Places we like (and why you should too)...


HappyCrowd.com

If you never do anything else on StoryRhyme.com, do this: Stop reading right now and go to HappyCrowd.com, listen to a couple of tracks, buy a CD, send us a thank-you. You're welcome. They're that good.

We've all heard of the Wiggles, those pleasant blokes from Down Under, but you haven't heard great music for kids until you've heard The Happy Crowd. If you've been fortunate enough to see them live, (and their touring seems to be limited to Southern California) consider yourself lucky. We don't know why they're not a household word, but popularity does not always equate to quality.

Their CD "Gettin' Happy," is truly wonderful. I played it in the car for weeks (even when my son wasn't with me). The songs are positive and catchy, with tight arrangements and talented musicianship to back them up. We love The Happy Crowd and you should too.




JustOneMoreBook.com

Just One More Book is a thrice-weekly podcast which promotes and celebrates literacy and great children’s books. If you're wondering just what children's books to add to your shopping list (or for your next trip to the library), you'll want to check out JustOneMoreBook.com. This site offers a wealth of information on a wide variety of children's books, listed by author and subject matter, delivered in podcast form. Andrea and Mark of JustOneMoreBook.com discuss the books they're reviewing while sitting in their "favourite coffee shop." They seem like such nice people, too; just the sort of folks you'd like to talk about books with. I can just smell the coffee.




VarsityTutors.com
varsitytutors
Varsity Tutors is the world's largest free practice test and assessment site with over 35,000 professionally written problems and thousands of distinct practice tests across 120 subjects. Each question is tagged down to the core academic concept being tested. We're linking here to their extensive practice test section. A little practice couldn't hurt, could it? Now, go get smarter (or really depressed over how much you've forgotten).




NeoPets.com

NeoPets.com is really a world of its own. It's actually worlds within worlds and may even feel a bit intimidating at first glance just because of its sheer size. Once you set up your account, you can then choose your virtual pet, give it a name, and then it's up to you to take care of your little friend. This is a wonderful place that teaches "outside one's self responsibility."

Our son has had his two friends, Summy and Gammera, (a Tuskaninny and a Grundo) for about three years. You must feed your pets, play with them, and groom them. Seriously. Summy has quite the attitude, too. If he doesn't like the food you offer him, he'll turn his nose up at it and make a smart comment. Gammera isn't as picky (Grundos aren't as bright as Tuskaninnies, by the way). This site is extremely elaborate. There are ways to earn money so you can build a home, buy food, toys, and books for your Neopet, but if you don't have the Neopoints (money), you can always feed them a portion of the giant free omelet.

Neopets is a fun, safe site for children.




CoolMath4Kids.com

coolmath4kids.com. Little kids actually liking math..? This site receives an endorsement from our son who's been playing math games on it for quite a while now. Being math challenged myself, I'm happy that he's happy on a math site. Sad to say, he's been instructed to go ask Dad when he's got a math question (sigh).

This site is full of math lessons, exercises and games. It also has advice for parents and teachers. I might give it a try myself and see if you can teach a, um, somewhat older dog some new math tricks.