By Curriki Guest Blogger Lani de Guia
Most likely in your neck of the woods, the winter holiday break from school has arrived. Children are excitedly welcoming the break from school and sleeping in. Long days are spent without a bus to catch, a test to take, or notes to study. However, the free time can sometimes turn to boredom. Although holiday breaks are a great time to rest, it is also the perfect time for students to explore and learn on their own. Parents can invite their children to use their downtime to explore their interests through independent learning. Check out the following resources that can keep students mentally engaged and stave off boredom.
The Budding Filmmaker
Is your child interested in creating his/her own movies, videos, or even movie trailers? Whether alone, or with a group of friends, children can learn to use video editing software to express stories, news, and opinions. Tutorials on Adobe Premiere Pro and iMovie (for Mac users), can help students get started. They can even create time-lapse videos with Windows Live MovieMaker!
The Creative Writer
Perhaps your child has always wanted to create his or her own storybook? Storybird allows users to create their own picture book with a vast library of images. Once completed, the finished book can even be produced into a printed form!
The Graphic Artist
Let your child express his or herself through art! Glogster is a free website which allows you to make dynamic virtual posters with text, audio, images, video, links, and more. You can help them do art on the go through their mobile devices as well. Here is a collection of mobile art apps that enable users to sketch, paint, and sculpt including DoodleBuddy, 123D Sculpt, Skitch, and Brushes.
Does your child love math, science, and all things STEM? Sick Science! is a collection of unconventional experiments like ice tray battery, homemade projector, and electric cornstarch that is sure to get kids excited. Slow-motion Chemistry videos include demonstrations of dynamic chemical reactions. Watch hot charcoal dropped into liquid nitrogen, Caesium metal reacting with water and more! Do you have a budding engineer in your household? Engineering games and simulations such as solar car racing, bionic arms, and rocket modeling can get kids thinking about their future endeavors.
The Skills Builder
Perhaps your child wants to play quick and fun games to build their skills. FunBrain is great for K-8 students to practice academic skills in math and reading through arcade games, comics, books, and simulations. SumDog offers free learning games with interest-based activities such as sports, dance, animals, and even aliens! It’s also never too early to learn and practice keyboarding skills. Big Brown Bear offers interactive and timed activities for young students to learn how to type.
The Avid Reader
If your child enjoys cozying up to a great story, young children and teens can access free eBooks for e-readers, PC, and Mac platforms. If your child is looking for a vast collection of some of the most acclaimed works of literature, here is a collection of sites such as Project Gutenberg, LibriVox, and ManyBooks with over 30,000 free downloads of books.
No matter what your children may be interested in, the holiday break is the perfect time for them to investigate their interests. Encourage your kids to research, explore, and have fun!