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Saturday, April 25, 2020

A Round-Up of Online Resources for Fun, Playful Learning


Photo by Виктория Бородинова (pixabay)

A Roundup of Online Resources for Fun, Playful Learning

A lot of us are spending a lot more time indoors these days, but the good news is that there's still plenty for our kids to do. There have never been more engaging Web resources available to help children learn, and a lot of these research-based, kid-friendly resources follow pedological and developmental best practices, so you don't have to feel too guilty about relaxing your usual limits on screen time. Kids will be entertained and learning while they use these resources, and you can get a little of that most valuable of resources: quiet time! While websites and apps aren't a total replacement for a robust curriculum or time spent playing on outside playground equipment, they can help reinforce and strengthen important skills in a way that's fun for kids.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids features educational games starring kid-favorite characters like Curious George. The games are divided into sections like "Teamwork" and "Feelings" along with educational categories like "Social Studies." These categories allow parents to guide their children toward games that can help them master areas where they need extra support.

Sesame Street

Preschoolers love this engaging website, featuring kid favorites like Big Bird and Elmo. The website offers videos, games, printables, and free ebooks to engage young learners while reinforcing basic literacy, math, and emotional skills.

National Geographic Kids

National Geographic designed its Web portal to supplement its magazine. The site is full of educational games and information presented in a kid-friendly way. Parents and other adults should be aware that some videos feature animals attacking each other, so supervision and caution are needed with young or sensitive children.

Funbrain

Funbrain first premiered back in 1998 and has been a part of generations of children's learning online. The quizzes and games cover a wide variety of subjects, including grammar, math, science, and social studies. The resources here are aimed at elementary-aged children; if you need something for younger kids, try Funbrain Jr.

Exploratorium

Exploratorium encourages learning through inquiry-based experiences. The guided inquiries allow children to develop their critical-thinking skills and practice the scientific method.

ABCya

ABCya offers Common Core-aligned digital learning experiences for children from preschool through middle school. Parents and educators designed the more than 400 games available on the site, which are organized by grade level and topic. Children can work on skills like multiplication, parts of speech, pattern recognition, and critical thinking while having fun!

Nick Jr.

Is there anything the average preschooler loves more than Paw Patrol? The Nick Jr. website leverages that love with a variety of videos and games designed to gently teach young viewers while also entertaining them.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers a variety of resources for children and students of all ages. The website offers schedules for kids that incorporate learning with needed breaks, and it includes outside activities as well as inside ones. Khan Academy offers an especially strong curriculum in math. They suggest starting your student a grade or two back from their current grade level, which will allow children to review material and fill in any knowledge gaps.
Khan Academy Kids features online learning for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first-graders. The learning activities focus on basics like letters and numbers while also helping children master social-emotional lessons.

Math Games

Are your kids resistant to math drills or structured math activities? If so, trick them into learning with these math games, designed for kids to have fun while they sharpen needed math skills like number sequencing and fractions.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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