If your child has questions about news or current events, TIME for Kids is a great resource. While not as interactive as some of the other sites on this list, it’s a great source for kids to learn about what’s going on in the world in a forum that’s geared toward children.
Google Earth can help teach geography and astronomy through satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3-D buildings, allowing kids to explore any point of interest on the planet and in outer space. The site also has some cool videos. Google Earth is free to use but requires downloading a plugin to start exploring.
Scratch is a free online tool designed by MIT to help kids learn programming. Kids design their own computer games, art and apps and share them within an online community. Users get feedback from other users about what they build. Most kids start by playing other people’s games and then looking at how the programming is built.
ABCYa! is designed for grades K-5. It’s free, but you can upgrade to an ad-free version. This site is chock-full of numbers, letters, strategy games and more. They have a ton of word problems and practical math drills and a special section with holiday activities.
Starfall is a publicly supported website that offers phonics exercises for all ages. There’s also a paid subscription add-on that offers more phonics and reading as well as math exercises.
Although more of an entertainment website than an educational one, the Disney Channel does have a lot to offer in the way of learning. There is a great section on books and reading as well as some reading about behind-the-scenes and animation on the blog’s tab. Time on this website might be a great reward for hitting homework milestones or to entice a reluctant reader.
Kids.gov is the official kids' portal for the U.S. government. This site connects kids, parents and teachers to information and services on the web from government agencies, schools and educational organizations, all geared to the learning level and interest of kids. There's also a state-specific map kids can click on for more information about their state.
Just like it sounds, Coolmath-Games provides cool math games on the Internet, free of charge. Coolmath4Kids is their kid-friendly site for boys and girls, designed to make math fun, with math flashcards, brain benders, fraction and long division games, time tables and more.
Coolmath4Parents is a great resource for parents that contains information on how to handle homework as well as tips on how to get your child ready for school and how to set up reward charts. There are also links to some great online math games for kids of all ages, but for a parent who might be feeling a little intimidated by their child’s math homework, this site is gold.
Considered one of the more popular coding sites for kids, Tynker offers free intro courses with paid classes as a child advances. For the Minecraft-obsessed, Tynker is perfect -- kids can learn to program and build games, apps and even Minecraft mods.
While not technically a traditional educational site, Pinterest is a wealth of resources when it comes to fun ideas for crafts, science experiments and other DIY projects to try at home. In fact, for a summer or Christmas break where a child may have a little too much time on their hands, educational Pinterest projects can keep them engaged and out of your hair.
Online is a great place to learn with your child and have fun at the same time. With the level of tech savvy of today's kids, don't be too surprised if you find your kids teaching you a thing or two.
Originally published Dec. 2015. Updated July 2016.
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