24 fun toys for summer outdoor learning
It's well established that outdoor play is important for young learners and provides opportunities to develop physical, social, fine and gross motor skills. Our editor, Kate Morgan, has put together her top picks of outdoor toys. So get the kids outside, having fun and learning this summer. Let the games begin!
How the daily learning programme works
Whether you're taking your child out of school for a period, setting out on your home education journey or simply looking for extra activities to boost your child's learning, here's why the daily learning programme could be the right fit for you...
6 parent-friendly STEM activities
Supporting children to develop their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) skills is becoming increasingly important. It’s a necessary element in children’s education but can be intimidating for many parents who may not know where to begin or how to help with their child’s STEM learning.
Best Christmas learning websites for children
Harness the pre-Christmas excitement with some festive online learning, from coding games starring Santa's elves to themed science experiments, seasonal stories and gingerbread counting interactives. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (learning fun)...
Forest school fun for kids
Learn to read clouds and enjoy some splashy water games in the great outdoors with an extract from Forest School Wild Play by Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton.
What your child learns in Nursery science
Children have naturally enquiring minds, and the science-based activities they do in the Early Years will help develop that sense of curiosity.
Simple scientific makes for kids
Transform and recycle household objects into a Rubber-Band Racer and a Balancing Bird toy with an extract from scientific makes book Mr Shaha's Marvellous Machines. All you need to help you develop skills in key STEM areas are a few household items, some time to create and lots of imagination.
9 wildlife projects for kids
Help your child learn about and look after native species with these great outdoor activities.
No-budget STEM fun at home
At-home science doesn't have to involve expensive special equipment! Primary school teacher and author of the 15-Minute STEM series, Emily Hunt, suggests some brilliant STEM uses for everyday items you'll find in your recycling bin, along with three quick, creative STEM activities your family can try with each of them. Will you make a water xylophone, a ping pong ball run or a hurricane house?
Summer science projects for Y6 to Y7 transition
Help your child prepare for secondary-school-level work by supporting them with a summer science project. Caitlin Brown, Education Manager at the British Science Association, explains why devising, completing and presenting their own science investigation is one of the best ways for your child to prepare for Year 7 this summer – and great fun, too!
Best wildlife and nature home education resources
Watch wildlife webcams, construct habitats, grow seeds on a windowsill and make eco-friendly choices – we've rounded up the best nature and wildlife home education resources to help your child explore the world without straying from home.
Best science home education resources
You don't need a Bunsen burner, a chemistry set or a science degree to share these STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities with your child at home. Whether you want to try a hands-on experiment, ask an expert some questions via video chat or play some interactive games, you'll find lots of science home education options in this round-up of resources.
Best kids' activity packs to download
Top up the resource bank and keep the kids busy at home with reading, puzzles, crafting, science and other screen-free activities. They're all available to download for free and you won't need any special equipment, so head off the "I'm bored!" moans and buy yourself a few moments of peace so you can get some of your own work done!
Best children's books about coronavirus
Even adults are finding it hard to get their heads around the new "normal" – so how can you help your child understand how and why the coronavirus pandemic has up-ended our lives? Whether you're reading to a preschooler or want your tween to have scientifically-accurate facts, these free, downloadable eBooks will help you explain COVID-19 to kids.
Best YouTube channels for home education
Whether you want your child to learn about maths, geography, science or history, they'll be happy to watch a video about it – and these YouTube channels introduce topics through songs, animations, experiments, skits and riddles. From phonics for new readers to physics for keen scientists, these are the educational channels to subscribe to.
Hands-on science fun
Transform one substance into another and watch colours and textures change right in front of your eyes with our at-home, hands-on science activity suggestions from Dr Michelle Dickinson, prize-winning nanotechnologist, researcher and founder of Nanogirl's Lab.
50 of the best virtual trips and educational experiences for families
In this day and age, we may be spending more time indoors but thanks to our laptops and devices we can let the world come to us instead – take a trip round Frida Kahlo’s kitchen, share some chocolate cake with Michael Rosen and journey to the International Space Station with our pick of 50 of the best virtual trips and educational experiences. By Hetty Walton
20 of the best live streams for kids
Help your primary-age child stay educated and entertained with our round-up of the best live streams for kids.
Best science board games for children
Have fun with chemistry, physics and biology with these family science games, designed to make STEM learning interactive and competitive, and introduce concepts like quantum physics, space exploration, evolution and ecology to KS1 and KS2 learners (and parent players, too!).
Best environmental books for kids
Empower your child to make a difference with our pick of the best children's books about the environment. From plastic pollution to climate change and the work of activists and campaigners, we highlight the best reads for young eco-warriors.
Best human body apps for kids
Help your child discover how the body works and how to keep it healthy with these anatomical apps.
Best kids' books about the moon landings and space exploration
Brilliant books to help kids find out about our fascination with the Moon and human beings' extraordinary journey to set foot on its surface in 1969. Whether your child is in Reception or Year 6, we've selected great non-fiction titles about the people who have influenced space history to feed their astronomical ambitions.
Best science apps for kids
Help your child discover science through play with these brilliant games-based apps and introduce physics, chemistry and biology the digital way.
Best children’s apps about space
If your child is mad about all things intergalactic, they'll love exploring these space-themed apps.
Halloween science fun
Watch as a tissue ghost magically dances without you touching it, tie a bone in a knot to learn why calcium is so important for strong bones and taste some realistic-looking worms, made using the power of chemical crosslinking. This Halloween, try some spooky, creepy science fun!
Learning about nature through books
Being in nature has many benefits for children. We asked writer and illustrator Nicola Davies for her tips on using books to kickstart an interest in the natural world.
Summer science fun
Make the most of summer with two hands-on experiments from scientist Michelle Dickinson, perfect for long lazy days of uninterrupted sunshine. Make your own ten-minute ice cream to understand state-of-matter changes the delicious way, or harness the power of the sun’s heat to cook biscuits in your own solar-powered oven. Sun-shining science at its best!
How to raise an environmentally conscious child
Teaching our kids to take responsibility for the world around them is a duty for every parent, according to TV presenter and author Nick Baker. We spoke to him about how to do our bit – and help the next generation do theirs.
Best activity books for children
Whether you're on the move or at home, a great activity book offers hours of screen-free learning and fun. Crosswords, maths challenges, mystery solving and code writing are all covered in our best activity books for kids picks. We can't guarantee you won't want to help out with the puzzling, though!
Best children's books about puberty and sex
Clear, accurate information that's age-appropriate is essential when you decide to use a book to help you discuss puberty and sex with your children. We've picked some of the best books to help you make potentially awkward conversations easier, whatever your child's age. You know your child best, so always check you're happy with the level of detail and information in a book before you share it with them.
6 fab recipes for homemade slime
Get hands-on with slippery, slimy science with these recipes for making slime safely at home.
Museums reviewed by parents: National Maritime Museum Cornwall
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall's light and airy building, with its wheel-friendly design, is a haven for young families, but enjoyed by all generations. With 15 galleries over five floors, and a host of interactive exhibits, there's plenty to see and do – from wrecks and rescues and fishing and frigates to smuggling and seafaring skills.
The science of everything
Science is all around us, meaning every day is full of learning opportunities for your child. Emily Whyte, co-founder of Mini Professors science classes, suggests great ways to learn and play.
Museums reviewed by parents: the Eden Project
Hailed by some as the 'eighth wonder of the world', this disused china clay pit is now a thriving global garden. Eden's two 'Biomes' host a plethora of plants and the world's largest indoor rainforest, set amongst more than 20 acres of landscaped gardens. There's an undercover ice rink (seasonal), adrenaline activities for thrill-seekers, and even a youth hostel/campsite if you can't bear to leave!
Museums reviewed by parents: Kew Gardens
The largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in London, Kew Gardens is a park with a difference, home to 30,000 plant species (including the world’s oldest pot plant). A natural paradise that offers the space and inspiration to play and appreciate the outdoors whatever the weather, we visited to find out what's on offer for children and families.
Museums reviewed by parents: Glasgow Science Centre
Find out about forces, get confused by optical illusions, blow up a balloon (literally!) and have fun discovering the world around you at the Glasgow Science Centre – and bring the whole family!
Museums reviewed by parents: London Wetland Centre
Get a taste of the wild without leaving the capital (or getting your feet muddy!) at WWT London Wetland Centre, a 105-acre wetland visitor centre in Barnes, southwest London. Home to wildlife species including birds, water voles, bats and amphibians, the Centre offers a great family-friendly day out.
How to future-proof your child's learning
Is your primary-school child getting the education they'll need to thrive in the 21st century? Jill Hodges, CEO and Founder of Fire Tech technology classes and camps for kids, describes the five skills young people will need, at work and in life, to make the most of our technological society's opportunities.
Museums reviewed by parents: Centre of the Cell London
If you love London’s fabulous Science Museum but feel your family has done it inside and out, Centre of the Cell, a cutting-edge tech centre in East London, is perfect for expanding your horizons. There’s hands-on fun to bring out the budding doctors, nurses, lab technicians and pathologists in all ages!
How to help your child develop research skills
Knowing how to use books and the internet for research is a vital skill for KS2 pupils. We explain how to help your primary-school child.