#educational sites for children
Subject. Games and Writing
Organization. KidsCom (commercial site with advertisements)
This site has promise. An easy-to-understand graphical interface leads children from one area to the next. The games are fairly simple but fun for younger children (one even teaches Internet safety). Every week the site holds a writing contest in which children write stories about things like a a bear who lives in Canada and wears a hat. While advertisements are sprinkled through the sites, they are clearly marked with a cute little bug so that children know it is a commercial. On the negative side, advertisements pop up that take over the entire screen and some questionnaires can ask detailed questions (remind your children of Net Rule #1). Also, the languages options, Spanish, Dutch, and French, were just vaporware software that does not exist or work as advertised at the time this site was reviewed.
A truly international site, Kids Space is a well-designed place for children to get to know one another. Children can listen to recorded music and songs from other children in different languages. They also can send in their own recordings.
Library of Congress
Subject. Books and history
Ages. Older children
Organization. Library of Congress
This well-designed site contains catalogs of books, film, photos and other documents. My favorite part of the site is the American Memory section, which can be found by clicking on American Memory on the Library of Congress home page. Here, thousands of historical photos are available for viewing, as well as special exhibits that may be of interest to older children. Links to other libraries also are provided.
Designed for educators and older children, SpaceLink covers a wide range of NASA subjects. Children can learn about new NASA projects and see impressive pictures of outer space.
San Diego Zoo
Ages. All Ages
Organization. Zoological Society of San Diego
Those looking for a complete online zoo with pictures of every animal from aardvark to zebra may be disappointed. However, the animals that are included, such as the Pandas, are virtually exhibited, providing much more than a few lines of description. Educational animal games also are provided, as are animal postcards that you can use to write messages to friends.
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)
Ages. 8 and up
SEDS contains a comprehensive series of web pages devoted to various aspects of the space program and astronomy. Use the search engine at the bottom of the home page to conduct searches of all SEDS pages. Some of the best SEDS web pages are those describing our solar system. They are organized around an easy-to-follow outline of our planetary system, complete with beautiful pictures and detailed facts about neighboring planets, moons and the sun. The simple organization and completeness of material set it apart from many other space oriented web sites.
Subject: Index of child friendly web sites
Ages: 6 – 12
Organization: Yahooligans is an offshoot of Yahoo and contains commercial advertisements
For the sports-loving child, this is a must-see site. Scores, articles and pictures of professional and college sports teams abound in this well-organized site. Additional features, such as live audio broadcasts of NBA games, are available to those willing to pay.
Happy Puppy provides users with hundreds of computer games that can be downloaded for a free trial period as well as games that can be purchased. Be aware that while generally light hearted in appearance and content, some of the games are of the graphic shoot em up genre. On the other hand, educational titles and games for young children also are available.
The Internet Game Zone provides free demo versions of popular games that children can download. Better yet, it also provides a matchmaking service that allows players to compete with one another over the Internet. Through this site, children from all over the world can play Hearts with each other or race monster trucks.