Preventing Summer Slide while Playing Online: Sites that are Fun and Educational

Reading is great, but it isn’t the only way to keep yourself engaged during the long, hot months of summer. There are numerous websites that are fun while also helping you learn a thing or two. Some of our favorites include:

Free Rice – Think you are good at vocabulary (or grammar, art, or a myriad of other subjects)? Test yourself on this site by answering multiple-choice questions. For each question you get right, the game gets harder and 10 grains of rice are donated to help end world hunger. Whether you are looking to improve your subject knowledge, prepare for the SATs, or just do some good, this site is a great way to spend time online while donating food to people who need it.

The Great Gatsby for Nintendo – Although it might seem like people who love both F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus and old-school Nintendo games are a rare breed, this video game proves otherwise. The game, which has an interesting creation story, is fun for video game enthusiasts and Fitzgerald fans alike. As Nick Carraway, you must collect coins, avoid flappers, find Gatsby, and perform a number of other feats. Incorporated into the game are quotes from the book. Go forth, enjoy, and please let us know what happens after you beat level 2 (the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg always defeat us, despite our best efforts).

Mental Floss – Mental Floss is an entertaining (and often educational) compendium of trivia, strange facts, interesting links, and quizzes. Whether you are looking for quizzes on television, popular culture, sports, or history, this site will ensure that you have fun while maybe learning a thing or two. One of our favorite quizzes is “Name All the Presidents in Under 8 Minutes.”

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego – When I was in elementary school, I waited with bated breath for my turn at computers, where I could play a decidedly primitive version of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.” Now, with much better graphics, I can play it by simply logging into Facebook. With this game, you are a detective working to thwart thief Carmen and her crew of quirky (and humorously-named) henchmen and women. At the same time, the game lets you learn more about world history, culture, and geography.

The Sistine Chapel Online – Ever wanted to study the Sistine Chapel’s incredible artwork up close without having to worry about scaffolding and travel to Rome? This site lets you zoom in to see details in the art and architecture.

Dante’s World – This site combines art, text, and audio to bring us into Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Of course, this is only a small sample of the different fun and educational sites and games available online. If you like any of these suggestions (or if you have suggestions of your own), please tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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