I’d like to continue my focus on a few websites that focus on learning and teaching younger students, instead of the sites that are geared towards advertising and merchandising. Bear in mind that these sites are to HELP children learn, they are not accredited home schooling sites that will stand in place of school.
Learning Games for Kids is exactly what it sounds like, offering dozens of games over fifteen different categories. Along with basic math, reading, and vocabulary, there are sets of games for keyboard use, geography and US states, social studies, health, science, art and music, literature, and animals. The types of games tend to be simple, such as scrambles, memory-match, and multiple choice, but the sheer volume of games is impressive, the site layout is easy to navigate, and best of all its free. However, since the site it free it does have advertisements on it, which means a stray click of a mouse could lead a child to some other site.
Gamequarium is part website, part link dump. But I don’t mean that in a bad way. The site is a collection of tens of thousands of educational games, ranging from pre-kindergarten skill level all the way up through sixth grade, in every subject a student could think of. The staggering amount of material is possible because the games aren’t site-specific, and most of them are links to other sites. They are direct links, that don’t generate pop-up ads or link to dangerous pages (for the record, any site that isn’t specifically for young children I consider dangerous for young children, so I’m including Facebook and Twitter as “dangerous”) but will take the student to another site. For that reason, it isn’t the easiest site to navigate, and younger children may need help finding the games they want. More web-savvy kids should love it though.
Academic Skill Builders takes educational games and gives them an arcade spin. It’s one thing to play a colorful, fun game that teaches, but its another thing entirely to be able to play your friends and classmates head-to-head, to see who can rack up the highest score. Only instead of Halo or Call of Duty murders, it’s math and vocabulary based. The site is very math-heavy, with groups of games for addition, subtraction, algebra, multiplication, fractions, integers, decimals, money and even time. There are also word games and geography games. It doesn’t have the sheer volume of games as some of these other sites, but the game design is excellent overall. And as I said, you can play other students head-to-head, which makes it infinitely more addicting.
Edheads is a site that I actually enjoy a lot more than my kids. It’s science based, and has interactive games such as “Crash Scene Investigation” (where you are a cop trying to recreate how a car crash happened) and “Choose the Prosthetic” (where you help patients find new parts for their artificial knees). These are original, imaginative games for slightly older kids, the sort of content you just can’t find anywhere else. Edheads is a free site, that will give you pop ups asking for donations.