The Summer holidays are here and parents may be anticipating a few battles with the kids over ‘screen time’ in the days ahead…
If you’re dreading screen time rows, free educational websites for children are a good compromise; kids enjoy playing the games and parents feel happy that their children are learning something. Here are some of our favourites:
1. CBeebies offers colourful interactive games for pre-schoolers featuring their favourite CBeebies characters.
2. Sesame Street Org contains activities and fun from the iconic US TV show. Excellent for phonics and we love the kid-friendly recipe section too.
3. The Natural History Museum website has a kids only section filled with fabulous games, videos and quizzes. If you have a dinosaur or fossil nut in your house, this is one to check out for sure.
4. How Stuff Works is a brilliant, busy site for older children intrigued by anything and everything. Sections such as Stuff to Blow Your Mind and Stuff Mom Never Told You are packed with well-made videos and podcasts. Highly recommended for kids 7+.
5. Poisson Rouge say their site is aimed at all children, “neuro-typical, autistic, gifted, with and without learning difficulties. Of all ages. Poisson Rouge is multicultural, cosmopolitan and not gender specific.” You can try the site out for free for 10 days or sign up for family membership thereafter for £10 a year. The graphics are stunning.
6. Oxford Owl run by the Oxford University Press is stunning graphically. The site gives parents access to 250 free, educational, tablet-friendly ebooks for children. Gorgeous.
7. Pottermore is a must for all Harry Potter fans in the house, your children can access exclusive writing extracts from JK Rowling, participate in games, cast spells and make potions.
8. Starfall is a fabulous one-stop-shop for free phonics education online. However, it is a US-based site so the pronunciation of some letters is different and you might have to have the ‘zed’ versus ‘zee’ conversation!
9. The creators of Funology say their site offers the cure to boredom! It is certainly rammed with ideas for experiments, craft projects, magic, recipes and more. Again, a US-based site so not everything translates, but lots of great ideas in one place.
10. Fungooms is a lovely, gentle, interactive site with free games and animated stories for younger children. There are no scores or penalties for getting things wrong, but lots of rewards for working things out and discovery. Nice.
Does your family have a favourite free educational website? Please let us know about it in the comments.