Homework tips on video

Backpage >> BBC Back Page: Homework tips on video – By parents, for parents
There’s some degree of new-school anxiety at Website of the Day towers as Henry started at his new secondary school this week, which requires an epic commute (as well as a fetching royal blue blazer).
So I was hunting down back-to-school links and unearthed this nifty new experimental service from the Beeb.
Backpage has been created as a kind-of mini YouTube aimed specifically at parents of primary school kids as a place to find and share video tips to help their children with Maths and English homework.
There already seems to be a good sense of community on the site, with lots of parents rating existing video clips and leaving encouraging comments. You can search tips by subject, school age-group, or user rating.

(NB The About The Project page points out that this is a prototype site and that the video tips may not be accessible at all times)


Minti >> Minti
Now this is really good. Billed as a “parent-to-parent advice-opedia”, Minti is a parenting site which really plays to the strengths of the web in 2007. The bedrock of the site is advice written by parents for other parents, but it works by taking the best features of MySpace and Wikipedia and tweaking them to deliver a vibrant online community for parents and familes.
If you just want to search or browse the extensive advice database you’ll find articles on almost every aspect of child-care, parenting and family life, from sleep to nappies, tantrums, teething and much more. But the site really comes into its own when you register and create a MySpace-style profile page (complete with photos and blogs) for your own family. Then you can befriend and interact with other families and parents, rate and rank articles for usefulness, add your own comments to existing advice or submit your own articles.

Norad Tracks Santa 2006

Norad2005 >> Norad Tracks Santa 2006
So I’ve been let out early for good behaviour, hence today is my last day of term.

Long-standing listeners will know that my absolute favourite site of all time is the Norad Santa Tracker – It always has pride of place as the last Website of the Day before Christmas. You may also have heard NORAD talking to Chris Evans last week, but if this is new to you, do make a point of bookmarking the site now and returning before you go to bed on Christmas Eve.

The NORAD Santa Tracker uses satellite technology to track the infrared signature of Rudolph’s red nose and follow Father Christmas’ progress around the globe from the first moment the sleigh takes to the skies above the North Pole.

Throughout Christmas Eve, the sleigh’s position is illustrated on the site’s special interactive map. As soon as NORAD’s SantaCams capture images of Santa and the Reindeer, the photos or video are immediately sent to the site and the interactive map is updated with a flashing line illustrating the route already taken.

In previous years it has been possible to see the sleigh flying over Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids and (if you stay up really late) Big Ben.


Website of the Day will return with Steve on January 8th 2007. Until then, why not take a look at some of the other Christmassy sites featured on the show since 2004:

Have a fabulous Christmas – May Santa bring you everything you wish for – Perhaps even a Website of the Day Book!

Mercury Music Prize, Dr Who e-Book and Back to School tips

Mercurys >> BBC Music: Mercury Music Prize
>> Mercury Prize – Name That Track

>> Dr Who – Download Mark Gatiss’s free e-Book
>> David Walliams & Mark Gatiss’ Dr Who spoofs

>> BBC Schools – Tips for parents
I couldn’t decide what to talk about today, so I sat on the fence and chose three different subjects! Tonight from 9pm BBC Four reveal the winner of the 2006 Mercury Music Prize. BBC Music has extensive links to reviews of all the nominated albums and interviews with the shortlisted artists. There’s also a good addictive audio quiz on the official site. While we wait for new Doctor Who on Christmas Day, there’s a free download of a Dr Who novel from the programme’s official site, written by The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss. TV Ark also has video of Mark Gatiss and David (Little Britain) Walliams’ spoof Dr Who sketches. Finally, if your children are returning to (or starting) school this week, you’ll find a wealth of invaluable tips and information at the BBC Schools site.

Child Friendly

Childfriendly >> Child Friendly
Originally created as a one-stop shop for information about baby changing facilities in the UK, this has now expanded into a directory of cafe, restaurants, shops, play areas, attractions and any other public building that are child friendly. Unlike the Nationwide Access Register which only reports pushchair access and changing facilities, the reviews here usefully detail whether the staff’s attitude is welcoming to families with small children. You can search the database of 1200 reviews by area, type of attraction, key words (like crèche or baby food) or rating. If you find it useful, be sure to add a review of your own favourite child-friendly establishment.


Kneebouncers >> Kneebouncers
Here’s a first for Website of the Day – A site aimed specifically at twos-and-unders. Every parent knows that babies love to hammer on a computer keyboard, so this site has been designed to make sure that a variety of colourful and noisy stuff happens whenever your small person hits the keyboard.
As parent your job is to get your baby in position, turn up the speakers, load up the site and select a feature – from Peek-a-Boo to All Aboard via Jump and Float. Then your baby takes control and the site bombards you with primary colours, cute characters and engaging whizzes, whistles and other noises!

Norad Tracks Santa 2005

Norad2005 >> Norad Tracks Santa 2005
Completely redesigned for 2005 – If you only visit one site this Christmas Eve, make it this one. The NORAD Santa Tracker uses satellite technology to track the infrared signature of Rudolph’s red nose and follow Father Christmas’ progress around the globe. You’ll be able to see video of the sleigh above Sydney Opera House, the Pyramids and (if you stay up really late) Big Ben.
There aren’t many websites which I’d describe as magical, but there’s nothing quite like showing this to excited children before they go to bed on Christmas Eve.
After today Website of the Day is breaking up for Christmas. I’ll be back on air with Richard Allinson (sitting in for Steve) on January 3rd 2006.
Very Happy Christmas from Website of the Day – Hope your stocking is bulging with festive delights!

Mine’s a mulled wine….


Love Reading 4 Kids

Lovereading4kids >> Love Reading 4 Kids
This year’s most useful new book site is Love Reading – which specialises in offering free downloads of the first chapters of all their featured books across a load of genres. Just in time for Christmas, the main Love Reading site is joined by Love Reading 4 Kids offering the same "try before you buy" service for parents and anyone else looking for a guidance on good books for children.

Charlie and Lola’s Cloudhopping Game

Lolacloudhopping >> CBeebies: Charlie and Lola’s Cloudhopping Game
>> Charlie and Lola: Official Site
We first discovered Lauren Child’s (multi-award winning) Charlie and Lola books at Website of the Day Mansions when George (now aged 5) was given a copy of I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato.
I’ve yet to see the Charlie and Lola TV cartoon, but the Cloudhopping game on the Cbeebies site is certainly true to the books and is one of the most adorable online games I’ve seen all year.
You play as Lola, and you have to gently hop from cloud to cloud catching butterflies. The Official Charlie and Lola site is a great introduction to the characters in these terrific books and cartoons.


Halloweeen_1 >> Halloween.com
Aiming to be a single source of information for all things Halloween, this site offers online Halloween greetings, screensavers, costume ideas, Halloween games, recipes, origins and a guide to trick or treating safety