Thanks to modern technology, we have an endless fountain of knowledge, resources and entertainment right at our fingertips. And while you might long for the days you played outside until sunset, today’s young, curious children are learning to navigate the world via smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Many parents will admit that their kids don’t need much training when it comes to technology. Even young toddlers seem to be able to intuitively use tablets, phones, and computers with ease. And this makes technology a great tool for teaching kids about the larger world.
While handing technology over to children can be an understandably scary thing to parents, the internet does have the potential to be an effective and engaging educational tool. The right apps and websites can nurture a child’s imagination, teach useful life skills, and aid in overall development.
If you’re looking for a way to teach kids new skills and knowledge in a fun, enjoyable way that can be tailored to their age, interests, and development level the internet is your ally. Here are 12 kid-friendly websites and apps that will entertain and educate your kids in order to prepare them for a bright future.
1. National Geographic Kids
The same enthralling magazine that’s loved by adult readers everywhere has a website with curated content that’s designed to be kid-friendly. It’s a perfect website for awakening kids’ sense of wonder for the natural world.
National Geographic Kids is designed for young adventurers who are interested in all things science. It features quizzes, easy-to-read articles for those who are just learning, education-based games, an interactive world map and even a section for homework help.
But what really makes National Geographic Kids exciting is its live animal footage. Kids can watch online live streams that let them to observe their favorite creatures in their natural habitats. And there’s no better way to learn about the natural world than to watch it change in real time.
It’s never too early to foster a child’s interest in cooking. Cooking skills can help them develop coordination skills and learn healthy eating habits. And it’s also an opportunity for you and your kid to spend quality time in the kitchen together.
Kids with an interest in cooking will love the website Spatulatta. As a family run, James Beard Award-winning site, Spatulatta aims to give kids more confidence in the kitchen. Spatulatta features plenty of family-friendly recipes your kids will love to make (and eat!), and an accompanying Youtube channel features real kids who will walk them through the recipes. It’s firsthand learning at its finest.
3. PBS Kids
If your children love watching PBS, they’ll also love visiting the PBS Kids website. The nonprofit TV network’s website is chock full of interactive games and videos relating to all of your kids’ favorite shows, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and The Cat in the Hat.
The PBS Kids website is designed to teach kids valuable lessons about everything from kindness to internet safety. But every lesson imparts important knowledge while still being fun and entertaining.
PBS also offers a phone app called Super Vision that’s designed to help parents monitor a child’s internet use through tools that can time, track, and limit their screen activity. This is a great companion if you’re letting your kids online to visit PBS Kids – or other websites.
With technology being a centerpiece of all business today, coding has become an invaluable skill. And it’s one that holds a lot of potential if you’re able to learn it.
Fortunately, kids can start learning how to code and develop as early as five years old. Kodable is an app for tablets and phones that offers a fun and interactive computer science curriculum for grades K through 5. By programming characters to navigate mazes using a series of commands, Kodable can help your child develop logic, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. They’ll also learn the basic principles of coding – and maybe inspire them to pursue a future career in the lucrative field of technology.
5. Crayola Kidz Playzone
What kid doesn’t love crayons? Well, today kids can turn their crayons into digital tools thanks to Crayola’s fun website.
If your child has demonstrated a flair for the creative, Crayola Kidz Playzone is a site that will provide them with hours of entertainment. This colorful website will help children develop their drawing, coloring, and design skills. It offers a number of fun interactive activities like the Snowman Builder, the Paper Flower Garden game, a Vehicle Builder, and a Switcheroo Creature Creator. It also has a number of DIY craft ideas, videos on various art techniques, and free downloadable coloring pages that can be printed and colored in at home.
6. Curious World
Curious World is a great website and app that provides content tailored to specific age groups’ abilities and developmental needs. It allows you to customize what your kids experience on the web or on a smart device.
For kids over the age of two, you’ll find videos and games that teach everything from the alphabet to the basics of Spanish on Curious World. For older kids, there are ebooks that will help develop reading skills and exercise videos to get their bodies moving.
Curious World even has a tool that allows parents to track their children’s habits and abilities as they explore Curious World’s content, which can help you be confident that your child is having fun and learning simultaneously.
It’s hard to imagine math ever being fun, but CoolMath4Kids manages to accomplish exactly that. This unique website combines lessons on the basics of mathematics with interactive games and activities that will keep your child busy and learning.
Not only does CoolMath4Kids have games like Grand Prix Multiplication, Alien Addition, and Tractor Multiplication but the site also has a ton of brainteasers, lessons, and quizzes that will help your child with any math homework questions they might have. It offers the perfect combination of tutoring and playful fun.
If you suspect you might have a burgeoning author on your hands, you may want to direct them to StoryBird. StoryBird is a website designed to help kids hone their creative writing skills.
StoryBird offers games, how-to guides and challenges to teach better storytelling techniques. The site allows kids to write and publish their own stories and poems, all fleshed out with accompanying illustrations. The site also features the option of sharing their stories with others – or your child can read stories written by his or her peers. These helpful features encourage kids to read more and share their art with others.
9. Nourish Interactive
It’s been said that good nutritional habits begin in childhood – so why not set your child up for a lifetime of success with Nourish Interactive?
This nutrition-focused site is designed to teach kids about healthy eating in an interactive and enjoyable way. Kids can explore their “Healthy Neighborhood” page to learn about where their food comes from, or important food skills like how to grocery shop, through a series of games and activities.
Nourish Interactive is also a good resource for parents. The site offers tips, recipes, and free printable activity sheets that will teach your kids about everything from cultural dishes to the importance of the food pyramid.
BrainPOP is a comprehensive online resource with thousands of videos, quizzes and activities designed to teach a number of subjects including math, science, English, and health and more to children aged 4 to 13. The BrainPOP program is aimed at elementary and middle schoolers, offering lessons on commonly studied subjects like history, geography, and literature.
Have a younger child? BrainPOP Jr. is aimed at kids in grades K-3, and this companion site can help your kids learn everything from addition and subtraction to the fundamentals of reading.
And BrainPOP brand is truly educational. It’s backed by professionals, and the site’s curriculum was developed by renowned pediatrician Dr. Avaraham Kadar. BrainPOP is a well-respected online educational resource that’s frequently used by educators and parents alike.
KidsPast is an adorable website that can teach your children about any historical era imaginable. From prehistoric times to ancient Rome, medieval times to the Renaissance, and the American Revolution to modern history, KidsPast includes it all.
And, aside from the age appropriate, easy to read articles on number of time periods that will come in handy when researching for a project, KidsPast also features games, quotes, songs, videos, and worksheets that will help your child learn and retain history facts while having fun. KidsPast can be a valuable resource on its own for fun learning or a helpful tool when kids are in school.
12. NASA Kids Club
If your child is showing an interest in outer space, they’ll love exploring the NASA Kids Club website. This site, which was designed by the space experts at NASA, can foster their curiosity for the incredible world beyond our atmosphere.
NASA Kids offers a ton of content, including a Mars Rover driving game, resources about planets and stars, and updated information about the real astronauts who are currently on board the International Space System. Your child can follow along on important space missions from right here on earth.