Educational Websites Your Kids Will Actually Love
As you kick off the first few weeks of summer break with your kids, you may be brainstorming ways to combat the “summer slide.” Recent studies show that kids of different ages can lose up to 30% of their school-year gains in math and reading! And while parents may not love the idea of their kids spending too much time on their devices, there are plenty of online resources that allow kids to keep learning — and even have fun while they do it! Here are some of the best educational websites for kids.
Educational Websites for Kids 4-6
Starfall: The Starfall Education Foundation created this website to provide children with multisensory interactive games that encourage exploration, play, and positive reinforcement. Each activity is research-based and aligns with individual and Common Core state standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics.
ABCmouse: ABCMouse offers more than 9,000 animated activities, games, books, songs, and puzzles. ABCMouse’s progress tracker allows you to quickly see what subjects your child is learning by displaying the total number of activities completed in each category.
PBS Kids: Your child can interact with characters from their favorite books and television shows on PBS Kids. They will enjoy learning the “Word of the Week” and watching short clips of popular cartoons, such as Curious George and The Cat in the Hat, that aim to expand their knowledge of new subjects.
Peep and the Big Wide World: Based on the animated TV series, this site combines a comprehensive science curriculum with distinct visuals, intriguing plotlines, and familiar characters. After each episode, your child can see kids just like them experiment with these science concepts!
Funbrain: Funbrain has been recognized as a leader in free educational games for children for over two decades. Trusted by parents and teachers alike, Funbrain aims to expand your child’s math, reading, problem-solving, and literacy skills through games, books, comics, and videos.
Smithsonian Kids: No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings your child everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to their screen.
Educational Websites for Kids 7-9
Scratch: While most adults didn’t use digital technologies until they were older, computer skills have become an important part of the curriculum for kids. That’s why the MIT Media Lab created Scratch. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Kids can use these essential skills to program stories, games, and animations, and they can share their amazing creations with the whole online community.
Cool Kid Facts: Despite what its name suggests, this site offers a lot more than just fun facts. Cool Kid Facts gives your child access to educational videos, pictures, quizzes, downloadable worksheets, and infographics. They can use these to learn about geography, history, science, animals, and even the human body.
Climate Kids: This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals. It also explains how connected different aspects of the earth’s climate are by showing the impact that one has on all the others. In addition to games, activities, and videos, your child can learn more about green careers, too.
Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government: This interactive website, hosted by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, allows your child to see the ins and outs of the U.S. government by taking a series of learning adventures with none other than Benjamin Franklin. It even has a glossary of all the terms that kids need to understand how our government works.
Classics For Kids: Music enthusiasts will love all that Classics for Kids has to offer. This kid-friendly website will teach your child about the orchestra, introduce them to famous composers, and even help them compose their own music.
Cool Math 4 Kids: Say goodbye to boring math worksheets. On Cool Math 4 Kids, your child can practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. Lessons and quizzes give them the math skills they need to play fun and interactive games.
Ask Dr. Universe: Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Kids can send Dr. Universe any question they may have about history, geography, plants, animals, technology, engineering, math, culture, and more. Dr. Universe also has several videos that explain things like why the ocean is salty and why feet smell.
Educational Websites for Kids 10-13
NASA Kids’ Club: At some point, what’s happening here on Earth just isn’t enough to keep kids interested. When it comes to outer space, NASA’s got you covered with the NASA Kids’ Club. In the Kids’ Club, your future astronauts can take on missions that will teach them first-hand what it’s like to be in space.
National Geographic Kids: As kids start to learn about the world around them, it’s challenging for parents to keep up with their curiosity. Luckily, there’s National Geographic Kids. This site is great for parents and kids to sit together and watch videos, play games, and learn about their favorite animals. Next stop — a trip to the zoo!
United States Mint: For any tween interested in becoming a “numismatist” or learning about how coins are made in the U.S., the United States Mint is a great resource. Your child can play games, learn fun facts, and find out how to turn coin collecting into a hobby.
Weather Wiz Kids: – From rainbows to tornadoes and winter storms to tsunamis, meteorologist Crystal Wicker breaks down the fascinating world of weather. Head over to Weather Wiz Kids to learn everything you’ve wanted to know about extreme weather, including safety tips, experiments, and even weather jokes.
NGAkids: The National Gallery of Art’s interactive site for kids offers your tween an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history. After learning about each topic, your child can tap into their creative side and become an artist themselves.
Kids Think Design: Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design. Your child can learn through interactive projects and real-world examples of how design is implemented into our everyday lives.
Find Your Blue: This educational website hosted by the Smithsonian Museum takes a deep dive into ocean life. Tweens can explore the ocean’s many creatures and ecosystems while learning more about how to get involved in conservation efforts.
Educational Websites for Kids 14-17
Brainscape: As your child approaches high school, they are presented with many opportunities, including earning a driver’s license, taking AP courses, and applying to college. Brainscape offers over a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable. The platform uses a scientifically-proven algorithm that teaches concepts in a pattern that is optimized to your child’s pace of learning.
HowStuffWorks: Older kids have more advanced curiosities, and HowStuffWorks provides their minds with more nutritious brain food. Because the topics are relevant to their actual lives, it helps them to see their classroom lessons applied in the real world. They even have a page with recommended podcasts that they can listen to on the go.
Exploratorium: The Exploratorium, located in San Francisco, is a public learning laboratory that examines the world through science, art, and human perception. The Exploratorium’s website brings a taste of the museum experience right into your home, with experiments and explanations for many of its current and past exhibits.
Theta Music Trainer: The Theta Music Trainer offers a series of online courses and games for ear training and music theory. Whether your child is a beginner, intermediate, or advanced musician, they will find a variety of exercises to sharpen their skills.
Banzai: While filing taxes and paying rent may seem like responsibilities that teens won’t have to worry about for many years, understanding finance early will give your kids a leg up as they enter adulthood. Banzai exposes students to real-world financial dilemmas to teach them the importance of smart money management.
Innerbody: Whether your kid is an aspiring doctor or just trying to pass anatomy, Innerbody explores the 11 bodily systems in depth. With interactive models and detailed explanations, this website will help them learn more about the internal mechanics of the amazing human body.
edX: Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is a global nonprofit that is transforming traditional education by removing the barriers of cost, location, and access. Every course is completely free and is provided by premier educational institutions like Columbia, Brown, and Cornell.
Help Keep Your Kid Safe Online
Creating healthy online experiences allows families to share their interests with each other, and educational websites are a great way for kids to learn how to be responsible digital citizens. Knowing what other kinds of media are appropriate for kids of different ages is also important, and parents can turn to Common Sense Media for guidance. Common Sense Media have reviewed nearly 1,300 sites to determine their educational value and age-appropriateness. Their ratings can help you decide what websites make the most sense for your family.
Finally, the internet is full of wonderful content that’s worth celebrating — but it also comes with risks. Bark allows families to come together around digital issues and can help keep kids safe both online and in real life. By monitoring texts, chat, email, YouTube, and 24+ social platforms, Bark helps protect kids from issues like cyberbullying, sexual predators, suicidal ideation, violence, and more. Sign up today for a free, one-week trial!