As a teacher and home-schooler I am always on the look-out for free educational materials online. I look for activities, games, crafts, projects, print-ables, maps, cut and paste anything I can find to enhance learning and make it enjoyable for children. Here is my list of must-have websites for your ‘favorites’ folder.
Pbskids.org is maintained by Public Broadcasting Services. It contains links to separate sites for all of the children’s’ shows that PBS has hosted. Each site provides free games, music, activities, coloring pages for children to access themselves. These sites incorporate math, reading, science, social studies, art, and more. They feature teaching resources and materials and helpful links to other educational sites with related materials parents and teachers. You will find:
- Bob the Builder
- It’s a Big, Big World
- Curious George
- Sesame Street
- Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
- Maya and Miguel
- Fetch with Ruff Ruffman
- Sagwa, the Chinese, Siamese Pussycat
- Reading Rainbow
- Postcards from Buster
- Between the Lions
- Berenstain Bears
I found this site when I was teaching pre-school. I googled free cut and paste print-ables and was directed to the website for Wondertime magazine. Besides the wonderful parenting articles, this site features the create and play link with crafts, games and at least 5 complete cut, assemble and paste activities each month for you to print and copy. All you need is a color printer and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The animations are really charming and nicely colored. I found a barn with animals and fold-out doors, a placemat diagram with ‘dishes’ for setting the table, a movable clock, and more. These activities teach cutting skills (with two lines to follow for different age levels) assembly, gluing, sequencing, ordering, and organization. They are free to print off and make great day care, pre-school, or rainy day fun!
The games and crafts can be used with pre-schoolers and the crafts will satisfy kids up to nine or so! Special needs kids would really benefit from the eye-hand and fine-motor skill practice also. They could make the projects for younger children or siblings so that they don’t feel embarrassed.
Although this site offers loads of free print-ables, every educational group should have a subscription to this website! For $20 per year for an individual teacher or family or $35 for a school, you can print off unlimited crafts, recipes, games, activities, interactive booklets, maps, fill-in charts, and lesson pages for students on any subject!
You’ll find math activity pages and booklets, science units, charts, diagrams and print-ables on almost any science content (animal, biomes, geology, solar system, leaves, trees, fruits, etc). The Social Studies segment offers language activities for Spanish, French, Dutch, Polish, Swedish, German, and more! There are many seasonal and holiday activities. You can find maps and charts for most any country.
There is an online student encyclopedia for biographies and reports. An this is only a small sample. All the material is well-researched and written at an informative and interesting way for kids up to about 8th grade. It is very user-friendly for students! They can navigate the neat, colorful web pages very easily. As educators, you can print all materials easily and quickly. The site fee equals the cost of one resource book and you have access to the material found in about 200 resource books.
I’ve highlighted this site in its own article, but it bears repeating. I don’t know how many folks are aware of the vast resources available at no cost for anyone who is involved in education: parents, home-schoolers, teachers, volunteers, librarians, day care providers, anyone!
There are activities for kids online: readers groups, literature based activities, author forums, you name it! This is a great site for kids up to about 8th grade to explore safely! And teachers, to resources for you are limitless: book discussion guides, web site builder, lesson plans, reproducibles, all FREE!
I’ve written an article on the free ecards available at this site, but Dover offers lots more! Dover offers two e-newsletters with free samples from featured books. You can subscribe to the regular newsletter and the teachers newsletter.
Dover sells very inexpensive educational materials and reprints of classic books. They feature the ‘Dover Thrift Classics’ which are priced at $1 each! They sell cut and assemble, coloring books, stained glass pages, and all sorts of classic texts on all subjects! Check them out and get on the mailing lists!
This site offers a free e-newsletter with science projects, games, crafts and fun! You can also access the site to get archived newsletters with loads of easy stuff for all ages to do at home, school, day care, etc!
These sites can all be accessed safely by your children. Your children or students can safely navigate these sites and use features for fun and learning!