How to Stimulate Summer Learning
In addition to the wide range of activities provided by community resources such as library branches or summer day camps run by the local city or county, kids can also take advantage of online educational games and resources that keep them learning at their own pace. Hands-on projects and activities, stimulating educational games, interactive websites, and exciting videos and readings that satisfy their curiosity will make learning feel less like a chore and more like summertime fun.
Marvel Kids Comic CreatorMany kids would jump at the chance to create their own Marvel comic. With this comic creator, they can choose from a host of heroes and villains and design paneled comic strips or even 22-page books. While practicing artistic mastery, kids experiment with storytelling techniques such as crafting dialogue, writing humor, and creating suspense. What better way to learn while being entertained?
NGA KidsThe National Gallery of Art (United States) website for children is both informational and fun. Highlights include the Photo Op program, which is an interactive introduction to digital photography and image editing. Kids can use the virtual camera to snap pictures and then experiment with photo-editing tools to create photographic masterpieces. In addition, they can create virtual paintings, assemble collages, and delve into art history.
For Curious Kids
WonderopolisKids are curious. They have questions. Each day, Wonderopolis explains a new "wonder" of daily life, such as how to create a harmony, why zebras have stripes, and where the buffalo do roam. The wonders span dozens of categories from candy to weather to pop culture. Kids can learn, discover, and imagine with this website from the National Center for Family Literacy.
Pass the PlateWhat better way to encourage kids to snack on healthful food than teach them how to prepare it themselves? The Disney Channel's Pass the Plate resource offers nutritious recipes from all over the world.
Literacy and Language Arts
Word MoverYoung people stay busy; they're always on the go. With the Word Mover mobile app by the National Council of Teachers of English, children and teens can create "found poetry" by choosing from word banks and remixing famous works.
Nature and Science
iWASWonderingThe website http://iWASwondering.org is inspired by the middle-school-age biography series Women's Adventures in Science. Sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, iWASWondering outlines achievements by women in science and provides a timeline; brief biographic info; and interactive games such as the virtual telescope, AstroScope.
National Geographic KidsIt's impossible to list all of the exciting features that National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids provide, but to name just a few, there are high-quality photography and videos where kids can encounter animals and explore natural environments; links to encyclopedic references, resources, and homework help; and craft ideas, puzzles, and quizzes.
National Geographic Education is in beta form and provides hands-on activities, lesson plans, and other teaching and learning resources, including news and blog posts from real-life adventurers and explorers. Kids can read up on current events, get their hands dirty with fun experiments, and find answers to tough questions.