Free Learning Websites for Kids
Computers are not a big deal to our kids. My generation was the last generation to not grow up with computers. Asking a kid to be excited about the internet is like asking my generation to be excited about refrigerators. As parents, it’s not realistic for us to say “No screens!” to our kids. Educational websites are essential for their learning. Schools use websites to teach.
|National Geographic for Kids||Kids.NationalGeographic.com|
|Little Golden Books||LittleGoldenBooks.com|
|Starfall (reading and literacy)||Starfall.com|
|Fun Brain (math, reading, Wimpy Kid)||Funbrain.com|
|National Constitution Center||ConstitutionCenter.org|
|Into the Book||Reading.ECB.org|
|Khan Academy (math)||KhanAcademy.org|
|Storyline Online (actors read to kids)||StoryLineOnline.net|
|Highlights (yes, that magazine!)||HighlightsKids.com|
The internet was not popular until after I was married. So no, I did not have free learning websites as a kid. In fact, I remember in college, there was one kid with a computer. One. He was a transfer student from a “city college” where computers were required. I think it was Drexel or LaSalle. But we treated him like a unicorn. A computer! All of his own! (yeah, that’s how old I am!)
Benefits of Online Learning for Kids
We hear so much negative stuff about excessive screen time (which is a problem!) it can be easy to forget that there is a ton of educational value. The internet has changed education and learning.
- The child can progress at their desired pace.
- Can do the work at home and control distractions.
- Learning websites usually offer a variety of learning methods, such as reading, audio and video.
- Educational websites are convenient for parents, especially for commuting and sibling sports practice.
Free Learning and Educational Websites
This list was put together several years ago, but I periodically update it to check links and add to it. Now, I’m also sorting it out by category.
Kid Learning Websites-Kindergarten
PBS Kids: Everything you love about PBS kids, all in one spot. All of your PBS favorites are here, Arthur, Wild Kratts, Clifford and so much more. There are games, songs, videos, puzzles, and printables to go along with themes and the educational programming you expect from PBS. There is a special parent section too so that you get better in your guidance as they play online. Website: PBSKids.org
Learning Websites-Science and Animals
Highlights for Kids: Remember when we were little, and the Highlights magazine was always in the waiting room when you went to the doctor? You can still get the magazine, but their website is full of great educational and fun stuff for kids…like science experiments! Website: HighlightsKids.com
Switcheroo Zoo: This website is all about animals! There are zoo related games, fact-finding and educational reading, coloring pages and now a free app. Great site for a virtual trip to the zoo when you just can’t get there in person, or as pre-learning before you go.
National Geographic for Kids: Memory games, puzzles, fun, and creepy facts, cool photos to look at…it all adds up to a great science experience for your child. If you want your kids to be excited about science, check out NGK.
Reading and Language Websites for Kids
Side note: Dr. Seuss racist? I’m just throwing this out there because it exists. But it has been brought to my attention that Dr. Seuss has a racist past. I point this out in case you wish to reconsider or discuss it with your kids. More information and resources can be found by clicking that link.
Little Golden Books: Who doesn’t love Little Golden Books? And their website has great games and activities to accompany some of the stories we’ve grown to love. Website: LittleGoldenBooks.com
Into The Book: This is a great site for reading and literacy. It helps students identify the reading strategies (summarizing, inferring, prior knowledge, etc.) and helps them use the strategies together to become better readers. Website: Reading.ECB.org
Starfall: Starfall has different sections, some of it is free and some of it is not. It’s a site that is used by lots of homeschooling parents and has free lessons, reading, worksheets and more to help build literacy skills. Website: Starfall.com
StoryLineOnline: This site is cute and funny…and it’s reading. But parents, for the nights you want to just “phone it in” and not do storytime with the kids, you can go to this website and have your favorite Screen Actors Guild actor read one to them. For real. They promote reading and they have activity guides to go with the stories. Website: StoryLineOnline.net
Fun Math Websites for Kids
FunBrain: Math, reading or just for fun, that’s what you’ll find at FunBrain. You can choose activities by grade, all the way up to 12. They have MadLibs, Sudoku and other activities that may be too much for the primary school kids. You’ll also find Diary of a Wimpy Kid things here.
Khan Academy: No list is complete without Khan Academy. It started out (I think!) as just math but now they have just about everything. Their mission is simple: We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing free world-class education for anyone anywhere.
Educational Websites: History and Civics
National Constitution Center: The National Constitution Center has a great list of educational resources on its website. There are videos, games, and so much more. And, it’s organized by grade level (k-12) and you can cross reference it to Common Core Standards.
There you go, 12 free educational websites. I hope it helps your kids enjoy learning, and moms feel less guilty about screen time!
- Colorful mathlink cubes with activity cards focused on addition, subtraction, sequencing, and more
- Provides a hands-on visual aid to math lessons, and doubles as an open-ended building toy!
- Stem.Org Certified as an educational product
- Ideal for ages 4+
- FINE MOTOR SKILLS: Crack open play geodes with the hammer and chisel to reveal colorful surprise gems again and again!
- SORTING, MATCHING, & COUNTING SKILLS: Use the activity set to build sorting, matching, and counting skills with gems in 8 colors and 4 shapes!
- NO-MESS: Plastic geodes with play hammer and chisel introduce toddlers to geology without the hassle of clean-up!
- EASY STORAGE: Store your treasures inside the included drawstring bag!
- Great educational toy for toddlers ages 3+
- Develop color recognition and sorting skills with bushels of realistic produce
- Expand vocabulary by naming familiar favorites and learning new foods
- Includes 25 foods in 5 different colors, 5 baskets, activity guide, and stickers for labeling
- Winner of 2 awards
- Homeschool supplies for ages 18 mos+
- 4 fun games in one
- Teach the alphabet, letter recognition, beginning sounds, CVC word building, and early vocabulary
- Support language development and creative thinking with imaginative play
- Set includes 42 plastic letter-shaped cookies, 45 double-sided cards, 2 spinners, plastic storage jar, and activity guide
- Fun for ages 3+
- FINE MOTOR GAMES FOR KIDS: Build fine motor skills with chunky, peg-shaped pieces that fit to the back of this friendly hedgehog
- DEVELOP: Colorful quills help kids build color recognition, sorting, and counting skills through fine motor skill games
- TOYS FOR TODDLERS: Now fine motor intrinsic toys come with easy to grasp pieces that are just the right size for little toddler and preschool hands to hold. Fine motor set includes 2-piece hedgehog about 6” in diameter, 12 quills, and activity guide
- EASY STORAGE: When playtime over the quills easily fit in the Hedgehog
- Great Easter basket toy for toddlers ages 18 months+
- All-in-one storage center features all the place you need to keep your classroom, playroom or office clutter free.
- Carousel-style storage center comes with eight removable containers sized for glue sticks, colored pencils, and more.
- Each removable container comes with an easy-to-hold handle, so you can always grab the materials you need.
- Big enough to hold your kids' supplies, each container measures 4.5" wide x 4" tall.
- Containers rest within a sturdy circular tray complete with center storage space. Tray measures 12" in diameter
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