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Mini Mom-Break: Keep Your Kids Busy with these Free Online Educational Games

Kinsey.Lindgren
 
You’re a mom. I know you are busy.  There are days when all you need is just 20 minutes of quiet time. For those mini mom-breaks, I have compiled a list of websites with free educational games for kids in several different grade levels. So, sit back and enjoy a cup of tea while your child learns problem solving skills and independence. Or, if you prefer, join your child and enjoy a break from Candy Land and Go Fish.

Preschool

  • PBSkids - This site includes a wide variety of games, activities, and videos. Your child can choose a favorite show from the wheel or go to games and choose a topic. The site is very easy to use, and the games have verbal directions to help early readers gain independence.
  • Sheppard Sortware - This portion of a larger site is directed at preschool age children. Directions and navigation is written, but the words are read out loud when you hover the mouse over them. Topics include numbers, letters, shapes, and colors.
  • Learning Games for Kids - This site offers a variety of games and songs. Many games go beyond basic skills and include problem solving and spatial reasoning. Most directions are written, not spoken; this may mean some parent or older sibling involvement is necessary. Games include puzzles, interactive games, and connect the dots. Topics range from colors to insects to parts of the body.
  • ABCya - This site begins at kindergarten, but it is simple enough for an advanced preschooler to figure out. The kindergarten and first grade games have completely verbal instructions. Your child may need some help navigating the site but should find the games interesting. The games focus primarily on reading and letter skills.
  • Cookie - This is a great site for preschoolers; it is entirely dedicated to that age group. It is well organized and easy to navigate. Some games did take a little while to load.
  • Starfall - This site has games and stories to help young children learn to read. It focuses on alphabet and phonetics. Your child can progress through the site as they improve.

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade

  • Arcademic Skill Builders - This site has games for many different skill levels. Topics include reading skills, typing, geography, and math. You can select a grade level from grade one to grade six. The majority of games are focused on grades three to five. Your child will need to be a strong reader to navigate this site.
  • Learning Games for Kids - This site has a variety of games. Topics include math, vocabulary, geography, art, and many others. The games are varied and interesting. Games are organized by topic not grade level, so difficulty levels will vary pretty widely.
  • ABCya - This is a well organized site with some very cute games. Most of the games focus on reading and spelling skills. It also includes some typing practice.
  • Kindersite - This site has a variety of games, songs, and stories. Each activity has a suggested age range. Activities range from age 2 to age 8.
  • Earobics - This site is easy to navigate and organizes games by beginner, intermediate and advanced. This allows your child to more easily choose the right level for him or her. Games are bright and fun; I think they would appeal especially to boys.
  • EduPup - This site focuses on math skills. It has a variety of activities to practice all four functions, with an emphasis on addition/subtraction, time, money, and patterns. Skills are clearly labeled for each game.
  • Starfall - This site focuses on reading skills. It provides a variety of interesting games and stories for beginning readers to enjoy.

2nd – 4th Grade

  • Funschool - This site has a wide variety of more difficult games. Arcade games improve hand/eye coordination, while Time Warp, Globe Rider, and Formula Fusion teach history, geography, and science. The directions on this site are primarily written.
  • Arcademic Skill Builders - This site has games for many different skill levels. Topics include reading skills, typing, geography, and math. You can select a grade level from grade one to grade six. The majority of games are focused on grades three to five. Your child will need to be a strong reader to navigate this site.
  • Play Kids Games - This site has a variety of topics including vocabulary, geography, and math. The games are fairly innovative including vocabulary pinball and complete the circuit games. Games are organized by topic, and some are customizable.
  • The Kidz Page - This site is colorful and organized by topic. Games include core areas as well as Sudoku and spot the difference games. Many of the games seem very fun, while teaching detail orientation and problem solving skills. Many of the games are a nice break from standard math and reading games.
  • Miniclip - This site has a lot of games, but it is not well organized. Educational games are mixed in with time wasting mindless games. It does include a section of fighting and zombie games that might not be appropriate for all children. I would suggest parent assistance or guidance for this site. There are some interesting word games available.
  • Games.noaa - This site focuses on environmental and waterway knowledge. You can match types of fish or help clean up a beach. It has a great environmental message for kids.
  • Discovery Kids - This site focuses on science concepts. Many of the games are interesting, but the site can be a little difficult to navigate. Topics include volcanoes, sharks, and much more.

4th – 6th Grade

  • Sheppard Software - This site has a variety of games for many areas of interest. Topics include algebra, chemistry, health, brain games, and many more.
  • Nobelprize - This site includes games and videos on a variety of topics. This is a great site to inspire a budding scientist or writer. The games are very informational and interesting. Games and videos focus on recent and past Nobel Prize winners in all areas.
  • Telly Quiz - This site has quizzes for many topics. It also includes a study site to do better on the quizzes. You can invite friends to play and post results to social networking sites.
  • Discovery Kids - This site focuses on science concepts. Many of the games are interesting, but the site can be a little difficult to navigate. Topics include volcanoes, sharks, and much more.
  • Internet4classrooms - This site is very well organized. It is categorized by grade, then by topic, and finally by skill. Some of the games are a little dull, but they are very useful.
I hope these websites can help your child learn and help you maintain mental composure. Just be careful–some of the games are interesting enough that you might get hooked. My husband and I spent a good hour playing matchsticks with our son.
 
This has been a guest post by Jordanna from Anderson, MO
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