With the Coronavirus quarantine in effect indefinitely, kids across the country are spending more time than ever online. Instead of hopping on the school bus and heading to sports fields and friends’ houses, they’re taking to computers and tablets to learn, socialize and entertain themselves. While that’s all well and good—and it’s frankly hard to imagine life right now without the internet—parents still want to make sure their kids are spending their time online wisely and on sites that are safe for them.
To help you steer your kids in the right direction, we rounded up a list of safe and educational sites for kids. When those cries of “I’m bored!” or “I need help!” start, you can whip out this list and tell them to dig into this amazing array of online resources that are both fun and educational and, that, above all, you know are safe.
For Preschool Kids and Kindergarteners
- ABC Mouse
- Designed for kids ages 2-8, ABC Mouse.com is full of fun learning opportunities for toddlers on up. There are 10 levels of learning and more than 9,000 activities, so there’s plenty to keep them entertained and learning progressively. There is a fee (currently $9.95 per month), but they offer a 30-day free trial so you can test it out.
- Starfall.com offers fun, interactive lessons for kids in language arts, music and math. Much of the content is free, though if you want to gain full access to all the materials and the mobile app, a home membership costs $35 per year.
- Curious World
- From National Geographic Kids, Curious World is an app that can be downloaded for free. It uses fun characters like, who else, but Curious George, to teach kids with games, books, videos and more.
- PBS Kids
- From Abby and Elmo to Clifford the Big Red Dog, kids can play with all their favorite characters at PBS Kids. Videos and games will keep them entertained while teaching them important skills along the way.
- Highlights Kids
- All the fun of the traditional Highlights magazine is brought to life online at Highlights Kids. It features games, jokes, activities and more for little ones to explore.
For Elementary School-Aged Kids
- BrainPop Junior
- Designed for kids in grades, K-3, BrainPop Jr. is full of learning activities that cover most topics including science, math, health, technology and more. Much of it is free, though a paid subscription will get you access to even more content. There’s also BrainPop for older kids to explore as well.
- NASA Kids Club
- For a great science boost, there’s NASA Kids Club. It features out-of-this world activities and games that teach them about space and beyond.
- To brush up on skills and learn new ones, IXL offers opportunities aplenty. They cover math, science, social studies and language arts for pre-K through 12th grade. Much of the content can be accessed at no cost, but full access costs families $9.95 a month. Many schools also provide students with free access and incorporate it into their learning plans.
- Scholastic has launched a Learn at Home Center to help with distance learning. It features free activities and resources for grades Pre-K through 9.
- If your kids are looking for something good to read, KidsReads can help. The site features fun, easy-to-understand reviews of a variety of kids’ books. Parents and/or children can search by title, age range, topic and more to find books they want to read.
Related: Check out all our Parental Control Guides
For Middle School Aged-Kids and High Schoolers
- Dictionary.com has also launched a Learning at Home section that has materials for kids in preschool through high school. There are teacher-approved activities, including grammar challenges and punctuation quizzes to help with writing, spelling and more. Bonus: It’s all free.
- Khan Academy
- Khan Academy offers an extensive assortment of learning opportunities for kids of all ages, including SAT and ACT practice tests and prep for students. Beyond that, they offer suggested daily schedules for students by grade and other remote learning resources.
- To learn a new language or for extra practice on one they’re studying in school, Duolingo provides free language lessons. From Spanish to Greek, Japanese to Hungarian, there’s a world of learning to be had.
- Smithsonian Learning Lab
- The Smithsonian Learning Lab uses materials from its museums’ amazing array of collections and exhibits to provide online learning opportunities for students and help for parents and educators. There are images, texts, videos and so much more to explore covering language arts, science, social studies, art and beyond.
- How Stuff Works
- Curiosity is the best teacher, and How Stuff Works provides answers to most any question kids can pose. The site covers science, health, animals, adventure and more, and with topics on everything from “Are Blue Lobsters as Rare as Blue Moons?” to “How to Steer a Cruise Ship,” the opportunities for learning are endless.
This Coronavirus quarantine has parents and kids embarking on uncharted territory in oh so many ways, so it’s helpful to provide kids with guidance when it comes to how and where to spend their time online safely. Whether for fun or to help with schoolwork or to learn new skills, these websites are ones you can confidently point your kids toward without worry. After all, we have enough other things to worry about these days.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.