Best Fun, Free, Educational Websites for Kids: Great Internet Sites for Reading, Writing, and Learning Activities
Today the internet is full of educational websites. If children don’t find them entertaining, however, they just won’t use them. These websites are both educational and engaging. Three sites promote literacy skills and the final two are all-around great learning websites.
Best New Writing Website for Kids
Storybird – This is a new collaborative book writing site. Two or more people write a book together. It could be two friends sitting side by side on the same computer or living in different countries. Children use beautiful artwork for inspiration and illustrating their books. The finished product can be shared privately with friends and family or published on the internet.
The site is fresh and innovative and kids really love seeing their own stories online. It can be used at home or in the classroom. Great for kindergarten until grade 6. Storybird develops writing skills, self confidence and creativity. The site is also great used as a library for children who just want to read books written by children. The website is free but does require a 5-minute registration process.
Best Reading and Phonics Websites
Storyline Online – Storyline is a wonderful listening and reading website. A selection of great books are read to the listener in a slow, entertaining way. The expressive narration captivates children of all ages. Great for classroom listening centers and quiet time at home. Each book also includes activity and lesson plan suggestions for parents and teachers.
Starfall – This website, created in 2002, is starting to look dated, however, the educational value of the contained phonics lessons cannot be ignored. It offers many phonemic awareness activities in assorted themes that are great for children in preschool, kindergarten, grade one or special needs classes. The site provides many ways for children to practice these necessary emergent reading skills.
Best All-Round Learning Websites
PBS Kids.org – This site is very popular for young kids. Children with special needs or learning disabilities love this site even into grades 4 and 5. Children are totally engaged with their favorite characters from the PBS shows, like Clifford, Elmo, Caillou, Maya, and Miguel. The range of activities is broad but includes numbers, letters, spelling and science skills. This site is popular both at home and school. Kids just can’t get enough of this user-friendly site that is easy to navigate without adult assistance.
Kids National Geographic – This website is for students who are reading. There is a link on the website to another site for younger children. Children can almost lose themselves exploring this website; discovering animals, people and places around the world. The site is packed with math, geography, language arts and social study activities. There are endless hours of entertainment and education on this site. It is not surprising that it won the 2008 recommended Parent Choice Award.
Best Coloring Pages Website
iluvcoloringpages.com – This website is for all the kids who love coloring pages of all their favorite characters, superheroes, animals, cartoons, video games etc. You will find high-quality printable coloring pages for kids and adults. Coloring is an amazing activity with so many benefits for people of all ages.
With the multitude of free websites available it is hard to find a good site that is both educational and entertaining. The six websites listed – Storybird, Storyline Online, Starfall, PBS Kids, Kids National Geographic, and iluvcoloringpages – are not only fun and have teaching value, they are free too.