Free Math and Reading Websites: Educational Online Games for Kids

Updated on November 14, 2013

Kids and Computers

Kids love to spend time on the computer. When used correctly, the computer can be an effective learning tool. But how do you know what websites are not only safe for children but are fun and educational as well? Even as a teacher it is hard sometimes to find the best ones out there. So use me! I have a list of incredible learning sites and the best news? They are FREE!!!! So take a minute and have a glance at these fantastic sites that will excite your child or student.

Free Math Websites for Kids

Coolmath and Coolmath4kids are two fantastic math websites for everyone. The first is for older kids and adults, 13+. It has a range of games, puzzles, brainteasers and more. The second link is geared for children ages 3-12. There are activities specific for fractions, multiplication, division and more. However one of the things that I like about this site is that there are tons of games for children and links to other very useful math activities such as finance. It is very user friendly and fun!

My students LOVE Sheppard Software. They always ask to go on this website. It is filled with arcade type games that of course involve learning. One of their favorites is the pacman game. It is an addition game that allows students to collect points as the chase the ghost with the sum. There are games for children who are just learning to identify numbers all the way up to multiplication. There is even a very cool math mah jong game.

Math Playground has an abundance of activities and learning tools to choose from. There are games, learning videos, flashcards, puzzles, word problems, and more. With some of the games, you are able to create a user name which allows you to make the game public or private. If you play a public game, it is possible for you to be able to play against a friend. Many of the games also show a rate at which you solve the problems to encourage fluency of facts. Most of all, the site is both educational and fun!

Free Reading Websites for Kids

Starfall is a great beginning reader site. They have letter and sound recognition along with an area that early readers can practice reading. You can drag the mouse along the words and it will read it to you after you have tried to read it yourself. It is animated, uses music and it is just plain fun. My own children absolutely love this site. Many of our younger students have a fantastic time on this website as well. Cost? FREE!

Into the Book is a great higher level thinking website. This website is one that I have recently discovered. It is a great tool for comprehension. This website is geared for children that are a little older, maybe 7 and up. It is a highly interactive site that allows you to develop critical thinking skills while reading. Some of the reading strategies that we use (activating prior knowledge, visualizing, making connections, etc.) are used here. You can drag the mouse to open a book and then read about each skill. When you are finished, you can apply what you have learned in a variety of ways. Like making a picture of what you visualized or underlining what you used to figure out the clue. It is a great way to further develop those higher level thinking skills. This website is FREE! You need to "register" to get a key code by entering your first name. After that you login each time with that code.

Storylineonline is just plain fun. It is a website that is sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild. This site allows children to listen to a story read by a "famous" actor. Some of the stories include, My Rotten Red Headed Brother, read by Melissa Gilbert; A Bad Case of the Stripes read by Sean Astin; and To Be a Drum read by James Earl Jones. There are too many stories to list here but it is a great site to check out. On those nights that you're just a little too tired to read to your child, set them up at the computer! Again this is a FREE site.


Free Science and Social Studies Websites for Kids

Science Monster is a great site that is still growing. Although it is not really very interactive and tends to be more informational, it does provide a great resource for information. It is nice because it is broken down into several science domains such as life science, earth science, and so on.It is often hard to find social studies websites that are interesting and interactive.

The week in Rap is a compilation of the week's news put into a rap. There is a video and a list of the lyrics. Although I watched several and thought they were really cool, be cautious of some of the content. There were no inappropriate words in the ones that I viewed however depending on the age level, the violent nature of some of it may keep you from showing it to young ones.

The Discovery Education website provides a wealth of information. It includes websites that fit both the science and social studies areas of learning. There are fantastic videos to share with children and once you register, you can save them in a folder so that you don't have to search each time you want to use them. There are tabs for parents, students, teachers, and administrators which give very specific resources for each group of users.

Other Websites for Kids

abcya.com is a great free website for math and language activities. It is divided into grade levels and subject areas. My students have a fantastic time exploring all that this site has to offer. Part of the attraction to this site is that is naturally differentiates the learning for each child. If a child needs to work on addition and subtraction, he can do that while another student challenges himself with mutliplication.

Spelling City is a great resource for engaging children in those spelling words each week. Ideally a teacher would input the list and have students do activities with the words. However, you can still use it at home even if your child's teacher is not registered with the site. You simply input the words and they can take a practice test on the computer. If you are a registered user, there are more options for playing games with the list words. There are also lists of words that you can practice and play games with. These games include matching, crossword puzzles, hangman , and more. There is also a section for practicing vocabulary words with the lists on the website.

From homophones to compound words to prefixes and suffixes, this vocabulary website has it all. There are games, videos, and learning puzzles to help children increase their knowledge of words and their meanings. The games will increase in difficulty as they are played, there are explanations of different skills, and there are even links for practicing vocabulary in other languages!


Pay Websites for Elementary Students

There are some other really fantastic sites out there that do have a fee. For some of them it is an annual fee and for others it is a classroom, building, or district site license. I am including these at the end because I have found them of great use in my own classroom but please know that these are not free. Some of these may also give a short trial period in which you can try it out for a week or so for free.

Website 
Subject area 
Fee 
www.educationcity.com 
math, science, reading, language arts 
$469 per subject area and grade level 
www.ixl.com/math 
math 
as little as $9.95/mo for parents, annual, classroom, building and site licenses available for higher costs 
www.raz-kids.com 
reading (leveled books with quizes) 
as low as $59.95 

I personally subscribe to Raz Kids. My students LOVE it. It has a large collection of leveled books, creates reports for me, and has quizzes after most of the stories. Children are able to choose to read the book on their own or have it read to them. As they read and take quizzes, they collect stars. These stars are then able to be used in their Rocket Room which is a virtual space room in which they can "purchase" things with their stars. It is very motivational for them.

I have not personally used IXL but our district is looking into it. The nice thing about this site is that teachers are able to access reports and choose activities that align with state standards as well as the new common core standards.

My district has recently purchased Education City. It is a wonderful, interactive site that is divided by subject area and grade level. It naturally lends itself to differentiation for your students or children. It is on the pricier side so if you can have your school or district make the purchase, it is worth it.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Ikenna 

        6 months ago

        Great passion for teaching free math's and reading.r

      • profile image

        LoriXc 

        17 months ago

        Although this is an old post in the past few years I've found a website called Beestar to be helpful for both Math and Reading. It works great for students and also ESL students.

      • profile image

        AshlieForchione 

        4 years ago

        Great list of sites for young learners. If I may - sometimes it's nice to have a site of activities. Not focused around one subject over another, but a chance for kids to explore new concepts with teachers and parents in fun, engaging ways. Have you heard of ThinkStretch? They're dedicated to stopping summer learning loss, and have tons of activities on their blog kids actually enjoy. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/1btEZjp. Enjoy!

        [FULL DISCLOSURE: I don't work for ThinkStretch but I do help out with their digital.]

      • tlbarabasz profile image

        Tamara Barabasz 

        5 years ago from Durham, Nc

        I enjoy many of these websites as a facilitator. Thanks for compiling this concise list!

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        6 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks Bryan, I'll have to check that one out!

      • profile image

        Bryan 

        6 years ago

        There's a new website Knowledge Mouse (http://knowledgemouse.com/) that has activities and printables, like word search puzzles, a flash card creator, math quiz generator, etc.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        6 years ago from Michigan

        I agree mythicalstorm273. When used correctly, these website can really enhance the educational experience for kids. So glad that you found these resources helpful and thanks for stopping by.

      • mythicalstorm273 profile image

        mythicalstorm273 

        6 years ago

        I have found that many of the free websites that offer services like spelling, math, typing, or whatever the case may be are great tools to help children improve in their education! You have an awesome collection of different tools and thank you for sharing them with us.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        6 years ago from Michigan

        Agreed jpcmc! I don't mind my students or my own children 'playing' on the computer but I definitely want them to gain something from it. Appreciate your visit.

      • jpcmc profile image

        JP Carlos 

        6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

        Such a nice collection of sites. Children spend more time on the computer and on the net compared to kids a decade ago. Providing them with useful and meaningful sites will definitely make their time online worth every minute.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks anubhav18tiwari, I'm glad that you found it useful. Thanks for reading.

      • anubhav18tiwari profile image

        anubhav18tiwari 

        7 years ago from India

        nice list thanks for this good info ..........

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        That's great that your son already has a jump start on reading. My kids LOVE starfall. I'm glad that you found the hub so useful Leah. I use these site with my students and my own kids and they think they're great.

        You are welcome Jean! Definitely give them a try. They are wonderful resources and fun too! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • jean2011 profile image

        jean2011 

        7 years ago from Canada

        Thank you cardelean for sharing! I have used some the math sites before and they are great for reinforcing mathematical concepts. I will definitely try the other sites that you have mentioned.

      • leahlefler profile image

        Leah Lefler 

        7 years ago from Western New York

        Oh, wow - this is a great hub! We love Starfall, but I didn't realize there were so many math-based games for little ones. My boys play starfall all the time - Matt is actually starting to read and decode phonics (and he just started Kindergarten 2 days ago, so he's ahead of the game)!

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Me too Lilyting! That's why I wrote this hub. It has always been so hard for me to find quality sites for my students. Thanks for reading and commenting. Feel free to bookmark for future use!

      • Lilyting profile image

        Lilyting 

        7 years ago from China

        this is a fabulous hub, I regret not having read this before because I have waste a lot of time on the internet.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        So glad Troy! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • TroyM profile image

        TroyM 

        7 years ago

        Thank you for the great list!Very useful info for my daughter...

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks exprincess for the link. I'll have to check it out. I'm always on the lookout for good ones! :)

        Me too Scott. There's too much free reign for kids online sometimes. I like directed activity! Thanks for commenting.

      • scott33thomas profile image

        Manuel Porras 

        7 years ago from Germany, Colombia, USA, Panama, Mexico, Spain

        I very much like the internet used to this kind of purpose

      • exprincess85 profile image

        exprincess85 

        7 years ago from Upstate New York

        Great list! Another great site to check out is http://www.gamequarium.com/. They have educational games in a bunch of different subjects and also break them down into subareas.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        I'm not sure how old your sister's kids are but my students love these math sites. Good luck and I hope that they like them. Thanks for commenting.

      • clintonb profile image

        clintonb 

        7 years ago from Adelaide, Australia

        Great links. I was searching for good interactive games online for my sisters kids to keep them engaged in the leisure time after school. They never showed interest in offline games, so i thought like giving them some online games which can help them build some math knowledge. Thanks for the great post.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks for reading and commenting Htodd. Glad you found if useful.

      • htodd profile image

        htodd 

        7 years ago from United States

        Thanks for the great post..

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Glad you liked it asif. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • profile image

        asif 

        7 years ago

        Oh that is great, I really like it !!!

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Finding great websites that are high in quality is sometimes really tough to do. Glad you found it useful Mrs. Meagerie.

      • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

        Mrs. Menagerie 

        7 years ago from The Zoo

        This is realy valuable information! Bookmarked this one and UP

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        So glad you liked it Sarchi. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • profile image

        Sarchi 

        7 years ago

        Oh that is great, I really like it !!!

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks Mom and HBN! If kids are going to be on the computer I feel that it should be quality time spent, but even that should be in moderation. Glad you stopped by to comment.

        Adbrea, I'm glad that you found it useful. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Alvinalex and vietnamonl thanks so much for stopping by and reading. I'm glad that you found it useful.

        Brett, I'm glad you found that it was a nice range. I have so many really great sites but I wanted to give a little from each content area. Glad to have you following and I've returned the gesture! :)

      • profile image

        adbrea 

        7 years ago

        This was such a useful hub... there is also some video games that you can buy for children that are fun for kids. https://hubpages.com/hub/Enjoyable-Educational-Com...

        This was informative. Good job

      • Happyboomernurse profile image

        Gail Sobotkin 

        7 years ago from South Carolina

        Kudos for making hub of the day and rightfully so! This is a really great resource for parents looking for free educational websites, and also websites that offer great value for the fee they charge. Rated up, useful and awesome.

        Storyonline sounds wonderful and it's hard to believe it's free with all those "stars" reading the books to kids.

      • Denise Handlon profile image

        Denise Handlon 

        7 years ago from North Carolina

        Congratulations on your new 'accolade' LOL oh, and the fact that this hub was today's featured hub. :)

      • Brett.Tesol profile image

        Brett Caulton 

        7 years ago from Asia

        Fantastic range of educational sites ... very informative and useful for parents and teachers alike.

        Nice hub - Voted up and useful. You have a new follower too ;-)

      • vietnamonl profile image

        vietnamonl 

        7 years ago from Viet Nam

        That's a nice Hub...It's very useful...Thanks

      • alvinalex profile image

        alvinalex 

        7 years ago

        Thanks to share this Fantastic Resources! Vote UP!

        ~

        Alvin

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks Aunt Danette. I actually just got a bunch of new sites at this math workshop training that I am doing so I think I need to update the list or make a new "math only" hub.

      • Danette Watt profile image

        Danette Watt 

        7 years ago from Illinois

        This is a very useful hub for parents of younger children and if mine were still young, I'd definitely check out this list.

        I had some computer games that my kids really enjoyed playing (although they weren't free, your list is even better!).

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        I'm so glad that you found it useful Christina. I've always struggled with finding quality learning websites for my students and my own children. I know that I use this list very often. Enjoy!

      • ~Christina profile image

        ~Christina 

        7 years ago from Northern Virginia

        I think this is the best list of internet games I've ever seen - seriously! I'm bookmarking this and we'll be checking out these sites to keep my kids learning this summer. Thanks so much!

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks RandomCreative. Hopefully it will help parents keep away some of that summer learning loss and keep their kidos busy.

        Glad you liked it Mom and I don't think that I can keep up this rate so I doubt I'll do the challenge.

      • Denise Handlon profile image

        Denise Handlon 

        7 years ago from North Carolina

        Hi-ok, read it and it is filled with wonderfully, useful info. Bookmarked and voted up/useful. Great job.

      • Denise Handlon profile image

        Denise Handlon 

        7 years ago from North Carolina

        Are you cranking thses hubs out like mass production now that you are out of school, or what? LOL I didn't see this one until scrolling thru FB-

        Oh heck, JOIN THE HUBCHALLENGE!!! you've already done three in a row.

        I will read it a bit later, kiddo-got to get back to the drawing board-I've managed to procrastinate too much already.

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Great list of resources! Very helpful for teachers and parents. Thanks!

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        I'm glad that you were able to find the list helpful AspiringNewMoms. If you are looking for other "learning ideas" to keep your kids busy this summer, check out my other hubs. I have one on avoiding the summer slide and cheap and fun summer activities which also include learning while having fun. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • AspiringNewMoms profile image

        AspiringNewMoms 

        7 years ago

        Thank you for the great list! This is incredibly helpful, especially with school out for the summer. I have saved this article to my favorites.

      • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR

        cardelean 

        7 years ago from Michigan

        Thanks Smanty. They are great for at home or at school. Glad you stopped by to read and comment.

      • smanty profile image

        smanty 

        7 years ago

        This is a fantastic list. My younger sister used coolmath in her math class. Great job!

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