Websites and Apps to Cure Summer Brain Drain

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Summer brain drain. You’ve probably heard the phrase before – the idea that during the summer kids lose some of their academic know-how. As kids get out of the habit of regular assignments, tests and homework, their learning skills can begin to slip. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.” Yes, two months!

But summer doesn’t have to put your kids on the academic decline. Use the extra time your kids have to reinforce their learning skills. These learning games for kids on the web and in app form can help.


Awesome apps

These smartphone and tablet apps use imaginative games to get kids engaged – and learning.

Poppy Cat Goes to the Market

  • Good for ages: 5 and under
  • Works on: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
  • Cost: $2.99

What kids will learn: Head to the grocery store with Poppy Cat and friends with this education game that teaches kids English and Spanish.

Dragonbox Algebra 5+

  • Good for ages: 5 and up
  • Works on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Cost: $5.31

What kids will learn: As players make their way through this game, they’ll build up their abilities in addition, division and multiplication. Each level guides users through simple equations that will help them later in algebra classes at school.

Scribblenauts Remix

  • Good for ages: 9 and up
  • Works on: iPhone, Android
  • Cost: $0.99

What kids will learn: Become animated characters in this game that encourages kids to develop their vocabulary and spelling skills as they play.


  • Good for ages: 8 and up
  • Works on: iPhone, iPad
  • Cost: Free

What kids will learn: Identify plants and flowers using this app that will encourage your kids to understand more about the world around them. Kids will be able to identify plants and catalog their finds within the app.

The Night Sky

  • Good for ages: 7 and up
  • Works on: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Cost: $0.99

What kids will learn: Explore constellations and astronomy with this app that uses your location to tell you what you’re seeing in the night sky. For wannabe astronauts, this app is perfect!

Stack The States 

  • Good for ages: 8 and up
  • Works on: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Cost: $1.99

What kids will learn: It’s hard to remember the names and places of all the states in the U.S.A. This app can help, guiding kids to recall the names, abbreviations and even interesting facts about each one.


Wonderful websites

Your kids can use the web as an online classroom over the summer. The best part? There’s an educational website for just about every topic that might interest them!

Thomas & Friends Games on PBS Kids

PBS Kids has a wealth of fun, educational games for kids. Fans of Thomas & Friends will enjoy these games. Check out the Track Builder game, which is great for aspiring engineers.

America’s Story

Tap into the resources from the Library of Congress on this website that allows your kids to meet historical figures from America’s past, to step back in time to the date of their choosing and much more.

Kids’ Planet

For kids who love animals, this website offers a way to understand more about their favorite creatures. From lemurs to caribou, wolves and falcons, your kids can click on general information links or play animal-themed games.

NASA Kids’ Club

This is THE official website for cosmos-obsessed kids. They can launch into outer space and explore the universe without ever leaving home.

24/7 Science

From the Lawrence Hall of Science out of the University of California, Berkley, this website provides simple experiments, games and other activities for your kids to delve into science. They’ll learn more about the wind, how bridges are made, how to grow their own crystals and other fun facts that involve online and hands-on activities.

Design Squad Nation

From PBS, this website offers kids an endless list of things to do with items they can find around the house. Want to make something with rubber bands? They have ideas for you. Want to play inventive games? Your kids can do that here, too.

This article was originally reported in May 2014 and has been updated.


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