Here are some great websites I've discovered over the last couple of weeks.
My English Images
I love Michael Kloran's art work. His website has some great activities for ESL teachers, but it's well worth a look around for parents. Some of the activities on offer can definitely be adapted for kids whose native language is English, like the downloadable pdfs on this drawing activity page. Michael's images can be used by teachers and parents for class or personal use, and would make great flash cards for a reading game. However no images may be published on websites without written consent.
Sometimes you need really simple activities for younger children, perhaps to tuck into their backpacks for a holiday trip, or for a boredom-buster box you pull out if they need to stay in bed when unwell. Backyardigans has some lovely printables, just right for the under fives. There are simple picture puzzles you can print out, glue onto card, and cut into a few big pieces, some booklets with song lyrics, and heaps of printable pages that promote reading, spelling, letter and number recognition.
Remember those designs like cat's cradle that you wove between your hands as a child? There are lots more designs, including stories to tell, on this UK site.
PreKinders - Rhyming Words
Some lovely games to help kids rhyme.
Kids Nursery Rhymes and Riddles
Rhymes to Singalong
A web space for kids who love to write, free for them to publish and share their work.
No search engine is completely child safe, which is why experts recommend that parents supervise their children's internet usage, and educate their kids about online dangers. But here is a search engine that guarantees that at least the sites it brings up have been reviewed by humans as being child safe. "Dibdabdoo.com searches around 2 million kid/teen safe sites and the database is growing daily. The engine used on Dibdabdoo.com does NOT crawl the Internet and add any site it comes across instead I use fast meta technology that crawls sites and databases that have been reviewed by human's and classified as kid/teen safe." (thanks to Audrey Nay for sending me this one!)
Don't forget, the new issue of Literacy Lava is available right now!