Fab 5: Five of our favorite websites for learning!

The internet is a seemingly endless universe of knowledge and entertainment. It can be difficult to sift through the vast quantity of available content in search of appropriate (and fun!) sites for kids. Whether you are looking for an after-homework reward, a quiet downtime activity, or simply some information exploration, the following five websites offer a wide array of great options to suit your child’s interests.

Wonderopolis

As the name suggests, Wonderopolis is all about fostering curiosity and wonder in the world around us. Within this website, children can find out the answers to such questions as: “What keeps the ocean from draining through the sand?” and “Why do chameleons change their colors?” Children can write to the website with questions of their own and families have a space to exchange information, activities, and suggest favorite Wonders. Additionally, the content on Wonderopolis is intentionally complementary to Common Core State Standards, so it is a great place for fun reinforcement of classroom learning.

Spatulatta

Craving some delicious food and eager to involve your children in the process? Look no further than Spatulatta. This family-run cooking website is loaded with dozens of recipes which are conveniently organized into different categories (e.g., country/culture of origin, special occasion, meal type, etc.) The most important part is that, with a little adult supervision, your child can make all of these dishes. Practice reading, math, and problem solving, while encouraging your child’s sense of independence with a practical, lifelong skill.

Chateau Meddybemps

Chateau Meddybemps is a website designed to challenge and engage children (and adults!) of all ages and stages of their language and learning development. From riddles, to puzzles, to story-starters, this website has an extensive list of fun, creative activities which target a wide range of skills, as well as an accompanying instructional page for parents and teachers with many additional ideas for enhanced learning.

Storyline Online

This website offers videos of classic picture books introduced and read by professional actors. Your child will enjoy listening to soothing, animated voices read these touching, lyrical, and downright hilarious tales, while watching the beautiful illustrations pass before their eyes on screen. Turn on Closed Captioning for additional literacy input.

National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids follows the same themes of geography and science as its parent company but with a kid-friendly format. Explore the links to find out more about countries, animals, and people around the world. Play interactive games, follow cooking instructions, conduct science experiments—it’s all here on National Geographic Kids. And, for the very young ones, take a look at the special section for Little Kids

Letter to Parents about Better Hearing and Speech Month

May 1, 2014

Dear Parents:

Many parents do not recognize the early signs of a critical health issue: communication disorders. Speech, language, and hearing disorders are among the most common disabilities in the United States. This month, during the national observance of Better Hearing and Speech Month, I encourage parents to take stock of their childs communication health. Sometimes, problems achieving academically, or social or behavioral issues in school, may be the result of an undiagnosed speech or hearing disorder. It is important for parents to be attuned to the early warning signs of these conditions.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), through its Identify the Signs campaign, offers many resources to help parents learn about these disorders. Visit http://identifythesigns.org to learn more about what to watch for and treatment options. 

Prevention, especially when it comes to noise-induced hearing loss, is of growing importance with skyrocketing use of personal audio technology among kids. Many children have access to smartphones, tablets, and other devicesand use these with accompanying headphones or ear buds at high volumes (and for long periods of time). One in 5 kids ages 1219 is suffering from hearing loss, an increase of 31% since the late 1980s/early 1990s. Year-round, but especially as we move into the summer months with increased leisure time, it is important to impart safe listening habits to your children. These include listening at half volume and taking listening breaks. It is also key to demonstrate this behaviorpractice what you preach. You can find helpful resources from another ASHA initiative, the Listen To Your Buds campaign, at www.facebook.com/listentoyourbuds.

If you have any concerns about your childs speech or hearing, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached at erin@worldwidespeech.com or by phone at 571-247-4246.

Sincerely,

Erin Long MA CCC-SLP

Worldwide Speech PLLC

Online Speech Therapy