Websites for Curious Kids and their Parents

This is a guide to websites for kids: it started off with an orientation toward kids in second or third grade, but has since skewed toward older kids. As a result, it features items that will appeal to kids of different ages, including some that might appeal to adults as well. The emphasis is on websites that have some educational dimension to them, but all of the websites for younger kids are engaging and fun as well. The guide aims to be selective rather than comprehensive, and restricts itself to websites that are freely accessible. We are always interested in hearing about other attractive sites for kids. If you have a recommendation, please send it to us (contact us) and we will add it to the guide if it seems appropriate. Thanks and enjoy! [last revised: 19 Nov. 2015: about 100 sites listed]

Multiple Subjects

Cyberkidz Games

A Dutch site with a rich array of simple games for children up to age 11 (although some of the games might be enjoyable for older kids, too). Includes games involving math, literacy (including typing), geography, science, and "creative" activities (such as music and mazes).

Digger and the Gang

Math, English, and Science "adventures" for kids from age 5 through age 11. From the BBC.

Fact Monster

A site from Pearson Educational, featuring sections on the world, the United States, people, sports, science, math & money, word wise, etc.

Free Rice

An anti-hunger website that donates rice for correct answers, in quizzes on subjects including art, chemistry, english vocabulary and grammar, foreign languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish), geography, and basic math. Some topics (e.g. English vocabulary) are challenging even for adults; others (e.g. math) are pitched more at the level of kids. (A brief story from NPR on the origin of this website is available here.)


A website sponsored by the publisher Pearson Educational. Includes math, reading, grammar games. Sudoku. Web books and comics. The large archive of materials can be sorted by age and grade level.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy--a series of 2,200 video tutorials and web module self-test exercises--is a great learning tool that is freely available. The tutorials are especially strong in math and science. In math, they begin from the most elementary steps and proceed up through college level work. There is a nice introduction to the project in this video from

New York Public Library

Website of the New York Public Library, featuring various interesting stories, exhibitions, podcasts, etc. Click on the "Learn" tab to see materials designed specifically for students and teachers.

Art and Architecture

General Art xxx Book Arts (incl. Book Plates) xxx Painting, Drawing, Photography xxx Paper Arts xxx Sculpture xxx


General Art

Getty Games

Games based on artworks: identifying details from artworks; memory games; finding differences between two images of artworks; jigsaw puzzles based on art. Sponsored by the Getty Museum.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Put together by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Heilbrunn Timeline (named for its chief funder) is "a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated especially by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. The Museum's curatorial, conservation, and education staff—the largest team of art experts anywhere in the world—research and write the Timeline, which is an invaluable reference and research tool for students, educators, scholars, and anyone interested in the study of art history and related subjects. First launched in 2000, the Timeline now extends from prehistory to the present day. It will continue to expand in scope and depth, and also reflect the most up-to-date scholarship."

Piaristenkirche (Vienna)

An interactive photographic reconstruction of the interior of the Piarist Church in Vienna by Julian Kalmar, with 360° of maneuverability around the interior and the ability to zoom in and out.

Book Exhibitions

Pop-Up and Movable Books: A Tour through Their History

An online exhibition from the University of North Texas Libraries.

Children's Books of the Early Soviet Era

An online exhibition put together by McGill University Libraries.

Book Plates

My Home Library

This site includes a large selection of book plates, designed for kids by noted artists, and available for downloading. It also contains a discussion of the history of bookplates

Black and White Bookplates

One of many sites on the web with bookplates for downloading. This one includes eight nice black and white designs.

A commercial site for designing and ordering bookplates, but it offers some interesting graphic designs for bookplates.

New Australian Bookplate Society

Website of the New Australian Bookplate Society.

Leah Mishkin Collection of Bookplates

A collection of over 3000 bookplates at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Bookplates at the U of British Columbia Library

A collection of over 1000 bookplates at the University of British Columbia, including the 19th- and early-20th-century bookplates from Canada, in the Murray Collection.

Bookplates-The Private Lives of Books

Some antique bookplates from the National Library of Scotland. Part of a website on "The Private Lives of Books" that discusses the anatomy of a book, bindings, and inscriptions, as well as bookplates.

An Overview of Principal Styles of Bookplates in Britain 1600-2000

A brief, illustrated discussion of changing fashions in bookplates in Britain across four centuries, by the Bookplate Society.

"Bookplates" via Googlexxxxxx "Bookplate" via Googlexxxxxx "Exlibris" via Google

Results from Google Images searches for "bookplates," for "bookplate," and for "exlibris," for browsing.

Book-Plates, by W[illiam] J[ohn] Hardy. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1893.

A history of book-plates in England up through the early nineteenth century.

English Book-Plates: Ancient and Modern, by Egerton Castle. London: George Bell & Sons, 1894.

Another history of English book-plates.


Painting, Drawing, Photography

Build Your Wild Self

A kids' site that allows you to build a wild animal image of yourself as some kind of mythical beast. Sponsored by the New York Zoos and Aquarium.

National Gallery of Art Kids' Page

Various interactive art projects, involving still life, abstract art, Dutch realism, primitivist art. Sponsored by the US National Gallery of Art.

Art et Toile

A site based in Marseilles, France that focuses on contemporary artists. Not a kids' site, particularly, but interesting web design. (In French.)


Paper Arts

How to Make Paper Snowflakes

Webpage giving step-by-step instructions on how to cut out six-pointed paper snowflakes, starting with a square sheet of paper.


Test Your Geography Knowledge

A nice series of quizzes on continents & oceans, countries (by continent), capital cities (by continent or region), states and provinces (by country).

Games at National Geographic Kids

Geography and other games at National Geographic Kids. One geography game no longer available on this website, "Geospy," is still available at Maggie's Earth Adventures.

TravelPod's Traveler IQ Challenge

An interactive map game that tests your knowledge of geography for the globe and for particular regions of the globe. The challenge rewards quick thinking as well as accurate knowledge of geography. Warning: addictive.


(British) History for Kids

"History for Kids" website from the BBC.

History (BBC website)

A rich collection of materials about various periods and events in history, from the BBC. Includes a sophisticated interactive timeline of British history.

Animated Historical Maps

A series of animated maps, with accompanying narration, illustrating various periods of European and American history, e.g., "History of Europe between the Two World Wars 1918-1942." Most of these are only available through purchase, but one map from each of the seven series is available free online.

America's Story from America's Library

American history for kids, from the Library of Congress.

Odyssey Online

A site devoted to ancient civilizations sponsored by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, and the Dallas Museum of Art. It includes modules on the Near East, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, and the Ancient Americas. The recently revised website on Greece is particularly spectacular. The one of the Ancient Americas is also pretty jazzed up. The others rely on static webpages: they are rich resources in their own right, but are less entertaining than the two sections that have been worked up as more dramatic presentations.

Making the Modern World

An interactive website on "stories about the lives we've made," focused on the history of science and innovation, sponsored by the Science Museum (UK).


A search engine that allows you to search the web through timelines, finding events, etc. that occurred on a particular date. Produced in the UK by Bamber Gascoigne and Ian Henghes.

Social Studies

Ben's Guide to the US Government for Kids

A US government site, using "Ben Franklin" as a kids' guide to the US government. Includes a useful page listing US Government Web Sites for Kids & Students. [This last is also listed separately, below, under "Guides to Kids' Sites."]

World Almanac for Kids

Website companion to the book by the same title. Includes selected chapters from the book, games, quizzes, and puzzles.

Project for Excellence in Journalism

Website sponsored by the Pew Research Center. Not directed at kids, but useful for older kids.

Economic Activity around the Globe

An animated graphic representation of geographically-based economic data, produced by the G-Econ Project, directed by William Nordhaus at Yale University. This representation of "what the world looks like to an economist" is based on 1990 data: vertical bars measure economic activity.

Language and Literature

Kids' Place English (grades K-5)

Language-oriented website from Houghton Mifflin. "Grammar Blast" features quizzes for grades 2 through 5; another section offers "Bright Ideas for Writing" (oriented toward different genres of writing: opinion, instructions, personal narrative, persuasive essay, story, description, compare-contrast essay).

Word Wise

Part of the Fact Monster website listed under "Multiple Subjects": features sections on grammar and spelling, mythology, languages, and books.

Mix Ups

Unscramble words to complete a quotation from a well-known individual. These word puzzles are grouped as "easy," "challenging," and "insane."

Drop Quotes

A game that is a kind of a cross between word scramble and guessing a quotation. Words continue over from the end of a line, unless there is a black space at the start of the next line.

Skillwise: English

A BBC site with rich resources on grammar, spelling, reading, writing, listening, and vocabulary.

English Language Centre Study Zone (Univ. of Victoria)

A website with lessons and exercises for college students, but ranging from "upper beginner" through "advanced." Useful for enriching one's understanding of traditional English grammar.

The Literacy Web

A rich portal of resources about literacy, for preschool through twelfth grade (and adult education), hosted by the University of Connecticut. You can sort resources by grade level. Includes guides to web resources for kids, pedagogical materials for integrating literacy strategies into the classroom, and current research on literacy and literacy teaching. Not itself a website designed for kids, but includes many links to material for kids.

The Children's Literature Web Guide

A fairly comprehensive guide to online resources about children's literature that was actively maintained up through 2001 (though some pages have only been updated through the late 1990s). Produced by David K. Brown, Director of the Doucette Library of Teaching Resources at the University of Calgary.

The Writer's Almanac

Hosted by Garrison Keillor (and American Public Media), this website features a poem each day and information about writers whose birthday happens to fall on the given day.

Audio Clips (

Offers over 300 audio clips of poems being read aloud (usually by the author him- or herself). Part of the website of the Academy of American Poets.

Music and Dance

New York Philharmonic Kidzone

A range of activities involving a game room, musicians' lounge, composers' gallery, instrument laboratory, etc.

SFS Kids Fun With Music

A great site for kids, with an introduction to musical notation; to the instruments of an orchestra; and a "music lab" in which one can learn about--and experiment with--tempo, rhythm, pitch, harmony, and where one can perform and compose tunes.

Make Your Own Music game

Select "musicians" and combine them in different ways to make your own recording--which you can email to a friend, if you like. From TVO (TV Ontario).

Songs to Sing in the Car for Kids

A list of links to resources with lyrics to popular songs for young kids. Suggested by Jess H. (Thanks!)

Pop It! dance classes

Pop It! is a kids' dance show on TVO (TV Ontario): this website breaks down the moves featured on the show.


The Khan Academy--a series of 2,200 video tutorials and web module self-test exercises--is a great learning tool that is freely available. The tutorials are especially strong in math and science. In math, they begin from the most elementary steps and proceed up through college level work. There is a nice introduction to the project in this video from This site is also listed in the "Multiple Subjects" section, but since it is best-known for its math tutorials, I've included it here as well.


Offers video tutorials, supporting text, diagnostic texts, and exercises on 80 topics in mathematics. Produced by "a group of teachers, mathematicians and new media producers from the Universities of Leeds, Lougborough and Coventry and the former EBST Trust." The exercises are more limited than in Khan Academy, but the supporting text for the lessons gives something more like the contents of a traditional textbook, for those who appreciate such written explanations of concepts and procedures.

Cyberchase Games

Math games based on the PBS show, Cyberchase. "U Fix It" involves measuring and building. There are about 47 other games as well!

Change Maker

You are given an amount of sale and an amount paid: your job is to figure out the correct change that is due.


Math games, lessons, and quizzes on various math topics.

MathCounts Foundation

The MathCounts Foundation website, featuring various resources, including a Problem of the Week archive.

Illuminations: Resources for Teaching Math

The "Illuminations" website, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), includes information about resources for math teaching and learning.

Figure This! Math Challenges for Families

A set of 80 "real world" questions and problems that involve some aspect of mathematical thinking. The website is pitched for the middle school level. Sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and other organizations.


A joint project of the Faculties of Mathematics and Education at the University of Cambridge. The website offers math games, problems, and articles for students, as well as resources for teachers.

Plus Magazine

"Plus magazine opens a door to the world of maths, with all its beauty and applications, by providing articles from the top mathematicians and science writers on topics as diverse as art, medicine, cosmology and sport. You can read the latest mathematical news on the site every week, browse our blog, listen to our podcasts and subscribe to our fortnightly email newsletter" (from the website). Plus magazine is part of the Millennium Mathematics Project sponsored by the University of Cambridge.

Newton's Window Math Challenges

Ten "excursions" into mathematics, by Suzanne Sutton, a math teacher and consultant.

Math Forum @ Drexel

A set of resources for math study and teaching, hosted by the Drexel University School of Education. Some of the context is freely accessible; other parts require a log in and still others require a subscription.

Go Figure

An math game, with different skill levels, focusing on basic arithmetical operations.

Math Playground

A site featuring math games, word problems, logical puzzles, and math videos.


A site devoted to math practice questions, for pre-K through grade 5. Allows one to do 20 practice questions a day without payment; beyond that, it requires a subscription.

Skillwise: Maths

A BBC site on math, dealing with whole numbers; measures, shape and space; fractions, decimals and percentages; and handling data.

Mathematics Enhancement Programme (Primary Extension)

A project at the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching (UK). The full teaching materials for this program are available at this site.

Science and Technology

Science News for Kids

Sponsored by Science News: Magazine of the Society for Science & the Public. The regular biweekly magazine is also interesting, though not directed at kids.

Optical Illusions

A fascinating collection of graphic demonstrations of optical illusions and visual phenomena, by Michael Bach of Freiburg University. Includes discussion of the science behind the visuals.

Exploratorium, the Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception

A rich website, with loads of content: too much to enumerate here. You'll just have to explore it on your own.

Museum of the Moving Image

The website of the Museum of the Moving Image (New York) contains a wealth of material, some of which is not always easy to find from the home page. Some highlights include Sloan Science and Film; the Research Guide; and Shutters, Sprockets and Tubes: How Moving Image Machines Work.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

A NASA webpage that, each day, features "a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe . . . along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer."

Star Child: A Learning Center for Young Astronomers

A website for kids to learn about the solar system and the universe; hosted by NASA.

NASA Science

Includes a special section for kids, but the whole site is of interest. Some of the content for kids seems, however, to have been removed, leaving behind dead links.

Stanford SOLAR Center

Website devoted to the study of the sun, "providing solar on-line activity resources for the joy or solar science exploration." Based at Stanford University.


A biology-oriented website for students and educators, developed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Neuroscience for Kids

For kids who want to learn about the nervous system. Site created by Eric Chudler, at the Univ. of Washington.

Golf Tee-Off game

Learn about angles and force as you play mini-golf on this TVO (TV Ontario) game.


A kit you can buy from Pico (the Playful Invention Company): it consists of the Cricket, a tiny, programmable computer and various ancillary items: motor, motor board, sound box, colored lights, display, resistance sensor, sound sensor, light sensor, touch sensor, etc. "You can plug lights, motors, sensors, and other devices into a PicoCricket, then program them to interact, and communicate." (Okay, admittedly, this is not really a web-based resource, but it does have a companion website. And, admittedly, it is not free--far from it--but a commercial product that costs $250 for the basic kit and more for additional parts and products. But since it was news to me, it seemed worth noting here in case others might find it interesting as well.)

PIE: Playfully Inventing & Exploring with Digital & Other Stuff

An NSF-funded initiative to help kids engage in hands-on projects building various kinds of creative projects making use of the "Crickets" technology (see previous). This takes one out of the web world and back into the face-to-face world!

The Universe Adventure

An introduction to cosmology, produced by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For somewhat older kids.

The Particle Adventure: The Fundamentals of Matter and Force

An "interactive tour of quarks, neutrinos, antimatter, extra dimensions, dark matter, accelerators and particle detectors." Produced by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For somewhat older kids.

The ABC's of Nuclear Science

A website from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: it is designed for somewhat older kids.

Physics Central: Learn How Your World Works

A website from the American Physical Society (APS). For older kids.

Educational Resources (Berkeley Lab)

About a dozen or more web-based resources for teachers and students about various aspects of science. Produced by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Science Master

A rich set of resources for learning about many aspects of science from pre-school to university level. Includes links to many science resources on the web. The site is run by Kenneth A. Wesson and Eugene J. Mascoli.


A journal from the American Physical Society, offering viewpoints (commentaries on papers), focus stories (research papers explained for students and non-experts), and synopses (news summaries about papers). Also includes links to the original research papers that the reports are based on. For a "lay" audience, rather than for kids.

Computers and the Internet

Webonauts Internet Academy

A PBS Kids site, designed to teach kids useful "rules of the road" for operating on the internet, especially how to be safe and smart in using the web.

Using the Web

A Houghton Mifflin website designed to introduce kids to using the web to find information.

Internet Tutorials

A more sophisticated guide to learning about the internet and about internet research. By Laura Cohen, emerita faculty at SUNY, Albany.

Dance Mat Typing

Learn typing (keyboarding) skills online. From the BBC.

Free online touch typing course in five lessons. No cartoon characters; just instructions, practice exercises, and self-tests.

MrKent's Typing Tutor II

A nice website for practicing touch typing, once you've learned the basics of keying.

Keyboarding Education for College Students

Webpage hosted by Western Governors University offering an overview of keyboarding skills, with numerous links to relevant resources. Suggested by students of Courtney Phillips. (Thanks!)

Online Computer Skills Training Resources

A rich list of resources for developing a variety of computer skills, including computer vocabulary, keyboarding, using a mouse, opening and saving files, internet and email basics. (Ignore the paid services also advertised on this page.)

Basic Computer Skills Self-Assessment

Miami University website consisting of questions about using the internet, email, Word, and operating systems. You can submit your answers and they are automatically scored for you.

Basic Programming

A game at Math Playground, which allows you to create simple programs to draw geometrical figures online.

Game Maker

Game Maker is a free, downloadable software package for making your own computer games, without needing to know how to program. It relies, instead, on drag-and-drop actions and comes stocked with freeware images and sounds to help get started. The software also includes a built-in programming language, to use when one is more experienced. Game Maker was used in an after-school class on designing computer games at Cornell University.


Developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a simple programming language "designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills." Scratch "makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art--and share your creations on the web." You download the program (for Mac OSX or Windows), create your Scratch project, and then upload it onto the Scratch website (or onto some other website or onto a CD or flash disk, if you like). You can create your own project from scratch (excuse the pun), or "remix" (modify) someone else's Scratch project. There are over 275,000 Scratch projects available created by almost 44,000 contributors. To take full advantage of the Scratch website, you need to sign up for an account as a registered user.

Offers free tutorials on many aspects of web development: HTML, browser scripting, XML, server scripting, web services, and web building.


Offers a free platform from which to learn about programing using Javascript, Ruby, or Python


Currently in beta; launching in Winter 2012. "Learning to code thru fun games & exercises."

Puzzles and Games

General xxx Chess


General Puzzles and Games

Learning Games for Kids

A website with lots of different games of various kinds: logic games, math games, memory games, word games, keyboarding games, geography games, etc. Some of the games can be quite challenging: for example, "Mouse Trap" and "Tanagrams" in logic games.


Daily sudoku puzzle, from the Washington Post.

Fastball Reaction Times

Test your ability to react quickly enough to hit a fastball pitched at 90-miles-per-hour. From the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception.

Games at the US Mint

Twenty-one different games at this kids' site, hosted by the US Mint. There are question games ("Break the Bank"); jigsaw puzzles ("Golden Dollar Puzzle"); hit the target games ("Dollar Dive"); and drawing games ("Making Change")--amongst others.

Digging for Answers

Quizzes on a variety of subjects, geared to information available at the Smithsonian Institution websites.

Playground at Seussville

A nice collection of games based on the Dr Seuss books and characters. Site produced by Random House.

NASA Kids' Club

Games at various skill levels for kids. Hosted by NASA.

TVO Kids' Games

Over one hundred games and activities for kids, involving various topics and skills, including music, math, language arts, science, and so on. A few of these games have been listed individually under the appropriate topic, but there are many games here that remain to be explored. From TVO (TV Ontario).




A site designed to help kids learn about chess through step-by-step instructions, quizzes, games, and puzzles. By Richard James.

Chess for Beginners

A set of lessons and materials for "absolute beginners" at chess, and also for somewhat more advanced players.

An interactive site designed to allow you to play chess online with other persons. Also includes a wealth of information and resources about chess, including a section on "Learn Chess."


CIA Kids' Page

Yes, the CIA has a kids page! Parents beware.

Guides to Kids' Sites

Great Web Sites for Kids

Links selected by the American Library Association's division of Library Service to Children. A very rich resource.

US Government Web Sites for Kids & Students

A rich list of US government agencies' websites for kids, in areas such as transportation, science, history, health and safety, government and law, geography, foreign affairs, environment, education, defense and national security, crime and justice, computers and internet, communities and people, careers, business and money, arts and recreation, agriculture, and animals.

The "official kids' site of the U.S. government"; includes links to sites for kids K-5 and 6-8, and for teachers. Includes links to both government (federal, state, and military) and non-government sites.

The enumeration of educational sites produces a curious list of subsections (animals, art, dinosaurs, history, math, music, science, space). But each subsection contains many references to potentially interesting sites for kids.

Kids' Stuff:

A sometimes indiscriminate listing of sites oriented towards kids. But it contains links to many valuable sites.








Valid CSS!