RESOURCES FOR FREE LEARNING ACTIVITIES / GAMES (ONLINE OR FOR DOWNLOAD/PRINTING
Target Age: Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st Grades
Description: The Pre-Kindergarten materials include a teacher’s manual and materials for lessons on alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness and language/vocabulary. The K-1 materials include a teacher’s manual and materials for lessons on phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
Target Age: 3-7 years
Description: There are free materials for download targeting reading, phonics, handwriting and math. Also available are more than 20 free preschool packs as well as book lists and lists of computer apps. You can sign up for a free subscription and can access even more “freebies” through this subscription. There is a “store” for you to purchase additional materials, and the cost of most items is less than $10.00.
Target Age: 1-8 years
Description: The website contains information for parents about child development and early learning. Parents can also sign up for a free monthly newsletter. Parents can learn more about PBS Kids and the educational games and activities available on the website.
Target Age: 3-7 years
Description: Kids can view videos, play games or print out activity pages based on favorite shows or stories (as seen on PBS such as Arthur, Sesame Street, Curious George, Between the Lions, etc.). Free activities focus on literacy, language, math, reasoning and logic skills, and science. Also available are lists of free e-books, computer apps, games and videos.
Target Age: 3-5 years
Description: Free early learning resources. Get Ready to Read! is designed to support educators, parents, and young children in the development of early literacy skills in the years before kindergarten. Intended for use with all children, the resources and information provided on this site promote skill-building, communication between adults, and ways to address concerns. (National Center for Learning Disabilities-NCLD)
Target Age: 2-5 years
Description: Gayle’s Preschool Rainbow provides free access to home activities for toddlers and preschoolers including indoor and outdoor fun activities, holiday crafts, alphabet themes, rhyme themes, book themes and other preschool links. The “Resource Room” provides additional access to materials for a $20.00 annual membership fee (or you can join for free for first year by submitting five ideas for the website.)
Target Age: 3-8 years
Description: The Startfall non-profit organization provides free on-line access to animated songs, math and reading activities for preschool through the second grade levels. Parents can expand access to materials and activities by paying the annual $35.00 fee.
Target Age: 2-6 years
Description: First-School features free fun preschool lesson plans, educational early childhood activities, printable crafts, worksheets, calendar of events and other resources for children of preschool age. The preschool crafts, lesson plans and activities are appropriate and adaptable for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarten level (ages 2 to 6).
Target Age: 3-5 years
Description: Iowa Department of Education: Parent Modules—“I can help my child be a reader! Lessons for Parents in Supporting Early Literacy. Free modules provide step-by-step training for parents and other significant adults to increase the amount of time they spend reading and talking with their children.
Target Age: Kindergarten through High School (Ages 5-18 years)
Description: Khan Academy offers free practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Their math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. They have also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.
Target Age: Kindergarten through High School (Ages 5-18 years)
Description: Designated a “Great Site for Kids” by the American Library Association, this site provides educational videos, lessons, quizzes and educational games for K-12 students in various subject areas, such as science, math, health, social studies and English.
Target Age: Kindergarten through Eighth Grades (Ages 5-14 years)
Description: AAA Math features a comprehensive set of interactive arithmetic lessons. There is no cost or registration required to practice your math on the AAAMath.com site. Unlimited practice is available on each topic that allows thorough mastery of the concepts. A wide range of lessons (Kindergarten through Eighth grade level) enables learning or review to occur at each individual’s current level. Immediate feedback prevents practicing and learning incorrect methods, which is a common result of traditional homework and worksheets. Practice can continue as long as desired in a non-threatening format that helps build self-esteem and confidence. Note: Due to heavy traffic a page may not load properly. The same content is available at: AAAKnow.com, AAAStudy.com, 321Know.com and AAAMath.com
Target Age: Preschool through 8th Grades (ages 3-14 years)
Description: Funbrain, created for kids ages preschool through grade 8, offers more than 100 fun, interactive games that develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. Plus, kids can read a variety of Brewster Rocket. Parents can trust Funbrain to deliver a fun and safe experience for even the youngest children. The Playground helps parents introduce their preschoolers to the Internet and teaches them how to manipulate the mouse and keyboard. Funbrain is committed to providing a safe gaming environment that bridges learning and entertainment. Funbrain never collects personally identifiable information from kids.
Target Age: Preschool through Kindergarten (ages 3-6 years)
Description: This site offers hundreds of free, online, educational games for kids. There are many topics and recommendations are given for which games are appropriate for which age levels. For preschool-kindergarten, the following are recommended:
- Preschool/Kindergarten (numbers, colors, shapes, alphabet, animals)
- Preschool Animals (movies, create games, games, flashcards)
- Animal Kid’s Corner (lower row: puzzles, matching games, painting)
- Geography (learning and lower levels-states, countries, more)
- Early Math (counting, simple adding and subtracting, more)
- Easy Spanish (colors, objects, animals)
Target Age: Toddler, Preschool and Kindergarten (ages 2-6 years)
Description: Students have free access to interactive learning games over a variety of topics including literacy and math. History, science, and geography are also included as topics. There are some links to free printables such as flash cards and worksheets.
Target Age: Not Specified
Description: Play games, watch videos, learn about animals, and places, and get fun facts on the National Geographic Kids website.
Target Age: Preschool through 2nd grades (ages 3-8 years)
Description: Parents or students can register for free (email and a password) to access online reading and math games. Parents have the option to upgrade for “premium” services for a fee.
Target Age: Pre-K through 12th Grades (Ages 3-18 years)
Description: IXL provides hundreds of high quality on-line practice questions (organized by grade level) in four different subjects: math, language arts, science and social studies. Users have free access to one set of questions in one subject per day. For those wanting greater access, a subscription is required. Many schools currently maintain an organizational subscription, and students can access the program at home at no additional charge. Otherwise, parents can subscribe for $9.99 per month or $79.00 for a full year.
Target Age: Sorted by age categories: baby, toddler, preschooler, elementary, middle school, high school and adult
Description: A pediatric occupational therapist and mother blogs about fine and gross motor activities. The site gives access to numerous free activities (with pictures) and downloads. There is an online store to purchase additional items. You can follow the blogger on Facebook or give your email address to subscribe to the mailing list.
Target Age: Ages 0-7 Years
Description: Access to books, reading ideas, writing ideas, projects and sign up for free newsletter and to have resources sent to your email in-box. Resources are organized by age groups: babies, toddlers, preschoolers and beginning readers.
Target Age: Ages 1-6 Years
Description: This site has free downloads/templates for story props for flannel boards using popular books and nursery rhymes.
Target Age: Birth-School Age
Description: This site provides ideas for fine motor skills for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children.
RESOURCES FOR FREE BOOKS (E-BOOKS ONLINE): PRESCHOOL-KINDERGARTEN
Target Age: 3-13 years
Description: The International Children’s Digital Library Foundation’s (ICDL Foundation) mission is to support the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community – who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge. The ICDL Foundation is a non-profit corporation. (Books are available in multiple languages.) Books are grouped by fiction and non-fiction and also by age (3-5, 6-9, and 10-13 years.)
Target Age: Pre-Reader and Very Early Reader
Description: Children’s Books Online–the Rosetta Project–include thousands of illustrated books and is a volunteer-driven project. It has grown slowly since 1996 from the work of a single man and a handful of books, to a vibrant volunteer-driven organization publishing new books and translations every week. The group claims to have one of the largest online libraries of antique books. This library is made possible by a grant from the John and Frances Beck Foundation. Many books are available in multiple languages.
Target Age: Not specified
Description: The SAG-AFTRA Foundation records well-known actors reading children’s books and makes graphically dynamic videos so that children around the world can be read to with just the click of a Storyline Online video book image.
Target Age: Not Specified
Description: This is a collection of free animated eBooks. These online eBooks touch various subjects and promise to make your child’s learning experience richer.
Target Age: Pre-K through 12th graders (Beginning Readers, Struggling Readers, English Language Readers, Students who use switches, alternative keyboards, touch screens and AAC devices)
Description: Tar Heel Reader is the result of the collaborative efforts of Karen Erickson, director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, and Gary Bishop, a professor of computer science, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Karen wanted to create an online community of books that teachers could share with children (and adults!) with disabilities who might not be physically able to handle books and/or who needed more reading opportunities at the appropriate level that were age respectful. The books may be downloaded as slideshows in PowerPoint or onto an iPad to be opened in iBooks. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces including touch screens, the IntelliKeys with custom overlays, and 1 to 3 switches. It has been around since 2008. As of 2015, 10,001 different authors have written 41,125 books in 24 languages.
Target Age: All
Description: Bookshare can help if you cannot read traditional print books because of a visual impairment, physical disability or severe learning disability. The books are “accessible,” which means you can read books many different ways. Bookshare offers the world’s largest collection of accessible titles. As a result, people of all ages, as well as schools and many organizations around the globe can access the books they need for school, work, career advancement, skill development and the simple love of reading in formats that work for them.
Target Age: Grades K-5 (Ages 5-11 Years)
Description: Children can listen to short stories read aloud to them as they follow along with the highlighted text. ABCya! has a variety of educational games in addition to the featured stories. Free resources and materials are available for grades K-5.
Target Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and Beginning Readers
Description: This site contains ideas for early literacy including books, activities, games and free downloads.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BOOKS: PRESCHOOL-KINDERGARTEN
Target Age: Birth through the 8th grade
Description: According to the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee manual, these categories loosely represent the following:
- Younger Readers – Preschool-grade 2 (age 7), including easy-to-read books
- Middle Readers – Grades 3-5, ages 8-10
- Older Readers – Grades 6-8, ages 11-14
- All Ages – Has appeal and interest for children in all of the above age ranges. Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways. (According to ALSC policy, the current year’s Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books automatically are added to the Notable Children’s Books list.)
Target Age: Preschool to Kindergarten (Ages 3-5)
Description: Book lists and recommended reading for ages 3-5. This list is provided by Scholastic and Parent and Child magazine.