjoyed creating and publishing journals for various reasons. I published reading journals for my daughters to record all of the books they read, adventure writing prompt journals for some writing fun with my daughters, and field trip journals to record all of our field trip adventures.

Below is a picture I took last month. One of my daughters was filling out her field trip journal for the field trip we took at an airport while my other daughter was filling out her reading journal for the latest Who Was book we had read together. (You can see the list of Who Was series books we have read together so far on my Pinterest board here if you are interested.)

Now, I am in the process of publishing a sermon notes journal. I received the proof yesterday. For those of you who don’t know, a proof is the physical copy of the journal (or book) I receive to review before publication. The proof says “Not for Resale” across the front cover, but the actual copies will not have that banner.

Below is a picture of the cover of the sermon notes journal proof. I chose to use a matte finish on the cover, which I think turned out well. All of my other books and journals have had a glossy finish, but I think the matte finish suits this journal better.

This easy-to-carry 5.5″ x 8.5″ softcover sermon notes journal allows the journal owner to record and reflect on sermon notes, prayer requests, upcoming church events, and more. The journal is about 1/2 inch thick and should be small enough to fit inside a Bible case.

I considered publishing the journal as a spiral-bound journal instead of a softcover journal because I thought that would make writing in them even easier during a sermon. Unfortunately, I had some issues with this idea including the fact the cost would be substantially higher.

There is a page for the journal owner to write his or her name. I also included a customizable table of contents. (Journal owners can write the name of the sermon title and/or date of the sermon on the line next to the appropriate sermon number in the table of contents for easy reference.)

I have space for 52 sermons which is enough to write one for each week of the year. I considered doing a few extras for additional sermons around the holidays but decided to stick with 52.

Each of the 52 weeks has the same repeating four pages.

The first page of each week provides space to write the date, speaker, scripture reading, sermon title, upcoming church events, and prayer requests/praise. (The text in the journal appears much clearer than it does in these pictures. Sorry about that.)

The second and third pages of each week provide space for the actual sermon notes and reference verses.

The fourth page of each week has space to write personal application/thoughts from the sermon and further study/read for next week.

The end of the sermon notes journal includes “a call to action”.

I also included a page for all of the image credits for the images I used throughout the sermon notes journal.

There are a few things I would like to update in the sermon notes journal before officially publishing it. My goal is to have it published and available on Amazon by the end of March 2020.

I’ve got some more ideas for other journals, which I hope to create and publish yet this year. I’m also still working on Aah! Blown Away, Crash! with my daughter, the first draft of an adult nonfiction book all about self-publishing basics, and a secret project.

I hope to share information about the secret project with you before the end of this month. Stay tuned! (You are welcome to join my email list to receive a monthly e-newsletter to stay current with all of the fun extras, journals, books, and writing projects.)

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May you have a wonderful week!