I’ve been collecting free educational games that we’ve been assigned to do from teachers as well as links that I’ve found online. Here are my categories:
I also list my favorite children’s book blogs and parenting blogs. What are your favorite educational sites, blogs, games?
Math facts take practice to master but flashcards, both traditional and electronic, are not very fun. My kids’ teachers want math facts mastery. The goal is 50 problems (1-2 incorrect) within 2 minutes. Math fact mastery — addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division — means less than 3 seconds per problem.
But if math fact flashcard drilling is causing your child to meltdown like mine, it’s time to change tactics. This is where gaming apps and websites come in. I think the key is to change it up. Not only will it be more fun for the child, but he or she will also retain more by having different learning experiences. Gaming is effective!
Learning math facts using games. This collection of math games for kids includes somewhere they race other kids. Our favorite of this group is Multiplication Race Car and Fire the Ball Add to 10. I also have fun math apps here to learn math facts.
These games help kids learn fractions, ratios, and decimals and the relationships between them. It’s a concept that starts in 5th grade math and continues into middle school.
Some of these geometry games focus on learning terminology, but the first game requires critical thinking to solve a problem using geometry (my favorite kind of math!).
Money Flashcards teaches how to count money, and once your child has that down, try the Shopping Game to solve money math word problems.
These great math resources have online games for a range of grades and concepts. While this list was compiled with teachers in mind, parents might also find this useful to reinforce what their child is learning in school whether their child is behind, ahead, or just right in math.
Games are a fun way to learn states and state capitals. I have several games for these in case you want to mix it up. 4th grade covered states with optional state capitals for extra credit. We also have placemats at the dinner table with the globe and the United States capitals for a fun family trivia game.
This round-up of great science websites, resources, and games covers a wide range of topics from physical to life sciences. It’s meant to help support STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) interest in your child. I especially want to introduce girls to science. Research has shown that if girls don’t find science interesting by the end of elementary school, they will reject it forever. This is a shame since there are so many great jobs in the STEM fields, an area that is currently dominated by men.
And do boys have an edge over girls with regard to science and math? The research says absolutely not! Girls just need to realize that math and science skills to be acquired NOT a genetic inclination or gift!
- Name Elements of Periodic Table
- Steve Spangler Science Experiments A searchable directory of easy and fun science experiments and science fair ideas.
- Water Cycle Diagram – Earthguide The interactive Earthguide Water Cycle Diagram provides a visual representation of the different parts of the water cycle, including precipitation, runoff, infiltration, evaporation, evapotranspiration, freezing, and more.
- B-EYE Give your students a different view of the world, literally! B-EYE shows your students what the world looks like through the eyes of a bee. You can zoom in and out to truly experience the effect of compound eyes on one’s vision.
- Life of Birds The website version of PBS’ Life of Birds is a great resource for learning about Earth’s most adaptable creatures.
- InnerBody An interactive guide to all systems of the human body including the digestive system, immune system, muscular system, respiratory system, skeletal system, and more.
- Planet Size Comparison This super-cool website lets you pick two planets in our solar system and visually compare them. It’s great for a unit on space!
- The Dino Directory View 3D models of five well-known dinosaurs, and learn about the origins of their names, how large they were, what they ate, and when and where they lived.
- Infrared Zoo Gallery Use the Infrared Zoo Gallery to “see” the difference between warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals. It also allows you to study how well feathers, fur, and blubber insulate different animals. Very cool!
For more ideas on Science, please follow my Pinterest Board: Science Fun.
- Fidgit Game The Fidgit game gives you lots of different engineering challenges to solve. Experiment with different designs and configurations in the challenges, and then watch to see what happens.
- Engineering for Earthquakes Making structures strong enough to withstand earthquakes is one thing that engineers need to do as they build bridges and buildings. Play an exciting game that challenges you to build a new bridge that would withstand a very strong earthquake.
- Bridge Builder Game This bridge-building game lets you choose a level and then place pieces of material onto the screen to build a bridge. Just click your mouse where you want to place pieces. If you change your mind, click the ESC button to remove a piece. You can also test your bridge to see if it will support its weight.
- Simple Machines Help Twitch do his work with simple machines in this fun game. You will need to solve challenges to create simple machines.
- Build Your Own Coaster Build a roller-coaster to send people off on a wild ride. Lay tracks until your coaster is finished. After it’s done, see how people like the ride.
Children have a natural empathy for animals. With more species than ever threatened with extinction, it’s so important to teach this generation of kids about the fragile state of our planet and ecosystems.
- ARKive The ultimate resource for breathtaking photos and videos of the world’s endangered species. Each entry also includes a description of the species (or region) and information about its range, habitat, biology, threats, conservation, and more.
- Bagheera Learn about endangered and already-extinct species from around the world at Bagheera. Classroom activities and resources are also available for additional learning opportunities.
- Earthquakes for Kids
The U.S. Geological Survey website provides students with information about earthquakes. They can learn about the latest quakes, watch animations, get ideas for science fairs or play earthquake-related puzzles and games.
- Plate Tectonics Animations
The University of California Berkeley’s plate tectonics animations demonstrate how the plates work, and the site includes information on the theories behind the motion, as information on the history of plate tectonics and animations of how plate tectonics shaped the world in the past!
- Glossary of Earthquake Terms: glossary of earthquake terms.
- Ultimate List of Volcano Teaching Resources: a collection of volcano teaching resources with appropriate age range.
You might not think of apps or games to learn history! Here is a great round-up of resources to try at home or in a classroom.
- Mission U.S.
Mission U.S. is home to two free, interactive, immersive U.S. history games. One focuses on the American Revolution, the other focuses on a slave’s quest for freedom, and both bring history to life around the student, giving events of the past an immediate and highly personal appeal.
- Online Hieroglyphics Translator
Type in a phrase and see what it looks like when it’s translated to Egyptian Hieroglyphics. This is a cool activity to do if you’re covering Ancient Egypt.
Free lesson plans and interactive games for learning civics. Some of the topics covered by materials at iCivics include citizenship and participation, separation of powers, branches of government, and budgeting.
- The Underground Railroad
Scholastic’s interactive Underground Railroad activity provides an in-depth and honest look at what life was like for slaves. It’s got audio, slideshows, videos, teacher’s guides and more.
- The Seattle Times: Martin Luther King Jr.
An invaluable resource to teach the incredible story of Martin Luther King Jr. This website includes a biography, timeline, seven teaching exercises, a photo gallery, a quiz, and more.
- Electoral College Calculator
Teaching your students about the Electoral College? Using the Electoral College Calculator is a great activity to show how winning certain states can put a candidate on an easy path to the White House.
- Plimoth Plantation: Thanksgiving Interactive Activity
Yes, it’s spelled “Plimoth”! Trust me, I double-, triple- and quadruple-checked! This fun, award-winning activity has students role-play as history detectives who investigate what actually happened at the first Thanksgiving.
For more ideas on History, please follow my Pinterest Board: Social Studies, Election for Kids, Best Historical Fiction for Kids.
Do you ever guess how a word is pronounced and even if it’s wrong, it’s how you want to say the word forever? I do that. As the designated read-aloud parent, I am still guessing at how some words are pronounced. I will be utilizing Forvo for assistance in the future!
There are other great games to get kids learning English Language skills.
For more ideas on Reading and Writing, please follow my Pinterest Board: Reading and Writing Fun, Sight Word Fun, and Reluctant Readers.
Typing skills or keyboarding is a skill that is more important than ever. This game teaches touch typing. I also have a post on the best sites and apps for learning to keyboard.
If your child attends school with a classmate who is learning impaired, learning sign language is a helpful skill that might also be reinforced at school.
Personal Finance Games for Kids
• Bite Club: Save for retirement while running a vampire nightclub.
• FarmBlitz: Manage farm resources to build savings and survive financial emergencies.
• Financial Football: Give your financial knowledge a workout with the latest version of Financial Football, a fast-paced, NFL-themed video game developed by Visa.
• Financial Soccer: Financial Soccer is a fast-paced, multiple-choice question game, testing players’ knowledge of financial management skills as they advance downfield and try to score goals.
• Practical Money Skills, a site that works to help consumers and students learn the essentials of personal finance, offers games, and other educational resources.
• OnGuardOnline offers educational resources and games to teach teens how to keep personal information safe and secure online.
• Budget Challenge, a personal finance simulation tool. Students can learn how to manage a checkbook and maintain a budget, among other skills, using the program.
*Bonus: My 30 favorite game and scenario-based learning programs
• BizWorld: This nonprofit inspires children to be innovative leaders through the teaching of business, entrepreneurship, and finance. (Lessons must be ordered online.)
• EconEdLink: EconEdLink is a leading source of online economic and personal finance lessons and resources for educators, students, and afterschool providers.
• FEFE: Provides more than 25,000 educators nationwide with free, ready-to-teach classroom materials for grades 7-12.
• My Classroom Economy: The program has the same overall objectives for all grades — to instill basic financial responsibility and teach the value of delayed gratification.
• MyMoney.gov: MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics of financial education.
• NEFE: The nonprofit national foundation is dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision-making for individuals and families through every stage of life.
• PwC’s Earn Your Future: The curriculum is composed of easy-to-follow lesson plans accompanied by interactive handouts and dynamic multimedia components. The modules span grades 3-12.
• St. Louis Federal Reserve: Free classroom resources for K-16 educators to teach about money and banking, economics, personal finance, and the Federal Reserve.
• The Griffith Foundation: Provides teachers with a classroom-ready product so teachers can spend less time preparing lesson plans and gathering material and more time teaching.
• VISA’s Practical Money Skills for Life: Educator-developed and educator-approved, the program has reached millions of students across the nation.