Free Educational Games and Videos for Kids

Online Educational Games and Videos


We've all seen those kids with their faces glued to the tablet in their lap. What are they doing? Generally, they're watching some silly and possibly inappropriate video on YouTube. Even if it's just a cartoon, kids' time could be better spent doing something educational. Playing an online educational game, a game that sharpens hand eye coordination, or watching educational videos, keeps kids entertained while they're learning. If you or your kids enjoy learning online, read on for some fun, free ways to add to your classroom curriculum.


Math and English educational games tend to be the most fun when it comes to educational online gaming, These games are more fast paced, but there are also history, science, and foreign language games too. I prefer to watch educational videos to learn about history and science but you can pair educational videos with online games for a lesson students will enjoy.


Our favorite history videos  are from the  Crash Course in U.S. History series on YouTube. Now, they offer Crash Course Science videos too.  Below, I've shared a few science videos that I think your students will enjoy. 


Educational Science Videos From Crash Course


What's a Species?

 


Organic Chemistry

 


Here are 10 more educational videos for teens


Plays.org is a site full of all kinds of games. You don't have to load apps on your phone or tablet and take up extra space. All of these games are played right in your browser, just add it to your favorites for easy access.


To navigate this free gaming site, scroll down to the bottom page footer where you'll find all of the categories of their free online game collection. As you scroll through the alphabetical list, you'll see the education tab.


Here are my picks for fun educational games from plays.org. 


Defense Math



online educational math games


This site has detailed instructions and tips on game play. Here's a sample description:


Defense Math starts out easy, but gets more difficult as you play. This is a fast and challenging addition, subtraction, multiplication and division math solving game for kids and students. Players must answer an infinite amount of questions to send projectiles to the enemy horde. Players must prevent them from reaching their defense tower. Get the highest score you can get. 


Freaky Math is a fast paced game that works like flash cards. I think this game is great for all ages and it's a great game to play to keep your brain sharp.  You'll be surprised how long it takes to solve some of the problems. Think fast!



online math flash card game


Younger children will enjoy this grocery store cashier game from plays.org. The items come across the conveyor belt and you add them all  together, press total and choose the correct amount of cash to pay.


learn math with grocery store cash register game online


If you need worksheets and other printable curriculum to pair with these free online educational games videos, check out my store on TeachersPayTeachers.



Recommended:


Science Games from PBS

Physics Games from Plays.org

More Free Educational Online Games from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos






Get Fit with these Fitness Gift Ideas

 Gift Ideas to Stay Fit and Healthy


Here I am again, out of shape. This time, I'm not alone. Covid isolation wasn't kind to many of us. So, once again, I have to get fit. The last time, I really thought I'd kicked it, I had maintained my weight loss and healthy habits for over five years. Sigh. Life is a constant battle. I thought you might want to join me on the journey this time. Are you ready to get fit with these fitness gift ideas? It's okay to buy them for yourself! We all deserve pampering after the past year and a half.


                        This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links for your convenience.



Get Fit with these Fitness Gift Ideas



It's July 2021 and I'm kicking off my fitness routine-  Again.  You can follow along on Instagram. Step one, buy cool fitness products to keep motivated!


Fitness Gift Ideas List:


  • I've had these Jenn Ardor walking shoes for over two years now. They are lightweight, sturdy, comfortable, breathable mesh. This makes them perfect for hot summer days. 

What I love about them: They just slip on and off, they're comfortable, and they're easy to clean.

Hop over to Instagram to see the shoes on my feet! 

Since then, I've walked in them (you know, back in 2019.) I even mowed the yard in them. Don't you do that, they're a thin mesh, you should mow in boots to protect your feet. Anyway, the point is, these are durable, inexpensive, walking shoes!


affordable comfortable walking shoes




What I like about it: The sweetener is derived from beet juice. Beets are rumored to lower blood pressure. No idea if that works with this powder, but you can read about it, beet benefits.



Here's the blurb about Nakedade:

Nakedade starts with Palatinose™ (isomaltulose), a low-glycemic smart carb derived from sugar beets. We isolate the sucrose from sugar beets, and remove any potentially harmful fructose and glucose. Palatinose™ improves fat oxidation and provides a steady supply of energy to increase exercise endurance.* 285 mg of potassium in Nakedade helps you stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.



Electrolyte Lemonade Drink Naked Nutrition


My thoughts:  

  • I wish I'd tried Blueberry Lemonade too. It sounds so good. Next time!
  • I had to use scissors to open the packet, maybe I'm just a weakling?
  • Play fair. Don't drink this after you've had hardcore sweetener like regular juice or soda. Cleanse your  palette with water first. 
  • Don't drink it warm. Pop it in a cooler or the freezer for a special treat after a work out. 
  • It's a great alternative to those other electrolyte drinks with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • It's good, especially if you aren't a sugar addict. If so, it may take some getting used to. 


How can you stop consuming sugar? Try these tips.

As always, remember, you can do it!


  • I don't know if this falls in the category of fitness gift ideas, but a really good way to help rid your body of sugar loving yeast is to take a daily probiotic. This affordable probiotic from Amazon works well, but it gave me some unpleasant side effects when I used it daily. 

Everyone seems to react differently to different strains. There are many types of probiotics so try a few options before you give up on them. My favorite is the Align generic from Target. My Gastroenterologist actually recommended Align. The Target knock-off is much less expensive and works just as well for me. 



Good affordable Generic Probiotic Target Up & Up Align


Tip: If I take too much of it without eating properly I get shaky and emotional. You're supposed to take probioitcs with a full glass of water.  Start slowly with one probiotic a day or even every other day.  As you begin to succeed with Candida die off you can get Herxheimer syndrome. A Herkheimer reaction can make you feel tired and cranky. Once you work past the yeast die off, life on the other side of too much yeast and sugar over indulgence is so much better. Just remember Stevia can be your best friend. Learn more about the downside of probiotics.


What I like about it: It keeps thing moving.


  • Stevia is a great replacement for sugar. Like the Nakedade above, replacement sweetener can take some getting used to. There are several Stevia based drinks and Gift Packs available.


What I like about it: Stevia comes from a plant that you can grow yourself!


Stevia sweetened chocolate




What I like about it:  This fitness wear is comfortable and well made.


Comfortable Womens Workout Gear Joy Lab Target

 




What I like about it:  No struggle to turn it on, step on the scale and your weight appears. Connect the Bluetooth app to track you weight loss and bmi.





Recommended:


More on my weight loss journey

Quotes about weight loss






What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing is a form of Word of Mouth Advertising


Did you ever have a homepage with Microsoft or are you even old enough to remember those? There's been a steady progression in the world of blogging and I've been along for the entire ride. Now, I'm considered a social media influencer. Influencer marketing is the latest trend on the world wide web, remember that term? Ha. It's been a wild ride. What is Influencer Marketing? 


This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


What's influencer marketing and a sponsored post?

Influencer marketing is online word of mouth advertising. It goes like this. I went to a new ice cream shop, I loved the pineapple flavor, I took a picture and shared it all over my social media pages. It's true. I do love pineapple ice cream. If I tell you how much I love it, maybe you'll try it and love it too. Generally, influencers are trusted or are recognized as a celebrity or specialist in their area of influence.


Me? The influencer progression went like this: 


  • Microsoft Homepage - I shared my page with my family members to update them on the status of my new baby. (He's 17.)
  • MySpace page for my family - like a scrapbook.
  • Blog - Here's what we've been doing, doesn't it look fun?
  • Facebook page - So, you want how to instructions for the kids activities we've been doing?
  • Twitter profile - Because someone told me I had to have at least 5k followers to be of any value. (Twitter doesn't really fit my niche.)
  • Pinterest profile - Picture this and save it to make later! My stats skyrocketed quickly, so I wrote a how to book which ended up on Amazon's Best Seller's list and that boosted my influencer status.
  • Instagram profile - Everyone's doing it, it's the place to be. So, I did it too.

In between all of those social media platforms, I tried Snap Chat, Periscope, Blog Frog, Google+, and a host of other platforms that you've never heard about. My influencer status grew by leaps and bounds on Blog Frog. Once I caught on to how they got paid when I wrote an article or allowed ads on the page, it was a game changer.


Suddenly,  I realized that I could do that on my own website. I solicited brands, got free product, and a small payment for my articles. This method later became known as the sponsored post. The more sponsored posts I did, the more I was hooked. Next thing you know, I'm a huge (one of the first) Pinterest influencer. It happened while I was looking the other way. 


Over the last several years, my influencer status has grown to include Instagram. People like to see what other people do behind the scenes. That's why these unboxing YouTube videos are all the rage. While I do love to receive free product, as an influencer, it is important that I am compensated for my time. It's how I make my living. Never heard of me? Just Google it.


These days, I like to focus on educational kids' activities and budget friendly family travel. However, my blog is considered a lifestyle/parenting website so I get offered all sorts of influencer marketing proposals. I can afford to be choosy. 


Back in the day, Paris Hilton was one of the first social media influencers. Now, anyone can be an influencer, celebrity not required. You just have to be patient and persistent. There are many bloggers who became influencers by accident. I particularly like this story about the Barefoot Marathoner in the Influencer Spotlight. Like me, she was just doing her own thing, minding her own business when people began to take notice. Surprise, you're an influencer! 


Some Influencers make their money with YouTube advertising. I haven't found the time to focus on YouTube. Notice, I forgot to even mention it my progression list, it fits in somewhere after Facebook. I've helped other websites market themselves with YouTube, but my own profile falls flat. Maybe someday.


We don't have to all love the same things! There are some platforms I just don't love, and they obviously don't love me back. If you want to start building your own influencer marketing business, pick a social media platform that you love. Build it, love it, and they will come. Don't be fake. Just be yourself.


So, how do I use Influencer Marketing?


I get offered products to try. I do a lot of kids' recipes and snacks. So, influencer marketing platforms pair me up with food brands and retail stores who send the product and offer a small payment - they call it a fee. That can be confusing to newbies. It's a fee that I require to publish the article on my website. It's a payment to me.


I also get free tickets to events in exchange to promote the event on my social media pages and write about my experience on my blog.


I get pitched various things to post on my Instagram. I try to curate these to include only things that my followers (largely teachers and homeschoolers) will appreciate learning more about. I charge a fee per post or story.


When I do a sponsored post on my blog, I almost always share it to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. I charge an additional fee to share it to Instagram because it seems to be a premium service. If sponsors just want me to pin something on my Pinterest profile, I'm happy to do it for a fee. Time is money. Even adding a link to an existing blog post takes time, so I charge a fee for that too. 


What should you know? There are regulations on sponsored posts. Sponsored posts should be noted as such. On my social media pages, I am required to add #ad or #sponsored. Amazon affiliate links require a disclaimer at the top of the blog post. I always say, "This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience." For other sponsored posts, I use different language, 'This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own." or "Post sponsored by INSERT BRAND." 


What's the biggest rage in influencer marketing these days? I'd say it's tiktok. Notice I don't have that listed above? I'm still thinking about it. Still. I've never been an early adopter, but I do okay. Juggling all of those different social media platforms is very time consuming. Many times, by the time I get around to thinking about signing up for a platform, it's already obsolete. 


Now, how do I find these influencer marketing gigs? Well, these days most of them find me. However,  if you're just starting out, just do a search for 'influencer marketing,' 'sponsored posts,' or 'become an influencer.' There are a ton of sites that help pair influencers with sponsors.


Good Luck! If you have any questions on your journey, feel free to reach out to me.



Recommended:

More on Social Media Marketing from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos





Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Fun In The Sun - 6 Tips For Creating A Mud Kitchen For Your Kids


Kids love mud! And as dirty as they may get, it’s time to advocate messy play so they can learn new skills the fun way. The fastest and easiest way to encourage your kids to get outdoors is to build them a mud kitchen.They'll be tripping over each other to get outside

Building your own mud kitchen is a creative, cost-effective way of enabling messy play for your kids while saving money on an expensive play kitchen

You can build your mud kitchen in your own way, and in the end, your kids will have the perfect environment in which to get their hands dirty anytime.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.


Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Photo: Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash


Six tips to create your own mud kitchen


  1. Use What You’ve Got

Poke around your garage and see what you can recycle to save money on your mud kitchen. You can use wood, recycled pallets, and old timber for the construction. Old cookware and bakeware, utensils, and decorations can also be used to finish out the kitchen,

Remember, the idea is to ignite your child’s imagination, so your DIY mud kitchen doesn’t need to resemble a brand-new toy kitchen set. 


  1. Stove Tops Add to The Fun

While it’s great to leave some things up to the imagination, it’s a good idea to make your play kitchen resemble a real kitchen by creating a stove top. You can paint the burners on a piece of timber or wood, and you can even add broken or thrifted appliances to your outdoor kitchen to enhance its appearance. You can also use good, old cardboard to create a play stove.


  1. Bake Mud Cakes

The fun part of having a mud kitchen is that your kids get to play with mud and get as dirty as they want. All you need to make mud cakes is some sand or soil and water. You can use old cookware and bake ware to contain them and shape them like cakes and cupcakes.

Parents can get involved by showing kids how to create funky-shaped cookies with cookie cutters and molds or add colored pasta to the mud for added texture. This kind of sensory play is an important part of childhood development, but above all, it’s a whole lot of fun.


Pistachio Pudding Play Dough


  1. Set the Table

A mud kitchen is a fun way to teach your child table manners. Guide your preschoolers through setting a table and laying out the dishes. Show them the way to arrange cutlery and allow your children to bring some garden leaves to create napkins for a rustic table setting.


  1. Add a Sink

Since you’ve introduced messy play to your preschoolers with colored pasta and mud cakes, it’s a good idea to take care of the cleanup. The most logical way to do this is to add a sink to your mud kitchen! To create your sink, use a silver or grey bucket and fill it with water or a big flower put with the bottom plugged works nicely too.

Add a hose in the bucket so that there’s an accessible faucet. This is a great way to teach children how to clean up after themselves. Add some dish washing liquid and a sponge so you can wash all the cookware the kids used before bringing it back into the house!


How to Make your own Dish Washing Soap


  1. Dress For The Occasion

Every chef needs a chef’s hat and apron, so make sure to get these for your child. They will love it! Plus, the apron will offer some protection from mud splatter while playing. Rubber boots are a good idea too. Preschool age kids and toddlers love to wear galoshes!


How to Make your own Chef Hat

 

Have fun with your kiddos and their mud kitchen. You may want to wear some rubber boots yourself! Encourage your children to enjoy free and imaginative play, and you can bet they’ll learn tons of kitchen tricks in the process. Pretend play is the best way to learn!


Recommended Reading:

Pretend Play and Play Date Ideas from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos

Fun Books about Galoshes from Amazon




How did Coronavirus affect the Housing Market?

 Has the 2020 Pandemic Changed your Living Situation?


When you work from home as a social media marketing consultant for small business and an online social media influencer, AND homeschool your kids, you can literally work from anywhere.  A few years ago, we took advantage of  that and bought a cottage in the middle of nowhere on a little lake. If I knew then, what I know now, I would've held out for more money when I sold it in 2020. Even so, for owning it just over two years, I made a little money on the deal. So, what's up with the housing situation anyway?


                                    This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.



How has Coronavirus affected the housing market.  People can live anywhere. Lake House Cottage.

Lake house, fixer upper, mid fix stage.


In 2019 the kids decided they wanted to attend public school to pursue building trades and band. As a anxious homeschooling mom, I wanted to feel comfortable with this choice, so we moved back to my hometown and we rented. Lucky for me, it wasn't real renting. My brother had purchased a rental and we moved in while I looked for a more permanent place to call home. Since everyone was out of the house, I decided to go back to working in a brick and mortar environment too and I took a job for Habitat for Humanity.


Then, I looked and I looked, and I looked. Rentals were few and far between and most of them were either outside of my price range or beneath my standards. Let me tell you, I had pretty low expectations, but I wanted my kids to feel safe. I tried to purchase my own home, but every time a place went on the market it sold before I even got a chance to look at it. What was left were the homes that no one wanted. The homes that couldn't get  loans due to major issues or the homes that were priced well over their appraised value. Though, I considered making the leap and purchasing one of these houses, I held out for a home that wasn't a fixer upper.  



How did Coronavirus affect the Housing Market? Looking for an affordable place to call home.


However, the home we bought, would've sold for considerably less in 2019, before the pandemic. In fact, the flipper had purchased the house at a 2017 auction for only $25,000. After looking at several houses that were priced outside of my comfort zone and not really what I wanted, I jumped on the opportunity to buy my home at $131,900. Sure, in most communities, that's a great price, but in my hometown the median home price is $85,000 and the houses in the neighborhood were going for considerably less. I needed to love this house for the purchase to make any sense. It was a risky move, will it retain it's value?


However,  despite the housing market situation, I decided to take a risk and make an offer below asking price. The homeowner countered, and I accepted. It was oddly easy, as most houses were selling over the asking price and this house had everything I wanted. Just before I closed, I found out that the house had been the place of a brutal murder. Probably should've countered the counter offer. I was the only one bidding. I'm not mad. I'm thankful to finally have an affordable, safe place to call home.


After the pandemic, the prices of homes in rural areas like New Castle, Indiana have skyrocketed. For those who are looking for 3+ bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, there's a housing shortage. Since Covid hit, more people are realizing they too can work from home. And they can live anywhere. So, they're abandoning high cost urban areas and retreating to rural communities where the cost of living is easier on the wallet and life is simpler. This means, rural areas can raise home prices and because rentals are in high demand with millennials, they can also raise the rent, pricing out low-income families. In turn, many affluent urban areas are actually seeing a decrease in rent as people flock to small towns. You can learn more about that in this article on how 2020 changed the housing market.


After reviewing the article, I took special note of what this is doing to low income families. Working at Habitat for Humanity, it is my job to help low income families find affordable housing and help remove some of the barriers to home ownership. With increasing cost of building materials and virus constraints, many area Habitat affiliates have had to put building new homes on the back burner. Families have had to wait for over two years for their homes to be completed, and Habitat affiliates are losing money and need to raise more funds just to complete the houses



Habitat for Humanity House. Donate to Habitat.


The chart below lists several counties neighboring the one where I live. If you aren't from around here, the data may not tell the whole story. However, Hamilton and Hendricks counties have some of Indiana's most affluent neighborhoods. Marion county is the home to Indianapolis, which has seen a slight increase, but compared to cities like Chicago and New York, Indianapolis is an escape to a more rural life. It appears the Coronavirus has changed the housing market. More and more people are realizing they can work from home, and that means that home can be anywhere they want it to be. There truly is no place like home, so why live in a house in a place that you don't love?


Affordable rentals in New Castle, Indiana.


We want to hear your thoughts! Have you moved or considered purchasing a new home in the pandemic? Tell us about it in the comments.



2/1/2021Delaware CountyIndiana$6003.30%$45,065114,135Small metro
2/1/2021Hancock CountyIndiana$7909.00%$69,39278,168Large fringe metro

2/1/2021Hamilton CountyIndiana$1,116-0.90%$105,062338,011Large fringe metro
2/1/2021Marion CountyIndiana$99621.70%$50,458964,582Large central metro

2/1/2021Madison CountyIndiana$79220.20%$55,142129,569Large fringe metro



This chart from Zumper tells the story with data.






Recommended Reading:







Inspiring Kids to be More Creative can Boost Self Esteem

 Different Ways to Inspire Creativity in Your Child 

As a parent, it's often challenging to see your child struggling, especially with their creative endeavors. It's essential to inspire children to explore their passions and interests. For young girls, especially, it can be difficult not to get pulled along by peers and lose sight of personal interests and passions. One way to help all kids find their voice and unique passion is to inspire their creative flow with lots of creative activities. Encourage your boys and girls to try something outside of their comfort zone!


This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links for your convenience.



different ways to inspire creativity in kids
School plays are a creative outlet that builds self-confidence
 and life long friendships.


If you follow along on this blog, you know that kids being creative is our lifeblood. Kids Creative Chaos is not only our name, but our mantra. Creativity is often a chaotic event, but it needs to take place! Never choose a clean house over letting a child explore their creativity. Squelching creativity can have unwanted outcomes. Empower your kids to be themselves, explore their creativity, and improve their self-esteem in the process! And never, never, fall into the old stereotypes of labeling activities for boys or for girls. Without even knowing it, you can be killing a child's self-worth and dreams. As we always say, let them try, try try!

Inspiring creativity is a challenging tasks for most parents. Kids often choose not to do something simply because their parents have suggested it. Other times, they may feel insecure about trying something new. Try to encourage different creative pursuits as an outlet for self-esteem, fellowship, and mental health. Here are a few simple ways on how to cultivate your child’s creativity. 




Musical Creative Expression for Kids
Mayhem in a school band production.


Introduce kids to different types of crafts


Introducing your child to different ways to be creative allows their mind to develop away from the rigid confines of the creativity taught in many schools. It shows children the art of critical thinking and developing passions beyond the ordinary. Ask your child what interests them, but also give them options and ideas to inspire their creative and critical thinking.


If you wonder what this might look like, consider introducing your kids to different expressions of art that inspire creativity. For example, listen to music with them, discuss musical instruments and let them try one. Many cities have musical petting zoos or other opportunities to test an instrument.



Activities for Creative Expression



Creative Expression and the Arts for Kids
Jake in an adaptation of Brother's Grimm.



You can also show your kids different forms of creative expression with painting and other arts and crafts. Allow them to play and explore. The earlier kids start experimenting with creativity, the better chance it will have an affect on their emotional stability and self-esteem. So, be sure to take your kids to museums, the theater, and to music concerts to inspire their senses and allow them to engage in all sorts of artistic pursuits. If you want to learn more about that, here's an article from Berkeley on why the arts matter.


On a side note, always remember to read with your children and encourage critical discussion on the book and its themes. A child with a curious mind will find it easier to access their personal creativity. 



Surrealist Art Activity for Elementary Children



Give Kids creative gifts


Giving a child and exciting gift that isn't clothes or a video game, might inspire them to think creatively or get actively moving and making art. If you're struggling for ideas for your daughter, there are many gifts for girls to choose from that don't need to sit within the confines of gendered stereotypes. For example, you could buy her a zine-making kit. Firstly, making things helps kids to be more creative, but secondly, creating their own magazine can encourage kids to use their voice for good. Zines are a great way for children of all ages and genders to write and be creative. Click here for gift ideas that are targeting boys but can work for either gender. My daughter always hated to be excluded from toy cars, trains, and Transformers and my son loves to use hot pink as an accent color for sunglasses, hats, or other accessories. He gets a kick out of people giving him a hard time. Self-confidence at work!




Books about the Arts for Kids



Allow kids to explore 


Finally, one of the most important ways to inspire creativity within your child is to allow them to explore on their own. For a child, exploring comes in many shapes and forms, from creative play to fashion. If you want your child to develop a unique identity and a sense of themselves, they have to learn what they like and don't like.



See how we encouraged our daughter to dress however she pleased.



Kids have to try out activities and get things wrong. Making mistakes is an excellent way for a child to learn, and this can also be applied to their creative endeavors. So, give your kids some paint or a dress-up box and encourage them to explore. Then, stay engaged in their exploration and find out more about what they are doing and why, but never force it- being an over zealous parent can backfire. Play it cool, and watch your kids have fun with the skills you helped to create.



Recommended:


Rhythm Discovery Center Indianapolis, Indiana


Get Musical Instruments on Amazon


Book Tips for Kids