8 Amazing Websites / Resources to Keep Your Child's Brain Active This Summer
What a school year it has been! With Covid-19 interrupting the 2019-2020 school year I know many parents are worried about their child's success. Missing out on three to four months of face to face schooling can definitely cause a disruption in a child's learning process making it difficult for them to be prepared for the following year.
Today I am going to provide you with a list of resources that can help your child's brain stay active this summer while providing fun and engaging activities.
This is by far one of my favorite resources. I have been using it for over four years and my students have all loved it! This resource is free to teachers during the school year and parents are able to try a free 30 day trial. Your child will get instant access to over 40,000 books, learning videos, and quizzes. You are able to set the reading level for your child so they can quickly access books of their interest that they are able to read. GET EPIC also has "Read to Me" books for early readers as well as audio books for those who love books on tape.
You can download the app on any smart device or access via a desktop computer! Such a great resource and definitely worth checking out! Perfect for all ages!
This is another favorite resource of mine and a go to in my classroom. SplashLearn is a super interactive math learning website that engages students by using colorful graphics and sound effects. Students are able to work through various math standards according to their grade level while working to achieve coins to use in their very own fish tank. A few of my favorite features are the ability to adjust the grade level for your child depending on their needs and being able to scroll through all of the math standards to pick and choose the main focus. Great for grades K to 5!
Although Khan Academy may not be as fun and exciting as some online learning websites it is an incredible resource to help challenge your child to use higher level thinking or to help fill in some of the gaps in their learning. The website is super user friendly and breaks down each grade level into various standards of focus. Khan also provides helpful step by step videos and breakdowns of problems that can help your child if he or she is feeling confused. Our third grade class would spend about 10 minutes a day using this resource and I can say I saw tremendous growth in math in many of my students. Khan Academy is great for all ages!
When I taught enrichment for the 2nd grade at my previous school I used this resource almost daily and my students were always so excited to get their hands on a new article. DOGO News is an online news database for students to access child friendly news articles about current events, science, social studies, sports, and the environment. There are hundreds of articles for students to read to gain knowledge about our world or to locate information for a research project. Most articles have an assortment of pictures and even a video or two to go along with the main idea. Great for grades 2 and up!
If your child doesn't already have their own school email account you may want to create their own personal email account for them. Creating a gmail account will allow your child to access Google Docs (where your child can practice their typing skills and keep an online journal of their writing), Google Slides (where your child can practice making their own PowerPoint style slide show. Having your child become familiar with Docs and Slides is a great way to prepare them for their future. Most schools are utilizing these programs as well as Google classroom to provide curriculum for students and hold them accountable for school work. Even students as young as 5 can access these resources to help them practice their typing and mouse skills!
I am sure you have heard about ABC Mouse and if you haven't it is an awesome resource. I will be honest, at first I was a bit skeptical about it, but as soon as I signed Hudson up for it I was instantly impressed. The website has fun interactive lessons for all subjects and allows students to earn tickets based on their achievements. They can then spend their earnings creating their very own avatar and rooms. ABC MOUSE is great for kids as young as 2 and as old as 8! Hudson loves practicing his mouse skills while using the computer and Hayes prefers to use the tablet. If you have little ones who are very stubborn when it comes to practicing their school skills this is an AMAZING RESOURCE! It is so interactive that your child will have no idea that they are actually learning school skills as they play games and work through each activity. You can currently try out the program free for one month!
I have been using BrainPOP and BrainPOPJr in my class for YEARS! It is definitely a resource that I swear by. BrainPop is geared for students in grades 3 to 8, while BrainPOPJr is for students in grades K to 3. Both sites offer a WIDE range of videos on hundreds of topics from history, health, science, reading, writing, math, and more! The videos contain lovable cartoon characters that do a wonderful job at breaking down each subject making it easy for a child to understand. Each video also comes with an easy and hard quiz that students can take, as well as printable activities. This was a life saver when we transitioned into distance learning. I would have me kids watch various videos related to third grade standards and take the quizzes. The quiz results can easily be sent to a parent or teacher email by clicking email results! Truly one of my favorite resources. It is on the pricy side ranging from $15 to $20 a month, but I promise you it is worth it! Kids love it and definitely teacher approved!
If you and your child prefer a workbook type of activity or want a workbook in addition to using an online program these Summer Bridge books are incredible! The books are broken down into sections with about two pages of work to do in each section. Not only does the book have colored learning activity pages, but it also has flash cards, stickers, a certificate of completion, a list of books to read over the summer that are age appropriate, and a list of online resources.
I have been using these with Hudson and two of the kids I am tutoring this summer. One of my favorite features of the workbook is how the book asks the child to brainstorm goals for themselves throughout their summer learning process. This is a great way for your student to feel accountable and in charge of their own learning. Hudson is starting kindergarten in the fall. I had ordered both the K-K Workbook and the K-1 workbook seen on the right. After looking at the K-K workbook I decided to start him on the K-1 over the summer. He has completed some preschool and knows most of the basics. I will say pushing him to start a book above his grade level is a bit of a challenge, but we are working through it together and he is doing great! I strongly suggest ordering one of these books for your child for this summer! Each book covers activities on all common core standards in a fun a simplified way!
BEST PART: THEY ARE AROUND $10 ON AMAZON!! Totally worth it! Click here to check out my Amazon storefront with all of the Summer Bridge workbooks for elementary and middle school students!
A little bit about me as a teacher!
I have been teaching for over ten years with six of those being within the Clark County School District. I have a Masters in Elementary Education and Curriculum as well as E-learning. I have home schooled students, tutored, taught abroad, and even had the opportunity of teaching at the same elementary school that I once attended (such a fun experience). Teaching wasn't my first career choice, but it was definitely my calling. I had always wanted to be a pediatrician, even though I spent just as much time playing teacher as I did doctor. I remember spending all of my allowance, first communion money, and birthday money on school supplies and a play cash register. Learning is Fun was legit one of my favorite stores to shop at. My love for being around kids drove me to become a teacher and I couldn't be happier about the decision. It has been super rewarding making a difference with the children in my classes and of course having the summers off are great too!
If you ever need specific advice on resources for your child or have any questions about any of the resources listed above feel free to contact me! You can leave a message in the comments below or you can send me a DM on Instagram by clicking here. I am happy to help anyway I can!
Have a wonderful summer and keep those brains active!