Websites That Make Learning Fun

Research shows that when parents are involved in their children’s education, their offspring do better at school – but keeping kids interested and motivated to learn can be tricky. Don’t despair as you can jumpstart their education online, and they will have fun at the same time

 

Ages  4 - 7


Phonics Play

Let’s learn about: Reading and using grammar
Where to find it: www.phonicsplay.co.uk
How it helps: This site is filled with loads of interactive games to guide children through the very basics of phonics, all the way up to more complicated grammar in key stage 2, where they can practice skills like past tenses and making compound words. It’s a £10-a-year subscription, but the fee is probably worth it.


Poisson Rouge
Let’s learn about: The alphabet, telling the time and French
Where to find it: www.poissonrouge.com
How it helps: This colourful site has lots of fun but also educational games for children that will help them to develop their memory, understand shapes, learn about letters and tell a story, while also learning French at the same time. They won’t realise they’re learning with this one.


Education City
Let’s learn about: Maths, letters and literacy, science, French, German and Spanish
Where to find it: www.educationcity.com
How it helps: This site has lots of games featuring fun, colourful cartoon characters. It’s easy to use and you can choose game levels depending on your child’s abilities, as it’s aimed at kids aged up to 11 years. The downside is that it’s a subscription-only site, but it’s worth checking out their free 10-day trial. If you decide to sign up after this, it costs £29.95 a year.

 

Ages  7 - 11


National Geographic for Kids
Let’s learn about: The natural world
Where to find it: http://kids.nationalgeographic.co.uk
How it helps: Your kids will learn about animals, countries, weather patterns and more. The site also contains plenty of adventure and action games plus craft ideas, like making a kite or bird feeder. The news section keeps kids informed with environment and science feature stories.


Guinness Book of World Records
Let’s learn about: The biggest, the smallest, the fastest and slowest
Where to find it: www.guinnessworldrecords.com
How it helps: This is a searchable database of record-breaking feats that will have kids gripped while they’re also learning facts about science, weight and geography. The smallest unit of time, anyone?


Bitesize Science
Let’s learn about: Science
Where to find it: www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks2bitesize/science
How it helps: This BBC science website is broken down into ‘living things’ (biology), ‘materials’ (chemistry), and ‘physical processes’ (physics). Kids can choose a module, like ‘helping plants grow’, play an interactive game, read a short chapter and take a quiz to see what they’ve remembered.

 

Ages  11- 14


Mathletics
Let’s learn about: Maths
Where to find it: www.mathletics.co.uk
How it helps: This award-winning website, aimed at kids aged between five and 18 years, is from the team behind World Maths Day. It features animated maths exercises and activities that tailor themselves to your child’s strengths and weaknesses, covering topics, such as geometry, algebra and probability. Kids can also compete in live maths games against others all over the world. Mathletics claims that 99 per cent of kids master a topic after completing a maths activity three times. Unfortunately, the subscription to the website does cost £39 per child per year, but you can at least get a family discount for siblings.


MYLO
Let’s learn about: French, German, Spanish, Chinese
Where to find it: http://mylo.dcsf.gov.uk
How it helps: This is a free language resource set up by the Department of Education. Designed for children ages 11 and older, MYLO uses games and real-life challenges, such as designing a football kit for a French-speaking team. Kids always have resources to help them, for example an online foreign language dictionary and cultural notes.


First News
Let’s learn about: Current affairs
Where to find it: www.firstnews.co.uk
How it helps: Children can read about what’s going on in the world in this weekly national newspaper, which is aimed at children aged seven to 14. Published every Friday, it offers all the important stories of the week in an easy-to-digest child format.

Words: Kelly Hagen


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