Best Educational Websites by Age (As of Fall 2012)


Computers have become an integral part of the school day. It is important that children come to school with basic computer knowledge. When computers were first introduced in school, students were provided with computer instruction. Now, it is expected that children know the basics of how to operate a computer. To prepare your child for school, it is important to provide them with an opportunity to explore the computer. It's okay if you do not have a computer at home. Local libraries have computers available to use for free. While tablets and cell phones allow children to access the same websites, it's important they also have some experience with a traditional computer (at least until all computers have been replaced with tablet-style devices). 

I have found many websites over the years that are not only educational but engaging. They allow students to increase their knowledge of operating a computer and at the same time, gain academic skills. There are some great websites out there for kids, and some not so great sites. I could provide a list of hundreds of websites for kids but instead, I chose to select the websites I feel are the most educational and engaging (not to mention, free!). In addition to the lists below, I have included ready-to-print website lists that can be sent home with parents or can be used during center time at a computer station. The sites are organized by age (and some of the sites are for multiple ages).  

Toddlers-Kindergarten

  1. Starfall - www.starfall.com This is a great site that even the youngest child can benefit from. The ABC section teaches students the correct letter sounds. My other favorite section for prekindergarten/kindergarten is the calendar section you can find on the main page. (Starfall now has an area for paid members only but the free content is still wonderful).
  2. PBS Kids - www.pbskids.org Of all of the television sites, PBS Kids does the best job at making educational and engaging games for younger children.  
  3. Tumble Bookshttp://hcplonline.org/kids/ Scroll down, click on Tumble Books in Blue on the right side of the page (the library has an account and offers it to families to use for free but you must go through the library's site). I love this site for reading books on a tablet or computer. It has well-known titles available in an online format. Students have the option to have the site read the book to them. In addition, some of the pages have animation. This site is perfect for centers or computer time at home. In addition, there are some games and activities to go with some of the books. 
  4. We Give Books - http://wegivebooks.org Again, like Tumble Books, this site provides free access to great children's books. Unlike Tumble Books, there is no option to have book read aloud. But it offers many familiar and popular titles. 
  5. Funschoolhttp://funschool.kaboose.com/preschool/index.html Funschool has numerous free online games and printables great for prekindergarten and kindergarten age students. 
  6. Sesame Streethttp://www.sesamestreet.org/home Is a great site for students below kindergarten. There are numerous educational games and videos that are engaging for children. 
  7. Fisher Pricehttp://www.fisher-price.com/en_US/GamesAndActivities/OnlineGames/index.html  Believe it or not, the popular toy brand has a website with wonderful educational games for toddlers-preschool age children. It has a wide range of topics from music, to counting, to letters. 
  8. Sprout - http://www.sproutonline.com/games Again, another website dedicated to online games starring favorite characters from television shows. The games are both educational and engaging for younger children. 


First/Second/Third Grade


  1. Starfallwww.starfall.com This site grows with a child as they increase their reading skills. While some of the site costs money, there are numerous free reading activities for children. 
  2. BBC Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/ This is my favorite game for students to learn how to type. Unfortunately, this is a skill that is no longer being taught. Learning the correct finger positioning while typing will increase a child's typing speed. By learning the correct method at a young age, students won't have to struggle with breaking the habit of "poking" keys later. The site makes learning how to type fun and engaging. 
  3. Tumble Books http://hcplonline.org/kids/ Scroll down, click on Tumble Books in Blue on the right side of the page (the library has an account and offers it to families to use for free but you must go through the library's site). I love this site for reading books on a tablet or computer. It has well-known titles available in an online format. Students have the option to have the site read the book to them. In addition, some of the pages have animation. This site is perfect for centers or computer time at home. In addition, there are some games and activities to go with some of the books. 
  4. We Give Bookshttp://wegivebooks.org Again, like Tumble Books, this site provides free access to great children's books. Unlike Tumble Books, there is no option to have book read aloud. But it offers many familiar and popular titles. 
  5. Funschool http://funschool.kaboose.com/ Funschool has numerous free online games and printables. 
  6. Game Goohttp://www.earobics.com/gamegoo/gooeylo.html The first game is meant for younger students. The rest of the games increase in difficulty and are related to reading and grammar skills.
  7. Spelling Cityhttp://www.spellingcity.com/ Spelling City is a great website to practice spelling and sight words. Parents and teachers can enter a child's spelling or sight word list. Then the child can play fun games where they practice their spelling. We send this website home as an option for spelling homework. 
  8. Funbrainhttp://www.funbrain.com/kidscenter.html Funbrain has engaging games related to both math and reading. 
  9. Cool Math Gameshttp://www.coolmath-games.com/ This site does not have traditional academic games. Instead, it has a lot of puzzle games that require students to use higher-level thinking. It has always been a favorite of my students. 
  10. Book Adventurehttp://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx This site allows parents and teachers to set up an incentive program for reading books. It's like creating a summer reading program on your own at home, any time of year. It would be great to pair this with a child's required reading homework. 
  11. Discovery Kids http://kids.discovery.com/ This is a site that provides students with an opportunity to play games that are related more directly to science. 


Fourth/Fifth Grade 

  1. BBC Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/ This is my favorite game for students to learn how to type. Unfortunately, this is a skill that is no longer being taught. Learning the correct finger positioning while typing will increase a child's typing speed. By learning the correct method at a young age, students won't have to struggle with breaking the habit of "poking" keys later. The site makes learning how to type fun and engaging. 
  2. Tumble Books http://hcplonline.org/kids/ Scroll down, click on Tumble Books in Blue on the right side of the page (the library has an account and offers it to families to use for free but you must go through the library's site). I love this site for reading books on a tablet or computer. It has well-known titles available in an online format. Students have the option to have the site read the book to them. In addition, some of the pages have animation. This site is perfect for centers or computer time at home. In addition, there are some games and activities to go with some of the books. 
  3. We Give Books - http://wegivebooks.org Again, like Tumble Books, this site provides free access to great children's books. Unlike Tumble Books, there is no option to have book read aloud. But it offers many familiar and popular titles. 
  4. Funschool http://funschool.kaboose.com/ Funschool has numerous free online games. It may take some time though to find the games that are higher level. 
  5. Spelling City - http://www.spellingcity.com/ Spelling City is a great website to practice spelling and sight words. Parents and teachers can enter a child's spelling or sight word list. Then the child can play fun games where they practice their spelling. We send this website home as an option for spelling homework. 
  6. Funbrain - http://www.funbrain.com/kidscenter.html Funbrain has engaging games related to both math and reading. 
  7. Cool Math Games - http://www.coolmath-games.com/ This site does not have traditional academic games. Instead, it has a lot of puzzle games that require students to use higher-level thinking. It has always been a favorite of my students. 
  8. Multiplication - http://www.multiplication.com/ Multiplication.com pairs practicing multiplication skills with fun games. 
  9. Book Adventure - http://www.bookadventure.com/Home.aspx This site allows parents and teachers to set up an incentive program for reading books. It's like creating a summer reading program on your own at home, any time of year. It would be great to pair this with a child's required reading homework. 
  10. Discovery Kids http://kids.discovery.com/ This is a site that provides students with an opportunity to play games that are related more directly to science. 
  11. National Geographic Kids - http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/ This is one of my favorite sites for older students. It offers content similar to the classroom magazine but in an online format. It also includes some educational games and videos.


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