When kids are online, the number one thing they want to do is have fun. However, what happens when parents and teachers want them to use their computer time in more educational ways? The best kids’ websites combine both the fun kids crave and the learning experiences adults desire. That’s what makes the following websites ideal places for kids to spend time online.
1. Sesame Street
Sesame Street remains one of the most popular kids’ television programs in the world. Kids can connect with Big Bird, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and their other favorite Sesame Street characters through SesameStreet.org. The games available on the website feature music and help kids build basic skills such as counting, letter skills and shape and color recognition. Special character profiles give kids a chance to learn more about their favorite characters and watch videos that feature them.
Beginning readers and their parents will appreciate Starfall. This website helps kids learn to read through songs, videos, short stories and games. Four different areas of content help support different levels of beginning readers, including those just learning to recognize their letters, those ready to take on phonics and kids ready to begin reading stories on their own. Reading passages also cover fiction and non-fiction topics, exposing kids to different types of reading materials.
3. Math Game Time
Kids can build their math skills with Math Game Time. This math-focused website features fun games, math worksheets and videos for kids in pre-k through seventh grade. Content is organized by grade-level and by individual subjects, so parents can easily point their kids in the right direction. The types of free math games available vary from “number matching” to “geometry problems,” which allows kids from all different levels to practice their skills in multiple ways.
4. PBS Kids
From Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to Curious George and The Cat in the Hat, kids can access their favorite PBS shows on PBS Kids. Along with the ability to watch videos, children can play educational games that feature their favorite characters. The website is designed with young children in mind, relying more on pictures of characters instead of words to help kids navigate through it easily.
5. Nick Jr.
Dora the Explorer fans and kids who love to help Team Umizoomi solve problems will enjoy spending time at Nick Jr. online. Kids can play games, watch videos and make art featuring their favorite Nick Jr. characters. Parents can also benefit from the website, accessing printables and ideas for activities to enjoy with kids when they are offline.
The Crayola website is focused on giving kids and parents ways to enjoy Crayola products. Kids who want to be creative can print coloring pages or head over to the Kids’ Playzone where they can create their own digital artwork and stories. Parents will find inspiration galleries, craft ideas and more information on Crayola’s creative products for kids.
7. Math Chimp
Math Chimp is ideal for parents, kids and homeschoolers. The site offers free math games, videos and worksheets for the Common Core. They have a great selection and include sections like 3rd grade math games, 5th grade math videos and 8th grade math games.
Sponsored by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, StoryPlace is an online library for kids. On the website, kids can find animated stories to read online, activities related to popular kids’ books and even lists of books to look for the next time they visit an actual library. The goal of the site is to get kids to discover new stories to enjoy and experience them in a different way.
The content on ABCya.com is organized by grade-level, making it easy for kids and parents to find games and activities to fit their age and ability levels. Nearly every game found on the website is educational, so whether kids are playing bingo or taking a trip, they are learning about letters, numbers, shapes, colors, geography and other basic skills. Games also include helpful tips for parents and places they can go to get more information. While the site does contain ads, it does a good job of ensuring the ads only feature appropriate content and tries to limit the amount of ads on each page.
Funbrain is simply a website where kids can have fun while using their brains. While most kids will enjoy playing the math games or completing the activities on the virtual playground, Funbrain has a lot more to offer. A special reading section gives kids access to comic strips and excerpts from popular series, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Camp Confidential. Younger kids can also read special Funbrain books, such as Brainy Blueberry and the Backpack Balloon.
That concludes our top 10 children’s websites for 2013. We hope you and your kids agree.