Can you believe that we’re (almost) halfway through summer? Even though I sent my kids down south to Camp Grandparents for a few weeks, I made sure they have plenty of apps and activities to keep the summer slide at bay. While I introduced them to some of the free PBS Kids summer learning resources, I held back on the resources below so it’d be new and fresh for them. (I received review codes and/or samples for some of the following products. Some links are affiliate links.)
Farfaria (iOS & Google Play) is an subscription based app that gives early readers hundreds of books at their fingertips. (The free version gives you access to 1 different book each day.) Kids can find books by exploring the Farfaria map featuring themed islands: Animal Kingdom, Bedtime Bluffs, Sing Along City, and even a Preschool Playground. What I love about Farfaria is that my pre-reader Jaxson can “read” books on his own by either flipping through pages or by having Farfaria read the books to him. He feels more empowered when he’s allowed to choose. Recommended for pre-readers through 1st grade. Cost: Free (1 book per day) or $3.99 per month for entire library (less if you purchase 6 or 12-month subscriptions).
BrainPop, BrainPop Jr, and BrainPop Espanol: (iOS, Android, Windows) Based on its website, these three BrainPop apps feature a free educational animated movies each week and a fun quiz to test their new knowledge. The apps and site cover a wide range of topics and school subjects, from internet safety to arts to science and more. Cost: Free (for movie of the week). Subscriptions start at $9.45 a month with access to website and app.
Gus on the Go (iOS & Android) language learning app. I’m so glad that my friend Kim Vij of Educator’s Spin On It told me about Gus on the Go! The design is bright, fun, and intuitive. The best part is that Gus on the Go is available in over 30 languages, including Vietnamese! There’s a different app for each language, but the concept for each is the same. Kids (or adults) learn basic words by touching the object. Once they’re ready, there’s games to test and reiterate what they’ve learned. Jaxson absolutely loves this app. While he’s not comfortable enough to practice saying each word out loud, his Vietnamese comprehension has definitely improved. Cost: $2.99 to $3.99.
Epic! Kids Books (iOs): I reviewed this subscription based book app a couple of weeks ago, and it’s my favorite. Each child can create their own profiles and personalize it with likes and dislikes. There’s giant library of books available and you can even download favorite books onto the iPad for offline reading. See my full review of Epic! and how you can get a FREE 3 month subscription. Cost: Free one month trial, then $4.99 monthly.
Educational Activities & Kits
Kiwi Crate is a monthly subscription box that sends you everything you need for projects that help kids discover science, art, and games. The kids tried out the Super Hero Cape kit and they love playing pretend with their personalized capes! You can buy single kits or subscribe to their monthly boxes. Currently, you can get a free sample-size project for only $3.95 shipping!
UPDATE: 1 Week Only – Celebrate Summer with Kiwi Crate and save $10 plus FREE shipping on subscription packages with code GET10.
Barnes and Noble Summer Reading is a free summer reading program for kids! Once your child has read 8 books, they will receive a free books from a carefully curated selection. We’ve participated for 2 summers now and it’s definitely a win-win! This is an in-store only program.
Summer Bridge Activities: PBS Kids sent us several Carson Dellosa activity books, including their Summer Splash series. Each book as age appropriate activities and worksheets for Jaxson and Sophia (they each have their own). I have them do one worksheet a day. Enough to make it fun without making them feel like they’re in summer school. Carson Dellosa also has lots of free printables and activities so you can try before you buy.
Brain Quest Cards: We love these cards because they’re so portable. Each card has brainy questions, riddles, and challenges based on grade level. Keep a set in the car for road trips (or while being stuck in DC traffic!) or in your bag while waiting for dinner at a restaurant.
Little Passports: Raise globally minded kids when you introduce them to Sam and Sofia, who travel around the world. Each kit offers a kid’s perspective of life in that particular country. There’s postcards, crafts, activity suggestions, and even a letter from Sam and Sofia. Sophia and Jaxson loved the “suitcase” and map that came with their first kit! Little Passports also offers a U.S. edition.
Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading Challenge ends on July 31st, so start cracking on that book list! Just read any 8 books from their summer challenge book list and your child can choose a free book from a participating retail store (while supplies last).
I hope those will keep your kids busy for the rest of the summer! When Sophia and Jaxson return from Camp Grandparents, I’m definitely pulling some of these out of my parenting toolbox.
How are you keeping summer slide at bay with your kids?