I’m afraid I’ve been spending way too much time over the past couple of evenings (and one afternoon) going through a very cool site for kids…from our own government.
Check out www.Kids.gov. It’s an incredible site full of everything from history to arts to information on how laws are made and much more. The site has aggregated kids-oriented information from a wide range of government sites, but it’s easy to use and quite addicting.
For instance, looking up fitness for kids in grades K-5, I found information on everything from football to Frisbee, with a stop at cheerleading and kayaking. Then I cruised over to find out how I could submit ideas for legislation and checked out what was up for kids in my home state of Delaware. I also took a look at some of the National Parks, a few monuments and checked out a high resolution PDF of The Declaration of Independence.
What’s remarkable about this site is the breadth and complexity of information, but depending on the age level that you choose (Grades K-5 or 6-8 and special information for Educators), everything has been carefully structured and written to be fully understandable, without talking down to kids. And there’s fun stuff to learn: Did you know that nearly 30,000 professional dancers were working during 2008? That’s probably not earth-shattering news, but to kids in junior high considering dancing as a career, this information—and much more—provides a great deal of perspective. I also found that I could volunteer at a National Park or make and break codes just like the FBI or the CIA. There are games that simulate working in the Peace Corps and running an ice cream stand.
For all the time I’ve spent on this in the past week, I’ve also completed crosswords, learned what to do if I lost my passport and had a virtual visit to the Air and Space Museum. But there’s lots more to do. The one thing I’ve found that’s consistent in this is that I can’t find a political agenda in this at all. It’s pure information that’s well researched and clearly presented.
For curious kids, help with school research or just plain interest in a variety of things, this is a great jumping off point for education and entertainment. Check it out.