As a geeky mommy, my daughter has safely been playing on the computer since she was two. She has great fine-motor skills, able to open Windows, and typing her name. (I even taught her select all because she wanted to delete quickly.)
She also spends a lot of time (healthy amounts of time, of course) play on different online games. She was an excellent critic as I was refining this list…as there were several sites we’re not mentioning for a reason. These sites were fun, educational, and most important easy for her to use. She had no problems navigating around the site and finding activities she was interested in doing. They were challenging and age appropriate. Some of the sites below are also for kids through middle school. Take advantage of all the free websites out there for our children.
1. National Geographic for Kids – “A Parents’ Choice Recommended Winner” in 2008, this site has games, videos, interactive activities, printable suggestions and crafts.
- My Page – personalize your child’s page, easily find favorite activities,
- Get the full list of activities here. (It goes on for FOREVER!)
2. PBS KIds – One of my daughter’s favorite sites, these site has tons of resources for parents and resources. (Almost all these sites have resources for parents too.)
- Games – games that corresponds with all the kid’s favorites.
- Music – get up and dance with your child!
- Coloring – print out the pages and take them with you in the car to entertain them on errands.
- PBS Go! – watch different clips from shows, shows not shown on TV and also create an account and save scores as your child plays!
3. Nick –The main Nickelodeon site, not only does it link you to the other sites it provides games, videos, events, deals, and tons of other activities!
- Sign up for the newsletter.
- Games – all the regular Nickelodeon shows for the slightly older aged crowd.
- Neopets – Quickly create an account for your child and let them pick a Neopet to play, choosing colors, names, and powers. An online, reality village for kids. The pre-WoW game, earn points, buy things for your pet. Feed and dress your Neopet too. 18 different lands for your child to explore!
Nick Jr. – There are tons of games and activities that can be played WITHOUT playing. Shows are targeted from young preschool through 6 year olds. Another Nick site for preschool shows, Noggin offers even more games and activities.
- Sign up for the newsletter.
- Videos unseen on TV.
4. Kids.gov – Two different age groups (K-5 and 6-8), the website includes government links and external sites.
- Sections include: Arts, Careers, Computer and Technology, Fun Stuff, Government, Health/Fitness/Safety, Math, Money, Science, Social Studies, and State websites
- Check out everything here.
5. Disney – Tons of different activities, printables, games, videos, and clips from preschool through tween shows. Find out information about visiting Disney, upcoming local events,
- Text MOBILE to DISNEY (347639) to get new text alerts and other alerts from Disney.
- My Page – personalize your child’s page so they see the same activities each time.
6. Discovery Kids – Fun and games, videos to watch, upcoming TV shows, and regularly syndicated shows.
- Ready, Set, Learn – A lot of activities younger kids, games include Magic School Bus and other popular shows.
- Educational activities, learn about mummies, and other age appropriate, scientific activities!
- Beyond – Education videos that will take your child all over the world.
- Games – games for younger and older kids, everything from the mindless to the mindful. Lots of challenging quizzes.
7. Character Sites – Through the years my daughters tastes in shows has matures from Thomas the Train to Olivia the Pig. A lot of times shows will have games and printables on the TV website it’s currently playing on…but the author/creator will often have their own website as well. Don’t just stop at the normal channels, make use of Google and make sure you’ve found all the time consuming activities available. 🙂
8. Scholastic Kids – Offers spotlights on different authors for school aged kids.
- Videos with clips of special events, meet the authors/celebrities, and information on your favorite series.
- Their blog includes random book recommendations, unknown facts, and contests.
- Games include online, puzzle, and downloadable games.
- You can also send out cute e-cards.
- Play different writing games.
- Choose your own adventures fun for you AND your child
I didn’t go into a lot of detail of any of these sites. I wanted to point out a couple unknown sites and if they were already popular I hoped to point activities that have been well broadcasted yet.
Please help your children explore these sites safely and enjoy the time you’re given back while they’re lost in the other kind of online entertainment.