When I was a kid, my parents crammed us into our Aerostar and trucked us through different parts of the United States every year. They were determined to give us a hands-on education about our vast nation. And it worked—I’m totally a nerd when it comes to the geography and history of our country. This summer is the perfect time to introduce your kids to the interesting history and people of America. Here are a few attention-grabbing sites to help children get excited about America:
This site offers a very kid-friendly website focusing on interesting facts and figures about the United States. There are also sections for learning about the 50 states, commonwealths, and territories, important historical Americans, American celebrations, and life in the US. This resource is best for kids in grades 3-6.
Help kids explore American history by introducing them to the interesting events and people from the past. The Smithsonian online archives helps to bring this history to life and makes it easily navigable. This resource is best for kids in grades 5-12.
Need a few activities for your kiddos? Scholastic, a publisher for teachers, has made some resources available for free. The activities include lesson plans and range for students from pre-K to 8th grade.
The Smithsonian also offers a website particularly geared to students and has a variety of activities to help introduce the original Star Spangled Banner. Play an educational game, explore the flag, and participate in an interactive photo mosaic of the flag. This resource is best for kids in grades 5-12.
Webrangers is the online extension of the Junior Ranger program offered at visitors centers throughout the National Park System. The website is very kid-friendly and allows for customization. Webrangers get to choose a variety of activities which include self-paced animated, educational cartoons. Because it’s all self-paced and self-directed, students have the ability to learn about and explore facets of America that intrigue them. This resource is best for kids in grades 3-6.
The Library of Congress has a kid-friendly site called America’s Story where viewers can explore American events and personalities or be guided through different facets of the website. While there are many parts of the site that are interesting, older kids are sure to enjoy Jump Back in Time where every period of American history is represented in text, photos, and videos. Younger kids might enjoy the games, and everyone will enjoy the activity suggestions that take online learning to real life. This resource is best for kids in grades 3-8.
There are many more resources available online, but these six are a fantastic place to get started when giving students. There are so many interesting aspects of our country that can capture the attention of any child, regardless of what they’re interested in. It’s all about how they’re introduced to it. And these websites can help begin that conversation.
Jo is the author of Jo, My Gosh! a blog about her journey as a newlywed military wife. When she’s not working from home, she’s writing, reading, trying new recipes, watching sports or cross stitching. Catch her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook and say hi!