15 Safe, Fun & Educational Websites for Children and Teens
Parenting has always been a challenge. And with technology playing a huge role in our lives, it makes parenting children even more complicated.
Used in excess, technology can potentially keep families disconnected from each other, and influence children in a negative way.
Statistics show that half of teens (54%) admit they spend too much time on their cellphones and 41% say they feel that they overuse on social media.
Teenagers in 2019 can spending nearly nine hours per day consuming media. For many children and teens, they view screen time as more of a right rather than a privilege.
Limiting your child’s screen time is a daunting task, but pointing them towards fun and educational content is an excellent way to create healthier device habits.
Continue reading for a guide to ‘educational’ sites that make children forget they’re even learning.
Websites for Elementary School Aged Children (4-11 years)
PBS Kids: You probably remember watching PBS as a child yourself, but you might not know it’s still around today. The online platform allows kids to enjoy fun yet educational videos and games on their computers or devices. The platform is meant to complement what children learn in school through apps, albums, video clips, e-books, and more.
Curious World: Developed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Curious World is an early learning app and website that is designed to prepare children for kindergarten and beyond. The platform is built on the idea that curious children not only do better in school, but they are also more likely to become lifelong learners.
National Geographic Kids: National Geographic is perhaps the most well-known educational publication of all-time. The standard edition may be pointed towards an older audience, which is where Nat Geo Kids comes in.
The publication helps teach kids about the world around us, from the land to the people, animals, and plants that share our planet. Nat Geo provides a fun and entertaining approach to learning through videos and computer games.
Funbrain: Funbrain is a go-to for the best educational games that kids actually enjoy playing. Simply set your grade level and select from a wide range of math, reading, and strategy games. On top of that, Funbrain boasts a great selection of educational video content.
Starfall: Starfall is catered towards Kindergarten through third-grade students. It teaches reading through phonics and is a great supplement to any reading curriculum. Best of all it’s free and your child will never see any ads.
Sites for Middle School Age Group (Ages 12-14)
How Stuff Works: Developing curiosity leads to greater intelligence, social relationships, happiness, brain health, and more. How Stuff Works fosters the inherent curiosity in all of us by answering the questions ‘how’ and ‘why.’ If nothing else it’s a perfect curiosity cure for kids of all ages.
Minecraft: We normally don’t like to encourage video games, but Minecraft is an exception. Think of it as an alternative to Legos, but for the next generation. Kids enjoy the game for its open map format in order to gather materials and ‘craft’ whatever their mind can imagine.
Google Earth: Google earth is severely underrated as a tool to help kids learn geography, astronomy, and more. According to Google, it is the world’s most detailed globe. Curious children love using the search feature to teleport anywhere in the world. Best of all it’s free and there are never ads.
Dogo News: The way we get our news is changing and that makes it hard to decide what publications are best for your child to see. Developed and curated by a San Francisco mom, Dogo is a kid-friendly news platform. It is the perfect place for a curious mind to catch up on current events catered towards a younger audience.
NewseumED: In today’s world it’s extremely important to look at the news with a critical eye. NewseumED offers free resources to help students foster the First Amendment and learn media literacy skills essential to civic life. Resources include lesson plans, videos, primary sources, virtual classes, and more
Sites for Teenagers (Ages 16-18)
Freerice: Freerice is the ultimate platform for improving your vocabulary, SAT score, and the current state of world hunger. The non-profit site gives you vocabulary questions and donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme with every answer you get right.
TED-Ed: TED-Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative. Its mission is to spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. The site provides a growing library of original animated videos created by an international platform of teachers.
Google Arts and Culture: Google Arts and Culture is a platform that allows students to explore the world through thousands of artworks and artifacts provided by over 1,000 international museums, galleries, and institutions from all around the globe. You can even upload a selfie to find your museum painting doppelganger.
Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a game changer when it comes to online education. The not-for-profit organization is committed to “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.” Now funded by the likes of Bill Gates, Khan Academy is a global organization motivating kids around the world to https://getunpluggedllc.com/camp-unplugged-1learn.
Teen Ink: Despite what you might think, Teen Ink is not a site about teenagers getting tattoos. It is actually a national magazine written by teens for teens. It’s a great resource where students can submit their own work and appreciate what their peers write.
A Healthy Compromise
At the end of the day, keeping your child completely off the internet is an almost impossible task. Technology is a vital part of our everyday lives and that’s not going to change. One thing you can do is make sure your child has a framework for making good online decisions.
Other than blocking inappropriate websites, you can show kids fun sites that they won’t even realize are educational. While we discourage anyone from spending too much time online, building a habit of productivity and learning on the internet is a great start.
Need help managing your child’s time online? Contact us today to learn more and help your child grow healthily with technology.