Best Online Sites for Kids

With so much on the internet it’s nice to know that there are a sites out there dedicated to our kids. No parent wants to constantly worry if the sites their little ones are allowed to look at may lead young eyes to inappropriate content. The sites below represent a sampling of the most popular sites to point your browser to for some educational, safe online fun.

Web Sites for Kids:

Disney.com: The Official Homepage for All Things Disney
http://disney.go.com/index
Disney.com is chock full of, you guessed it, all things Disney. Multiple sections allow the site to be easily tailored for pre-school aged kids or pre-teens with just the touch of an icon. The pre-school section is outfitted with a memory game and picture identification section that directs kids to identify the difference between two images. I can’t lie, I didn’t win at the picture game one time. Those suckers are tough! Additional areas of the webpage direct older children to games based on memory and their favorite characters, as well as a wealth of Disney music and kid-safe entertainment. You can even enter your name and listen to a personalized message from Goofy! Although the games on the Disney website are not brimming with formal educational value, they do put minds to work with memorization techniques while incorporating everything kids love about the Magic Kingdom. The site is easy to navigate and view on iPhone screens, providing a lot of fun with just a little navigational effort.

PBS Kids: Educational Games, Videos and Activities for Kids
http://pbskids.org/

This is a stellar site for kids’ games, all based on education, and featuring just about any PBS character you can think of from Martha the talking dog to Dora. There’s a major issue, however, with attempting to use this site in conjunction with an Apple device. Unfortunately, every game requires the use of Adobe Flashplayer, which is not available for download on these devices. While this is a superb site for computer time or Android users, there’s the possibility for some very disappointed kids trying to view PBSKids.com with an Apple mobile device.

FunBrain.com: The Internet’s #1 Education Site for K-8 Kids & Teachers
http://www.funbrain.com/
No matter what age your kids are, or what subject they’re looking for some practice in, this website offers the right activity. Relatively small text on the webpage requires users to enlarge pages while scrolling back and forth to use the site, however difficulty in navigation is made up for with educational content. The front page directs users to select a grade from K-8. Upon making your selection, a list of games, organized by subject, is presented. The options are not only vast, but unique as well. FunBrain isn’t just about everyday math or spelling. Real challenges are presented in games that ask kids to fill in the plural form of words like “bacterium”, or alphabetize the alphabet rather than simply reciting it. I’m bookmarking this site for entertaining myself in the airport!

Kids.yahoo.com: Kids Games, Kids Movies, Kids Music and More!
http://www.webkinz.com/us_en/homega.html
Years ago I remember owning a Giga Pet. You remember those little electronic pets on a keychain, right, Mom? These days, Webkinz are the new Giga Pet. This site requires the purchase of a Webkinz plush animal that includes a secret code to enter on the site, thus allowing kids to care for their animal and play a variety of games. The primary educational value of the site is contained within the trivia games, and responsibility factor required to keep the “animal” healthy and cared for. Webkinz.com navigates well on the iPhone screen and you can purchase a furry friend for the kids either online or at retailers around the country.


ClubPenguin.com: Waddle Around and Meet New Friends
http://www.clubpenguin.com/

Club Penguin is an activity site run by Disney. Sign up for an account with your child, and kids are set off to navigate the site as their chosen penguin avatar. The site features sections with healthy recipes, outside game ideas and instructional drawing pages. Informational posts on the site keep kids up-to-date on current events and allow them to comment on the posts, which I think is a great way to get young ones expressing opinions on the world around them. Be aware that ClubPenguin.com does require Flash Player to display properly, so it’s best used on a computer.

CoolMath4Kids.com: Math Games, Math Puzzles, Math Lessons and More!http://coolmath4kids.com/
The name of this site is deceiving. There is far more to the activities on Coolmath4kids.com than just math. Different games focus on topics from geography to spelling and yes, math! The games go beyond hum drum flashcard apps by engaging kids to apply their skills to finish a puzzle or direct a car driving through the city. A great feature for parents is the Lesson Plan section, which offers worksheets for students and parents to work on as a team. The games do require Flash Player, so save cool math 4 the computer.

Kids.NationalGeoraphic.com
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/
If there’s a name synonymous with cultural education, it has to be National Geographic. The children’s version of the National Geographic website is full of interactive activities aimed at making children aware of the world around them. Whether youngsters are piecing together a world map puzzle, or calculating their water usage footprint, this site offers information in a manner that is easy to absorb. Again, some of the features require Flash Player but even on Apple mobile devices, Kids.NationalGeographic.com has lots to explore with informative text and fun pictures.