7 Great Educational Online Games

Students sitting around a table playing educational online games

By Kate Thora
For the last several years, we’ve heard all about how limiting screen time is best, and that kids are losing out socially and emotionally because of the lack of interaction. If you’re a parent, you may feel that game time needs to be cut off if you want your child to succeed. But what if we told you that there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that kids can use video games to learn—and have fun while doing it? The secret is educational online games.
Educators and child development experts are now doubling down on screen time in place of some traditional instruction time. The key to making this work is selecting games and programs that not only engage children but that also can help them develop critical thinking skills and boost educational performance. Here are seven examples to choose from:
1. ABCYa.com
This is an exceptional website for school-aged children, offers a selection of games for preschoolers as well and is very easy to navigate. You can select a grade level and then browse through the different types of games—categories include letters, numbers, skills, thinking and even seasonal games that can help keep your kids entertained. While it is free to play, you can also go ad-free by paying for a subscription. Works great on both tablets and PCs.
2. FunBrain.com
FunBrain offers a wide variety of games and keeps going all the way to eighth grade (whereas many other sites cut off after fifth grade). It is free to play, but a bit heavy with advertisements. It lists each game with a grade-level, type, subject and skills that it addresses. It has a fantastic assortment of games, but you may need to help younger children get set up to avoid navigation problems.
3. PBSKids.org
Easy to navigate, and full of your kid’s favorite characters, PBSKids.org offers not only the academic basics but also devotes a section to social and emotional development. If you’re looking to help your preschooler learn about sharing, friendship and social behavior, this is a great place to help teach some of those “soft skills” your child will need throughout life.
4. Poptropica.com
This is a unique take on the educational website and one that mimics online gaming quite well. Children create a character, and then take it on quests and adventures throughout this fictional island world. While free-to-play, there is a membership that you can buy to unlock other features.
5. Kids.NationalGeographic.com
National Geographic has an excellent reputation for providing top-quality information and some very fascinating subject matter. This is a great option for exploring topics like animals, science, space, ocean life and world cultures, and it is best suited for school-aged children. It also contains videos, photography and other resources that are both educational and entertaining.
6. GameClassroom.com
Game Classroom has a variety of games for Kindergarten through fifth grade aligned with state standard curriculums. One of the best features of this site is that you can sort and filter the game based on skill types such as problem-solving games, reading games, fractions, etc. This makes it easy for parents and educators to find a game that coincides with what the student is working on at the time. Some of the games are linked out to other sites that may require membership to play.
7. Arcademics.com
Arcademics combines arcade-style games with educational concepts. Move your player forward or earn points by answering questions correctly. Just like real arcade games, it allows you to view leaderboards and compete against other players. It is an excellent site for practicing skills, though it doesn’t really get into instruction.
While all of these sites offer some good games for free, many of them also charge a premium for upgraded content and for tracking progress. It might be a good idea to try them all, then decide which ones, if any, you want to purchase a membership for.
For more, see:

Kate Thora is a Senior Content Specialist for Uphours. Follow her on Twitter: @katethora1


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11 Comments

Christina Gil
12/27/2016

What about Prodigy? My kids love it and have learned a ton from it. Free to play, but kids will beg for membership (which isn't too much).

Bates
1/8/2019

If your child is resisting listening to you or shows a lack of interest in learning basic important facts, such as numbers, letters, science or reading, it is worth a try letting them play educational games online. The games that are provided on most websites are non-threatening and offer learning in a fun way. It allows kids to take the pressure off and relax in the bright colors and sounds of the game. After a while, kids begin to realize learning can be fun.

Rohan
2/16/2019

Thanks for sharing such an amazing article. Nowadays kids are so much attached to technologies. They are very curious to learn and explore new things. These online education games can help them in different days. You could also add starfall and Learning Games for Kids in your list.

colorful mouse pad
5/9/2019

Your post is excellent. I appreciate your work. I will keep on coming here to see new updates.

hansgunnarsson
5/9/2019

Wow Great post! Thanks for sharing the information.

Greta James
11/11/2019

My grandchild is getting to the age where he could go to a preschool. There are so many more resources available to parents and children these days than there was when my kids were young. I think this ABCYa website sounds very interesting. I found it interesting that you can select the child's age to get the right learning tools for them! This could be a great addition to good preschools.

Balaji
4/17/2020

Teachers and youngster advancement specialists are presently multiplying down on screen time instead of some conventional guidance time. The way to making this work is choosing games and projects that draw in youngsters as well as can assist them with creating basic reasoning abilities and lift instructive execution.

vinay
6/16/2020

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing such an astonishing article. These days kids are such a great amount of connected to advances. They are extremely inquisitive to learn and investigate new things. These online training games can help them in various days. You could likewise include starfall and Learning Games for Kids in your rundown.

Marky
7/8/2020

Awesome info Thanks for Sharing. These tools in this very helpful in this pandemic I like your article and this also helpful for the community.

Ohad Kravchick
1/19/2021

A Linux discovery game for kids aged 9+

Helena
8/5/2021

I think Minecraft Education Edition is great. There is a new one that I just stumbled upon on LinkedIn, It's called Lernip: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6828006509159452672/
Looks amazing...

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