9) ABCya (website and multiple related apps)
ABCya is a free website full of educational games for grades K-5, all of it designed by teachers. It’s all games, no videos, so kids stay interactive. Their content is very good—most of it is truly educational. You do not need to create an account or give out your email address to use the site. There are ads and they also advertise for-profit related apps.
10) Starfall (website and associated apps)
Starfall teaches reading through phonics and is appropriate for pre-K through 2nd grade. It’s free, there are no ads, and you don’t have to set up an account. It’s a great supplement to any early childhood reading curriculum. They do have a “store” page that sells educational materials and their curriculum.
Spatulatta is a cooking website just for kids, with more than 350 video recipes for kids to watch and try. This site isn’t anything like the others on this list, but I just had to include it because cooking with kids teaches life skills, nutrition, measurement, responsibility, and safety. And, it’s a great way to spend quality time with your kids after a long day. Spatulatta will get your kids excited to cook. A nice feature of this site is “The Recipe Box,” a search tool that kids can use to look for recipes by meal, holiday, ingredient, cuisine, or vegan/vegetarian. It’s free, but there are ads, and you need an email address to use the the recipe box feature.
No matter how educational and fabulous a website is, kids need to limit their screen time. Children under age 2 should not have any screen time. It’s very important for brain development for kids to learn how to entertain themselves, without screens. They can’t always expect to have someone telling them what they are supposed to do next. Children need to get bored sometimes so that they can learn creative play. Here’s my article about what to do when your kids say, "I’m bored!"
Kathleen M. Berchelmann, MD is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and a mother of five young children. She is a regular contributor to Aleteia, ChildrensMD, CatholicPediatrics, andCatholicMom, as well as multiple TV and radio outlets. Connect with Dr. Berchelmann at KathleenBerchelmannMD.com.