Websites That Will Enlighten and Entertain You - Issue 8

Issue 8

World Wide Web
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With human kinowledge doubling about every twelve months, no one person will ever be able to learn all of it. But it can be fun to try! Much of that information is available on the Internet, but unless you know where to look or what to search for, you won't find it. Here are eight more sites that have some fun and interesting things to do and things to learn for both you and your child.

There’s a Word for That: 25 Expressions You Should Have in Your Vocabulary

If you or your child love words, then you must look at this Web page.

The 25 words on the page are words I bet you haven't heard before, but can be quite useful. Take the word "vorfreude," which me kid, would have loved using that word when he was younger (and will probably like using it now), andans "the joyful, intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures." My son, a verbally gifted would no doubt enjoy using many of the other words in this list like "erlebnisse" and "acatalepsy."

Virtual Tour of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Not everyone lives close to a museum of natural history, which is unfortunate, especially if someone in the family loves learning about the history of the planet. That history includes dinosaurs, a favorite topic for many children. If you are among those who don't have easy access to a natural history, you can have the next best thing by visiting this site. It is a panaromic virtual tour of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washingon, D.C.

The tour starts in the South Rotunda and from there, visitors can look around the rotunda and then move to other parts of the musuem, one of which is "Early Life," which includes the dinosaur areas. Visitors to the site can look all around as well as up and down. They can zoom in and in some cases can click on a hot spot which provides more information such as close up photos of an exhibit.

You can't always read everything that is in the exhibit since it's not always possible to zoom in close enough to see the print. But it's still a fun site to visit.

Rock Candy Experiment

What can be more fun than an experiment that concludes with candy that can be eaten? That's what this experiment is. Your child can learn how to make rock candy from scratch, using different colors and flavors. It's great fun to check the crystal formation each day. Even better, while the crystals are growing, your child can check the links on the page to learn the science behind the formation of those crystals. When the experiment is over - which means the candy is done - your child can either eat some of the candy or can give it away as gifts!

Find the Perfect Word for Your Feelings with This Vocabulary Wheel

It can be hard for kids (and even adults) to express exactly how they feel. Sometimes we just don't have the right words and sometimes we just don't - or can't - think of the word we need express our feelings.

The drill-down vocabulary wheel on this page can help with that. It can be a wonderful tool, particularly for our emotionally sensitive children. It can help them increase their vocabulary so that they can more accurately describe how they are feeling. For instance, a child might say he feels sad. From there, he can choose a more specific term, such as "lonely," and from there can choose another word, such as "isolated." The wheel also gives parents a great way to talk with their child about feelings.


This Web site, created by Nathan Friend, can provide hours of fun. It is a virtual spriograph set that allows your child (or you) to create interesting and colorful designs. Visitors to the page can choose from a variety of sizes and colors and can choose whether the gears move around the outside or the inside of other gears. The background color can also be changed from lighter to darker neutral colors  When the design is completed, it can be downloaded and then printed. If you don't like what you just did, you can press "CTRL Z" on your keyboard and it will erase the last thing done. You can press those keys over and over until you get back to a blank page. If you just want to get back to a blank page quickly, there is an erase button on the page.

Here Are The 12 Most Fun Activities You Can Do With Children

These twelve activities are truly awesome! They include safe (and edible) glow-in-the-dark bath water, rainbow soap foam, and my favorite, "A rainbow ice tower ready for excavation," I like that last one because you can create the tower with anything you like - including plastic dinosaurs and dinosaur skeletons. That way your child can pretend to be excavating dinosaurs from glaciers. Of course, if you have a dino expert at home, you'll have to make sure you have the right creatures since dinosaurs had become extinct by the time the planet saw the last ice age. Some little plastic wooly mammoths or saber toothed tigers would be better choices. You can also create the tower with any other small and water-proof items your child would love to excavate.

10 Awesome Online Classes You Can Take For Free

If you're like me, you can't learn enough. And there is just so much to learn! We can learn on our own, but how much better is it to learn from experts? Thanks to the Internet, learning from experts is easy to do. This site provides information on and links to ten super cool free online courses. They're a bit more difficult than might be appropriate for younger gifted children, but they're great for gifted high schoolers (and their parents). The courses include "Animal Behavior," "Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics," "Earth and Planetary Sciences," and "Astrobiology and Space Exploration." There are six other awesome free courses available.

40 Must-See Photos Capture Poignant Moments In History

Reading about history and historical events is one thing, but seeing photos that capture the moment, including the emotions of the people in the photos, is something more. That's what these photos do. For instance, we read about the German bombing of England during WWII. But these pictures include two photos of those bombings. One is of a little girl clutching her doll as she sits in front of her destroyed home. Another is of St. Paul's Cathedral during the bombing, It is surrounded by light while the rest of the scene is covered with dark clouds of smoke. The photos aren't all war photos, though. There are plenty of others from different times. There is even a pitcure of a very young Mother Theresa, before she became a nun.

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