After hours upon hours spent perusing the internet and finding some great, and not so great, websites geared toward kids, I thought I’d put together a little list and introduce you to the websites that we visit the most often.
I’m happy to give up my computer time because they’re learning (and sometimes not even realizing it!) and having fun, and miraculously, not complaining about not playing video games or watching TV, and they’re happy because they’re being entertained and enjoying their online time.
Check out my top picks for kids websites below and then let me know if there are any that your family would add to the list!
Duck’s Alphabet 1 of 15This is a great phonics and letter recognition website for preschoolers. Once registered, kids can play a variety of games that will start them on their journey to become independent readers. Parents can even have updates on their child's progress emailed directly to them. Your kids will love it and the audio will only drive you slightly insane. This might be a good one for your little to use with headphones.
Visit Duck's Alphabet by clicking here.
Kids Front 2 of 15A learning site designed primarily for preschoolers, Kids Front offers a wide variety of free activities. Kids can choose from games, puzzles, coloring pages, drawing how-tos and more. There are also a number of activities that will keep the big kids interested, like word jumbles, word recognition and parts of speech. I may have even used it to brush up on a few things.
Visit Kids Front by clicking here.
Enchanted Learning 3 of 15A treasure trove of learning activities for kids of all ages, this site has information that is sure to satisfy even the most curious of children.
Visit Enchanged Learning by clicking here.
Martha and Friends 4 of 15Inspired by the cartoon that is based on the life of 10 year old Martha Stewart (yes, THE Martha Stewart), this website is loaded with kid friendly crafts. I know you're as shocked as I am. It also offers a couple of strategy games and more information on the cartoon itself.
Unlock your kid's inner Martha Stewart by clicking here. If you dare.
Melody Street 5 of 15A site designed to teach children about music and instruments, Melody Street is, in my opinion, beautifully designed, and makes it easy to get kids interested the subject matter. With games, videos, radio and books, there are plenty of options to keep kids busy. Again, you might want to break out the headphones for this one.
Visit Melody Street by clicking here.
National Geographic Kids 6 of 15An offshoot of National Geographic, this educational and, not surprisingly, gorgeous site is designed specifically for kids. It offers photos, lessons and games that will get you AND your kids interested in every corner of the world. There's even a version for "Little Kids" that will get the tiny members of your family in on the action.
Visit National Geographic Kids by clicking here.
Starfall 7 of 15Designed for the preschool to Second(ish) Grade crowd, Starfall introduces kids to phonics and early reading. While the graphics might seem a bit over the top (MY EYES!), my kids seem to love it and it even comes recommended by my First Grader's teachers. But, again, you might want to employ the headphones for this one.
Visit Starfall by clicking here.
Kids.Gov 8 of 15A great catch all for resources and information about the US, kids can learn about Government, Science, Social Studies and more. With information on National Parks and Monuments it could be the ticket to getting your kids interested in your upcoming summer road trip! And if you're not planning a road trip, you might be motivated to after checking out this site!
Visit Kids.gov by clicking here.
The Toy Maker 9 of 15This site offers beautifully designed, and better yet free, templates so that your kids can "make" their own toys. I would say that it is best suited to older kids, as some of the designs can be pretty complicated. Adult supervision may be required.
Visit The Toy Maker by clicking here.
We Give Books 10 of 15This is one of my favorite websites, both because it offers a great variety of books for kids to read online, but also because, for every book your kids read online, they offer a book to a children's literacy program of your choosing. As they say, "The more you read, the more we give." What's not to love about that?!
Visit We Give Books by clicking here.
Nasa Kids Club 11 of 15This site offers games, activities and information that your little space explorer will find fascinating. With activities geared toward different skill levels, there's something for budding astronauts of all ages. The graphics are high quality and the "space age" audio isn't too grating on the parental ears.
Visit Nasa Kids Club by clicking here.
And if your family is interested in seeing some cool space shows first hand, don't forget to check out my list of 2012's most exciting skywatching events!
National Zoo Animal Cams 12 of 15Admittedly, this is one of my favorite websites, so it's an added bonus that my kids love it too. There are webcams available for a ton of animals that are on display at Washington DC's National Zoo, and we always love to see what the different species are doing throughout the day.
Visit the National Zoo Animal Cams by clicking here.
Weather Wiz Kids 13 of 15This website, designed and run by a Meteorologist, is a great resource for kids who want to know how weather works. Heck, it's a great resource for grown-ups who want to know how weather works. It may not be the most beautiful website, but it is chock full of information and activities that will keep kids interested. It's so interesting that they might not even realize that they're studying...science!
Visit Weather Wiz Kids by clicking here.
Funology 14 of 15A silly website that is great for entertainment value, it contains a plethora of jokes and riddles, and has an entire section labeled "boredom busters." Sometimes it's nice, and necessary, to just relax and let your brain rest. But rest assured, there are some learning games and activities available. The Weird Science section has some fun experiments that will teach your kids about physics, biology and chemistry, and there are even kid friendly recipes available.
Visit Funology by clicking here.
Baby Mint 15 of 15Okay, so this site is definitely more for parents than kids, but if you're already investing this much time into your kid's education, you might as well actually invest in their future education. Baby Mint gives you cash back on your online purchases from a ton of retailers that can be deposited directly into a college savings plan or your bank account. The money can also be used to pay off existing student loans. How awesome is that?
Learn more and sign up for Baby Mint by clicking here.
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