Skill-Building Activities for All Ages - FamilyEducation

Skill-Building Activities

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

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 children will learn how and why the perimeter is infinite. This is a fun math activity for winter. read more

A Summer Day

Have your child 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

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

All About Astronomy

All About AstronomyMaterials 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

Children 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 children create. read more

America of the People Poster

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

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

Benefits of Reading as a Teen

What the research says about teens who read for enjoyment. read more


Bird-WatchingMaterials Binoculars Bird book for your area Directions Anywhere you go there will be birds. Get a book from the library to find out what kind of birds you can expect to see in your area. Birds owe their success as a species to their ability to fly. Flight enables birds to feed where other animals cannot, escape enemies, and move with the seasons. Birds in flight are a beautiful sight. Take your binoculars and look for birds flying and resting. A few things to look for when bird-watching: read more

Blank Journal Page

Use this blank page for journal writing in any subject or grade. Here is a printable list of journal topic ideas. read more

Blown Pictures

Blown Pictures Activity for an individual child Age group: 18-40 months Duration of activity: 10 minutes Materials: Tempera paint Plastic spoons Light-colored construction or bond paper Plastic straws This is a fun way for your child to learn about the power of an invisible force such as the wind. read more

Book of Lists

Book of ListsBooks of lists are popular with children. My kids enjoy The Best Ever Kids' Book of Lists by Eugenie Allen, which lists things like the natural wonders of the world, the scariest people ever, and the grossest vegetables. Your child may enjoy making her own book of lists. Materials Plain paper Pen or markers Old magazines (optional) Hole punch RibbonDirections read more