Author’s Blurb: A normal workday for me is tiring enough as it is, and I often need to block off hours of my time to dedicate my attention to particular tasks, otherwise I’ll progress nowhere. I can’t imagine what parents who are WFH while also taking care of their toddlers are going through during the MCO.
Thankfully, online resources exist. And what’s even better is that free ones exist.
So, we’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list of free online resources you can use to keep your children busy while you work.
They blend entertainment and education so you don’t have to worry about your toddler not getting anything of value while spending time on a device.
ABCya provides a variety of games that are categorised per grade so you can find the right types for your child’s skill level.
They have grammar games, number games, pattern games, games by subjects and themes.
Audible usually requires a subscription to use, but due to the pandemic they’ve made a bunch of audiobook materials free to access for children currently out of school.
Their collection of stories is vast and comes in a range of six different languages. The stories can be streamed from a desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet.
The website’s name, CoolMath4Kids, pretty much sums up what it’s all about.
They have math games in creative themes like Grand Prix Multiplication, Alien Addition, Orbit Integers, and more. Dare I say that these games actually look fun even to me, a 22-year-old?
4. E-Learning for Kids
E-Learning for Kids provides games for children on subjects like maths, science, environmental skills, computer skills, health, and even language arts.
The games have pretty fleshed-out stories behind them that make them easier to comprehend and relate to things in the real world, providing children with a more holistic understanding of the material.
Funbrain is a platform where children can access games, reading materials, videos and maths materials.
A majority of their games appear to be more entertainment focused, but they can also teach your children about various animals and their anatomy, for example.
6. Highlights Kids
On Highlights Kids, children get access to games, jokes, activities, and more, including cooking recipes even.
There appears to be no set subject theme for what it offers, but it’s the type of site with such a variety of things to offer that I believe you can safely leave your child entertained by it for a good few hours.
Literactive aims to help children learn how to read well by offering guided reading, e-picture books, e-poetry materials, and more.
This might be less appealing to some children, but if you’re a parent who wants your child to learn with potentially less distracting material, this could be the site of choice.
8. Math Game Time
Another maths learning website, Math Game Time also carries interestingly themed games to make the usually dreaded topics of division, multiplication, and more, fun to actually learn.
The games can be found on their web platform, but you can also download some of their mobile games and some maths worksheets to get serious about the subject.
9. National Geographic Kids
With a rather established branding, parents can be sure that their children’s education won’t be led astray on National Geographic Kids.
The website offers games, videos and brain boosters about animals and the Earth, but it would appear that these are activities geared towards children who can already read and comprehend what they’re reading.
10. PBS Kids
PBS Kids offers both videos and games, though I would say that upon first impressions, these activities seem more entertainment focused than for learning any one subject in particular.
Nonetheless, it’s still a good option for learning soft skills like teamwork, building skills, etc.
11. Scholastic Early English
Scholastic Early English gives gamified lessons on learning the letters A to Z, and each letter has about 1 to 2 weeks’ worth of lessons.
The lessons include first learning new words, story words, reading story sentences, adding ‘s’ for plurals, and a sing-along song to tie it all up.
12. Scholastic Learn At Home
Scholastic Learn At Home is a site that provides day-to-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing by providing stories and videos about things like animals and the Earth.
The activities are targeted towards 4 categories of children (Western ones, but can be adapted to suit our Malaysian ones) such as those in Pre-K & Kindergarten, Grades 1 & 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-9.
13. Science Kids
Another website with a self-explanatory name, Science Kids is a place where kids can learn about science and technology through games, quizzes, projects, lessons, and videos.
For future reference, they can also get some science fair project ideas here for when schools reopen.
Seussville is one website that anyone who’s loved the Dr. Seuss books (and movies) growing up will be sure to adore.
It’s a place for everything Dr. Seuss, so share the same fun you had back then with your children now through the games, videos, and more on the website. Excuse me as I bookmark the site for myself to explore in my free time.
Starfall teaches children how to read with phonetics by familiarising them with their ABCs before teaching them how to gradually read.
Children can also learn mathematics on the site, and all the learning materials come not only in reading form but in song form too.
16. Storyline Online
For something that’s a little more passive, Storyline Online is the perfect website for that as it offers videos of celebrities narrating children’s books alongside illustrations.
It’s an award-winning children’s literacy website and a programme of the non-profit organisation SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
17. Switch Zoo
Switch Zoo lets children make new animals, play animal games, solve animal puzzles, take a guided tour and join a zoo quest, all online.
For less active, well, activities, children can opt to explore the music ‘performed’ by animals on the website.
TurtleDiary is a platform that offers a variety of games for children in grades K to 5. They have games about addition, verbs, typing , adjectives, and even money, in case any parents out there want to give their kids a headstart on financial literacy.
One thing that the site also offers is multiplayer games, so you can play along with your child or have them play with their siblings as well.
19. Unite for Literacy
On Unite for Literacy, you’ll find a variety of read-along books where narration is provided while your child flips through graphic illustrations of a book to read.
Not only do these books discuss animals, friends, family and the Earth, but they also have some recent additions that teach kids what COVID-19 is as well as teaching them how to wash their hands.
Perhaps one of the most easily accessible tools that’s entertaining yet educational is Google itself.
It’s something that’s been making the rounds online, fascinating even adults, so you can be sure your children will like it too.
If you type the name of an animal into Google (on your iPhone or Android phone), you will see a button that says ‘View in 3D’ when the search page loads.
Clicking into it will enable you to explore the rendition of said animal either as an object or in AR.
Not every animal’s name will bring up this function, but you can refer to this list online for what you can Google in 3D.
Bottom Line: I actually found it surprising just how many free and fun resources are out there for kids. I legitimately am intrigued by a few of them, and would like to take advantage of them when I have the time to do so. Like I said, one thing I’ll be exploring for sure is Seussville.
- You can read more on what we’ve written about the MCO here.