Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 28, 2018

The Top 21 Kids Websites to Teach Responsibility and Life Skills

The Top 21 Kids Websites to Teach Responsibility and Life Skills

Letting your children navigate the internet on their own is like throwing them into the Wild West for them to fend for themselves. The internet can be a dangerous place for children if they are on the wrong websites.

We all want to protect our children, so knowing the websites that are safe for our kids is of utmost importance. What we also want as parents are websites that teach our children life skills and responsibility.

There are great websites, geared for children, that will engage your child and have them learning at the same time. Below are the top 21 websites for teaching children life skills and responsibility. All of the sites have been vetted and approved by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.”

Always monitor children when they are using the internet. Parental guidance for age appropriateness is recommended when your child uses any of the websites listed below. What is appropriate for an eight year old is not always appropriate or suited for a four year old.

These 21 websites can have your kids engaged, entertained, learning, and developing new skills.  Most of them are intended to engage children of various ages, so look for the content on each site that is appropriate for your child’s age and ability level.

1. PBS Kids

    This website is loaded with games, educational activities and videos that will please both child and parent.

    This site engages children in activities and videos that teach them about citizenship, different cultures, geography, global awareness, hypothesis testing, investigating, self-reflection, personal growth, empathy, respect for others, labeling feelings and more.

    For example, the Webonauts Internet Academy teaches kids how to be safe online and Wild Kratts teaches kids about different habitats around the world.

    There is a great deal of content on this website. Head to their site today to discover what your child could be missing out on!

    2. Curious World

      This site is geared for kids ages 2-7. The main character guiding kids on an educational journey is Curious George. If your child is a fan of the books or cartoon, then you should check out this website.

      There are eight key areas of learning covered on this website including math, reading, and science. This website makes learning fun with games and child appropriate online activities. It also includes hands on activities for parents to do with their child.

      Activities such as crafting, cooking, and art projects with detailed instructions are provided, so that parents can interact with their children to build important life skills.

      3. News-O-Matic

        This is a news website geared for kids. The content helps them learn about the world and its happenings, in a website that is made for kids.

        There are daily editions of which include new articles every day on a variety of subjects and topics. The articles are written to grab the attention of a child reader. You will find that even reluctant readers find this site entertaining.

        If you have a passion for the news and keeping up with the changing world, then you can ignite this passion in your children by getting them started on the News-O-Matic website.

        Some of the skills that kids can learn while utilizing this site include reading comprehension, increased vocabulary, geography recognition, critical thinking, perspective taking, reasoning, and cultural awareness.

        Advertising

        4. National Geographic Kids

          The National Geographic Kids website teaches kids about animals, space, the natural world, dinosaurs, insects and more. They use games, videos, and online activities to connect children with learning about our natural world.

          There are valuable skills reinforced in the online activities including the use of logic, memory, applying information, investigation, problem solving, and imagination.

          There is a great deal of free content on this website that can be utilized without being a paid subscriber.

          5. ABC Mouse

            This website is geared for children ages 2-7. This is a learning website that covers the subjects of reading, math, social studies, science, health, writing, art, and music.

            Some of the skills that are taught on this site through the website activities include following directions, letter recognition, word recognition, phonics, reading comprehension, speaking, memorization, solving puzzles, measurement, goal achievement, rhythm, and more.

            This website boats that it contains a comprehensive curriculum with more than 8,500 learning activities. It is a great tool for preschoolers preparing for kindergarten.

            There are also lessons and activities that are more advanced beyond kindergarten.

            This is a subscription based program. It has won many awards because of its comprehensive nature and successful curriculum.

            6. FunBrain

              This educational website has a great deal of free content, so your child can access hundreds of activities without a subscription.

              There are games and activities for kids to play while they learn at the same time. Kids will use the following skills while playing on this website: problem solving, puzzle solving, reading, vocabulary, math, and reasoning.

              What makes this site unique is that there are online versions of popular kid’s books including the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.

              7. Nourish Interactive

                This website is geared toward nutrition for children. It is a free website.

                There are games, printable activities, recipes and tools on this site that teach children about nutrition.

                The goal of the site is to help children learn to make healthy eating choices at a young age, so they can have this skill for life. The site also teaches about cooking, with many healthy recipes available free.

                8. Arthur Family Health

                Advertising

                  Arthur is a favorite cartoon character on PBS. The Arthur Family Health website is for kids to learn about resilience, fitness, peanut allergies, asthma, and more.

                  Health is not an easy topic to address with children, but this website does a great job by utilizing games, videos, and activities that are age appropriate and fun.

                  9. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

                    This website uses the popular PBS cartoon character Daniel Tiger. This website has games, activities, and videos geared toward younger children.

                    The skills that are taught on this site include expressing emotions appropriately, eating healthy, making friends, brushing teeth, dealing with disappointment and toilet training.

                    There are stories with a narrator for kids to listen to, simple games to play, videos to watch, and songs to engage younger children.

                    It is an entertaining site for younger kids and the topics teach great life skills for little ones! This is a free website.

                    10. BrainPop

                      This website is geared for children in the fourth grade and older. It is a paid subscription site. However, there are some games and videos that are available free on this site.

                      This website helps kids academically. There are also life skills and lessons addressed on the site. They address even the most sensitive and tough topics such as war, terrorism, sexual development, and alcoholism.

                      Reviewers of the site say that this website is useful for kids all the way through high school.

                      11. Arcademic Skill Builder

                        This website is geared toward helping young students acquire math, language arts, English and critical-thinking skills. This site is filled with games and activities to keep kids entertained while learning.

                        This website has a strong emphasis on math skills including addition, subtraction, counting, division, fractions, money, multiplication, ratios, and shapes.

                        If your child is struggling with their math skills, then this site can be of great help. Many of the games and activities are free.

                        12. Cyberchase

                          This website is based on the PBS show Cyberchase. It is geared toward children who can read or are learning to read. It helps kids acquire critical thinking and reading skills.

                          The site is filled with free games, videos and activities that keep kids entertained, engaged, and learning. Some of the games get kids to think about real life situations to utilize their problem solving skills. Brainstorming is a another skill that is utilized on this site. It is a free website.

                          13. Fact Monster

                          Advertising

                            This website was created in partnership with educational professional. It is a site that is a great help for children completing homework. They can find facts on dozens of subjects on this site along with dictionary and atlas.

                            The content is more than browsing and providing information. There are games and activities to entertain kids on the site while they learn. Interesting to note, the site contains more than 30,000 short biographies!

                            This website is a game changer for home work time. Some of the skills that kids apply on this site include problem solving, thinking, reasoning, and self-direction.

                            14. Maggie’s Earth Adventures

                              This website gets kids thinking and learning about the world and its vast ecosystems. It is a free site that teaches kids about the earth.

                              Real life situations are presented in short videos. Then kids play games that touch on the subjects of animals, earth, recycling, and injustice.

                              Some of the skills that they can acquire on this site include cultural understanding, global awareness, reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, investigation, prediction, and thinking critically.

                              15. PBS Lab

                                PBS Lab is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant requires them to research the games and their effectiveness in helping kids learn real skills. The result is a website where kids actually learn while they have fun.

                                This site teaches kids the skills they need to be successful in school. The website is useful for kids ages three and up. Some of the skills that kids learn on this site include math, reading, spelling, word recognition, measuring, and pattern recognition. This site is free!

                                16. Sesame Street

                                  This website is based on the TV program. Kids are entertained by their favorite Muppets in games, songs, podcasts, videos, and activities.

                                  This site can be used by children ages two and up, so it is one of the best options for very young children.

                                  Some of the skills taught on this site include empathy, labeling emotions, brushing teeth, hygiene, addition, subtraction, counting, measuring, recognizing shapes, understanding cultural differences, following directions, letter recognition, word recognition, spelling, respecting others, asking questions, problem solving, use of imagination, and making new creations.

                                  This site has a great deal of value for parents who want their children to be learning practical life skills while they are on the internet being entertained. This website is completely free!

                                  17. Star Fall

                                    This educational website is geared for children ages four and up. Although this is a subscription website, there is content that users can try out before purchasing.

                                    The website is run through a non profit organization and the price for subscription to the site is low because they want to make the content available widespread to benefit many children.

                                    Some of the skills that kids can learn on this website are addition, subtraction, counting, division, equations, fractions, geometry, grouping, measuring, multiplication, number recognition, shape recognition, reading, letter recognition, and word recognition.

                                    Advertising

                                    There are games, lots of songs, and activities to engage young children. The primary focus on this site is math and literacy.

                                    18. How Stuff Works

                                      This website is geared toward older children. It is a site filled with articles, podcasts, games, quizzes, and polls. There is a wealth of information on this site, which makes it useful for homework projects.

                                      The articles are attention grabbing, which help to snag the reader and get them interested in everything from the history of specific holidays to learning how super-volcanos work.

                                      This site touches on eleven primary categories of learning: animals, health, science, tech, automobiles, culture, home & garden, finances, lifestyle, entertainment, and adventure.

                                      Some of the skills that kids can learn through using this site include: building, gardening, self-direction, creativity, researching, empathy, understanding different cultures, and developing novel solutions.

                                      19. Nick Jr

                                        This website is based on the tv shows from the Nick Jr network. Young kids can learn while they interact with their favorite characters on this website. Bubble Guppies, Paw Patrol, Sunny, and dozens of other characters can be found on this site.

                                        There are games, video, stories, and printable activities found on this website. The site is entertaining for kids and they learn a variety of skills including math and reading.

                                        The content is geared toward preschool learning, and it is free.

                                        20. Space Racers

                                          This website is based on the show. The site is designed to get preschoolers excited about space and science.

                                          The learning on this site is based on STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It comes through games, coloring pages, videos, music segments, lesson plans, and printouts from the lessons.

                                          There are a total of 17 lesson plans that use STEM concepts. The skills that kids learn from using this site include observation, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, mathematics, decision making, hypothesis testing, and goal setting.

                                          The science subjects taught on this site through the entertaining and engaging content include astronomy, rocket science, geology, and physics. This website is free!

                                          21. Crayola

                                            This website comes from the Crayola company. It is a free website.

                                            When kids click on the “play zone” they can find educational games and activities. The site has many free printable and coloring activities.

                                            The following skills can be learned by kids who use this site: following directions, drawing, painting, making digital creations, use of imagination, innovation, and making new creations.

                                            There are a great deal of DIY craft projects with detailed instructions found on this website.

                                            Featured photo credit: Ben Mullins via unsplash.com

                                            More by this author

                                            Dr. Magdalena Battles

                                            Doctor of Psychology

                                            15 Ways to Practice Positive Self-Talk for Success How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Stop Feeling Lonely The Top 21 Kids Websites to Teach Responsibility and Life Skills 12 Tips for Parenting the Strong Willed Child in a Compassionate Way 12 Pieces of Child Rearing Advice for Today’s Modern Family

                                            Trending in Restore Energy

                                            1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success) 4 Do Memory Supplements Work? 10 Supplements to Boost Brain Power 5 How to Cope with Stress When You’re Overwhelmed by Responsibilities

                                            Read Next

                                            Advertising
                                            Advertising

                                            Published on October 19, 2018

                                            The Most Critical Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out While Pregnant

                                            The Most Critical Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out While Pregnant

                                            Are you scared of working out whilst pregnant? Or simply not sure how to proceed? Everything seems slightly more daunting once you’re carrying and creating a whole other person.

                                            In this article I will give you specific advice, tips and strategies for working out while pregnant. Ensuring that you, and your baby, are safe. Not only that but you will both benefit.

                                            Benefits of Working Out While Pregnant

                                            It is clear that everyone, not just you but your baby, and probably your partner and other kids will benefit from you working out while pregnant. If you’re sleeping better and feel less stress, you can guarantee everyone in the household is going to feel better.

                                            How you benefit from working out while pregnant:

                                            • Reduced incidence of lower back pain
                                            • 30% reduction in the risk of gestational diabetes
                                            • Reduced likelihood of unplanned cesarian
                                            • Lower incidence and reduce severity of depression
                                            • Less pregnancy weight gain
                                            • Lower risk of urinary incontiennce
                                            • Reduced pregnancy constipation
                                            • Less pregnancy tiredness
                                            • May have a shorter labour

                                            How your baby benefits from working out while pregnant:

                                            • A healthier heart
                                            • Normal birth weight
                                            • Quicker neurological development
                                            • Reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome (for infants of high-risk women)
                                            • Less maternal stress could reduce impact on immune system development

                                            Instant Big-Rocks for Working out While Pregnant

                                            Before we get cracking into what really will benefit, here are some instant ‘big-rocks’ when it comes to working out while pregnant.

                                            Safety first: Check with your midwife

                                            Each person and pregnancy is individual – and as I”m not speaking to you in person, the first pre-qualifier is that you check with your doctor that you’re ok to work out while pregnant. In certain circumstances, it is not recommended due to potential complications arising from exercise.

                                            If you’re new to exercising or have just fallen pregnant do check with your GP or midwife before commencing or recommencing your exercise program.

                                            Exercise Check In Second – No lying Flat or Crunches

                                            Crunches are a whole other issue in regards to pre and post natal training that I’ll get into during another article.

                                            For now, know that lying flat on your back puts pressure on your body, especially after 16 weeks. The weight of your bump pressing on certain blood vessels can reduce cardiac output, make you feel dizzy and affect the flow of blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to your baby.

                                            While this means traditional stomach crunches are out, you can and should still include core and pelvic floor strengthening exercises in your routine. These I’ll get to later in the article.

                                            Advertising

                                            Third Intensity Check In – No High Intensity Workouts

                                            When it comes to exercise intensity, it is best to abide by the guideline “to be able to comfortably hold a conversation” whilst working out. Unless you are an athlete and extremely used to very high heart rates whilst you workout, keeping your rate of perceived exertion to a 7 out of 10 is best practice.

                                            Experts agree that you should avoid undertaking activities that will raise your core temperature by more than 2°C – or above 38.9°C. This is because such a temperature change may result in hyperthermia (the opposite of hypothermia). Hyperthermia during pregnancy has been linked to a twofold increase in the risk of birth defects impacting the spine or brain.

                                            As such, it is not advisable to use hot tubs or spas during pregnancy, and hot yoga should be avoided as well as parking in only moderate intensity exercise.

                                            Final & Fourth Point – No high contact/dangerous sports

                                            For obvious reasons, contact sports or sports in which it’s likely you can fall or have an accident should be avoided.

                                            For example scuba diving while pregnant should be avoided as your baby will have no protection against decompression sickness (‘the bends’) or gas embolism – bubbles in the bloodstream that can cut off blood supply or cause breathing difficulties.

                                            Similarly, horse riding, climbing, cycling, gymnastics and other activities that require extreme balance are best avoided as your centre of gravity shifts and affects your balance.

                                            Certainly, sports like kick boxing, jujitsu or rugby in which contact is prevalent should be avoided for bump protection.

                                            Actual Workouts You Can Do While Pregnant

                                            1. Let your personal trainer or group exercise instructor know that you’re pregnant

                                            In doing so they can assist you in providing expert advice or refer you to a qualified practitioner in your area. If you’re unsure ask your GP or Midwife for a referral.

                                            2. Use your breath to engage your core and pelvic floor throughout your workout programs

                                            Your breath plays a big part in controlled core to assist with labour and reduce back pain. We each take thousands of breaths per day, as as your baby grows pressure is placed upon the lungs and pelvic floor.

                                            Preparing and practicing proper breath ensures that your core remains as integrated and activated as possible throughout and after your pregnancy.

                                            3. Find a Holistic Core Restore Coach

                                            The reason the Holistic Core Restore® programmes are more effective than performing keels or traditional abdominal exercise alone for true core restore and pelvic floor activation. A Hollisitc Core Restore Coach will work with you to integrate your core and pelvic floor with your whole body through a series of movements and lifestyle factors.

                                            Advertising

                                            4. Join a Pre & Post Natal Class

                                            Join a Pre & Post Natal Class in order to move in specific ways designed to boost your health and recovery post birth.

                                            This not only provides you with a chance to connect with other pre & post natal women in your area to and create a community; but also provides you access to pre & post natal experts who can give you tailored advice for exercising whilst pregnant.

                                            5. Focus on strengthening the glute muscles

                                            Focus on strengthening the glute muscles to counteract the anterior tilt produced by your expanding bump.

                                            Most people will simply focus on keeping the core engaged and active to help the ‘pre-mummy-tummy’ bounce back. When in actual fact the synergist muscle to the core for pelvic stability is the butt.

                                            Really focus on strengthening the glute muscles in order to support the core, posture and back.

                                            Hinge movements such as single leg romanian deadlifts are a brilliant way to do so. You can do this holding a Kettlebell or Dumbell but also, once the bump is big enough just using your bodyweight.

                                            6. Enjoy swimming

                                            Enjoy swimming, especially in your third trimester, to remove weight and boost lymphatic drainage of your feet and ankles.

                                            It’s well known that your ankles swell during the last months of pregnancy. This is due to the changes in posture from the weight of the stomach pulling down towards the floor.

                                            Consequently, this causes the front of the hip to become compressed. And this in turn reduces circulation of the lymphatic fluid in the lower body.

                                            One way to improve this circulation is to get into water as the pressure from the water removes the weight of the bump whilst providing pressure to the legs improving circulation.

                                            7. Bring layers to your workouts

                                            Bring layers to your workouts so that you can add and remove layers as you warm up and cool down.

                                            Advertising

                                            As previously mentioned, changes in body temperature can be dangerous for the baby – using layers so that you can keep your temperature constant is one the the most simple and best things you can do whilst working out while pregnant.

                                            8. Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts

                                            Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts – squat, lunge, anti-rotate, push, carry, hinge, pull.

                                            “We love pregnant mamas to be regularly training their squats, since a low squat is the ideal position for working through contractions and pushing during labor.”

                                            They also improve pelvic floor strength and elasticity to help prevent tearing during the natural labor process and teach abdominal strength relative to hip mobility for an easier labor and faster postnatal recovery.

                                            Kiberd and her team prefer front squats done with at least a 12-kilogram kettlebell held at the chest. (Choose an appropriate weight for your level.)

                                            “The kettlebell gives great feedback to the muscles that need to engage to stand you back up and to stabilize your weight while you’re down in the squat,” she explains.

                                            And once the bump gets big? “No weight on the front is needed,” she says. “The belly is that natural weight.”

                                            9. Do exercise that your enjoy

                                            Because really if you’re enjoying it so will bump and you’ll feel less stressed.

                                            Do not making working out while pregnant a chore – if it becomes that way, seek advice from an expert in your gym or area on some new varied things that you can try.

                                            10. Practice anti-rotation exercises

                                            Practice anti-rotation exercises whilst focussing on the breath for core integration and activation.

                                            The Palloff press (a core stabilizer done on a cable machine) and the bear crawls offer the same degree of effectiveness.

                                            Advertising

                                            “These two exercises engage the external and internal obliques, which are involved in stabilizing the torso in rotation and help stabilize the shoulders down and back.”

                                            11. Make sure to wind down properly

                                            Cooling down slowly after your workouts and providing a little leeway time before your next appointment will reduce your stress levels and help you feel more balanced.

                                            It will also stop sharp changes in body temperature that are non-beneficial to your baby.

                                            Take your time and enjoy each session for what it is.

                                            The Bottom Line

                                            You will have to make fitness modifications as your body changes, but deep down, you know that’s ok. Dr Dawn Harper says

                                            “We’re now seeing evidence that exercising in pregnancy may be one of the best things you can do for your baby’s future health. Pregnancy exercise can have a huge impact on your personal experience of pregnancy, too. Provided you follow the expert guidelines, it’s safe for most women to continue and even start exercising in pregnancy. Just make sure you check with your midwife or doctor first, in case there are any specific medical reasons why you should avoid being physically active in pregnancy.”

                                            There are certain things that are essential. The first being to check with your Dr/Midwife to be given the ‘OK’ to exercise.

                                            There are definite ‘no-nos’ such as abstaining from contact or dangerous sports as well as performing extreme high intensity workouts that bring your heart rate and temperature very, abnormally high for you. It is also contraindicated that you perform any exercises lying on your back.

                                            The exciting thing is that you can and should exercise. You simply have to adapt to what is possible by seeking advice of a local pre & post natal expert. If you take one sentence away let it be this:

                                            Focus upon your breath, workout at a 7/10 level, strengthen your glutes and perform whole body integrated exercises preferentially led by a pre & post natal expert.

                                            And finally, if in doubt, get in the pool for some weight off your feet and relax!

                                            References

                                            1. Pennick V, Liddle SD. Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013(CD0011):1-100.
                                            2. Sanabria‐Martínez G et al. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions on preventing gestational diabetes mellitus and excessive maternal weight gain: a meta‐analysis. BJOG 2015;122(9):1167-74.
                                            3. Price BB et al. Exercise in pregnancy: effect on fitness and obstetric outcomes-a randomized trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44(12):2263-9.
                                            4. Domenjoz I et al. Effect of physical activity during pregnancy on mode of delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211(4):401.e1-e11.
                                            5. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
                                            6. Robledo-Colonia AF et al. Aerobic exercise training during pregnancy reduces depressive symptoms in nulliparous women: a randomised trial. J Physiother 2012;58(1):9-15.
                                            7. Perales M et al. Benefits of aerobic or resistance training during pregnancy on maternal health and perinatal outcomes: A systematic review. Early Hum Dev 2016;94:43-8..
                                            8. Shi W et al. Epidemiology and risk factors of functional constipation in pregnant women. PloS one 2015;10(7):e0133521
                                            9. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
                                            10. Barakata et al. Exercise during pregnancy is associated with a shorter duration of labor. A randomized clinical trial 2018, 224 33-40
                                            11. May LE et al. Aerobic exercise during pregnancy influences fetal cardiac autonomic control of heart rate and heart rate variability. Early Hum Dev 2010;86(4):213-7.
                                            12. Bisson M et al. Physical activity volumes during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies assessing the association with infant’s birth weight. AJP Reports 2016;6(02):e170-e97.
                                            13. Labonte-Lemoyne E et al. Exercise during pregnancy enhances cerebral maturation in the newborn: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2016:1-8.
                                            14. Muktabhant B et al. Diet or exercise, or both, for preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Jun 15;(6):CD007145.
                                            15. Marques AH, Bjorke-Monsen AL, Teixeira AL, Silverman MN. Maternal stress, nutrition and physical activity: impact on immune function, CNS development and psychopathology. Brain Research. 2015;1617:28–46

                                            Featured photo credit: Jernej Graj via unsplash.com

                                            Read Next