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Best Free Online Learning Games for Kids

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Fun, Free Educational Websites for Kids

My kids have loved playing online from the time they were able to manipulate the mouse. I've always nudged them toward sites with educational content because I like to think the kids are getting more out of their digital playtime than just development of peripheral things like problem solving and motor skills.

And they certainly have. From early phonics to science, we've found some great sites. Here are my kids' favorite places to play online.

Photo by moare, on morguefile.com.

Jumpstart Online Virtual World - For kids ages 3 to 10

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When I first became aware of the JumpStart brand, we bought their educational pc games for my eldest daughter. They were some of the most fun and best quality computer games we found for preschoolers. A few years later, they expanded that line to include a safe online multiplayer world for kids. We had to try it.

In this 3D world kids can create their own avatar, explore, play educational games, watch videos, find treasure, do quests, play with and care for pets, and interact with Frankie and the other characters they may already know from JumpStart's educational software.

Jumpstart is constantly adding new content as well as holiday themed fun, keeping things fresh and seasonal.

Part of the world is free, and part of it takes a monthly fee or yearly membership to access. If your kids are like mine, they'll love the free areas and put getting access to the rest of the world at the top of their wishlist.

I bought them a yearly membership for one of their Christmas gifts a couple of years ago, and it was everything they (and I) had hoped. So last year, after their initial year ran out, I took advantage of Jumpstart's great lifetime membership deal. The website has held strong as one of their favorite places to play online.

Like many membership educational sites, Jumpstart gives us progress reports that show what our kids are learning or attempting to learn. Another great membership bonus is the ability to download several full JumpStart games your kids can play on your computer.

Disney Junior - (Formerly: Disney Preschool)

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

Disney Junior has fun learning games featuring characters our kids know and love from the Disney Junior block of television programming (formerly Playhouse Disney) and the movies.

Kids love to play with their favorite characters in the settings of their favorite shows, and Disney doesn't disappoint with these fun computer games.

For older kids, check out Disney Games and Disney's Club Penguin. They're not overtly educational, but they, too, are fun, quality games.

FunBrain - Games for Kindergarten to Eighth Grade

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

FunBrain offers a wide variety of games with a site focus on having fun while learning. I've found games focusing on academic skills here that many other sites don't have, like fractions and grammar, but all in a fun way. My kids love to learn here.

Kaboose Funschool - Games for Preschool through 6th Grade

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

Another site that deliberately puts the FUN in learning is Funschool. For preschoolers they have animal games and other early learning games with cute animation and brightly colored graphics.

For older kids, their games cover language, art, math, geography, and more.

National Geographic Kids - Games for kids ages 6 to 14

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

National Geographic Kids has educational pc games, activities, videos, and articles, all centered around science and animals.

For younger kids, check out National Geographic Little Kids

Nick Jr. - Games for Preschoolers, Ages 2 to 6

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

Nick Jr games feature well known Noggin/Nick Jr characters like Kai-Lan, Dora, Diego, Backyardigans, and Max & Ruby. Just click the games & activities tab to see their selection.

There are videos, crafts, printables, and a parents area with recipes and articles, as well.

PBSKids - Preschoolers to age 12

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

PBSKids.org has games, stories, coloring pages, and video clips from the educational children's shows shown on PBS. You can find fun online games featuring Curious George, Clifford, Between the Lions, Sesame Street, WordWorld, Cyberchase, and more, all free to play.

Scholastic - Preschoolers on up

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

Scholastic offers free online I-Spy, Magic School Bus, Clifford the Big Red Dog, WordGirl, Maya and Miguel, and other games. They also have printables and lesson plans for teachers and homeschoolers, science experiments, and other activities.

Sesame Street

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

All our old friends from Sesame Street appear in learning games and videos here. It's a good place for a preschooler to disappear into for a while, with the wealth of games and videos available.

My youngest son, at three-years-old, is not as computer savvy as his siblings, but he can still manage this website on his own. He loves hanging out with his Sesame Street pals.

Parents can find advice articles on parenting topics, printables, and other fun stuff at the parents section.

Starfall - For Beginning Readers

free-educational-and-fun-online-games-for-kids

Starfall is a great site for teaching kids phonics, or helping beginning readers strengthen their skills.

My eldest, now eleven, used it in her preschool days, and now her little brothers are using it, too. In fact, I recently noticed one of my boys' teachers used a printout from Starfall as part of her classroom curriculum.

Favorite Educational Online Game Website?

My Guestbook - Thanks for visiting my list of free online learning games for kids!

mommyplus3kids on November 21, 2013:

Wow I didn't know there were so many options. Definitely will try them all. Love this lens!

sierradawn lm on August 08, 2013:

I sure miss having little ones the age to share these with! But this is such a useful place for those who do!

altax on June 03, 2013:

I just love http://www.jumpstart.com educational games. They really help our kids learning skills. Also they have another website http://www.mathblaster.com which help kids in learning math in an easy way.

mommateaches on April 18, 2013:

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions!

Donnette Davis from South Africa on September 14, 2012:

Great page, thank you! Blessed x

bonelessdriedsquid on May 15, 2012:

using games as a base of a child's education is a good thing... games are enjoyable and encouraging, resulting to the enthusiasm of the child to do that thing over and over again.

earthybirthymum from Ontario, Canada on April 23, 2012:

I'm always looking for good phonics related websites for the kids. Nice Lense.

Cheers

Grace

Spiderlily321 on April 21, 2012:

Wonderful lens! My 3 yr old son loves playing games on several of these sites. My favorites are starfall.com, pbskids.com, and nickjr. Thanks for the info.

LoneMeadowLark on December 17, 2011:

Thanks for the tips! My daughter has been getting more and more interested in computer games. I'll have to give these a try! And thank you for stopping by yet another of my lenses!

baby-strollers on December 08, 2011:

PBS Kids has a lot of great online educational stuff for kids. I really like their site.

ananimoss2 on October 12, 2011:

My daughter is totally into some Barbie game site where she gets to pose Barbie and take pictures. I don't mind it...except that never ending some music sound!

marckq on May 09, 2011:

Thank you for sharing. I have 3 sons, 2 of them under 9 yrs old. This is truly helpful.

ChrisDay LM on December 31, 2010:

Thanks - we're always on the look out for this sort of thing.

javr from British Columbia, Canada on December 28, 2010:

There are sure a lot of great options available to parents now. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.

Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on December 20, 2010:

@Mickie Gee: Thanks :)

Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on December 20, 2010:

@LizMac60: Thanks :)

Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on December 20, 2010:

@hotbrain: Thank you :)

hotbrain from Tacoma, WA on December 20, 2010:

Excellent lens! Squidoo Angel blessed :)

Mickie Gee on December 18, 2010:

Thanks for the reviews. I have 7 grandkids under the age of 8. The 7 yr. old loves the computer and I am always looking for sites for her. Shared this with my daughter.

Liz Mackay from United Kingdom on December 17, 2010:

Great lens with loads of information. Blessed by a squid angel.

Lisa Auch from Scotland on September 18, 2010:

great resources, my daughter loved Nick Junior, and could count in spanish by the age of 3!

WhiteBengal on September 02, 2010:

Wow look at all those fun, wholesome games! I wish they had stuff like this when I was a kid. This lens is especially important in today's online environment with so many explicit games that a parent wouldn't want their kids playing. Thanks for putting together this great resource.

triathlontraini1 on August 19, 2010:

Very nice job gathering these educational resources together. I've lensrolled to my Weather Related Science Projects for Kids lens. :)

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on August 17, 2010:

These are great online games for kids! I'll pass this link on to my son.

anonymous on August 15, 2010:

Very impress of your resume as a lensmaster and gamer. Great job on all your lens and thanks for the earlier advices on my first and only lens...

anonymous on May 20, 2010:

Thanks so much for this amazing web sites.I used some of them to prepare my classes!

anonymous on May 01, 2010:

its called roblox it is open for alll ages but motley for 8-18 year olds it is melt for your amagination it is a building game online but you can ether play online or solo.

JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on March 07, 2010:

Fantastic list! I'm going to feature and lensroll this page on my games page. Thanks!

Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on November 06, 2009:

[in reply to inkserotica] :) Thanks.

[in reply to anthony] I'm sorry, I don't understand your comment. Thanks for leaving one, though.

[in reply to 24websurf] Thanks so much. :)

Holley Web on November 06, 2009:

Completely impressed with the assortment of games here. As a former homeschool mom, I know how important it is to find quality games for teaching. ~ Squid Angel Blessings ~

anonymous on November 06, 2009:

i want play game for pund

inkserotica on October 29, 2009:

Really makes you want to be a kid again! 5*

Kimberly Napper (author) from U.S. on October 28, 2009:

[in reply to Melissa (Alpha Monkey)] Oh, cool, they can play monkeys! My son will definitely be back to check your site out more.

anonymous on October 28, 2009:

Great list! Check us out. www.minimonos.com We're building a Virtual World for Children based on values of Sustainability and Generosity - unlike most other sites, we aren't promoting big brands to children, and won't ask them to buy stuff! Even better, for each child who signs up (for free while we are testing and building) we buy clean water for a child in India.

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