List of 72 Fun and Free Educational Websites for Kids

List of 72 Fun and Free Educational Websites for Kids
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

Aside from teaching curriculum-based lessons, teachers all have the ultimate goal of imparting knowledge to their students in a more remarkable way. To make abstract, complicated, and complex lessons more engaging, good teachers strive to make the delivery of instruction more fun to their learners. This is especially an important case when learners are young children. Therefore, many teachers turn to digital tools like fun and free websites for kids to supplement classroom activities and lectures.

Our team has scoured the internet for such sites. From herein, you’ll find the most comprehensive list of fun and free educational apps for kids that teachers and parents should consider.

Fun and Free Educational Websites for Kids

  1. General Studies
  2. The Natural and Social Sciences 
  3. Basic Mathematics
  4. Language and Literature
  5. Human Geography, History, and Society
  6. Art and Music
  7. Physical Wellness
  8. News and Current Events

Sometimes, education is reduced down to rote memorization and dull drills for kids. Getting answers right can be valued more than explorations of possibilities. While important, lecture-heavy instruction cannot maintain young children’s engagement.

Many times, educators present course materials in a highly abstract manner. Take the concepts of the big bang, evolution, and prime factorization as examples. Lessons in such topics are often delivered in manners disconnected from a student’s daily life. It is best to remember that as Chickering and Gamson (1987) wrote: “Learning is not a spectator sport.”

A study showed that introducing lectures with external stimuli can increase the retention of information (Rosegard & Wilson, 2013). Increasing arousal can capture the attention of students and, therefore, decrease boredom while improving learning outcomes and memory (Willis, 2006 in Rosegard & Wilson, 2013). A popular way to increase arousal and interest is through games.

However, game design is very important. Usually, educational software use games as extrinsic motivation by using them only to sugarcoat learning content (Habgood and Ainsworth, 2011). An example of extrinsic motivation is placing multiple-choice questions between levels. Researchers Habgood and Ainsworth (2011) found that games with an intrinsic lesson integrated are far more effective. They found that this is the case when they created a game that integrated mathematics learning into combat dynamics. And this is what the best educational websites with gaming aspects do.

A survey by gamesandlearning.org confirms that most students take positively to the introduction of instruction using digital games. More specifically, for example, 47% of low-performing students show better results, as well as 23% of average-performing students. Even high-performing students gain around 15%. The exception involves those with physical impairments, which only gain better performance by around 7%.

Source: gamesandlearning.org

Some educational websites however go for a more straightforward approach without much use of games. These websites tend to offer substantial content with a high level of technicalities but delivered in a very kid-friendly yet vocabulary rich manner. Of course, they are supplemented with visual tools like graphics and photos. These, too, can be very entertaining for kids. Consider almanacs, encyclopedias, and children’s educational books. These too can be very helpful in supplementing children’s learning.

General Studies 

General resources websites offer a wide range of learning content and activities for children. A good number of them cover topics fit for preschool to K-12 students. Subjects being tackled in these sites range from the natural sciences to language and mathematics.

BBC Bitesize

BBC Bitesize dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Primary, Secondary, and Post-16 Content
  • Wide Range of Subjects
  • Video Lessons and Quizzes
  • eLearning Solutions

BBC Bitesize offers young learners video lessons, interactive media, and quizzes in a wide range of subjects. It does not only offer a school-based United Kingdom curriculum but also core, functional, and essential skills for adult learners. Users can easily pick and choose the topics, view related media, and customize their Bitesize experience.

HowStuffWorks

HowStuffWorks dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Science, Health, and Tech Topics
  • Culture, Money, and Entertainment Topics
  • Fun Quizzes
  • Podcasts and Videos

HowStuffWorks has been around since 1998. The website has a team of editors, writers, podcasters, and video host dedicated to providing easy-to-understand explanations and answers to how stuff in the world work. With about 30 million site visitors per month, it is one of the most popular science resource hubs for children and adults alike. Topics covered range from physics and biology to culture and entertainment.

Sesame Street

Sesame Street dashboard

Platform: Web, Android (various apps)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Educational Games
  • Videos
  • Mobile Applications
  • Creative Art Tools

Sesame Street, the popular TV show, provides online learning resources and games for young children. It offers resources on a wide range of topics, from learning areas in mathematics to science, and art. Moreover, it also provides activities where kids can learn good moral behavior. Furthermore, the website also provides links to downloadable educational applications for specific topics. Of course, it features favorite characters from the show.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS (various apps), Android (various apps), Kindle (various apps), Windows (Videos)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Fun Games
  • Educational Videos
  • Mobile Apps
  • Parent Portal

PBS Kids offers a wide range of videos and games covering different topics. It also features kids’ favorite characters from the station. They include those from shows like Sesame Street, Wild Kratts, Martha Speaks, and Curious George, among many others. There is also a portal for parents filled with fun educational activities for them to do with their kids at home.

Funbrain

Funbrain dashboard

Platforms: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Educational Videos
  • Fun Games
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten Content
  • 1st to 8th Grade Content

Funbrain, established in 1997, offers free educational games for kids in a wide variety of learning areas. It aims to develop children’s skills in math, problem-solving, reading, and literacy. It also provides access to hundreds of games, comics, books, and videos. Topics are available at levels Pre-K to K-12.

Funbrain Jr.

Funbrain Jr dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS (various apps)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Math Games
  • Reading Games
  • Printables for Activities
  • Parent Page

Funbrain Jr., as its name suggests, is the junior version of Funbrain. It provides younger children with games and resources to prepare them for kindergarten. The site focuses on providing interactive digital materials to help develop early math, early literacy, self-care, motor skills, and general cognitive development. There are also printable materials available for coloring and connecting the dots, among others.

Rader’s Education 4 Kids Sites

Rader's 4 Kids dashboard

Web Platforms: Astronomy, Physics, ChemistryBiology, Geography

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Wide Range of Topics
  • Easy-to-Understand Explanations
  • Embedded Videos
  • Simple Graphics

Andrew Rader Studios provide young learners with various science sites to get easy-to-understand explanations on how things work on various levels of study. The suite of sites includes those for Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Geography. Written lessons include simple graphics and even embedded videos from reputable sources like NASA.

 Mr. Nussbaum

Mr. Nussbaum dashboard

Platform: Web

Pricing: Free for Students (has a Mr.N365 paid plan for teachers and educators)

Key Features:

  • Fun Educational Games
  • Wide Range of Topics
  • Interactive Maps
  • Activity Bundles

Mr. Nussbaum is a website that aims to create a fun interactive learning environment for kids in grades K-8. It offers content from a wide range of subjects including science, math, geography, history, and language arts, among others. Mr. Nussbaum also provides kid users with activity bundles that revolve around a theme or a topic.

Study Jams

Study Jams dashboard

Platforms: Web

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • Math Topics
  • Science Topics
  • Educational Videos
  • Free Quizzes

Study Jams by Scholastic Inc. offer interactive math and science activities. Lessons range from physics and human biology to probability and data analysis. Activities in various topics are organized and delivered via grade levels. There are lesson materials for grades 3-5 and 6-8. It is also connected to its Scholastic Kids page with games based on popular book series. Moreover, a portal for teachers and parents is also available.

Turtle Diary

Turtle Diary dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Pricing:

  • Free
  • Family – $5.83/month, $69.99 billed annually
  • Teacher –  $16.67/month, $199.99 billed annually
  • School/District – Quote-Based

Key Features:

  • Fun Learning Games
  • Videos
  • Quizzes
  • Printable Activities

Turtle Diary offers educational computer games and activities for kids. Activities are arranged in grade levels: K4, K, and grades 1-5. Educational game topics include nouns, shapes, money, math, and typing games. Moreover, the platform also provides assessment tests. There are ad-free paid plans available. However, the free version can provide more than enough content to engage children.

Arcademics

Arcademics dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Pricing:

  • Arcademics – Free
  • Arcademics Plus – $150 for 30 students, $5 for additional student

Key Features:

  • Free Multiplayer Games with Rankings
  • Content for Grades 1-6
  • Wide Range of Subjects
  • Immediate Corrective Feedback

Arcademics is an Edu-Gaming website offering free and paid versions of its digital content. It offers games on a wide variety of subjects and topics. These include those in science, mathematics, and geography. Multiplayer games are also available to encourage students by introducing healthy competition. There are paid plans available complete with reports and analytics to better measure student progress.

Fuel the Brain

Fuel the Brain main page

Platforms: Web

Pricing: 

  • Free
  • Premium -$3.99/month

Key Features:

  • Interactive Materials
  • Fun Games
  • Mini-Books
  • Printables for Activities

Fuel the Brain provides free and inexpensive games and interactive resources for children and elementary educators. Topics and learning areas range from health and science to numbers and phonics. The platform also offers teacher guides and articles. Moreover, there are free mini-books and printables available. A premium ad-free account is also on offer for only $3.99 a month. The paid plan includes more content, Common Core Relation Guides, and more custom worksheets creator.

The Kidz Page

The Kidz Page main page

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Puzzles Games
  • Online Coloring Pages
  • Printable Activities
  • Word and Strategy Games (among many others)

The Kidz Page offers free learning games, fun games, and printable activities for kids. Games range from strategy and sports games to puzzles and event-themed ones. The website also makes online coloring pages available. Downloadables include more than 2,000 free clipart images. Categories include sports, insects, and holidays, among others.

ShowMe

ShowMe homepage

Platforms: Web,  iOS (interactive whiteboard app)

Pricing:

  • Basic – Free
  • Premium – $7.50/month billed annually or $9.99 billed monthly
  • Premium Classroom – $12.49 monthly billed annually or $24.99 billed monthly

Key Features:

  • Free Educational Videos
  • Teacher-Made Content
  • Wide Range of Topics
  • Whiteboard-Based Videos

ShowMe is billed as a global digital community of educators and learners. It offers educator users a platform to create whiteboard-based video presentations on topics of their choosing. These ShowMe videos can be viewed for free by students all over the world. Main learning categories include Science, Language, Math, Social Studies, Art, and Music. There may be content for young children. However, most of the content targets K-12 students.

Grid Club

Grid Club homepage

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Fun Learning Games
  • Content for Kids Aged 5-12
  • Wide Range of Subjects
  • Videos

Grid Club by Grid Learning offers free fun games and videos for kids aged 5-12. The website covers a wide range of topics from those in Science to Art and Maths to Languages. There is also extra content like a history fact gadget and physical health contents. Grid Club is an old website. However, there are materials that are timeless.

Ducksters Education Site

Ducksters Education Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Science and Geography
  • History and Biography
  • Fun Learning Games
  • Word Search and Puzzles

Ducksters Education Site offers a wide range of learning content and tools for kids. Topics range from the areas of Science and Geography to History and the Biography of famous people. Aside from games with educational content, the website also offers access to fun games and jokes for kids among other clean interactive entertainment options. It is also filled with fun facts and trivia.

The Natural and Social Sciences 

These science resources include lessons and educational content from a wide array of topics in the natural and social sciences. They range from physics and biology to recreational science experiments and history, among others. While some offer games and interactive content, others provide information-rich static content without lacking in substance.

Big History Project

Big History Project Dashboard

Platforms: Web

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • Videos and Easy-to-Understand Explanations
  • History of the Universe: From Big Bang to Human Civilization
  • Multidisciplinary Approach
  • Progression, Quizzes, and Badges

The Big History Project by David Christian is a fast-growing movement examining the relationship of humanity to the cosmos. It uses a multidisciplinary approach in research and teaching, drawing from a wide range of disciplines, including the humanities. However, it is deeply rooted in principles found in the natural sciences. The website for this movement focuses on promoting the Big History framework to middle- and high-school students. It uses interactive media like videos and quizzes to grab and retain attention and promote course progression.

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Smithsonian Learning Lab Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Distance Learning Resources
  • Discover Collections
  • Create and Share Collections
  • Learning Lab Community

Ran by the prestigious Smithsonian Institute, the Smithsonian Learning Lab is an educational portal for learners of all ages. It provides digital resources from Smithsonian’s organizations. These include those from the institution’s 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research centers. It provides students and educators with the means to discover materials across many different disciplines, including science, history, art, and culture studies. Moreover, it has features for content sharing and communication. It provides access to a vast educational network.

National Geographic for Kids

Nat Geo Kids Dashboard

Platforms: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Educational Games
  • Videos
  • Wide Range of Topics
  • Fun Quizzes

National Geographic for Kids provides children, educators, and parents with digital resources like videos and games. Topics range from biology to history. Collections include a long list of prehistoric animals, weird science facts, and, of course, geography lessons. Collections are complete with media, such as pictures and videos.

Exploratorium

Exploratorium Dashboard

Platforms: WebMobile (Total Solar Eclipse App)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Educational Videos
  • Science How-To
  • Wide Range of Subjects
  • Hands-On Community Programs

The Exploratorium is a museum specializing in science, art, and the study of human perception. Located in San Francisco, California, it offers an interactive website complete with video resources and science experiment articles. It also offers fun apps for mobile devices. These include a Total Solar Eclipse that allows you to follow live solar eclipse on your phone or tablet.

NASA Kid’s Club

NASA Kid's Club screenshot

Platform: Web, Mobile (various apps)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-Understand Highly-Visual Content
  • Learning Games
  • Videos and Image Galleries
  • STEM Engagement for All Ages

NASA Kid’s Club is the organization’s STEM engagement efforts for young children in grades K-8. NASA’s fun and free website for kids does not only offer interactive content but also games and downloadable activities. It also provides access to beautiful and interesting NASA videos and image galleries.

Science Buddies

Science Buddies Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • STEM Activities
  • Science Projects Ideas
  • K-12 Topics and Content
  • Videos and Interactive Media

Science Buddies is a website devoted to providing STEM-based engagement to kids in grades K-12. It provides fun science activities online and resources, such as easy-to-understand articles and videos. The website also provides visitors and members with a list of engaging science project ideas. Subject areas range from physics and robotics to cosmetic chemistry and human behavior.

Science Bob

Science Bob Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free (with an online store for experiment products)

Key Features:

  • Video Tutorials of Science Experiments
  • Science Fair Ideas
  • Science Q&A
  • Blog and Science Store

Science Bob is the brainchild of Bob PflugFelder, a science teacher, who is a regular guest on Nickolodeon, The Dr. Oz Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. His website offers a ton of video tutorials for science experiments and science fair ideas for students. The site is completely free. However, there is a Science Bob Store offering experiment equipment, kits, and gadgets.

Planeta 42

Planeta 42 Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Learning Games
  • Wide Range of Topics
  • Downloadable Games
  • Mobile-Ready

Planeta 42 is a provider of free flash games for kids. Subjects covered include biology, physics, mathematics, psychology, cooking, and the arts, among many. Moreover, young children, parents, and teachers can also download an on-premise version of the games. Also, the website is mobile-ready so you can access it through your phone or your tablet.

CELLS alive!

Cells Alive screenshot

Platform: Web

Price: Free (with paid minor media)

Key Features:

  • Interactive Learning Content
  • Educational Videos
  • Easy-to-Understand Explanations
  • PowerPoints, Quizzes, and Worksheets

CELLS alive! managed by Jim Sullivan provides film and computer-enhanced images of organisms and living cells. Established in 1994, it offers interactive learning content, including animations and quizzes. It provides learning aids and even PowerPoint presentations on various cell biology and microbiology topics. There are also videos and stock footage available for sale to producers.

Bioman Biology

Bioman Biology screenshot

Platforms: Web, iOS (various apps)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Biology Games
  • Virtual Labs
  • Educational Videos
  • Quizzes

Bioman Biology offers a collection of biology games and interactive virtual labs. Topics range from specialist subjects like ecology and genetics to generalist areas of scientific methods and evolution. What is also nice about the games provided is that they incorporate educational content inside the game mechanics themselves. Playing a fun game is not the reward but the learning process of playing the lesson-integrated games itself.

Earthquakes for Kids by USGS

USGS Earthquakes for Kids Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Scientific Explanations
  • Earthquake Animations
  • Earthquake Cool Facts and History
  • Science Fair Projects

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) runs the Earthquakes for Kids website offering educational content about how earthquakes happen and how they are studied. The site shares earthquake trivia and historical facts. Also, it encourages children to become geologists and earthquake scientists.

Experiment Library by Steve Spangler

Experiment Library by Steve Spangler

Platform: Web

Price: Free (with experiment kits for sale)

Key Features:

  • Experiment Videos
  • Easy-to-Understand Explanations
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • High-Quality Photos

Steve Spangler Science offers a free experiment library complete with video tutorials with explanations. There are also step-by-step instructions on how to perform these experiments with high-quality photos embedded. Experiments featured include a wide variety of scientific areas and topics. Among them are magnetism, energy, and food science, to name a few. The main site also offers experiment kits.

Ology by the American Museum of Natural History

Ology screenshot

Platform: Web, iOS

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Wide Range of Science Topics
  • Explore the Virtual Museum
  • Games and Stories
  • Videos and Hands-On Activities

Ology is the science website for kids being run by the American Museum of Natural History. It offers articles, videos, games, and hands-on activities on a wide variety of science subjects. Subjects include those in the disciplines of Physics, Paleontology, Anthropology, Archaeology, and Genetics, among many others. A portal for educators is also available.

Mystery Doug

Mystery Doug homepage

Platform: Web, iOS (Mystery.org), Android (Mystery.org)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Daily Science Videos for Kids
  • Simple Explanations
  • Gets Kids to Ask Questions
  • K-5 Content

Mystery Doug is a part of the Mystery.org suite of educational services. It offers daily science videos for kids in grades K-5. Used in more than 50% of U.S. elementary schools, it engages students with accessible science-based content. It offers a voting system where students get to choose which question will be answered the next day. The Mystery.org team enthusiastically collects questions that children ask on the internet and create clear visual explanations for them. Recently, Mystery Science was acquired by Discovery Education.

The British Museum – Ancient Egypt

The British Museum - Ancient Egypt

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-Understand Content
  • Stories
  • Games
  • Real Images

If your kids are interested in Archaeology and Egyptology, The British Museum offers a comprehensive interactive website on the subject. The website uses real images and stories to drive students’ imaginations further. Moreover, it offers interactive media like games allowing kids to explore topics and objects “first hand.”

Basic Mathematics

Mathematics is one of the most, if not the most, abstract discipline. For many students, math lessons can be boring and tedious. These websites and applications do not only make studying math easier but also fun.

Prodigy

Prodigy Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Pricing: 

  • Non-Member – Free
  • Premium Member – $4.99 to $8.99 per month

Key Features:

  • Gamified Learning
  • Grades 1 to 8
  • Parent and Teacher Portal
  • RPG-styled

Consistently making it to the list of free educational websites, Prodigy is an RPG-styled educational game that puts a fun spin into learning mathematics. Kids get to create their own wizards and battle through monsters and math problems to progress through the game’s story. Just like full-fledged RPG games, players get to customize their characters, buy gears, pets, and accessories. But, extra math and game content are only available to premium members. Non-members, however, get free access to all educational math content and some basic reporting and goal-setting capabilities.

Zearn

Zearn Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free for students

Key Features:

  • Digital Lessons
  • Interactive Math Models
  • Real-Time Feedback
  • Built-In Math Help

Zearn is a learning and teaching program for math. Built by teachers for teachers, it offers ways for educators to personalize instruction for every student. This popular platform is being used by more than half of the districts in the country. Moreover, all digital lessons are free for students.

Desmos

Desmos Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS (various apps), Android (various apps)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Free Math Tools
  • K-12 to Higher-Education Math Content
  • Gamified Activity Sessions
  • Interactive Math Models

Desmos is known to offer a free suite of math tools, including a scientific calculator and a graphing calculator. It is also prized by students and teachers alike for a host of interactive math lessons and activities. It covers a wide variety of topics and grade levels. These include Middle School Geometry, Conics, and Math Modeling.

Math Playground

Math Playground main page

Platform: Web

Pricing: 

  • Basic – Free
  • Family – $2.99/month billed annually
  • Classroom – $5.99/month billed annually

Key Features:

  • Math Games and Videos
  • Fun Skill Games
  • Logic Games and Puzzles
  • Multiplayer Learning Games

Math Playground has been around since 2002. It offers free games intended to help kids grasp math ideas and build their math and logic skills. Content covers topics for kids in grades 1 through 6. The site also offers easy-to-understand video explanations together with fun games for kids. Premium members get more perks like the ability to play games in full screen and to save their favorite games.

Cool Math

Cool Math Dashboard

Platform: Web, Android (various apps)

Pricing: 

  • Basic – Free
  • Premium – $5.99/month

Key Features:

  • Video Lessons
  • Math Games
  • Quizzes and Brain Teasers
  • Practice Tools

Cool Math offers highly-visual explanations for math concepts from pre-algebra to pre-calculus.  It also features a Math Dictionary containing important concepts and notations. Through its Cool Math Games website, it provides kids with access to educational games and other fun activities like chess and aiming games.

Open Middle

Open Middle main page

Platform: Web

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • Encourages Problem Solving
  • Community of Learners
  • Open Middle Solutions for Closed Questions and Answers
  • K-12 Content

Open Middle is a website with a vast collection of math problems submitted by a community of teachers and learners. It encourages multiple ways of approaching math problems, ranging from maths topics in kindergarten to high school. The website, unfortunately, does not have interactive media. Users can only like, comment, and share. However, the problems themselves are very interesting as they allow multiple ways of thinking about them. It is good for kids with a natural inclination to mathematical and logical thinking. Moreover, it has a lively community of math learners and teachers that kids can tap for help and support.

CryptoClub

CryptoClub Dashboard

Platform: Web

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • Cryptography Challenges
  • Games and Comics
  • Related Math Lessons
  • Cipher Tools

The CryptoClub website provides learning tools to those interested in cryptography and its related mathematics. Sponsored by the University of Chicago and eduweb, it offers fun comics and quality interactive cryptography games. It also provides users with cipher tools and daily messages so they can practice encrypting and decrypting information.

Mathway

Mathway Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Pricing:  

  • Basic – Free
  • Step-by-Step Explanations – $9.99/month or $39.99/year

Key Features:

  • Scientific Calculator
  • Graphing Calculator
  • Advanced Functions
  • Increasing Features Over Time

Mathway is a math assistant solution for students, teachers, and parents. It has an easy-to-use online calculator fitted with a wide array of functions covering a variety of areas, from statistics and Calculus to Linear Algebra and Chemistry. All you have to do is go to the site or download the app then enter your math problem. The program will automatically deliver an answer. However, if you want a step-by-step solution and explanation, you need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Photomath

Photomath Dashboard

Platforms: iOS, Android

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • Scan Math Problems
  • Step-by-Step Explanations
  • Animations
  • Multiple Methods

Photomath is a popular smartphone calculator that allows you to use your camera to scan problems. After scanning a math problem, the program provides you with a step-by-step explanation of the solution. Moreover, it provides multiple methods for coming up with a solution. Core Photomath also includes a smart calculator with advanced functions and interactive graphs. This is really useful when studying for upcoming quizzes.

Math Blaster

Math Blaster Dashboard

Platforms: Web, Windows, iOS, Android (light, paid HD)

Pricing: 

  • Basic – Free
  • Membership – $7.99/month

Key Features:

  • K-12 Math Lessons and Games
  • RPG-style Character Building
  • Online Friends
  • Parent Portal

Math Blaster from JumpStart has been a very popular brand of maths gaming software. It merges math lessons and quizzes with space-based MMO gaming. Players can create their own Blasters (Avatars) and bring their very own pet mutt to adventures while defeating math bosses. The game is great for young children. Unfortunately, math lessons are not largely integrated with game mechanics. They act as barriers to get to the more “fun” part. However, this is a tested and proven classic game that helps students to become more interested in maths studies.

Geometry Pad

Geometry Pad on Google Play Store

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Scrollable and Zoomable Workbook
  • Geometric Shapes and Properties
  • Manipulation Tools
  • A Wide Array of Geometric Objects

Geometry Pad is a free digital geometry workbook for students. It has an easy-to-use interface that helps users explore the world of geometry by giving them free rein on constructing objects therein. The application also allows users to customize objects, elements, and their properties. This is great as a learning aid, especially when taking up geometry courses in school.

RossmanChance.com

rossmanchance.com sample

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Probability
  • Statistics
  • Simulations
  • Data Analysis

RossmanChance.com offers advanced high school and undergraduate students free statistics and probability applets. These little web tools are useful when studying things on your own or visualizing class lessons. The applets are totally free. But, they are not the best looking ones that would appeal best to younger children. They, however, are very useful as both a learning and teaching aid.

Language and Literature

These fun and free educational sites for kids focus on teaching kids reading, grammar, and the love for literature. Some offer entertaining literature for consumption, while others provide interactive media to teach reading and grammar skills.

Storyline Online

Storyline Online screenshot

Platforms:  Web, iOS, Android, Chrome

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Celebrity Read Videos
  • Large Collection of Children’s Books
  • Collection Updates
  • Mobile Apps

Storyline Online is a website that streams celebrity-read children’s books to kids. The award-winning literacy program also has accompanying illustrations with the reading. Used by kids, parents, and educators alike, the website receives more than a hundred million views every year. It specially helps parents in raising confident, well-adjusted kids. the platform is being run by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids

The Old Farmer's Almanac Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS (main app), Android (main app)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Free Stories and Activities
  • Wide Range of Topics
  • Visual Aids
  • Constant Updates

This is the kids’ version of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It provides children users with fun and informative explanations of things in a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, history, biology, and the weather. Like its main version, it offers fun and interesting trivia as well.

ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink screenshot

Platforms: Web, Mobile (various apps on iOS and Android)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Student Interactives
  • Free Materials for Teachers, Parents, and After-School Professionals
  • K-12 Language Arts Educational Content
  • Lively Community

ReadWriteThink is a popular website that offers free language arts materials for children, parents, teachers, and after-school professionals. These include media like interactive slides, covering various topics, from drama maps to writing poetry. The website offers resources for kids in the grades K-12.

Fun Fonix

FunFonix game page

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Printable Phonics Worksheets
  • Phonic Games
  • Worksheet Maker
  • Free Printables for Teachers and Parents

Fun Fonix is an online resource for language arts worksheets for kids, parents, and teachers. It also includes a worksheet generator that teachers and parents can customize. The website also hosts phonic online games. There are also free phonics resources available for print.

ReadWorks

ReadWorks science page

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Reading Passages
  • Question Sets
  • Student Tools
  • eBooks

ReadWorks.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting deep reading comprehension among students. It offers easy-to-use web reading solutions based on cognitive science research. The site gives students and teachers access to reading passages connected to lessons, question sets, and a virtual vocabulary workbook.

Seussville

Seussville Dashboard

Platform: Web, iOS, Android (various apps)

Pricing: 

  • Web – Free
  • Various Mobile Apps – Free with in-app purchases

Key Features:

  • Library of Dr. Seuss Books and Characters
  • Dr. Seuss Videos
  • Educational Games
  • Shop

Popular among kids and a few generations of readers, the official website of the Dr. Seuss brand, Seussville, is a repository of Dr. Seuss’s books and media. The website also hosts videos from Dr. Seuss classics and even has free online games for kids. Also, it has an online shop for books.

BrainPOP Jr.

BrainPOP Jr. Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Pricing: 

  • Free Stuff – Free
  • Family – $159/year
  • Homeschool – $430/year

Key Features:

  • Movie Lessons
  • Wide Range of Topics
  • Quizzes
  • Games

BrainPOP Jr. is an interactive educational product for kids in grades K-3. It is the junior version of BrainPOP, offering simplified topics with vocabulary fitting to younger learners. Most of the better content is only available in paid plans. However, the platform also provides free content that kids can enjoy without getting their parents to pay.

The Story Starter

Story Starter Dashboard

Platform: Web (main), Web for kids

Pricing:  Free

Key Features:

  • Random Story Starter Generator
  • Royalty-Free
  • 8,286,052,608 Story Starters
  •  274, 400 Story Starters for Kids

When tasked to or inspired to write a story for a class or otherwise, many people find it hard to get their imagination going. The Story Starter generates random sentences to provide writers some context and setting that they can use. It also has a simpler version for kids.

Human Geography, History, and Society

These digital educational resources cover subjects within the intersection of humanities and social sciences. They help young children learn about configurations, history, and possible trajectories of societies. Some even encourage forms of good moral behavior.

Easy Geography for Kids

Easy Geography for Kids

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Country Fact Sheets and Brief History
  • Natural Geography Lessons
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Downloadable Worksheets

This is a wonderful site to learn not only human geography but natural geography. The website provides fact sheets, kid-friendly explanations, and visual aids for a wide variety of geographic fields. These include oceanography, geomorphology, and climate, among others.  There are also fun interactive quizzes and downloadable worksheets.

National Geographic Destinations

National Geographic Destinations

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Explore Continents
  • Explore Destinations
  • Beautiful Pictures
  • Trivia Quizzes

Through National Geographic Destinations, young children and adults alike can see destinations in countries on the world’s seven continents.  The website is filled with beautifully-taken professional photos. Plus, articles on countries and destinations are also available. The site also features a general trivia quiz, which can be fun.

GeoGuessr

GeoGuessr screenshot

Platform: Web

Pricing: 

  • Basic – Free
  • Pro – starts at $1.99/month

Key Features:

  • Location Guessing Game
  • Create and Share Game Maps
  • Multiplayer
  • Profile Page and Badges

GeoGuessr is a popular geographic discovery game where players guess the street view’s location in the world using only visible clues. Clues can be signs on buildings or street signs. Once ready to guess, players click on a zoomable world map and choose which location they think the street is on. In this fun game, players can also create their own maps, share them with others, and earn badges. However, those with free accounts can only play one GeoGuessr game every 24 hours.

Worldmapper

Worldmapper

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Cartograms of Territories
  • Maps According to Variables
  • Variables from Economy to Identity
  • Facts and Trivia

Worldmapper started out as an academic project creating cartograms where territories are being resized according to a variable. Variables include economics, resources, identity, and environment, among others. These are also being continually updated using new data. Worldmapper visualizations range from the US 2020 election results to how a particular language has spread.

Antarctica by Shackleton 100

Shackleton Dashboard

Platform: Web

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • Virtual Tour Points of Interest
  • Biography of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Explorer
  • Historical Accounts of Exploration Missions
  • Photo Gallery

This site is an homage to the late Sir Ernest Shackleton, an explorer who led missions to Antarctica. The site provides historical accounts and media of the man and his missions. These include digital copies of old photographs and videos. Moreover, there is a fun widget curating points of interest in Antarctica, which include a tour of field and science centers.

Mission US

Mission US homepage

Platform: Web, Windows, Mac

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Middle School Content
  • American History
  • Immersive Games
  • Encourages Perspective Taking

Mission US was developed to teach and immerse middle school students in history. This award-winning educational project provides students with a chance to see history through the eyes of their historical contemporaries through engaging games. Games are also made downloadable as support for the Flash player has been discontinued.

Who HQ

Who HQ Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS, Netflix

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • iOS Educational Game App
  • Netflix Series Based on Book Series
  • ‘Who was’, ‘What Was’, ‘What is the Story of’, and ‘Where is’ Series
  • Downloadable Activity Sheets

Who HQ provides simple answers to historical questions for kids. This is usually done through books. However, the website provides additional resources in its learning experience package like its Who Was Adventure game on iOS. Also, it provides activity sheets to accompany book topics. Moreover, you can catch a web series based on Who Was on Netflix.

History for Kids

History for Kids Dashboard

The main menu of History for Kids

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • History of Great Civilizations
  • Significant World Events
  • Quizzes and Worksheets
  • Videos and Games

History for Kids is a free online history resource and community network. It features kid-friendly articles, worksheets, and games. Moreover, there are free quizzes at the end of every section. Videos are also included. Topics range from the history of great civilizations like Egypt and China to significant world events like the World Wars.

WhatWhasThere

WhatWasThere Dashboard

A faded historical image superimposed on a current picture

Platforms: Web, iOS

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • View historical photographs
  • Tie Historical Photos to Google Maps
  • Augmented Reality
  • Info Screen for Additional Details

WhatWasThere ties historical photos to present street views to allow viewers to see what was there in the past. Users are not only allowed to explore and view past photos but also upload old family pictures to help build the free database. The website is fundamentally a user community-run effort.

A Book in Time

A Book in Time screenshot

Platform: Web

Pricing: Free

Key Features:

  • Games and Activities
  • Maps and Timelines
  • Crafts and Projects
  • US and Word History Books List

A Book in Time does a good job of curating history lessons, videos, and interactive resources. They embed links to enjoyable activities in their kid-friendly articles. Unfortunately, as support for Adobe Flash expired in 2020, there are links that do not work. However, the resources for history crafts and activities are still working like a charm.

National Constitution Center – Interactive Constitution

National Constitution Center - Interactive Constitution screenshot

Platforms: Web, iOS, Android

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Expert Interpretations of Parts of the Constitution
  • Media Library
  • Classroom Materials and Activities
  • Historical Documents on How Constitution was Framed

The National Constitution Center offers website visitors a chance to learn more about how the constitution was made, framed, and is being interpreted today. It provides interactive materials, information-rich articles, and a media gallery. It also features Constitutional Conversation videos with topic experts that are thought-provoking.

Games for Change

Games for Change Dashboard

Platforms: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Games Exploring Civic Issues
  • Links to Civic Game Developers
  • Lively Community
  • Student Challenge

Games for Change promotes youth participation in discussions on civic issues. It does this mainly with interactive media like immersive games. Unfortunately, as many of these games have been created using Flash and Flash support has been recently pulled, some of the games are not working until updates can be performed. However, Games for Change has prepared for the transition and converted many of its hit games to non-Flash working formats.

iCivics

iCivics Dashboard

Platforms: Web, iOS (various apps), Android (various apps)

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Educational Civics Games
  • Remote Learning Activities
  • Free Lesson Plans
  • Content Shop

iCivics was founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing easy-to-understand civics and politics materials for kids. It offers educational games that can be accessed through the web or mobile. Moreover, there are also products available like student workbooks and teacher guides.

Art and Music

Various individuals and groups have made sure that art and music are represented among those fun and free educational websites for kids. The following websites offer interactive media that allow kids to explore their creative potentials both in the fields of visual arts and music.

Tate Kids

Tate Kids Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Art Activities
  • Video Tutorials
  • Games and Quizzes
  • Featured Artworks by Kids

The famous Tate network of museums offers a kids portal that encourages artistic creativity through video tutorials, kid-friendly articles, and games. It also features artworks created by children users. Of course, it features information concerning the activities and exhibitions in the Tate network.

Artsology

Artsology webpage

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Art Videos
  • Art Projects
  • Art Education Resources
  • Games and Activities

Artsology has been around for more than 18 years now. It provides free art education and art encouragement materials for kids of all ages. Materials cover a wide range of topics and lessons, including the lives and styles of important artists. Fun activities include online games and printable art activities. It also features exhibitions and a look inside famous museums.

Virtual Music Instruments

Virtual Music Instruments guitar session

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Virtual Piano and Panflute
  • Virtual Drums and Bongo
  • Virtual Guitar and Guitar Tuner
  • Keyboard and Mouse Controls

Virtual Music Instruments offer kids and adults alike access to web-based instruments, including guitar, piano, panflute, drums, and bongos. The website also features a virtual guitar tuner. It features keyboard controls and mouse/touch controls. The site is free and is easy to use. However, it is not the most wieldy interface. However, it works for a simple exploration of instruments for young kids.

Physical Wellness

These websites and applications encourage kids to move and care for their minds and bodies. They do not only cover physical fitness in terms of exercise but also nutrition and cooking.

GoNoodle

A selection of downloadable games on GoNoodle

Platforms: Web, iOS (various apps), Apple TV, Android (various apps), Roku, Amazon

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Exercise Activities
  • Emotional and Social Wellness
  • GoNoodle Games
  • Family Activities

GoNoodle is a free website advocating for an active healthy lifestyle for kids and families. It offers free games, printable activities, and video tutorials. A good variety of movement and exercise activities are made available. These include dance activities and sports-based movement games.

Action for Healthy KidsAction for Healthy Kids homepage

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Video Tutorials
  • Informative Articles
  • Parent Resources
  • School Collaboration

Action for Healthy Kids is devoted to helping kids, parents, and schools improve student physical fitness through exercise and proper nutrition. It provides resources, including videos and activity structures to provide information. Content includes those about meals, nutrition, recipes, play, and physical education.

Cooking with Kids

Cooking With Kids Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Online Recipe Collection
  • Tips for Cooking with Kids
  • Step-by-Step Guides
  • Videos

Cooking with Kids is dedicated to creating nutrition content for kids and families. It promotes healthy eating through information shared via videos and instructional articles. Moreover, their materials reinforce academics. Hands-on activities include concepts and steps where students can practice literacy, science, and mathematics skills.

News and Current Events

These sites provide kids with news on various topics from science to art. Articles are written in a kid-friendly yet vocabulary-rich manner, encouraging literacy and social awareness.

Youngzine

Youngzine Dashboard

Platform: Web

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Community Article Submissions
  • Art Submissions
  • Comics and Games
  • Connect with Experts and Other Children

Youngzine offers kids a chance not just to learn about current events in different areas but also ways to connect with other kids and experts. Kids also get to read and share jokes, among other fun activities. The unique thing about the website, however, is that it accepts submissions from children users, including articles and artworks.

DOGOnews

DOGOnews Dashboard

Platforms: Web, WindowsiOS, Chrome, Amazon

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Videos
  • Current Events and Sports
  • Science News
  • Social Studies and Civics
  • World and Environment

The website offers news from various areas and topics and not just limited to current events. These include science developments, civics topics, social studies, and environmental issues. Moreover, articles are written in a kid-friendly manner without oversimplifying important educational concepts. There are also videos and other media available.

What to Consider in Choosing Fun and Free Educational Websites for Kids

Play is often devalued by educational institutions as they feel that learning is to the classroom and play is to the playgrounds, according to Kolb and Kolb (2005). The researchers argue that this is a misguided view and there are effects detrimental to student growth and development when separating learning from play.

Learning, they argue, should be defined as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (Kolb, 2014).

Considering this and drawing from Habgood and Ainsworth (2011), educators and parents then should prefer interactive websites with educational lessons highly integrated with gameplay or in navigating content—those fun and free educational websites for kids. As the researchers noted, the enjoyment should be taken from the learning process itself and not use the access to engaging game mechanics free of educational content as a reward.

Of course, there are websites that are not really gamified. Some offer valuable resources that are not only for young children but also enjoyable and instructional for adults. These can be general knowledge resources similar to encyclopedias and specialized databases.

For children, there are other important technical things to consider. These are ease-of-use and accessibility of the websites or applications. You want children to have easy access to educational content in their free time. Also, you want to choose websites with intuitive controls and that are pleasing to the eye. In this way, children will not only try them but visit them regularly.

If you are looking to improve your teaching methods, you may also want to check out our guide to the best apps for teachers and educators.

 

References:

  1. Fata-Hartley, C. (2011). Resisting rote: The importance of active learning for all course learning objectives. Journal of College Science Teaching40 (3), 36-39. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ921520
  2. Habgood, M. J., & Ainsworth, S. E. (2011). Motivating children to learn effectively: Exploring the value of intrinsic integration in educational games. The Journal of the Learning Sciences20 (2), 169-206. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2010.508029
  3. Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2005). Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of Management Learning & Education(2), 193-212. https://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2005.17268566
  4. Kolb, D.A. (2014). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press. Google Books
  5. Rosegard, E., & Wilson, J. (2013). Capturing students’ attention: An empirical student. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 13 (5), 1-20. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1017063

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