Learning Fun for Kids Online

Home school and after school, kids online can access some great sites and games that are both educational and fun. This site reviews and links to the best, and also discusses some parenting articles and homework sites of interest to parents.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

An Online Pencil Makes Math More Fun

Double-digit subtraction and addition (with an online pencil)! Being a tech-less wonder, it's really that pencil that makes this activity worthwhile for me.
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posted by Stephanie @ Tuesday, January 31, 2006   2 comments links to this post

Friday, January 27, 2006

Online Board Games at Learn4Good

This checkers game, when playing against the computer, is good either to show the kids how to play or to review the moves yourself, if you've forgotten.

However, in the "easy" mode, be aware that captures are mandatory. For advanced players, this can be frustrating, so move up a difficulty level.

If you feel the need to demonstrate how to lose gracefully, get trounced by the computer chess game. Of course, I didn't lose 40 times in a row, or punch my monitor in the face, because that wouldn't be an example to set for my kids, now, would it? ;-)

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posted by Stephanie @ Friday, January 27, 2006   3 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Resource for Parents

Whether you're homeschooling and want to see how your child's doing, or your school-going kids need some extra work on grade-appropriate material, the University of the State of New York State Education Department has grade-by-grade English Language Arts and Mathematics assessment tests for Grades 3-8 in PDF format which you can print out (and yes, the answer keys are provided too, bless those teacher-authors!) :-)
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posted by Stephanie @ Wednesday, January 25, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Love Garfield

My kids and I are having a great time over at GarfieldCom. There's lots of silliness of course, but there are two activities that are educational:

1. The Archives is a wonderful opportunity for your child to read on her own; or for you to explain why something is funny -- or to be amazed that your 9 year-old understands why something is funny. Similarly, the Comic Creator provides a way for your child to practice spelling and writing -- and to come up with lines that match the situation and are funny.

2. There are two "spooky house" games. The second one is probably better to start with and once you complete it, you'll know how to do the first.

Do take a second to listen to the very silly telephone answering machine messages.

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posted by Stephanie @ Tuesday, January 24, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Download Trial Versions of Roxie Go Fish

I'm definitely ordering the full versions of both Roxie's Math Fish and Roxie's Reading Fish. The kids are not challenged by the trial versions any longer, but they do enjoy playing that card game--especially when Roxie the Cat "blows up"!

Roxie's Math Fish Download page

Roxie's Reading Fish Download page

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posted by Stephanie @ Sunday, January 22, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Kid Wizards = Budding Scientists?

Head to KidWizard for a little Acid Wizardry. And don't worry if you're clueless when it comes to answering the "how does it DO that?" questions -- the science behind the spell's at the bottom of the page.

When you want to get out of the lab, print some of these games to play (or puzzle over)...

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posted by Stephanie @ Thursday, January 19, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Milk Glue and Classical Music for Kids

Two sites came to my attention today:

One is an easy science project you can do in the kitchen, making glue out of milk, vinegar and baking soda. What's really great, though, is this Science School print out with explanations and lesson plan.

The second of today's discoveries is Classics for Kids. Naomi Lewin, a classical music d.j. for WGUC in Cincinnati, is the host for the radio programs (which she writes herself), bringing the great composers to life through snippets of music, story and explanation.

This week's show is called "Take Me to Your Lieder", featuring the master of the musical short story, Franz Schubert.
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posted by Stephanie @ Tuesday, January 17, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Monday, January 16, 2006

We're playing with our Cootie Catcher!

Thanks to MomsMiniVanCom, my daughters and I made and are playing with our own Cootie Catcher. Boy, does this bring back memories for me!

I can't remember why it's called a Cootie Catcher, but it's a great educational toy and simple to make from a piece of paper: the kids spell out the colors and count aloud. Finger dexterity mandatory! :-)
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posted by Stephanie @ Monday, January 16, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Print-out wedding pictures a big hit!

A family wedding this weekend got my girls in the mood for some bride and groom coloring. This PDF file from The Crayon House proved a very nice 7-page print-out with some cute pictures.
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posted by Stephanie @ Sunday, January 15, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stellar Spellers of the World - Unite!

This flash spelling game for first-graders is lots of fun, and easy for young spellers to grasp (although I wish the buttons were a bit bigger). But the pictures that appear above the keyboard are nice and it really kept my daughter's interest.
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posted by Stephanie @ Saturday, January 14, 2006   0 comments links to this post

http://www.magickeys.com/books/links.html
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posted by Stephanie @ Saturday, January 14, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Web-Enhanced Reading Adventures

Stephen Cosgrove has created a virtual literature site, called BookPop, which he calls a safe haven of imaginative stories.

Stories about trolls and virtues and all sorts of lovely things that can be read to you or that you can read. Backed by light music and wispy artwork, he's brought a wonderful world of fantasy to life which you are invited to visit.
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posted by Stephanie @ Thursday, January 12, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

great reading blog and download site

Tasha Saecker, a library director, has a marvelous blog called Kids Lit: Books and More for Children and Teens. Her goal is to celebrate books for children and teens. If you go through this very extensive blog, as I've started to, I think you'll find she's admirably achieving her goal.

As I type this, my 9 yr old daughter and I were listening to The Cat's Elopement, which I downloaded from a site recommended by Tasha, Storynory.

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posted by Stephanie @ Tuesday, January 10, 2006   1 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A reading site for the very young

Lil' Fingers Toddler Storybooks is a site for the very young child, with extremely short stories that can be read aloud or you can listen to them being read. The story characters appear in simple print-out coloring pages as well.

On the whole, the games are disappointing, except those that call for Java, so my recommendation of Lil' Fingers is primarily as a reading site.

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posted by Stephanie @ Thursday, January 05, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sally Ride Science

Do it for your daughters!

First read this Smithsonian article about our nation's first woman astronaut and her fight to involve girls in science -- a battle that pitches her against influential people such as the president of Harvard, who "hypothesizes that girls can't cut it in science because they lack the inherent ability"[!].

Then explore her site, Sally Ride Science with its homepage message: Empowering girls to explore the world of science—from astrobiology to zoology and everything in between!


In a related update, is one of several Googlers who volunteered at the Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics conference in March 2006. See her entry about the annual workshops held to encourage middle-school girls to keep studying science and mathematics.

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posted by Stephanie @ Tuesday, January 03, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Monday, January 02, 2006

Swap Your Toys Online

It was just a matter of time before someone came up with a workable online toy exchange where, unlike ebay and their ilk, you can swap a toy in payment.

There are educational and brandname toys; books and videos; and lots of infant toys. Wonder how much shipping would run on that new in-the-box accordion?

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posted by Stephanie @ Monday, January 02, 2006   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Snakes and Ladders online and at the kitchen table

This BBC version of the simple yet popular game, Snakes and Ladders, is visually attractive and designed for either one or two players.

You can also use the board as a springboard to design your own (a craft activity in itself, which can be as artistically easy or complex as you wish). On an educational note, I simply wrote out the numbers in each box, as that's where my kids are right now -- you might wish to color each box a different color and write the name of the color in it; or sketch an animal and write the name of it, etc.

If you wish to keep an older child's interest, you can use flash cards: get the answer right and it's your turn; wrong and you miss a turn.

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posted by Stephanie @ Sunday, January 01, 2006   0 comments links to this post