Hi Cool Mom Tech! Any suggestions for websites that have a good selection of free online games for kids (3rd grade/elementary school level) that are educational, but also FUN for them…so they won’t realize that they’re actually learning?
I’d appreciate any suggestions! Thanks so much!! – Ashley
Combining “fun” and “educational” is something I try to figure out every single day I’m teaching my three homeschooled kids, one of whom also happens to be a third grader. Here’s a peak at some of our favorite free websites with games they’ll ask you to play—and you won’t mind saying yes. -Christina
We are big fans of Brain Pop, a paid subscription site, but with plenty of free stuff to make us very happy too. They have a few really well done, challenging educational games for kids. Our favorite is Battleship Numberline (shown at top) in which you must blast a ship out of the water by figuring out where it is on a number line. Some of the games do become too difficult for most eight year olds, though the first levels may hold their interest for a while.
Brain Pop Jr, the younger sibling of Brain Pop, also has a free game area with puzzles, matching games, and quick search-and-spot games. The games are a little more obvious at trying to “teach” something, but I find that if we watch the free Movie of the Week and then play the accompanying game, no one minds at all.
The advertising-supported Cool Math 4 Kids Games is a little busy to look at, but don’t let this stop you from exploring the many really addictive strategy games they offer like Sugar, Sugar, Parking Mania and, my favorite, Bloxorz. They are as much a draw for me as the kids. . . in fact, be careful or you’ll find yourself blowing past your bedtime trying to get to the next level.
For kids who like to “do good” as much as they like to challenge themselves, you’ve got to check out Free Rice. Started a few years ago as a multiple-choice English vocabulary game, they’ve expanded into subjects like Math, Foreign Language and Geography. For every correct multiple-choice answer, ten grains of rice are donated to help fight world hunger. I love that when a question is answered incorrectly, the right answer is given and the question will cycle through again, giving the child a chance to get it right on the next turn. Sign up for an account and they can keep track of their scores. This is an advertising-supported site, but the overall feel of the site is still very clean.
We’ve featured the Math Bingo app on Cool Mom Tech, though you can also play the same game on the ABCya website. (Warning: The music will make you happy for volume control on your computer.) I like that the games challenge my kids in addition, subtraction, multiplication or division and also come in three levels depending on how proficient they are with their math facts. ABCya has loads of other free educational games to try as well.
Finally, our home is a shrine to all things LEGO so it’s no surprise that their website is a favorite here too. These games won’t get your kids to practice their times tables, but they are good at strengthening their problem-solving skills (e.g., Tree Challenge) and following directions (Builder’s Island). Plus, there are no pointy corners to step on in your bare feet.
Please feel free to add your favorite free educational online games to this list!