The benefits of effectively engaging children with learning are lifelong. Learning a second language at a young age, for example, not only gives children an advantage in future career prospects, but fosters a sense of awareness and tolerance. Teaching children the hard sciences shows them how to analyze problems, propose and test solutions, and build upon past knowledge – all critical thinking skills that are essential throughout life, from personal relationships to the business world.
Math Playground is a website that focuses on teaching math for students from first through sixth grade. The site has a comprehensive inventory of logic puzzles, math games, and arcade-style number games, as well as interactive tools for teaching fractions, functions, percents, and more.
Available for iPads with iOS 6.0 or later, Kodable is a free, award-winning kid app that teaches elementary-aged children how to code. The game centers around fictional aliens called Fuzzes, who must program their way out of the maze-filled planet Smeeborg. To help the Fuzzes, children learn the essential concepts that form the foundation of modern computer programming. Specific concepts include sequential and algorithmic operations, critical thinking, and conditional logic statements.
Download Kodable from the iTunes store.
One awesome chemistry resource for kids is Kid Science: Chemistry Experiments, a kid app that works with iPhones and iPads with iOS 3.2.1 or later. This app displays videos of simple but amazing chemistry experiments, along with accompanying explanatory text. After each video, students can take a quick quiz to test their knowledge.
4. National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids is a completely kids-centered website that teaches about a variety of subjects, from dinosaurs to space to animals. The site offers written articles, short fun facts, quizzes, and surveys to spark kids’ interest in the natural world around them. Popular educational games include “Animal Jam,” “Dolphin Diving,” and “Beaver Badminton.”
5. Science Experiments
Science Bob provides an incredible number of science-based learning resources, including explanatory videos, experiment ideas, and science fair project instructions.
Some of Science Bob’s fun experiment ideas include a delicious drink that illustrates liquid densities, a lunch bag that explodes, and a DIY hovercraft. The website also offers a Q&A section that’s great for teaching fun facts and a video section that explains scientific concepts and demonstrates how to perform experiments.
Available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch with iOS 7.0 or greater, Duolingo is a great app for children to learn a second language. Duolingo offers short, structured lessons in over 20 languages, including Arabic, Japanese, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. With cute illustrations and a built-in social component, Duolingo keeps kids interested in learning and competing with friends.
Download Duolingo from the iTunes store.
The NASA Kids’ Club website is a fun and interactive way for kids to learn about space. Children can play games that mimic space settlement and a journey to Mars, and they can also participate in product and space settlement design contests.
Designed for ages 6 to 8, the Imagination Playground 3D Builder kid app allows children to construct buildings of all shapes and sizes by stacking and connecting virtual blocks. After building, kids can turn on Gravity mode to see how the building would hold up in real life. Like the physical building block toys, Imagination Playground 3D Builder allows children to express their creativity and also understand real-life physics principles. This app works with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch with iOS 7.0 or later.
9. Speed Reading
Available for iPhone, iPod, and iPad Touch with iOS 8.0 or later, Story Chaser is a free fast-paced kid app that uses competitive games to teach children how to read quickly. In the app, kids must read short pieces of text and then quickly tap a corresponding word. Students can earn points in the form of coins, which allow them to level up. The game also offers an in-app meeting place where players can view progress and compare scores. Story Chaser uses fun and friendly competition to teach speed-reading techniques and improve scanning comprehension.
Download Story Chaser from the iTunes store.
Teach your kids how to appreciate learning with these awesome science projects for kids!
Featured photo credit: Lucelia Ribiero via flickr.com