Family Educational Fun & Games
Here are some recommendations for STEM-related, educational sites to explore, mind-benders to stretch your mind and great, interactive learning resources and activities for families and elementary school kids. I will update as often as possible, so please check back. I'm always open to suggestions too! (The top 4 are my favorites to date)
Code Studio: For computer science FUNdeMENTALs, this is one of the best sites I've found! This link will take you to the homepage for the online courses created by code.org. These courses teach code writing via great games and activities for ages 4 - 104!! (You don't even need to register to play) I encourage you to learn how to write computer code as a family! It's an important skill we all need to know!
BrainPop and BrainPop Jr: These are both excellent sites for learning and at the top of my favorites list! Our Chester School District has a subscription to both and password and logon information can be obtained from Dickerson and Bragg schools and I have also published it in my newsletters. You can find a vast wealth of information watching BrainPop's short videos explaining a variety of topics in subjects including: Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Math, Health, Arts & Music and Engineering and Technology. There are also games to play, jokes to hear and hands-on extension activities if you want to learn more.
- The National Library of Virtual Manipulates is one of my favorite math websites ever!! It's an amazing resource and worth the time (and effort) to check out. Topics are offered by grade level (Pre-K through high school) and include Number & Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data & Probability. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, this site needs to be accessed by a web-browser other than Google because the interactive features do not work within Google. (FYI: Explorer and Firefox do work and I'm researching this further and hope to have more information and details soon)
- Funology: At Funology, science is bound to get interactive. Make a tornado with water. Build a Jurassic Park terrarium. Or, simply torment your siblings with endless jokes about bugs and insects.
- Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics: Your parents might be interested in this. Curated by the U.S. Department of Education, this website contains math activities (to be completed at home, at the store and on the go) for preschoolers and elementary kids.
- Kids Do Ecology: Every kid should be an ecological hero. Learn about biomes, blue whales and data collecting. You can even create your own classroom experiment. Available en Español.
- Kids.gov: From imaginary jungles to ion experiments, Kids.gov has plenty of resources for a rainy day. Watch an animation on thunder and lightning or take a virtual field trip to the National Zoo.
- The Kids’ Science Challenge (KSC): Hands-on science activities, games, cool videos, scavenger hunts … this website is full of fun stuff. KSC also hosts a free, nationwide science competition for students in grades three to six.
- NASA Kids’ Club: At NASA Kids’ Club, it’s perfectly okay to fool around in space. You can use your science and math skills to explore Mars, construct a fleet of rockets or search for NASA spinoffs in your garage.
- NASA Space Place: Build your own spacecraft, play space volcanoes or browse through a gallery of sun images. When you’re at the Space Place, the universe is the limit.
- National Geographic Kids: Which do you think is cuter: the puffer fish or the clown fish? On this website, you can vote in polls, take part in eggs-periments, watch videos, play puzzles and learn amazing facts.
- Weather Wiz Kids: Meet meteorologist Crystal Wicker. She’s put together a website that explains everything about the weather. Find fun facts, games, flashcards and photos, plus get answers to your meteorological questions.
- TechRocket: Learn programming languages, graphic design in Photoshop, and more! Use the promo code “MIDSFREE” to get a free first month!