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5 of The Best Educational Websites for Children

5 of The Best Educational Websites for Children

As a former classroom teacher, I can attest to the fact that websites are becoming an important part of our children’s education. There are so many websites that offer fun ways to teach the foundational skills children need to succeed. The great thing about online educational practice is that it can also be accessed at home. Here are five of the best sites I’ve used in my classroom and with my own children at home.

ABC Mouse

ABC Mouse is a great site for children learning basic skills. There are games, puzzles, books, songs, art, as well as other activities to help students learn reading and math skills, and about the world around them.  An individual learning path is also available for each child where they can progress at their own pace. If you are a teacher, ABC mouse can be accessed in the classroom or at your home for free. There is a yearly fee for parents who are not educators. If you would like to learn more about ABC mouse, please visit their site at http://www.abcmouse.com

Starfall

Starfall is another website where children can practice educational skills. There are interactive activities, songs, and printables for phonics, reading, and math skills through first grade, and select math practice for second grade students. There are also fun holiday themed activities that your children will enjoy. A free version of Starfall is available, as well as an expanded paid version at a very affordable fee of $35 a year. You can also browse their store for curriculum products, books, practice books, home school and classroom kits, as well as other teaching tools for use at home or in your classroom. You can access this site here.

Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs is a full curriculum that teaches your child the phonics and literacy skills they need to become successful readers. Your child will complete lessons designed to help their reading skills progress in a particular order. They will also complete quizzes at certain intervals to ensure they have mastered the content they’ve been taught, and their results are emailed to you, the parent. This site offers a more advance program for older children called Reading Eggspress, and also Reading Eggs Junior, a program for younger children ages 2-4.

Mathseeds

Mathseeds is a full math curriculum offered on the same site as Reading Eggs. Your child will complete lessons that teach numbers, shapes, addition, subtraction, as well as many other math skills in a specific order that gradually increases in difficulty. Like Reading Eggs, Mathseeds gives quizzes at certain intervals to check their understanding, and again, you will receive an email showing their progress. You can purchase Reading Eggs and Mathseeds separately, or together for a better price. As someone who has used both of these programs in my classroom and at home with my five-year old, I believe they are worth the money.  If you would like to know more about these programs, visit their site here and sign up for a free trial.

GoNoodle

When I worked in the classroom, I LOVED using GoNoodle for brain breaks and transitions into a new activity. This site has tons of silly songs and physical activities to get your child up and moving. Your children can practice skills while being active, or just use up some energy on a rainy day. The best part is that it’s FREE for school or for your home. You can create your account here.

If you would like a complete list fun educational websites that are free, please subscribe to my blog, then check out this list!

I hope you and your child find these sites useful for fun learning experiences. If you visit these websites, I’d love to know what you think! Or if there are other educational sites you’ve found I’d love to know about those too! Please comment below.

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How to Engage and Entertain Your Little Ones

How to Engage and Entertain Your Little Ones

As a mama of littles ones, it can be difficult to find activities that keep them engaged and entertained.  They get bored very easily, making it nearly impossible to keep their attention for any length of time. I’ve been there; and when you need quiet time of your own, or time to get things accomplished, it cannot be done unless your children are busy doing their own activities. The easy solution is to put them in front of a screen, but easy is not always best. I want my children to use their minds and senses to explore the world around them and to develop a love for learning in the process.

How can I Keep My Little Ones Engaged and Entertained?

Every child has different interests and preferred learning styles, even at a young age. So finding the best activities for your children might take some trial and error on your part. You can research tons of ideas on Pinterest and the web. I would also suggest planning multiple activities for the different days of the week to assist in keeping your child’s interest.

Six Ways to Help Keep Your Children Occupied

Here are 6 types of activities that I know your young children will enjoy! And if you would like a printable list of activities, be sure to subscribe to my blog below and gain access to my resource page!

Busy Bags

Busy bags are a cinch to make and can be so versatile! You can easily change out the materials to create a whole new activity. You can create busy bags for colors, shapes and patterns, letters and numbers, puzzles, fine motor practice and so much more! And they are GREAT on the go for car trips, restaurants, or any other place your child may need to be occupied. You can find TONS of ideas and free printables on Pinterest and other mom blogs. Check out the links below and never run out of ideas for your busy bags!

Best Busy Bags for Preschoolers and Toddlers – One Creative Mommy  

Over 100 Awesome Busy Bags Perfect for Toddlers and Preschoolers – B-Inspired Mama

20 Free Printable Busy Bags – Coffee Cups and Crayons

Sensory Bins

Sensory Bins are a unique way to keep little ones engaged. You can use beans, pasta, rice, oats, sand, as well as other materials, and allow your children to find little treasures. Place items such as farm animals, dinosaurs, letters, numbers, and buttons in the sensory bin for your child to discover. It is important to note that, unless you want a huge mess on your hands, you must first introduce your children to sensory bins before they can use them independently. The post Introducing toddlers to sensory bins has some great ideas on how to do this. The following links will give you some great ideas for creating your own bins.

Sensory Bin Ideas for Kids – Growing a Jeweled Rose

Alphabet Sensory Play – Pre-K Pages

Seasonal sensory tubs for every month – Nurture Store

Playdough Mats

In my experience as both a Kindergarten teacher, and a mom of two little ones, I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love to play with playdough (of course you have to remind smaller children not to eat it). It can be a great tool for learning letters, numbers, and shapes and also a fun way for kids to express their creativity and imagination.  To create your own playdough mats, find printables of letters, shapes, numbers, or other objects that interest your child, laminate them or place them in a sheet protector, and your child is free to use them again and again.  Below are some free resources you can use for making your  own.

100 Free Playdough Mats – Playdough to Plato

Fall Playdough Mats & Other Fall Activities – totschooling

Free Printable Tree Play Dough Number Mats for Counting to 10 – Life Over C’s

Painting Fun

Painting can be such a fun activity for children, and it’s great for developing their fine motor skills and teaching them about colors, lines, shapes, and other art elements. Children can experiment with their hands, different types of brushes, paper and canvases, and mixing colors. There are also some great mess free options to use for smaller children or for when you just don’t want a huge mess to clean up. If you want some unique ideas for painting activities, just click on the links below!

21 Creative Yet Easy Finger And Thumb Painting Ideas For Kids – Mom Junction

DIY Sidewalk Foam Paint – The Tiptoe Fairy

Mess Free Art: Stained Glass Window Painting – eHow Mom Blog

Printables

With the invention of sites such as Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers came thousands of printable learning activities, many of which can be accessed for free and used to assist your child in developing and growing fundamental skills.  You can find resources for every subject and grade level, including pre-k activities for toddlers. Just simply search for activities that are age appropriate for your child and print. You can find a ton of meaningful learning experiences that provide some quiet time for you, mama. Below are just a few of the resources you can access for free.

Free Home Preschool – Preschool Mom

Printable Free Matching Activities for Toddlers – the measured mom

200+ Free Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten – From ABC’s to ACTs

Crafts

Crafts are another great way to keep children engaged and entertained. You can find activities that tie into fun themes, seasons and holidays, or to reinforce learning skills. They are usually very inexpensive and can often be made with materials you already have in your home. Of course crafts tend to be very messy and will require quite a cleanup afterward. You can use times such as these to have children help pick up after themselves. If you would like some ideas for creating crafts, use the links below.

18 creative paper plate crafts – Wellies and Lemonade

Easy Fall Crafts That Anyone Can Make – Happiness is Homemade

List of Christmas Crafts for Kids to Create – crafty morning

For even more ideas, be sure to subscribe and get access to my free printable HUGE List of Quiet Time Activities for Your Little Ones and check out my Pinterest Board Quiet Time Activities

I hope this list will become a go-to resource when you are in need of some activities to engage and entertain your little ones. If you have other ideas for quiet time activities, please share below! And don’t forget to connect with me on Social Media!

 

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