Archive for October, 2013

Interactive Science Websites for Kids Under 10

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Websites are a very useful interactive learning tool for children, as children are inclined to use technology for learning and entertainment in modern times. Giving your children as many options as you can for learning on their own time will help them do well in school and excel at subjects like science among others. Making learning fun is the best way to get your children interested, and interactive science websites offer fun games that will catch your children’s attention and get them excited about learning.

There are a number of interactive science websites for children, but some of them have more difficult lessons intended for older children or teenagers. When looking for high quality websites for your children aged 10 or under, you will want to find websites that have games rated for children from K-4th or 5th grade that are basic enough for young children to be able to understand. The best science websites for kids under 10 include a wide range of interactive games and lessons and other interactive science material such as videos and audios. These are some of the most best interactive science websites intended for children aged 10 or younger.


science websites for kids

 

 

Brain Pop Junior (http://www.brainpopjr.com)

Brain Pop Junior is the version of BrainPop.com for children aged K-3rd grade. This website includes interactive lessons on science as well as health, reading and math, social studies, art and many other subjects. Brain Pop Junior requires a subscription for a low monthly cost, but it is worth it as it is one of the best interactive websites for science training for children. Brain Pop Junior includes free games that do not require a membership as well as a tour of the website with access to some science games.

Annenberg Learner (http://www.learner.org)

Annenberg Learner offers a wide range of lessons and interactive science modules for ages K-5 and above. Although there are lessons for older children, the grade level can be filtered for K-5 and there are many unique and fun interactive science games available for this age range. Annenberg Learner also offers free science lessons that teachers and parents can use for classroom or supplementary science training. Much of the material is free but licensed lessons can be purchased for classroom or other use. Other disciplines are covered as well including arts, foreign languages, math, history and social studies, and literature.

PBS Kids (http://www.pbskids.org)

PBS Kids is a great resource for children aged K-6th and includes a wide range of fun games that teach science concepts, problem solving and more. PBS Kids also includes videos and shows that teach science concepts including Sid the Science Kid, SciGirls, Sesame Street, and many others. PBS Kids also has free interactive apps that teach science concepts that can be downloaded to iPad, and Android tablets and the apps can be filtered based on the child’s age. Show times for children’s shows can also be found on the website.

The Science Spot – Kid Zone (http://sciencespot.net/Pages/kidzone.html)

Since there are so many websites with small portions of their website devoted to science training for kids, the Science Spot has categorized a bunch of them and put them in one place at the Science Spot – Kid Zone. This is a great resource that can be used with the help of a parent to find age appropriate interactive science websites based on a specific science topic. Topics include astronomy, physics, life sciences, chemistry, geology, and more. Each science topic is separated into smaller even more specific categories, and each categorize has dozens of great links. For younger children there is a section devoted to links to science games for kids with pretty much all of the most popular science game websites listed.

National Geographic Kids and Little Kids (http://kids.nationalgeographic.com)

National Geographic has two sections devoted to interactive science for kids – NG Kids and Little Kids. The NG Kids section has games, videos and more. NG Kids has games and lesson material that is a bit more complicated and intended for older children, while NG Little Kids has basic science games for kids under the age of 10. Kids who are approaching the age of 10 can use most of the NG Kids website for science learning. Most of the games and videos are centered around science and natural science topics. Topics like geography, weather science, animal classification, astronomy, and many others are covered in the games and videos. There is also a section with detailed information on different animals, with a particular “Creature Feature” covering each animal with videos and photos, facts, a map of where the animal lives in the world, and more.

There are many other science websites that have great interactive features for kids under the age of 10. When it comes to picking a website to help your children learn science, be sure that you review the website and the material beforehand to make sure that it is appropriate in content and difficulty for your child, and be sure to monitor your child’s activity while they use the website.

What’s an Appropriate Curfew for High School Seniors?

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Deciding on a curfew for your high school senior can be a bit of a challenge. You want your child to feel independent their senior year, as they are going to be 18 soon if they haven’t turned 18 yet, but you also want to protect them and ensure they stay focused and disciplined. Setting a curfew is important so that the rules of your home are respected and for your teenager’s protection. A study in the United States found that over half of the car accidents in the evening are alcohol related, whereas less than a fifth of the accidents during the day are alcohol related. Having a proper curfew in place can protect your teenage from drunk driving and alcohol related incidents and help ensure that they take care of their most important priorities.

curfew priorities

When picking your curfew consider what your teenager’s preferences are so that there is little to no disagreement. Your teenager will probably want some flexibility in his or her curfew on the weekends, but school nights should have an early curfew. On school nights it’s best to set the curfew around 10:00 P.M. at the latest. If your high school senior needs to be up earlier for any particular reason such as sports or extra-curriculars then you might set their curfew earlier at 9:00 P.M. or so for week nights. For weekends, any time around 12:00 to 12:30 A.M. is generally the latest recommended curfew.

If your teenager drives you might need to set the curfew to be earlier, as there might be a curfew law in your area for teenage driving after a certain period of time. Also keep in mind the reality that teenagers do consume alcohol at parties, and because of that you need to discuss drunk driving and its serious dangers with them. Regardless of how late you set your child’s curfew, it is appropriate to always know where they are. They should let you know what their plans are on the nights that they plan on staying out.

In spite of your best efforts, your teenager will probably stay out past their curfew sometimes. Many parents will punish their children by grounding them or taking away privileges, but punishment is not going to be quite as effective for a senior in high school. This is because they are usually ready leave home, and will be more resentful to being punished because they feel they are already an adult and don’t need to be punished like a child. To avoid a fight, simply let your teenager know that you are disappointed that he or she didn’t follow your curfew and that you set the curfew because you love them and want them to be safe.

At this stage of development, communication is more important than punishment for your child. There isn’t much you can do if your child insists on staying out past their curfew if they are a senior, as in less than a year they will be legal adults if they aren’t one already. You should always remind your child to keep in touch with you and let you know what they are doing, but you have to take a different approach to keeping tabs on them at this point.

You should want your high school senior to have more personal responsibility, but you also want to make sure that they take care of their school work and other obligations and don’t allow their social life to interfere with their most important priorities. If you find that your child’s social life is seriously affecting his or her school work or other responsibilities it’s best to have a sit down with them and discuss making more responsible choices and changing their curfew to an earlier time if necessary.

Free Educational Websites For Kids – Gecko Kids

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Gecko Kids is our portal of free educational websites. It acts as a homepage for kids, who can then browse through specially selected sites that are organised into four categories: learning, videos, activities and games. All of the websites on Gecko Kids are free to use and have been selected for their quality by our team.

You can take a look a the Gecko Kids site here

Although the Gecko Kids section of our website is in its infancy, we hope to be improving it’s features consistently in the future. Our aim is to create a site for children that is engaging, easy to use and features the best of the web, so that parents can rest easy that their children are browsing the best available material. There are tens of thousands of websites aimed at kids on the internet, but sometimes it’s hard to find the best of the bunch, without hours of trawling through rubbish. We aim to take the pain out of that, while also making it fun for kids to browse through our directory.

free educational kids sites

Hovering over each website in the categories will show a short description of the site and a screen shot, so you can get an idea of what the site is about before visiting. The layout is made in child friendly way, but is designed for parents to use as well.

Gecko Kids is also a corner stone of our parental control software, Gecko Filter. Gecko Filter has a ‘Gecko Kids Mode’, which will block the entire internet, apart from the pre-approved sites available from Gecko Kids.

In the future we aim to add a number of great features to all of this, and we have some pretty exciting stuff in mind. If you have any ideas or things you’d like to see in Gecko Kids or Gecko Filter let us know either by email or via the comments below.

You can take a look at Gecko Filter here