Get your child learning—and giggling—with our picks for the best educational websites.
The 14 best educational kids websites all have one thing in common: They seek to make learning fun and interactive. From dependable favorites to new, exciting apps, these picks will develop the curious mini-minds in your house.
Then, make sure to shop some of our favorite kids tablets to optimize their learning on these educational websites, below!
Or, you could always go screen-free with the 30 best children’s books of all time.
ABCmouse.com calls itself the most comprehensive learning site on Earth for kids ages 2 to 7. Your kiddos can read or listen to books and music, play games and color as they accelerate through customizable learning levels designed by teachers and experts. The educational website even tracks each child’s progress as he or she learns. You can try out the site for free for a month; after that, the monthly subscription fee is $9.95. (Read our honest review of ABCmouse if you want to hear how our kids are using it.)
Owned by Age of Learning, the same company that created ABCmouse, this app immerses kids in a virtual academy where they can learn, discover and play. It’s geared toward kids ages 8-13, and they can learn subjects like social studies, language arts, math and science. Just like ABCmouse, kids earn coins to shop for incentives and have the ability to play with friends or make new ones. Kids can also fully personalize their avatars and “homes.” You can also try out Adventure Academy for free for 30 days, and after that it’s $9.99 each month.
This app is like having your very own library right at your finger tips. Kids ages 2-12 have access to over 7,000 books, including titles by Disney, National Geographic Kids, Highlights, Boxcar Children and more. Kids can choose from picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, in addition to fun joke and song books. All the books are available on computers, tablets and phones. Parents can track their child’s progress, and early readers are able to get guided reading help for their stories. You can try the service for free for 30 days, then pay $7.99 a month after that.
Highlights is so much more than a magazine for kids (although we have loved that magazine for years). It’s also a place to get tons of educational resources, including activity and learning workbooks, arts and crafts supplies, science kits, and more. It even offers subscriptions for kids called Clubs, and every few weeks kids will receive a new kit from that collection. Clubs include Mathmania, Top Secret Adventures and various puzzle clubs. There’s one for babies and toddlers, too, called Let's Grow! Many of the products and subscriptions are heavily discounted at the moment, so be sure to check them out.
5. PBS Kids
You watched PBS as a kid, and now your little ones can hop online with some of the same friends you remember, like Elmo and Curious George. Of course, there are new friends, too, such as Peg + Cat. Select games by character, difficulty level or latest available. The educational site also has a huge library of printables for your child to work on.
Has your child ever asked you a question like: “What are baby penguins called?” Well, National Geographic Kids has the answer! On this kids site, your little ones can watch videos, play games, and, best of all, learn about animals, nature and the world around them. You know, in case you don’t know everything!
Brought to you by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Curious World is designed to prepare kids for kindergarten. Tiny tots learn not only math and reading readiness skills, but also social skills. A super cool feature of this preschool website is the flashcards you can customize by your child’s age and for the subject area you want them to learn. Just select criteria from a pull-down menu, and enjoy activities that can be done anywhere, any time.
Kids in preschool through Grade 8 will love Funbrain, a kids site that makes developing math, reading and literacy skills fun. Check out games like Math Baseball and Grammar Gorillas. Kids can even read books on the go.
This website offers 24-hour television programming for little ones—because who hasn’t been up at 3 a.m. with a child? In addition to watching accessible educational shows, kids can play games, listen to songs and more. There’s a monthly subscription fee that depends upon which platform your child will be viewing on—tablet, iPad, etc.—and what features you plan to use.
Agnitus is all about the tangible learning experience. In a world where kids are told not to touch things, the Agnitus app says: “Yes! Please touch!” Kids can trace numbers, learn about size relationships, colors, consonants, read books and more, all on a tablet. A free trial is available online.
Are you sick of reading the same ol’ boring stories to your kids? Then check out FarFaria, an app that offers unlimited storybooks for bedtime or any time. You can buy a monthly or yearly subscription to the site and then read to your child’s heart’s content.
BrainPOP’s animation brings learning concepts to life for individuals or entire classrooms. Kids learn about historical events, science and even the stock market, all with the help of a plucky robot and his friends.
Learning takes place in the kitchen, too, according to Spatulatta. Kids can learn cooking basics and try out new recipes built around certain types of meals and their favorite ingredients. What better way is there to transform your picky eater into a budding chef than with this kid’s website?
In lieu of taking trips to the library, your kid can visit a virtual one with Epic. Upon signing up your child will have access to over 40,000 books. It’s geared toward kids 12 and under and they can check out picture books, classic stories, educational magazines, and videos. Many of the titles are available in Spanish, too. You can try it free for 30 days. Membership starts at $7.99 per month.
And one for the parents….
Bonus: Cozi Family Organizer
While not an educational app, Cozi does help parents stay on track. It has a shared family calendar, where anyone with access can add events and even assign them to members of their family, a place for shopping lists, to-do lists, and tons of back-to-school resources to help everyone tackle the school year successfully.