My own preschool and elementary kids have recently discovered the website N O G G I N, which is the online complement to the television channel of the same name. It is amazing to watch what my 3 year old particularly can figure out and navigate through on the site. And all the content is free!

Karen Montgomery alerted me today to another powerful kid-friendly website, Club Penguin. Like SecondLife and Teen SecondLife, Club Penguin offers free access to the site but multiple incentives for parents to pay (a little bit) so kids/children can have more options and more interactive fun on the site.

Are there other websites you like and recommend for kids that provide safe, interactive environments for virtual play? (Note I’m not endorsing or putting Secondlife or Teen Secondlife in that category here.) One of the things that draws me to sites like Club Penguin or Imbee over a site like Disney Online is the non-commercial vs. commercial aspect, especially the advertising. I am a fan of Lego Club Online, and it certainly is commercial, but somehow the creative and imagination empowering aspects of legos seem qualitatively different to me than links that ultimately all seem to lead to the Disney Store.

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5 Responses to Great preschool and elementary websites

  1. http://www.roythezebra.com/

    On the right side click on interactive games. I had my 6th graders “test it out to see if it was something that the younger students would like.” 45 minutes of putting capital letters and periods in the correct places, they told me that they did think the younger students would benefit from it. I haven’t looked through much of the rest of the site yet, but my students really like to play the games on the SmartBoard.

  2. Lucy Gray says:

    HI Wes –

    Two other sites to try with your kids:

    http://www.meddybemps.com/
    http://www.starfall.com/

    Lucy

  3. Scott McLeod says:

    Re: Club Penguin, after reading this post I showed it to my kids (ages 6 and 8). I am pleased to announce that after playing just three times it’s now like crack to them – they beg and plead to play again as soon as possible. Thanks, I think. =)

  4. Karen Mason says:

    It’s great to hear you appreciate the lack of advertising on Club Penguin. The site’s founders wanted to create a place they’d feel comfortable letting their own children visit and they feel strongly about keeping it ad-free. Although I do work for Club Penguin, I’m also a Mom, and I really appreciate the fact that my kids can waddle around Club Penguin and get a break from the marketing which otherwise bombards them at every turn in their busy, modern lives!

  5. Paul says:

    My 3 year old has been playing around on
    http://www.pbskids.org & http://www.ctw.org
    for over a year now. They have fun games and stories, and since it’s PBS there is a good parents resource center as well.

    A few months I helped get him started on a game, only to come back in a few minutes to find him easily navigating in and out of various sections on the page. I was proud.

    As always, I enjoy your posts… thanks

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