Whether, like us, you’re teaching children at home, or you’re just looking for something to help support children’s learning after school, or even if you’re simply looking to make children’s screen time educational, Busy Things is a simple, fun and easy go-to programme that checks all those boxes.
Busy Things is an online learning resource created by an elearning content developer with over 600 games and activities across the core subjects, matched to the UK curriculum. There is a strong emphasis on essential maths, literacy and phonics skills, based on a child’s age. While the child can have access to all subjects, you can also limit which subjects they can access, for example, if they spend too much time on a favourite you can ‘block’ it so they have to focus on others. On the flip side, you can also set favourites of things you want the kids to get to quickly.
There are so many features, I’m only going to tell you about the ones that are most important to us, and you can sign up for a free 7-day trial and check it out for yourself.
When you sign up you give each child their own ‘area’, and in that there’s a ‘my files’ area for saving the online projects they complete, though most of these can be printed too. Obviously, things like programming can’t be printed, so you save those in your files.
No surprises, the kids have loved the arty ‘games’ but they’ve also loved some of the mathematical ones, and they’ll often set the games up on both computers and play side-by-side, and challenge each other on their own age-appropriate games, which I think was pretty innovative of them.
There’s also a really good resources section in the parent’s area where you can find sheets for practicing writing letters, matching words, phonics worksheets, printables and so on. You can also create your own phonics resources quite easily.
As home educators we use the resources a lot because they generally just fit in with whatever topic we’re covering, and whatever theme we’re working on, there’s generally at least one worksheet or exercise to help underpin it.
Busy Things can be used on a laptop and tablet, as well as on a Chromebook. There are also phone apps that you can download. Up to 5 children can have a profile on one account. Busy Things is £4.49 per month, £34.99 for the year. Why not try the 7-day free trial, or if you need a bit more time, try the code HalfPriceMonth to get your first month for just £2.24.
Although we used Busy Things before, we were given a free year in exchange for our review