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Website Recommendations for Pre-School – Early Elementary School Age Children

Website Recommendations for Pre-School – Early Elementary School Age Children –¬†We review websites for kids to try to find the best children’s websites that offer educational value, entertainment and / or serve as a resource for¬†parents and teachers.

Reviewing kids websites is a touchy subject for me – especially when making website recommendations for pre-school age children to early elementary school age children. As a parent, I have concerns over “screen time” and feel moderation is the best policy for letting kids explore the virtual world. I like to use the AAP (American Association of Pediatrics) policy of limiting screen time to 1-2 hours per day for kids and discouraging screen media exposure altogether for children under 2 years of age. It is my belief that websites, like television, should not be a baby sitter for a children.

I’ve reviewed a ton of sites through years. There are hundreds of kids websites that are nothing more than distracting flash-based games. Some are just terrible and miss the mark completely. There are even popular kids sites that feature annoying pop-up ads, questionable advertising, distracting auto-play videos etc… If I had to come up with a list of children’s websites I wouldn’t recommend – well… let’s just say that list would be a lot longer than this list.

These website recommendations are for pre-school age – early elementary school age children. My criteria for “what makes a great website for children”…

  • The website must be safe!
  • The website should not be littered with ads or questionable links
  • The child’s website should offer at least SOME redeeming educational content.
  • The website should be easy to maneuver and should not be difficult to operate.

Website Recommendations for Pre-School – Early Elementary School Age Children:
Discovery Kids is a website extension of the The Discovery Channel & Discovery Kids cable channels and obviously feature nature, science and animal themes. I like this website a lot. In addition to the usual flash games, has a lot of educational content in the form of fun quizzes and puzzles that sets this website apart from many pretenders in the education department. There’s a lot of navigation involved with this site (perhaps too much for young users) but I found it very clean and free of distracting outside advertising.
Highlights Kids dot com is the website extension of the popular Highlights Magazine which has been around forever. The website even features popular Highlights mag features like “Goofus & Gallant” and the always challenging “Hidden Picture Game”. If your child is a fan of Highlights, Highlights Kids dot com does not disappoint. Highlights Kids is rare in the children’s website world in that they don’t rely on meaningless flash games to occupy time. Instead, Highlights Kids allows kids to send in jokes, participate in cute polls, play educational puzzles, make creative crafts, try recipes and more!
PBSKids is a website hub of the PBS kids television shows. Simply pick your child’s favorite PBS show and you can play mildly educational, mildly entertaining flash games based on the show you choose. Most are small, flash-style games that won’t preoccupy a child for very long. I recommend PBS simply because you know what you’re going to get – a safe for kids website that is easy to maneuver and doesn’t feature questionable advertising.
While Fungooms does have advertising (minimal), it gets a free pass from me based on the beautiful layout of the site and the fun a child under 5 can have. Fungooms games are not only entertaining, they are so visually appealing that I can’t leave it off of this list. Fungooms doesn’t update a lot so the fun a child will have on a specific game will run out eventually. But, if you’re looking for a break from the typical, give Fungooms a try.

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