This is a much more difficult area to sort out the chaff from the wheat, many of the child orientated sites have been established for quite a long time so are very well known, and most offer very similar types of activities. The criteria here was that the sites be 100% child-safe and offer not only activities which are fun but educational too… plus, of course, include that somewhat unique quality. Unfortunately, once you eliminate those sites which are all too familiar or similar, there is not a huge selection leftover.
http://www.zipzaphome.com/zipzap/cgi-bin/zzdownload.cgi – I’m going to start off by re-introducing the kid-safe and family friendly browser known as ZipZap. ZipZap is a great browser which can be utilized by the entire family, regardless of disparity in ages. Set up individual profiles appropriate to each family member (and age) via selective content filtering and settings. I actually published a review of ZipZap not long after it was first released, that review is available in our archives here: ZipZap – The family browser.
http://www.watchknowlearn.org/ – This site is a departure from the usual games and children’s activities. WatchKnowLearn offers hundreds of educational videos collected from across the web, all vetted and presented via an intuitive menu system; mathematics, history, science, technology, languages, hobbies, and many more categories to choose from. Don’t be put off by the ‘educational’ bit, many of these videos are humorous and entertaining as well as being sneakily educational. Recommended ages are from 3-18 and content is sorted to suit specific age groups. Just select an age range, a topic from within the list of categories, then click on a video.
Here’s just one example:
http://www.abcya.com/ – Is a more traditional kids site, mostly consisting of games which aim to be fun to play while educating at the same time. What I really like about this site is the ability to access specific content based on ages, or school grades – from Kindergarten through to grade 5. I tried out a couple of the games and they really are clever and fun, not too easy either… gaming has never been my strong point.
http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/ – Is another site which provides more traditional content for kids; games and puzzles, paint activities, etc. However, this site also sorts its material to cater for a wide variety of specific age groups, from pre-school right through to college… including a very good “Kids Corner”.
At our site, we have hundreds of free, online, educational games for kids. But anyone interested in online learning can use our site – we have so many subjects – (geography, math, animals, science) and many levels, games and activities for learners of any age.
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/?source=NavKidsHome – Last but certainly not least are two sites presented by National Geographic, one for “Kids” and another for “Little Kids”. Both include a great range of games, videos and fun stuff. The “Kids” site includes a menu item linking to the “Little Kids” area but it can also be accessed directly here… http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/littlekids/.
I’m sorry to say, after almost a full day of checking out these sites, that’s about it. A lot of “kids” sites I visited were riddled with ads or purely for entertainment with little or no educational value. Perhaps you may know of others which fit the bill and are just that little bit different… if so please let us know by submitting a comment.
**Please do not post links to sites which are rated negatively by WOT or McAfee Site Adviser.