Year 4 articles
Best time travel and travel slip books for children
Time travel is a topic that will never cease to captivate kids' imaginations. Ancient Rome, Victorian Britain, where would you time travel to? We've collected some of our favourite time travelling and time slip novels for children that will keep their noses buried in their books and excited for the next chapter. Enjoy!
Best books for young activists
Our children's generation have the opportunity to change the world for the better, becoming guardians of our planet and promoting equity and social justice. Help them understand the role they will play in protecting people and environment and show them that every one of us can make a difference with this selection of inspiring, positive kids' books about activism and activists.
Best rhyming books for children
Listening to repeated sounds, rhythms and rhymes offers children clear educational benefits and helps to make them into readers. Best of all, rhyming books are a pleasure to read out loud! Our pick of the best rhyming stories offers a brilliant selection of family favourites that you'll be reciting for years.
Best biographies and autobiographies for children
Biographies and autobiographies bring the lives of influential people to life for young children, highlighting the role exceptional individuals have played in our shared history. Introduce your child to the world's greatest artists, activists, scientists, inventors and humanitarians with books aimed at every age group. Each biography and autobiography is bursting with anecdotes, imagery and information, sure to inspire young people to follow their own dreams and aspirations.
Best alternate reality books for kids
Who wouldn't want to live in worlds of floating castles, wizards and dragons, talking horses and endless summer nights? Writer Richard Lambert, author of The Wolf Road and Shadow Town, picks his favourite children's books set in an alternate reality to help your child find their own favourite land of magic and enchantment.
Best story retellings for children
Classic literature is reimagined, updated, revisited and reinterpreted in each of these brilliant retellings, which expand on traditional tales or use comic-strip illustrations or modern settings to make brilliant stories accessible to a new generation of readers.
Best graphic novels for children
In the past children were often discouraged from reading graphic novels because they weren’t seen as ‘real’ books but, in fact, the vocabulary, storylines and humour are highly sophisticated and offer reluctant readers a brilliant introduction to the world of books. Children’s book expert and founder of children’s book review platform Toppsta, Georgina Atwell, picks 10 of the best to capture children’s imagination.
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.
Writing spooky stories: a guide for kids
Can you scare your friends silly with a spooky story? Are you a master of suspense and a lover of all things supernatural? Learn how to keep readers on the edge of their seat with a terrifying tale with writing tips from Phil Hickes, author of the spine-tingling Aveline Jones series for readers aged 9+.
The parents’ guide to primary school reports
The time has come to open that all-important envelope, but what can you expect the report inside to say?
Green cooking for kids: healthy food that's good for the planet
Is your child a future eco-foodie? Learn to cook healthy sweet or savoury crêpes, veg-peel crisps and apple and ginger flapjacks with an extract from Green Kids Cook, a sustainable cooking and living guide for kids from cookery writer and teacher Jenny Chandler.
Best detective stories for KS2 kids
With plots to uncover, mysteries to solve and codes to break you'll need to work hard to join the best junior detectives and super-smart sleuths in children's literature. Puzzle your way through our pick of the best detective stories for KS2 kids.
12 ways to make walking fun for kids
Take the whinging out of walking with these great ideas for helping your child enjoy getting out and about.
Best online drawing tutorials for children
Does your child love to draw, doodle, paint and sketch? Help them learn new techniques and perfect their own versions of their favourite characters with a host of free draw-along videos from children's book illustrators and animation artists.
Why jigsaw puzzles are great for kids
Jigsaws can help your child develop many physical and mental skills, so why not get one out this weekend?
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?
9 ways to keep your child busy on zero budget
Feeling the pinch? These brilliant ideas will banish boredom without testing your bank balance.
Coding benefits for kids
Why is your child learning to code in primary school and why is coding an important skill for their future? We asked the experts at Bright Little Labs to explain why coding can and should be a part of a complete education for a modern child, and how to mix coding, stories, art and fun.
Why children’s books need more disabled representation
Actor, children’s author and former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell shares what it was like growing up with a disability, and why children’s books need more disabled characters.
Getting your child back into a school sleep routine
A good night's sleep is essential if your child is to learn and achieve, but what if their sleep patterns have gone haywire over the holidays?
4 paper play projects for children
Paper can be a snowflake, a paper chain, a fortune teller, a windmill, a piece of modern art, a magic trick, a sculpture, a hat or any one of a hundred other things. Find out just how much fun a humble sheet of paper can be with this extract from Paper Play: Roll it. Rip it. Fold it. Snip it! by Lydia Crook. All you need is scissors and glue – and paper, of course!
Best poetry home schooling resources
Do you love poetry, or wish you had more time to explore it? Introduce your family to the delights of the spoken word with this selection of wonderful free poetry resources. Classic poems for children, performance poetry videos, interactive poetry games and kids' poetry podcasts: everything you need to encourage a love of verse is available at the click of a button.
How to make online tutoring work for your child
Is your child preparing for the 11+ or getting support with general studies? Two tutors share their advice on making the most of online tutoring.
Best numeracy home schooling resources
Boost your child's confidence with all aspects of maths with our pick of the best homeschooling numeracy resources: games, hands-on activities, video explanations, online lessons and downloadable workbooks, all available to access for free.
Night-time family learning activities
Rethink bedtime and reclaim your evenings as family fun time with light-and-shadows art, lantern-making and star (or satellite) gazing. From dusk until dawn, there's a wealth of learning opportunities to be found in the darkness – and lots of family fun to be had.
Best literacy home schooling resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic home learning resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories – the perfect end to a day of home schooling, we reckon.
Best wildlife and nature home schooling 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 schooling resources to help your child explore the world without straying from home.
Best science home schooling 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 homeschooling options in this round-up of resources.
19 life skills you can teach your child at home
Learning isn't just about mastering spellings and times tables. A lot takes place outside the classroom, and spending some time teaching practical life skills at home will help set your child up for the future.
Easy outdoor learning adventures
Exploring the outside world is an important part of a child's learning experience, but it's not always easy when you have space and time limitations. We've compiled a list of fun, simple suggestions to keep families connected to nature without having to go far or break the bank.
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 geography home schooling resources
Criss-cross the globe, visit landmarks and even venture out into space with our pick of the best geography home schooling resources. Whether you want to chat to an explorer, take on a massive world colouring project or learn amazing facts about every nation on Earth, you'll find plenty of KS1 and KS2 geography activities on our list.
Best coding home schooling resources
From Minecraft modding to block coding, Python programming and robot building, your child's computing education doesn't need to stop during school closures. Whether they're new to coding or an experienced programmer, we've picked the best resources available online to keep them engaged and learning.
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.
60 reading challenges for primary school kids
Great ideas for keeping your child engaged with reading and broadening their taste in books.
Best art home schooling resources
Whether you want to learn to doodle, draw flowers, illustrate Marvel comics or create a portrait of a Disney character, our pick of the best home learning resources will bring the world of art to your kitchen table. Explore art history through videos and games or pick up a pencil to have a go yourself – the only limit is your imagination.
Best YouTube channels for home learning
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.
Why arts education matters in primary schools
From unleashing creativity to improving life chances, we take a look at why art, music, drama and dance are important for primary school children.
Best design and technology home schooling resources
Make, build, code, construct, design, invent and engineer – each of these websites is packed with design and technology learning to keep your child learning, testing and creating at home.
4 things parents need to know about 'reading barriers' and how to overcome them
Learning to read is a complex task and it's common for children to come up against "reading barriers". Parent and teacher Alex Quigley, author of Closing the Reading Gap, suggests ways you can help your child overcome difficulties at home.