TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, June 24, 2013

Online resources for summer fun

Do you find yourself always telling your children to get off of the computer? Instead of doing that this summer, go on the computer with them. Here are a few fun, engaging websites that contain educational games, activities, recipes and more that can be done on- and offline.

The website Start with a Book is, coincidentally, a great place to look for summer reading ideas. It provides you with a theme, like bugs, dinosaurs, tall tales, or music, and gives you related books and activities. It's a great resource for Read-Alouds or for an afternoon at home!

Have you ever wondered why donuts have holes? How about why mosquito bites itch? You can find the answers at Wonderopolis, a free, interactive website that features one “wonder” each day, with an archive of hundreds available to look up. Each wonder contains a story, a video and a jumping off point for more exploration. This could be a fun site to make a habit of visiting and discussing –- it could be once a week, or even once a day!

Hosted by Disney Channel, Pass the Plate offers recipes from around the world and information about the unique foods used in the recipes. Some of the recipes are simple enough that they could easily be made at a Read-Aloud. Why not take a recipe from the site once a month, gather the kids in your life and prepare it? The site also provides useful information about the recipe's country of origin, a seamless way to expand knowlege about world geography and culture. 

Can't make it to the museum? Take a cyber field trip! The National Gallery of Art's website lets kids view and create their own art. National Geographic Kids lets kids encounter wild animals and go globe trotting, all without leaving home. The Smithsonian website's kids' section allows you to visit and explore its collections -- history, science, art, animals, and much more!  You can even explore the Louvre through short animated stories.

Another great website to check out for interactive activities is the Marvel Kids Comic Creator. It gives children the chance to create their own comic strips using a vast array of Marvel images and characters. The resulting comics could be hung up around the house or even made into a book. This website allows creative kids to learn about storytelling and art while being entertained.

The website iWASwondering provides biographies of female scientists, inspired by a book series, Women’s Adventures in Science. It also features games and a place for kids to ask questions about science. It’s a great place for girls and boys alike to explore influential women with different careers in science, and could be a starting point for more reading and research.

There are endless options to check out online for summer reading and activity inspiration.  This list is a great place to start!

This post was written by The Reading Connection intern Margaret Fogarty.

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