Best Free Websites for Kids
Content Updated on February 6, 2008
I know there are a lot of "best sites for kids" pages out there, but I noticed that most of them didn't have the "best" sites. Some sites were too hard for kids to navigate (intended more for adults). Others were so full of ads that I could barely find the content. Still others were just plain ol' boring. And, of course, any site that requires a fee is off my "best" list. So I started compiling my own list. Here it is:
PBS is still my favorite for kids programming. They've still got the classics, like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, as well as the latest educational kid shows.
Small PBS fans will love playing all all of their favorite Sprout characters.
This is heaven for Sesame Street fans. They have games, stories, and even a post office where your kids can send letters to their favorite Sesame Street characters.
If your kids like Discovery Kids shows, like Paz and Todd World, they'll enjoy all the games at Ready Set Learn.
Older kids can spend hours playing games based on the shows on Discovery Kids, or they can play games that will teach them important science and math skills (such as by building a roller coaster).
Noggin's website lets your kids younger kids play with all of their favorite Noggin and Nick Jr. characters.
Nickelodeon's website is perfect for older kids who love Nickelodeon shows (like Sponge Bob).
I admit it. I'm a Dexter fan, and I've even spent some time playing Dexter games at Cartoon Network's site. I was quite impressed by how fun the games are for adults who are trying to waste some time. Adults will also enjoy getting a chance to revisit their childhood with cartoon characters like Tom and Jerry and the Flinstones. I wouldn't call it educational, but kids think the site is hilarious.
Lots of activities on the Disney website require a paid membership, BUT Playhouse Disney has mostly free stuff, perfect for younger Disney fans.
Your older kids can play all of their favorite Hasbro games and read their favorite comics.
Your younger kids can play their favorite preschool games online.
This site is perfect for kids who are learning how to read and write.
The NGK site has lots of videos and activities about animals and world cultures.
If your kids like the Berenstain Bears, they'll love this site. Kids can watch cartoons, play activities, and even send email to the bears.
Dr. Seuss fans can play a few games, print out coloring and activity pages, and (my kids' favorite) make stories. The navigation is a little tricky, though.
Game Goo has fun, educational games that promote literacy and English skills.
If your kid likes to know all the answers to trivia, tell the best jokes, or impress everybody with magic tricks, then they'll spend hours on Funology. There's even a section for fun recipes, like dog treats.
Small children who are just starting to learn how to use a mouse will enjoy all the clicking and mouse-overs. Plus, they'll get to play games to help them learn basic skills, like counting.
If your kids like the Little Critter stories, they'll have fun printing, coloring, watching videos, hearing stories, and playing games.
ZanyFun has games, printables, downloads (screensavers and wallpaper), and poems that will make your kids giggle.
My kids loved the Tiny Planets series. They learned so many problem solving techniques from the show, so I was thrilled to see the Tiny Planets website. It's filled with games, stories, videos, and printable posters.
The site is a bit confusing for smaller kids, but older kids can have lots of fun playing games, listening to music, watching videos, and reading jokes. There are a bit more ads than I would prefer for a kids' site, but it's still at an acceptable level.
Most schools in the U.S. use Scholastic books, so there's a good chance that your kids already know most of the characters at the Scholastic website. Most games are educational.
Fun School is just filled with games and printables that are sure to make your kids laugh.