Updated April 23, 2014: Getting ready for summer and long days out of school? Make sure you are prepped and ready with lots of activities for your little learners. I've reviewed this list of Ten Good Free Educational Websites to make sure it is current and added a couple new ones to boot.
Read my original post below:
We’ve been working hard around our house to keep the little brains working over the summer. We’ve been lucky to find lots of educational apps, but there are times when we need to turn to online content to help (i.e. when mommy needs the iPad or when we are at the grandparents’ house).
There are a ton of good educational websites available out there, and many of them are free. Here's a list of ten websites (well, actually eleven, but I am counting both of the National Geographic websites as one) that we have found to be fun and educational.
These are in alphabetical order, because I don’t want to play favorites. They are all also free.
ABCya – www.ABCya.com– A ton of educational games and activities for grades K-5.
Fun Brain – www.funbrain.com – So much fun stuff that the kids might not even realize you are sneaking some learning in.
Highlights Kids - www.highlightskids.com – I can remember, way back in the day when I was a child, reading the Highlights magazines in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office. Now my kids have access to the same kind of great content online.
National Geographic Kids & National Geographic Little Kids – www.kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/ and www.kids.nationalgeographic.com/littlekids/ - The kind of excellent offering you would expect from National Geographic. Videos, games, articles and more all designed to enrich your kids’ minds.
NGA Kids - www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/education/kids.html - Help introduce your children to art and art history. There are also interactive art projects you can make online.
PBS Kids – www.pbskids.org – Almost limitless activities from all of your kids’ favorite PBS shows. It’s not just Sesame Street around here. Something for everybody.
Random House Kids - www.randomhousekids.com – Lots of fabulous games and activities based on your favorite Random House books. The games and activities are free, and you can purchase books on their site also.
Seussville – www.seussville.com – Another website with great games and activites based on books your kids probably already know. You can also purchase books on the site.
Starfall - www.starfall.com – A reading website that takes your kids all the way from ABCs up to reading on their own.
Wonderopolis – www.wonderopolis.org –This website has allowed us to answer questions we didn’t even know we had. “Can one bad apple spoil the whole bunch?” or “Why don’t spiders get caught in their own webs?” This website is lots of fun for curious minds.
Want a few more? These are the new ones I added because I'm just awesome like that. Here you go:
The Magic School Bus - www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/ Games and activities based on the classic series of Magic School Bus books. There is a great parent/teacher section that can help you develop some more structured activities to keep your kiddo in the learning frame of mind.
Clifford the Big Red Dog - www.scholastic.com/clifford/ Another great Scholastic website, this time featuring our favorite big red dog, Clifford. Plenty of games and printables to entertain your little ones. Maybe you can answer the question - how DID Clifford grow so big?
BrainPop (free stuff) - www.brainpop.com/free_stuff/ I know that the BrainPop website has a subscription service to get to their extended content. But have you checked out the free content that is available? Free educational BrainPop movies and games.
Now, I know I said this whole list would be free websites, but I feel like I would be failing y'all if I didn't at least mention the truly excellent website, ABCmouse (www.abcmouse.com). This is the most comprehensive website I have found with a ton of entertaining educational content for my preschooler. I gave the app 4 ½ stars when I reviewed it. And the app is a portal to this incredible website. There is a 30-day free trial, and then afterward it is $7.95/month or $79.00/year. If there is one I would recommend paying for it is this one.
As you start getting your kids ready to go back to school, take a look at a few of these websites to help keep them on track and ready to learn.