ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – We’re talking about kids and time spent staring at a TV or computer screen. We know limiting that time is a good thing, but what about educational websites. Do they count?
Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann, a pediatrician for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, visits Fox 2 News in the Morning to discuss the best recreational and educational sites for kids.
1) Duolingo (website and app): Duolingo.com
Awarded Google’s ‘Best of the Best’ in 2013, Duolingo provides free interactive foreign-language education.
2) Scratch and Scratch Jr. (website and app): scratch.mit.edu
Scratch is a free online tool and app designed by MIT to help kids learn programming. Scratch is intended for kids ages 7-adult. Scratch Jr. is an iPad app designed for ages 5-7.
3) Dragon Box (app): www.dragonboxapp.com
This puzzle-game app is designed to secretly teach algebra to kids ages 5+, although plenty of reviewers find their 4-year-olds love it. Kids move through 200 levels without ever realizing they are doing math. Using pictures instead of numbers kids learn basic algebraic concepts, such as making two sides equal.
4) Typing.com (Formerly TypingWeb): www.typing.com
Typing.com offers a comprehensive keyboarding/touch typing course that is appropriate for children age 5 and up. Many schools use this program for their keyboarding courses. It is free, although there are ads.
5) Khan Academy (website and app): https://www.khanacademy.org
“A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” It’s incredibly easy to use, there are no ads, and it`s appropriate for any school-aged child that knows how to read. Although Khan Academy started as a math-learning site, you can now learn just about anything there.
6) IXL (webite and app): Our kids use IXL.com every day to supplement their regular school curriculum.
7) Splash Math (website and app): Similar to IXL, Splash Math is a comprehensive math practice program for grades K-5 that allows your child to practice a few skills per day for free, or buy a plan starting at $2.75 per child per month.
8) Quizlet and Brainscape (websites and apps): These two separate companies provide a similar free service: create-your-own flashcards and quizzes and then practice your content online.
9) PBSKids (website and multiple related apps): Every young child I know plays PBSKids and it’s loaded with characters they love and it`s free with no ads. This app is free.
10) Abcmouse (website and app): ABCMouse.com is a preschool and Kindergarten online educational website that offers a more comprehensive curriculum than PBSKids and tracks your child`s progress.
11) Bitsboard and other Alligator Apps (multiple apps): Alligator Apps is a company that has created an entire line of early childhood learning apps, many of which we use every day, and most of which are free.
12) Stack the States and other Free Cloud Design apps: Voted best kids app for iPad, Stack the States is the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn United States geography.
13) Classic games with 2 or more players (multiple apps): Chess, Checkers, Connect 4, Othello, Battleship, and all those classic logic games you played as a child are available on tablets.
14) iMovie (app and software for iOs or PC): Your kids can film and edit their own home movies with the iMovie app, available for $4.99 at the app store.
15) Google Earth (website and app): Want your kids to learn geography and astronomy all on one site? Just let them go on Google Earth. There are no ads and it is free.