Here are some of the great free resources you can check out to borrow in our area! Feel free to add more in the comments.
Jefferson County Library: Fitness bags, seeds, telescopes, science kits and cooking kits (the last two are at Northwest). Free with your library card.
St. Louis County Library and St. Louis City Library: Telescopes, Sci-Finder kits, topic kits (called We Stories Kits, they include books and activities around a theme), FLIP kits (literacy kits with activities and books). Free with your library card. Free tutoring may also be available; call to check. Many other local libraries, such as the Library Consortium that Ferguson, U City, Brentwood, etc. offer the same services.
St. Louis Zoo Zoocases: Dozens of free kits with puppets, manipulatives, lesson plans, books, DVDs, etc. Just call and reserve your checkout date.
Department of Conservation: Discover Nature Trunks, kits you can check out about aquatic animals, tracking, fur-bearers, etc. Free.
The St. Louis Art Museum has Touch Kits and curriculum you can borrow.
Planned Parenthood has health kits, including babies for the simulated parenting experiences you would get in a school home ec class.
MOBOT also has some great kits but they do cost $25 to rent.
St. Louis Arc: Therapeutic toys and equipment for kids with developmental delays up to age 6. Free.
The Bird Sanctuary used to offer kits for a fee, too, but I don’t know if they still do.
And while you can’t check them out, the labs at the Science Center have always been some of my daughter’s favorite activities. They’ve added dissection this summer, too.
CLASSES AND HOMESCHOOL DAYS
Free homeschooling classes are available almost every month at the Missouri History Museum as well. Both library systems above and the Missouri Department of Conservation also hold lots of free classes, some of them geared toward homeschoolers.
The St. Louis Zoo, Magic House, Barron Gymnastics and Rock Roll Arena all have homeschooling days as well. Rollercade in Concord offers morning skate time on Wednesdays that is popular with homeschooling families. The Bolduc House offers a monthly homeschool day.
Jefferson County has a great range of 4-H Clubs.