With everything shutting down in the U.S. and across many countries, a lot of us are stuck at home … with our kids, trying to get work done and keep their brains from turning to mush watching TV all day. One way to keep your little ones occupied, guilt-free, is ABCmouse.
ABCmouse is an educational resource for ages 2 through 8 and covers reading, math, science and art. It works using a browser on a PC or Mac, but is also available as an app on iPad and Android tablets.
Right now, the site is offering a 30-day free trial, with no obligation to continue after the month is over.
There are more than 9,000 activities, including books, learning videos, songs, puzzles, art activities and printables within each topic. There is also a reading curriculum to get kids learning the fundamentals at a young age.
Once you've signed up for the free one-month trial, the "ABC mouse" greets you to help you get started.
Your child can start in the classroom and use the subject/activity buttons at the top of the page to decide which subject to explore. He or she can take a field trip to the zoo or farm, for instance, and complete related activities. There's a helpful map you can click on as well that shows different "places" kids can go for their learning: the Learning Path (with built-in lessons), Basics (fundamental skills), Zoo or Farm (for animal activities), Library, School and even your child's "room."
The learning path seems like a great way to get set up because it creates a series of lessons for your child's level and age, with levels in: toddler, pre-K, kindergarten, first grade and second grade. When your child finishes the lessons on the selected level, they graduate to the next level. The program recommends your child completes one lesson each time they log into ABCmouse.com.
Normally ABCmouse costs $9.95 per month, but there is currently a 49% off an annual subscription offer, so if you like what you see during the free trial, you can get access for a full year for just $59.95.
We don't know how long schools will be closed for yet, so this could be a good deal to keep young minds active and sharp.
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Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.