Once upon a time, I lived in a small town with few summer resources for school aged children. There were no summer camps, no YMCA, no parks and recreation, no Boy and Girls Club, no summer library reading program. There was only one VBS, one Little League and boring, endless summer days in front of the television.
If children find themselves a bit isolated from all the fun these days, they have virtual options that will keep them engaged and ready them for the next school year. Here's a few of the truly free and magnificent.
Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge- Kids can log points for their school. The school with the most minutes will get an author visit. Also, digital badges and prizes are available, whether logging points for school or as an individual.
Book Adventure- Kids can log books and take quizzes toward real prizes: tattoos, chocolate, magazines and books. Sponsored by Sylvan.
BOOK IT- Diary of a Wimpy Kid themed online reading program. Read 5 books and be entered to win prizes.
TenMarks Online Summer Math program where kids unlock games, certificates and parental rewards. Amazon sponsored.
Know It Numbers:Kids Know It Math Games- Game based, 12 week programs from addition to algebra.
Khan Academy- Free lessons on Science, Math, Computing, Reading from kindergarten to adulthood.
Knowledge Adventure- Math Games for kids 2-12
e-learning or kids- Award winning site offering free lessons for kindergarten students to high schoolers on topics such as science, math, health and language arts.
Kid Courses- Focuses on lessons for younger elementary kids with games like MathLibs and lesson on ASL and art.
We Give Books- A plethora of online picture books from children 0-13.
My Online Reading- Illustrated digital books for young readers
National Geographic Online Magazine- Boost reading and science knowledge with website full of games, articles, quizzes and animals.
Maker Camp- A 6 week, free of charge, summer camp with both physical and online entities for kids 8-12. Camp seems to feature arts and engineering projects.
Scratch- An MIT-designed coding program for kids
Code Monster from Crunchzilla- easy coding lessons for children.
Learn a Language- A variety of lessons on many languages. All ages.
NASA Kids Club- where young kids can get some space knowledge via videos, articles and cartoony avatars.