The Internet is an increasing part of today’s culture, especially for children and youth, for whom schoolwork, online gaming, and social networking are among the most popular activities.
The Internet, for children and adults alike, is a hugely important medium. Children and young people now frequently use the Internet to:
- Learn (by having access to information, knowledge, opinions, education tools, and even teachers)
- Communicate (express ideas, share information and experiences)
- Interact socially with friends and peers
- Innovate, create and share content
- Play and be entertained (games, movies, music, books, etc.)
Best Websites for Kids
Children can learn something new in a safe online environment. These 10 free educational websites for kids are fun while offering online teaching games, printables, videos, and so much more. The list also includes some of the best coding websites for kids.
The first on our list of best coding websites for kids is the EXPLORATORIUM. This website — the online component of the San Francisco-based museum of science, art and human perception — claims to feature more than 25,000 pages of content with videos, science-related projects, exhibit highlights, and more. You can access all the info by choosing your general interest group — options include teens, parents, scientists, and geeks — or by selecting a subject matter (such as culture or the human body). Whichever method kids use to move around the site, its offerings will undoubtedly help increase their appreciation of science.
Kids can learn the physics of skateboarding, guess which embryo is human, create a photogram, and more. The site’s sizable content is actually almost its biggest drawback: There are so many subject-centered microsites that kids may find themselves constantly clicking away from the central website.
2. How Stuff Works
The next on our list of best coding websites for kids is HowStuffWorks. It is an American commercial infotainment website founded by professor and author Marshall Brain, to provide its target audience an insight into the way many things work. The site uses various media to explain complex concepts, terminology, and mechanisms—including photographs, diagrams, videos, animations, and articles.
This website has articles, graphics, and videos that contain easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. The 15 broad topics include communication, computers, electronics, food, geography, health, and science. It would be useful for engaging non-scientists of all ages with scientific issues.
3. Invention at Play
Invention at Play is developed by Science NetLinks, a project of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Invention at Play challenges you to explore, question, invent and collaborate to make your own discoveries. Adult inventors use skills that children develop through their play, and this site offers four activities to foster these skills. Cloud Dreamer encourages make-believe and visual thinking; Puzzle Blocks supports puzzle play and problem-solving; Tinker Ball encourages exploration and tinkering; and Word Play focuses on social play and collaboration.
The next on our list of best coding websites for kids is Kids-Pages. On this website, you have a growing collection of free printable ESL flashcards, worksheets, coloring pages, and alphabet for teachers, parents, and children. You can also find educational stories like Aesop’s Fables, fairy tales, online games for kids to have fun, puzzles, and other interesting stuff.
5. Learning Games for Kids
The name “Learning Games for Kids” on the site says it all. Learning Games for Kids is all about games that teach kids almost every subject you can think of. Word, spelling, social studies, brain, science, art, vocabulary, literature, and keyboarding games will get your kids started on a learning adventure.
6. Make Me Genius
Make Me Genius is an effort to provide concept-based education to school-going kids. Here the school topics are converted into short cartoon movies as kids love to watch cartoons. Moreover, they have used day-to-day examples in their videos so that kids can approach learning in a logical way.
7. National Geographic Kids
While National Geographic Kids is a fantastic resource for students to use to explore their interests and follow their curiosity. Though it isn’t a comprehensive site and has some gaps in the animals and countries it covers, its offerings keep expanding. The Homework Help section can provide additional assistance with light research papers or projects. Teachers can also search for resources that match topics they’re working on in the classroom.
Teachers of younger students will find this educational tool a great way to increase engagement and add extension activities for science and social studies lessons. There are also closed captions on videos for accessibility purposes.
Note: Though the site content is free, there are a number of links to subscribe to the National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids magazines, as well as a link to the National Geographic store.
8. Sesame Street
From Sesame Street teachers can pick and choose clips and games based on the needs of their students: Learning about the letter B? Watch videos and play games that explore B in many different ways. Sesame Street also offers a nice way to introduce topics that are not explicitly “academic,” such as cooperation, respecting others, culture and diversity, or self-care.
However, kids will likely need a lot of oversight when using the site so they don’t get overwhelmed by a large amount of content and the many places to click (the Muppet wheel and the filmstrip are particularly distracting). Offline, teachers can also take advantage of the many printable worksheets, craft ideas, child-friendly recipes, and other suggestions for non-digital games and guided interactions that expand learning and reinforce concepts.
Starfall is a children’s website that teaches basic English reading and writing skills. The main demographic is preschoolers and kindergarteners. It teaches children how to read by using games and phonics. Methods used by the website are based on the research of G. Reid Lyon from the National Institutes of Health and Edward J. Kame’enui from the University of Oregon. Established in 2002, the website is free to use and does not use advertising to generate revenue.
10. TIME for Kids
At TIME for Kids, teachers can use the free stories or purchase a class subscription and have access to all the lesson guides and extra materials. Each edition has a theme that teachers can integrate with classroom learning activities, and they can use the current edition or incorporate stories from the archives. Use the lesson plans and teacher guides as provided or jump-start your own lesson plans.
Some stories have online and print quizzes for formative assessments, or you can customize them for your students. Some of the articles have Spanish versions as well as audio and multiple Lexile levels that can be used to support learners with different needs. Design lessons that have students reading individually or in groups and having collaborative discussions about the material. Motivated students can apply to the Kid Reporter program.
What is the most popular website for kids?
Some of the most popular websites for kids are Exploratorium, How Stuff Works, Invention at Play, Kids-Pages, Learning Games for Kids, Make Me Genius, National Geographic Kids, Sesame Street, Starfall, and TIME for Kids.
Is there a children’s version of National Geographic?
Yes, there is a website of National Geographic exclusively for children. It is National Geographic Kids. It is a fantastic resource for students to use to explore their interests and follow their curiosity.
There are plenty of learning websites for kids to keep your kids entertained as they play along. These are some of the best among them. Did we miss any such kids websites? Write in the comment box below.