Websites your kids will love (that won’t make parents cringe)!
When my kids want screen time, I just send them to this page. It's full of easy-to-use, clean, age-appropriate sites that might just teach them a thing or two.
If you're looking for non-screen ideas, check out the projects for kids page.
Do you have an idea you’d like to see added here? If so, please send me a message on the 'contact' page.
Google Santa Tracker
Google's Santa Tracker is top-notch. Not only can you track Santa's journey as Christmas approaches, but you can explore and play a ton of games all December long. I especially appreciate the coding games that are included on the site. And the visuals are all just too adorable to miss!
My son's third grade class is begging to play this at home. While 'playing' in DreamBox, K-8th grade students are immersed in a world where learning is fun — leveling up from one interactive game to the next and collecting data for their teachers as they play.
Check out the free trial if you don't have access through your school.
My youngest LOVES children's book author Mo Willems. He likes to join Mo in his studio while Mo talks about writing and illustrating books in his 15 episodes of "Lunch Doodles" on YouTube. To learn more about Mo (including fun little games and downloadable activities), visit The Kennedy Center website.
DZTV: DENVER ZOO
Denver Zoo re-opened to the public in 2020 with several new restrictions --check the website before you go for the latest rules. If you're not up for going to the zoo in-person, check out these fun virtual safaris from home. Find them on the zoo website, or on the Denver Zoo YouTube channel.
My kids all love math, but my 11-year-old probably enjoys this site the most. It allows you to work at your own pace, leveling up as you go. Although we use it almost exclusively for math, the site also offers grammar, science, history and more. Plus, it's run by a great non-profit organization (who you can donate to, if you wish).
Scratch teaches kids basic programming within an online community. My kids all love looking at other people's projects, and have fun coding and sharing their own interactive creations.
This site is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab:
ART FOR KIDS
My six-year-old found videos of this artistic family on YouTube Kids and surprised me by drawing a very impressive sketch of a doctor.
In addition to lots of fun step-by-step drawing videos, you’ll also find painting and origami lessons for kids on this site, or on their YouTube channel.
What parent hasn't dreamed of visiting the Louvre? Check out these online virtual tours and immerse you and your kids in some amazing exhibits.
If you're hungry for more, download the "VR – Mona Lisa” App here to bring Leonardo's masterpiece to life.
Famous people reading books to my kids -- I love it! This site features a great collection of books, all animated and all read by a celebrity. Each book lists a suggested age range and also offers supplemental materials, in case you're feeling ambitious. All totally free -- a great find!
Check out the new feature in Google - type an animal's name e.g. “tiger” in the search box, then find the section (right under Wikipedia’s entry) that says “Meet a life-sized tiger up close” and press ‘View in 3D.’ This opens your camera, showing a virtual tiger in your house! There are lots of other animals you can see as well, plus you can take pictures of yourself posing with all of them.
The WHO website has several great parenting tips and resources for COVID-19, but they're a little hard to find. Here is the link to the parenting page. One great item is the children’s book at the top of this page, titled "My Hero Is You. How kids can fight COVID-19!" This is a book written to help kids understand the coronavirus and how to deal with it. My favorite line is "I need you to be my hero."
If you have a piano/keyboard and a child with interest, this is an affordable online option for piano lessons. The instructor is great with relating music to things kids love, and all the music lessons are posted on-line for free. So far, my kids are LOVING it and begging to do more. To join the premium account, it’s roughly $20/month for the first child, $10/month more per extra kid. Other price points are available as well.