Updated: Feb 4, 2023

Below is a list of some FREE contests and/or resources that families may be interested in. We will try to update throughout the year. Please let us know if you know of others, and also let us know if your child(ren) participate in any!

Toronto Public Library

The TPL has some good online and in-person options for kids year round. Check out current programming options for kids/families at:

Ripple Foundation – free writing workshops and Kids Write 4 Kids Contest

Ripple Foundation creates and delivers free educational activities for kids by using creative writing to explore their ideas and improve self-expression. There are two opportunities this year: a weekly writing workshop held Saturdays 2-3 PM, and a creative writing contest open to individual students in grades 4-8 (5000 words, max; deadline March 31, 2023). More on the workshops here:

Kids write 4 kids contest winners get their work published at Amazon, Google Play, Apple iBookstore, and OverDrive, with proceeds going to the charity of the winner’s choice. More info on the contest here:

Let’s Talk Science

Let’s Talk Science has many resources and several online events for kids, sometimes run during the school day (but you can sign up and receive a link to the recording for later viewing). All events are FREE and you can search for upcoming events by grade. Many other resources/projects as well, including a more involved Let’s Talk Science Challenge with quizzes and engineering challenges for grade 6-8 students. More info at:

Habitat For Humanity Meaning of Home Contest

This is open to kids in grades 4,5 and 6 across Canada and is run in Jan/Feb each year. Submissions should be poems or essays explaining what home means to them. There are prizes to be won, but more importantly, every submission results in a $10 donation to Habitat for Humanity by a partner company. Submissions are posted on the website. The next contest dates are January 9 to February 24, 2023. More at:

CBC The First Page writing contest

The First Page student writing challenge asks students in Grades 7 to 12 from across Canada to write the first page (300-400 words) of a novel set 150 years in the future. Your protagonist should be facing a current world issue that has played out over the next century and a half. The contest will run in February 2023 (exact dates TBA). Winners will receive a one-year subscription to OwlCrate, a monthly book delivery service, and will receive 50 books for their school library. 
More info at:

The work of past winners and finalists:
Tips for futuristic fiction writing:

WHERE Challenge – Run by Mining Matters (non-profit org)
The Challenge is a national contest that asks students aged 9 – 14 years to discover the answers to these questions: What on Earth is in your stuff and WHERE on Earth does it come from? Pick a favourite object in your home, school or playground, identify one or more non-renewable Earth resources needed to make that object and tell us WHERE on Earth those resources come from. You may be surprised by how many are found in Canada. Your story can be told through an essay, a poem, a song or a play, a painting or a poster, an audio, video or multimedia presentation or anything else you can dream up. The more original, the better.  Contest runs September 19, 2022 to March 23, 2023.  

Prizes: Individual cash prizes for winners in literary, graphic art as well as multimedia categories, for ages 9-11 and 12-14. Also 3 school prizes of $500 each, based on overall quality of all projects submitted from the school.
More at:

Stone Soup

This is a magazine showcasing written works and art created by individuals 14 and younger. There is a monthly magazine, an annual novel-writing contest, and a monthly creativity prompt contest. Any child 14 and under can submit works for review and possible publication in the magazine. You can see some examples of work published, Creativity prompts, and find out how to submit on their website:

Toronto Science Fair

This is an annual event showcasing science projects from across Toronto. For 2023 it will be in-person for grades 5-12 and virtual for grade K-4. More info can be found at:

NSERC Little Inventors – Protect our Oceans Mini Challenges (run by NSERC (Canadian Gov’t) joint with the UN)

The United Nations launched the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in 2021. The Little Inventors Protect our Oceans – Mini challenge project consists of six ocean themed challenges designed to be done as a quick and fun activity at home or school or be delivered to students as a series of full lessons. The contest itself is over but the resources and challenges are still available. Choose one mini-challenge or do all six of them! More info at:

Digital Rube Goldberg Machine Minecraft Contest

This is a STEAM competition open to students in grades 3-12, worldwide. Students design machines using Minecraft Education Edition. Registration closes March 2, 2023; submissions due by March 21, 2023. Check here for more info:

Youth Remembrance contest – Run by the Legion
Through The Royal Canadian Legion’s longstanding annual Poster and Literary Contests, Canadian school children honour Canada’s Veterans through creative art and writing, and help perpetuate Remembrance. Students in Grades 1 through 12 are invited to submit their creative works, with a focus on Remembrance, through their local school to be entered into Legion Branch contests. Winning entries move forward to the Legion’s Provincial level contests. Finalists are then forwarded to the Legion National Foundation in Ottawa to be judged at the national level.  Winning poster entries are displayed at the Canadian War Museum – second place posters are displayed at the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.

Check here for an overview:

Check here for more information on prizes and types of entry accepted:

Valentines for Veterans (run by Veterans Affairs Canada)

Kids can make hand-made Valentines to send to Canadian war veterans, ideally as a group or class but can be individually sent if needed. If you miss the Feb 1, 2023 deadline for this year, they save your Valentines to give out next year. More info on where to send, along with tips and message ideas:

Science Odyssey – May 6-21, 2023

The program hasn’t been announced for this year yet (last updated Feb 1), but you can check their website or sign up for updates on virtual and in-person STEM events. See: