Category Archives: Learning Websites

A Dozen and a Half Learning and Educational Websites for Children

A Dozen and a Half Learning and Educational Websites for Children again

Caroline loves to learn via technology and she often prefers to learn on her own. We allowed her to start using the computer when she was nearing age five (if I remember correctly!). Along the way, I’ve collected quite a few bookmarks of websites we’ve used to varying degrees and a few we’ll use in the future when she’s ready for them. I’ve also included some we learned about after the fact and are geared toward younger children. But I’m sure someone else can use them!

We still tend to use the laptop for learning as opposed to the Kindle Fire. The Kindle gets used, but so far I haven’t found many apps at all that have the same level of interactivity and quality content that many of these websites offer.

So if  you need to shake things up with your children, here are some websites to check out.  :-)

Wild Kratts (Caroline’s all-time favorite!)

Curious George (Another favorite)

ABC Mouse (I found this when Caroline was well into the age range. I wish I had found it sooner. It is a pay site, but worth every penny!)

Starfall and More Starfall (We read to Caroline a great deal, but she basically taught herself to read using these sites. It’s well worth it to pay for the More Starfall.)

BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP (Caroline loves these! Keep an eye on the content to make sure it is age appropriate if you let a younger child use BrainPOP.)

e-Learning for Kids

Cookie

Martha Speaks

ABCya

Clifford

Peter Rabbit

Math Playground

Word Girl

Arcade Diner

Fun with Spot

NASA Station Spacewalk Game

Red Fish (It was free, but now is $16/year- probably worth paying for if you have younger ones)

Wonderopolis

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ABC Mouse Website for Toddlers, Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade

Perhaps the best website I’ve used with Caroline is ABC Mouse. It is by subscription, but worth every penny in my opinion.  There are two things that set ABC Mouse apart from other learning websites.

ABCmouse.com - Kids Ages 2-6 – Click here to get your First Month Free!

The first is the high quality of the site in general. The graphics and production level are far superior to much of what is out there.  For example, we also use Starfall and subscribe to More Starfall, but their overall production quality is not on the same level as ABC Mouse. Caroline has definitely learned a lot at Starfall, but the quality is not quite the same.  Everything on ABC Mouse is top-notch. They recently added a section with an original animated music video for each letter of the alphabet and many of them are very impressive.

The second is the wide variety of material available. I don’t think Caroline has come even close to utilizing every opportunity on there. ABC Mouse has so much more than any other website. A child could use ABC Mouse for years and not run out of new content to explore.

ABC Mouse has a feature where the parent can log in and select the activities she wants the child to do. It is called Lesson Builder and it is a great way for the parent to direct the child’s learning. I have done this a bit, but mostly I have let Caroline just explore.

One feature that was very helpful in a real life kind of way was the opportunity for Caroline to earn tickets when she completed different activities. The child can accumulate the tickets and use them to buy things in the stores.  They can buy things to decorate their room, clothes, toys, etc. This single-handedly taught Caroline the relationship between work and money. No amount of discussing it with her in real life made the same impact as realizing if she wanted to buy something in the ABC Mouse store she had to do work on the website.  Honestly, that alone was worth the price!

If you have a little one, I encourage you to check out ABC Mouse. I’m actually kind of sad that Caroline has started to outgrow it over the past year.  She still enjoys playing on there, but she’s mostly beyond it academically.  I imagine by the end of the summer we won’t be ABC Mouse subscribers any longer. But I will continue to tell people about it because I really think it is a fantastic website. If you would like to check it out, just click the graphic up above.

Posted in Early Elementary, Home Education/Homeschooling, Kindergarten, Language Arts and Literacy, Learning Websites, Math, Preschoolers, Product Reviews | 2 Comments

Around the Mall Blog (and more) from The Smithsonian

As one might expect, The Smithsonian has an excellent website.  Included in this is their always interesting Around the Mall Blog. From there you can go in dozens of different directions including educational videos, games, and the photo of the day.

Enjoy!

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University of Illinois Just for Kids website

The University of Illinois has a lot of science and weather related activities for kids.

Just for Kids is their base site with links to many different topics. For example…

Tree House Weather Kids has a variety of activities that help children explore various types of weather.

The have all kinds of audio books for smaller children as well that cover topics such as insects, volcanoes, where food comes from, trees, the woods, etc.

Enjoy!

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Library of Congress for Kids and Families

The Library of Congress has a wonderful section online called For Kids and Families.  There is lots there to explore for all ages.

There is also a section for Teachers which homeschooling parents would also find interesting. It also includes classroom materials on a variety of topics.

Enjoy exploring!

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BBC Science Clips website for children

Caroline explored the BBC Science Clips site for a long time the other morning. Many of these science concepts are ones we haven’t explored yet in a formal fashion so this was a fun way for her to begin to hear the associated vocabulary and see them in action.

The site is broken down into age appropriate sections although naturally curious kids will probably explore all over!

Photo credit

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Highlights for Kids online

Caroline hasn’t started reading Highlights.  She has been reading High Five for about four years.  My parents buy her subscription each year and let me tell you… Those magazines are WELL LOVED.  LOL! They have been read and re-read and read again.

I haven’t shown her the Highlights for Kids website yet, but thought I would share it with everyone here who might have children old enough for it! The snowflake feature on there right now it neat!

Photo credit

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