Skill-Building Activities

Use these resources, skill-building activities, and expert advice to help your child excel in his academics.

10 Best Apps to Help Kids Learn to Read

From learning the alphabet to stringing letter sounds together, reading requires a foundation of many skills. These interactive apps can help provide the building blocks of reading, focusing on literacy skills including phonetic awareness, site words, letter recognition, and letter sounds. read more

10 Best Backyard Science Experiments to Try This Summer

Just because school is out doesn't mean brain drain needs to set in. Transform your backyard into your very own science lab and have a blast with these awesome summer science experiments. As you conduct your experiments, ask your child what they think will happen, and then discuss your observations and results when you are finished. Also, check out our favorite science and math toys and mobile apps. read more

10 Everyday Ways to Explore Science While Having Fun

Simple science lessons are all around us during the summer. Prevent summer brain drain in your kids with these mini science experiments and activities for children of all ages. Expand their knowledge of meteorology, zoology, botany, chemistry, and more without any special equipment or instructions. read more

10 Everyday Ways to Keep Your Child Reading While Having Fun

Reading is one of the most important skills you should try to boost outside of school. Foster your child's bookworm habits with these simple activities and tips that make reading so fun, he'll fill up his book chart in no time. read more

11 Awesome STEM Toys to Get Kids into Science & Math

It's smart to nurture your child's love of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)! Exploring science and math for fun could help give your child an edge in these subjects in school and beyond. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many STEM fields are growing, and STEM jobs pay nearly double the average salary of other U.S. jobs. See which toys can get your child psyched about science and math, from preschool through middle school! read more

11 Everyday Ways to Learn Math While Having Fun

Math is everywhere, not just in the classroom, and summer is a great time to learn how math relates to the real world. It's more than just addition and subtraction worksheets— it's everywhere you look. Keep your child learning this summer with these ways to find math in the everyday. Also, check out these fun math and science toys and mobile apps. read more

15-Minute Reading Activities

15-Minute Reading ActivitiesMake 15 minutes go a long way. Try these quick reading activities with your younger kids. 1. License to read. On car trips, make it a game to point out and read license plates, billboards, and interesting road signs. read more

5 Common Handwriting Struggles and How to Solve Them

Handwriting is a complex skill, so it isn't surprising that many children have a hard time mastering it. Poor handwriting skills can make your child stressed and anxious, cause problems with his or her schoolwork, and keep him or her from wanting to write. Here's what children struggle with the most when it comes to handwriting, and tips on how to help. read more

7 Great Places to Squeeze in Summer Learning

Summer learning doesn't have to take a lot of time or resources. Although structured activities are great, quick and easy lessons on the fly are an educational (and much simpler) way to squeeze in a quick math or science session. The next time you find yourself at one of these summertime places, turn it into a fast (and fun!) learning experience. read more

A Change Book

A Change BookAge: Preschool through elementaryTime: 30 minutes or moreType of activity: Arts and craftsMaterials Needed: · Paper· Pen· Markers or crayons· Stapler What to Do: read more

A Day in the Life of...

A Day in the Life of...When I was growing up, the high price of photography meant photo taking was reserved for special occasions. Now, however, inexpensive cameras, film, and processing are readily available if you shop around. Encourage your child to be a photographer now and then, recording people, places, things, and events that are meaningful to her. Materials Camera with filmDirections read more

A Growing Snowflake

By creating a paper snowflake will learn how and why the perimeter is infinite. This is a fun math activity for winter. read more

A Nesting Station

Longer days mean birds are getting ready to make their nests. Help them out by giving them some extra supplies. read more

A Summer Day

Have write a short story about a picnic during the summer. read more

Address Book

Address BookKeeping track of the addresses of friends and family members helps your child practice his writing skills, learn about alphabetical order, and learn how to write addresses correctly. Materials Pencil, pen, or marker Index cards Ruled paper Blank address book or small notebook Stationery and postage stamps (optional)Directions read more

Air, Air, Everywhere

create moving air, or wind, using plastic bottles. read more

All-About-Me Book

All-About-Me Book Activity for an individual child Age group: 18-40 months Duration of activity: 45 minutes Materials: Light-colored construction or bond paper Markers Magazines Scissors White craft glue Your child can create a lasting memory. He will enjoy "reading" it as much as he did creating it. You can bind the pages together with a stapler or by punching holes in the sides and attaching the pages with a yarn bow. read more

Amazing Inflating Balloons

Amazing Inflating BalloonsBoth chemistry and cooking are about combining ingredients to create something completely different. In cooking, certain ingredients, such as yeast and sugar, are vital to the finished product because of the chemical reaction they produce when they're combined. This activity demonstrates how yeast works. Materials read more

America by the People Poster: Thomas Jefferson

explore the concept and meaning of liberty by summarizing Thomas Jefferson's ideas. read more

America for the People Poster: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt's words and their meaning in the context of the 1940's are the foundation for a book that create. read more

America of the People Poster

This poster and related lessons get thinking about the domestic and foreign affairs in 1961 and compare them to those in 2001. read more

Anaconda Reading Passage

Read all about the fascinating anaconda, the biggest snake in the world and then answer the attached comprehension questions. Answer key is also supplied. read more

Anagrams Activity

Anagrams ActivityAnagrams are pairs or groups of words that use exactly the same letters in different order, for example: pills/spill and eat/tea. Directions read more

Animal Development Matching

Match animal development descriptions with the correct scientific term. read more

Animal Groups Matching

Match over 60 animals with their specific group. read more

Animal Research and Writing

will choose an animal they would like to be, then research and write about it. read more

Anteater Reading Passage

Read this informative passage about the giant anteater and then answer the attached comprehension questions. Answer key is also supplied. read more

Balloon Fun

Balloon FunTime 5 to 10 minutes Materials Package of balloons Directions This activity helps your child to explore force and motion. Inflate the balloons and tie them off with the string.Suspend them from the ceiling just low enough to be reached, and hit them gently with the palm of the hand. Extensions read more