It’s hard to find really good computer games for kids – even if you’re willing to pay good money for them. Here are a few we love that are free – including ad-free!
- Tuxpaint is the best free drawing software for kids that I’ve found. You download it, so your child is not on an internet site at all. It has stamps, different brushes, and even animation capabilities (which we have yet to explore). Your kids can even submit tuxpaint entries to the Doodle 4 Google contest!
- Red Fish Soup / Poisson Rouge is a multilingual (portions of the site are in English, French, Greek, and Chinese) site where children learn through explorative play. I see it as a virtual children’s museum of sorts – there are no games to win, but lots of cause and effect activities, as well as puzzles, songs, matching games, and more.
- Starfall.com is a fun early literacy site with books to read online, as well as holiday-specific activities.
- JacksonPollock.org allows even the littlest artist to create Jackson Pollock style paintings – found through Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile!
- Moneyville is Emma’s new favorite game, which I discovered thanks to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. You need to create a username, and it’s a game best played by kids who can read. It’s been a nice introduction to money management for Emma, and she gets to practice basic math as well.
- Your basic word editor that came on your computer. You would not believe how happy this makes my kids.
Besides being married to a computer scientist makes having technology in the home fairly inevitable, but I also think introducing kids to carefully-screened technology can be very beneficial. My parents invested in our first computer when I was four years old, and I credit the time I spent playing (again, carefully selected) games on that computer for giving me an intuitive understanding of technology that has served me well in life. Besides, friendly sibling competition combined with an entertaining typing game made me the fastest typist I know, which makes it easier to get blog posts written in the tiny bits of time I find – not to mention a PhD dissertation typed with a newborn on my lap!
What are your favorite computer games for kids? Be sure to check out other reader recommendations in the comments to my computer and toddlers and computer literacy posts!
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
38 thoughts on “Free Educational Computer Games for Kids”
Another game is Kids Garden Makeover totally FREE to download
Amazing educational app for kids to learn everyday basic words that will give them a head start in speaking and reading fluently.
This app will not only teach words but also foster thinking and understanding of young minds. Everyday they will learn new words and be able to recognize objects through pictures, text and the places where they are found. The places included in the app are bedroom, bathroom and many more.
The child friendly voice over, sounds of applause, cheerful music and encouraging remarks like ‘superb’ and ‘very good’, will ensure a very positive learning experience for them. here is the link of game: http://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Nimble+Minds&hl=en
Thank you so much for the websites I’m thrilled because they will have fun learning and growing at the same time and Moneyville is wonderful too thank you.
I’m so glad you like this list! My daughter LOVES Moneyville!
Another is xtra math, it is a no frills mastery program that works at the child’s level.
Thanks! I’ll check it out!
Thank you for this list. My older kids (about 10 and up) like sketchup. It allows them to build houses and boats, all sorts of things. It is profession quality but also easy to use.
My kids would love that! I’ll have to keep it in mind for when my kids are older – thanks for the recommendation!
With all the things that kids can see in the net and with all those brutal games that some other kids wants to play instead. It’s really hard to find something that is educational and to fun to play. Those are awesome games! thanks for sharing..
Oops! I noticed I typed the URL wrong for Vocabulary Can Be Fun. It should be
You posted a few sites I have not heard of before. I deifintely have to check them out.
Here are a few we like:
VocabularySpellingCity (www.spellingcity.com) great for spelling, vocabulary,and handwriting
Vocabulary Can Be Fun (www.vocabulary.il.com)Grades K-12 and also has stuff for college and ESL learners. Really neat site. This site offers games in various genres and also features really great articles.
Learning Games for Kids (www.learninggamesforkids.com) All types of games for various educational skills. They do offer typing games, too.
Sometimes you can find free games at Brain Pop, otherwise you have to have a paid subscription.
My Attempt at Blogging
Quaint Scribbles and 3 D Learners
Thanks for your recommendations – I’ll check them out!
I just wanted to say thanks so much for hosting this linky every week! :)
We love Reading Eggs (paid, free two week trial available with a few coupon codes we got 2 1/2 months free and you don’t give credit card info. until you perchase it. ) for advanced pre-k and up , Dream Box Learning (paid, free two week trial available) for advanced pre-k and up, abcmouse for preschool(paid, free one month trial available if you take a quick servey), Zoodles (paid or free depending if you want adds or not), Starfall (free), Nick Jr. (I sensor what they do here a bit).
Thanks for all of the recommendations!
These are great recommendations1 Will check out. I’m sure my daughter would love some of these. I agree with you on MS Word. This simple tool can entertain them for hours! My daughter loves writing, resizing the fonts, trying different font types and colours. Inserts pictures in them..!
We are on the same wavelength because I also posted yesterday about online activities for kids. I found a great site for teaching basic Spanish vocabulary: http://gratefullygrowingingrace.blogspot.com/2012/03/online-spanish-activities-for-kids-of.html
Thanks for sharing these!
We really like the cbeebies website for activities – there is a new section with Letters, numbers and words including other languages apart from English in Lingobugs. Some of the video’s and clips don’t work outside of the UK but most of the games can be accessed. J loves the Mr Tumble/Something Special games and is picking up loads of signs from it.
My son loves to just type in Word. He spells things and sounds out words that I type. Thanks for the other tips!
There are some new one you listed that I haven’t tried, thanks. My oldest (5) is enjoying kerpoof.com right now.
Will have to check it out – that’s a new one for us!
We’ve used Starfall before, and I know Sawyer uses it regularly in his Computer class in Kindergarten, too. But I hadn’t heard of the Jackson Pollock site. That is so exciting! I’m definitely going to be checking that one out.
Thanks for the shoutout, too! :)
You’re welcome! I hope you like the other sites!
Great list of computer games! My Emma loves to just type in Word. It’s funny how long it can entertain her!
Simple pleasures :)
This is a great list of sites! Thanks! We just clicked through to have a go at the Jackson Pollock painting and are off to try more now. :)
I hope you enjoy the sites!
I have to check some of the options you recommend. Anna’s school gives her access to raz-kids (a reading program). It’s a good site, but unfortunately not free. She also loves starfall and Moneyville. Lately she requested to return to Dreambox, so she has more options to play than she has time (we limit electronic edutainment to no more than an hour a day)
My son really likes http://www.abcya.com and it has something for a lot of age ranges. And of course, we like starfall. I’m going to check into the others you’ve listed. Thanks!
abcya.com looks great! Thank you! :)
Thank yo so much. I really limit my kids computer time but these all sound worthwhile. I know there are great sites but just didn’t know what they were, my kids thank you.
We really limit any kind of screen time, but it’s nice to have good options sometimes! :)
My kids have loved Jump Start, but it’s not free. I need to start the kids on a typing program, so they can start to learn to type……..
Let me know if you find a typing program you like?
Math Playground is our favorite this year (for Emma or older). We spend hours on there! You will want to play it yourself. :)
Thank you for the recommendation! We’ll definitely try it out!
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