Educational Internet Resources for Kids

 
By Frank Lewis,
 
Parents and educators can use the Internet to teach kids, but not all sites are child-friendly or age-appropriate. This list provides the 20 of the best Internet resources for kids - the kind where tots and even tweens can spend hours expanding their knowledge, honing their creative and cognitive skills, and picking up nuggets of wisdom that will help them develop into capable young men and women. These Web sites and programs made the list because they deliver great lessons to children, and often do so in interesting and fun ways. They are also won points for being extremely easy to use and safe to browse for kids.

family playing computer with kids

1. JumpStart

URL: http://www.jumpstart.com
Description: Online game learning website for children aged 3-10 from the trusted educational software brand, JumpStart. Mobile app games available for download on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon appstore.

Features:
  • Dozens of children's games available for free
  • Safe and secure online environment for kid interactions, exploration and learning
  • Website certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program
2. World Book Online
URL: http://worldbookonline.com
Description: Online encyclopedia that provides kids accurate, objective and reliable reference and learning materials. Website based on the best-selling World Book encyclopedia. Requires paid membership subscription at $49.95 a year or $9.95 a month. Free reduced version available when site is viewed via smartphones.

Features:
  • Easy-to-read articles
  • Helpful images and illustration
  • Interactive games and activities
  • Multimedia collection
  • Learning and life skills activities
  • Catalogue of editor-selected reference sites
3. BrainPop Junior
URL: http://www.brainpopjr.com/
Description: Online educational resources website filled with animated, curricular content aimed at engaging students and helps support educators. Educational apps available for download.

Features:
  • Covers major subjects like Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Health, and Arts & Music
  • Teachers can give students codes to join an online class, quiz or activity
  • Supports individual, team or whole-class learning
  • Helps introduce new topics and illustrate complex concepts
  • Content developed by pool of academic advisors and educational game creators
4. The Science Explorer
URL: http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/
Description: Web site gives kids science experiments to try out at home either alone or with the help of their friends and family. Experiments are based on the popular Science Explorer books.

Features:
  • More than a dozen fun experiments like creating a salt volcano
  • Full list of materials, most of which are common household items
  • Step-by-step, easily understood instructions
  • Illustration guides
  • Explanations on the science behind the fun experiment
  • Suggests other things to try for different experiment results and deeper learning

mom and daughter play game

5. AtoZ the World
URL: http://www.atoztheworld.com/
Description: A definitive source for kids on the world's countries spanning more than 100 topics including their geographies, populations, cultures and customs. Students can ask for access codes from their libraries.

Features:
  • 175 country guides for virtually all the world's known nations
  • Multiple language options for international, non-English-speaking users
  • Regularly updated information
  • Comes with illustrations
  • Wide and deep coverage
6. National Geographic Kids
URL: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/
Description: Multimedia learning portal where kids can learn about animals and pets, the countries of the world, science and space, and the natural world around them.

Features:
  • Accurate facts and kid-friendly information about animals, nature, geography, science and many more curriculum topics
  • Cool-looking animated learning games
  • High-quality videos and images
  • Interactive quizzes, activities and contests
7. Mango Languages
URL: http://www.mangolanguages.com/k-12/
Description: Language learning resources for students and their families for over 50 foreign language and English as a second language or ESL courses. Students can request teachers or parents to purchase for them. Apps available for iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices

Features:
  • Choose from over 50 foreign and English language courses
  • Conversational approach covering four key areas of language: vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and culture
  • Unlimited remote access so students can learn at school or at home
8. Tux Paint
URL: http://tuxpaint.org/
Description: This free digital drawing tool helps kids aged 3 to 12 express their visual creativity using a blank canvas and a variety of simple-to-use drawing tools. Tux Paint HD tablet app available to download for Apple iPad for $1.99.

Features:
  • Simple, intuitive drawing interface
  • Dozens of drawing tools and options, including paint brushes, lines, stamps and shapes
  • Fun sound effects
  • Runs on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and even other older, slower systems for maximum accessibility

orange shirt kid play laptop

9. Smithsonian Kids
URL: http://www.si.edu/Kids
Description: The world's largest museum and research complex has carefully curated this Web site to teach kids a variety of lessons, from art to science to dinosaurs and the environment.

Features:
  • Curriculum topics include art, science and nature, history and culture, and people and places
  • Dozens of fun learning games and activities
  • Shows portraits, landscapes and scenes straight from the American Art Museum and other Smithsonian museums
  • Kids can send questions to Smithsonian scientists and researchers
10. Discovery Kids
URL: http://kids.discovery.com/
Description: Discover Channel transports its engaging brand of popular science to this Web site, encouraging kids to ask questions, try new things, and learn interesting factoids about the world.

Features:
  • Games and puzzles
  • Quizzes
  • Creative activities designed to bring out the creativity in kids. Includes crafts-making, digital coloring books, cooking recipes, scientific experiments and tales of real-life adventure
11. FunBrain
URL: http://www.funbrain.com/
Description: A fun games and activity portal meant to stimulate learning, reading and interactive creativity among children.

Features:
  • Educational games spanning math arcade, reading, fun arcade and playground varieties
  • Books and comics to read that expand their reading comprehension, visual cognition, creativity and humor
  • Mad Libs Junior section where children can create silly stories
12. PBS Kids
URL: http://pbskids.org/
Description: The non-profit public broadcaster not only lists down its kid shows, it also gives its young visitors a lot of fun games to play, many of which are either educational or have a good lesson to tell.

Features:
  • Dozens of games
  • Videos from its television shows
  • Writers contest section to spark their language creativity
  • Cartoon studio that lets kids build a character and make a cartoon even, sharing it with friends online

girl with headphone

13. Stellarium
URL: http://www.stellarium.org/
Description: A free planetarium for the desktop, perfect to teach kids about the sky, moon, stars, constellations, and galaxies beyond. Available for Windows, Mac OSX, Linux and Ubuntu platforms.

Features:
  • Shows a realistic 3D sky model similar to what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or telescope
  • Interface controls allow kids to zoom, create projections and do other interesting stuff
  • Multilanguage options
14. Wonderopolis
URL: http://wonderopolis.org
Description: A Web site where kids can explore and nurture their curiosity and imagination through interesting articles, and sharing learning moments in everyday life.

Features:
  • Wonder of the Day delivers a daily supply of factoids and lessons
  • Narrative videos
  • Audio listening option for articles
  • Wonder Word challenge to improve vocabulary
  • Q&A section where kids can ask what's on their mind
15. Spatulatta
URL: http://www.spatulatta.com/
Description: A cooking Web site with kid-friendly recipes and kitchen tips on how to prepare the yummiest treats. Includes step-by-step video instructions to help kids create the perfect cakes and treats. Creative project suggestions help enhance the food serving.

Features:
  • 350 recipes with step-by-step video instructions
  • Creative projects help enhance food serving presentation
  • Fan club area to connect with other culinary tots
  • Basic skills area for beginners
16. WeGiveBooks
URL: http://www.wegivebooks.org/
Description: A digital initiative where kids can help other kids from around the world get books. Children do not even need to donate a single cent; they only need to read online to help others.

Features:
  • Reading section filled with classic and award-winning children's books for all ages
  • Page turning animation and high-resolution page scan graphics
  • One-click magnification to help kids read smaller fonts
  • Giving and sharing sections to teach children how they are and can continue to help others

girl with credit card and computer

17. Game Classroom
URL: http://www.gameclassroom.com/
Description: A collection of education games that can serve as interactive homework for kids from Kindergarten to 6th grade that aim to enhance their curriculum learning.

Features:
  • Hundreds of worksheets featuring homework help for use by students and teachers
  • Videos curated by educators
  • Math games
  • Language arts games
  • Back to school tips and other advice for success in school
  • Recommended lesson plans
18. Kideos
URL: http://www.kideos.com/
Description: A video portal where young kids from ages 0-10 can watch videos safely even without parental supervision. The Web site is curated to provide age-appropriate video content.

Features:
  • Age group categories shows videos appropriate for each kid
  • Top 10 Videos
  • Dozens of channels for every imaginable interest, from comic book characters like Spider-Man to cuddly kittens and even amusing sing-a-longs
19. PlanetPals
URL: http://www.planetpals.com
Description: Ecological education site where kids from preschool to tweens can learn about the environment, and how to take care of it through efforts like recycling, waste reduction and resources conservation.

Features:
  • Fun games and characters
  • Factoids on environmental phenomena like global warming, endangered species and healthy lifestyles
  • Positive messages and educational lessons on how to care for the world
  • Activities with socially relevant educational themes
  • Free downloadable posters
20. Dyscover
URL: http://code.google.com/p/dyscover/
Description: A free software system developed in Java that specifically aids kids with learning disabilities identify letters and numbers.

Features:
  • Can be used to teach characters, numerals, pronunciation and word-association, among other lessons
  • Uses audio-visual elements for better learning absorption
  • Simple instructions and intuitive controls
  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and Solaris platforms



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