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20 Really Cool and Useful Websites for Kids

20 Really Cool and Useful Websites for Kids

Useful websites for kids must be engaging for children, and both safe and offering some educational value for parents to love them as well. The following 20 sites are a bit more off the beaten and well-known path worn by Nickelodeon or Disney!

1. PEEP and the Big Wide World

peep

    PEEP and the Big Wide World is a fun and interactive educational site for three- to five-year-olds. The site has plenty to do for the little ones and gives parents plenty of educational resources. There are coloring pages along with games, and the site offers activities for parents and kids to do offline. PEEP and the Big Wide World has plenty to keep toddlers to the preschool aged occupied and is a fresh gateway toward building a true love for learning.

    2. Funology

    fun

      Funology touts itself as being “the science of having fun!” Kids will love the magic tricks, allowing them to impress their family and friends. Parents will love the many crafts pages and the blog that reviews games and more. There are also scientific experiments available for kids to do with parents. One such experiment is to build a terrarium for a child’s favorite dinosaur. Or check out the recipes page for healthy snacks, breakfasts, lunches, or dinners.

      3. The Great Plant Escape

      plant

        The Great Plant Escape is geared toward children in fourth or fifth grades. The site is an extension from the University of Illinois and is geared to teach kids about plants and their systems through problem-solving. Activities are structured to strengthen a child’s math, science, social studies, and even art. Children can work the pages independently, but the fun is enhanced when parents join in. Parents might want to start a small garden or plant a seed to allow children to see the growth of plant life for themselves.

        4. Switch Zoo: Animal Games

        Screenshot

          This site is a true joy, even parents may beg for a turn to figure out where a certain species of animal is from. Switch Zoo has plenty of games to keep kids occupied. Parents will appreciate the fact that kids are learning as they play.  Kids will delight in making their own animal, building the right habitats, and a great deal more. There are also educational resources that parents may want to tap into to help their child learn even more.

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          5. bubblesphere

          bubbles

            The site is owned and operated by none other than ‘Professor Bubbles’ himself. The bubblesphere site is full of recipes for making large and fantastic bubbles or a slew of tiny ones. Kids can experiment and post their experiences in the forum. Kids can add their own recipes, while learning to mix and make bubbles of all kinds. Children can also track the adventures of Professor Bubbles around the world.

            6. Kodable

            kodable

              Kodable teaches children aged five to six years old how to write computer code. Kids learn through a self-guided game. Children drag and drop computer code to further their creature along on its way. The free application comes with the first 45 levels of the game.

              7. Funbrain

              funbrain

                This site is just right for school-aged kids, from kindergarten to the eighth grade. Funbrain mixes the educational with games that are simply all-out fun. Parents are invited to get even preschoolers in on the action in this site. The books and comics section includes excerpts from that favorite of many kids: The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid.

                8. Giggle Poetry

                giggle

                  Have a kid who is struggling to read? Giggle Poetry may be the answer. Children are challenged to rate poems with the ‘giggle meter.’ Word and reading games also abound, each immersed in poetry sure to attract and keep a child’s attention.

                  9. Hackety Hack!

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                  hack

                    This site is for teens aged 13 and up. The site is perfect for budding programmers. Kids are able to read about programmable languages and to test their new knowledge in a safe environment. Only an e-mail is needed to sign in to post messages or sample programs.

                    10. ABCya!

                    abc

                      Kids will love the many games in the language arts, math, and more. Parents will love the fact that there are no downloads, plus the fact that no personal information is required for game play. The games also sharpen a child’s computer skills with typing games.

                      11. CryptoKids

                      crypto

                        Here kids learn all about cyphers and making secret codes. Budding cryptographers learn how to scramble messages and passwords. There is no need to provide an e-mail for kids to have fun on the site. There are lots of games that will also test memory. The site was built and is maintained by the National Security Agency.

                        12. Invention at Play

                        play

                          Invention at Play offers kids the chance to dream, play, and experiment. Kids learn to stretch their imaginations through various games, such as word play or problem solving with virtual blocks. Children are also introduced to inventors and their inventions. In this very cool site, kids learn that play and the use of their imagination can lead to a new invention.

                          13. Chillola.com

                          chillola

                            Chillola.com is a way for children from around the world to interact with one another and learn another language. Educational and fun, Chillola offers the chance to learn English, Spanish, German, French, or Italian. Kids interact through sharing their works of art, poems, and more. Parents will love the fact that the site is not only a great way to learn a new language, but that the tools are entirely free.

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                            14. Amazing Space

                            space

                              This site will bring the wonders of space right to your child’s computer. The site is better suited to older children, as there are no games. However, kids will be able to see outer space through the Hubble telescope, or catch a glimpse of their own night sky online. The site encourages parents to grab a telescope and share with children the beauty of the sky from their own backyard.

                              15. 4Kids.org

                              4kids

                                This site is coupled with the Scholastic newsletter that your kids receive at school. There are plenty of games and opportunities to explore the news that’s important to kids. Kids can also rate and report on sites they find entertaining in the ‘cool spots’ tab. Parents can keep up with what their kids are reading about in the news that is important to their children.

                                16. Dance Mat Typing

                                dance

                                  Kids get to learn the ‘dance moves’ from a wise old billy goat and his mates. Kids learn by watching the screen instead of their hands as they learn to type. This is a silly and fun but very educational site offered by the BBC. There are related sites that teach the language arts, history, and math. Educational games in Mandarin, French, and Spanish are also available.

                                  17. CIA For Kids

                                  cia

                                    This site is suitable for kids aged K–12. There are games and information about what the CIA does. Kids will have a great time exploring the world, figuring out puzzles, and more. For the little ones there are coloring pages that can be printed. There are resources for parents on how to keep kids safe online, as well as a portal to cool and useful sites for kids.

                                    18. Mr. Nussbaum

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                                    mt

                                      The Mr. Nussbaum site covers a lot of territory. The site has games for preschoolers and all the way up to grade eight. There are plenty of games, along with educational tabs that cover history, math, science, and much more. The goal of the site is to enhance children’s learning from the classroom into an interactive experience on the web.

                                      19. Brain POP

                                      brain

                                        Brain POP offers movies, games, an experimental arena, and so much more. The site is suitable for kids in grades K–12. Parents will love the fact that the subjects covered in core standards are also available through this site. A separate subscription is available for those who choose to home school their children. Brain POP also serves as a resource for ESL students.

                                        20. Lil’ Fingers Storybook

                                        storybook

                                          Introduce toddlers to the world of reading with Lil’ Fingers. Lil’ Fingers has big buttons and bright colors to attract a child to stories like Bears In Bed or One Little Rabbit. The site also introduces books that parents may want to add to their child’s collection or pick up at the library. There are also games and videos to entertain a growing mind.

                                          21. Kids Web Japan

                                          japan

                                            Kids who are into Manga comics or are simply curious about another culture will love this site. Chocked full of kid-worthy news and what’s popular with Japanese kids, it’s sure to keep them coming back. There are games, virtual culture, and learning activities. There are even animated cards kids can send to those they love. Parents may be surprised at how well their children enjoy this marvelous site.

                                            Featured photo credit: Mads Bødker via flickr.com

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                                            Published on September 20, 2018

                                            11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                            11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                            In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                            Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                            In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                            Minimizing Tabs

                                            Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                            Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                            Incognito Mode

                                            Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                            1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                            2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                            3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                            This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                            Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                            Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                            Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                            Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                            Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                            One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                            The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                            Solve Mathematical Problems

                                            Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                            For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                            Play Media Files

                                            Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                            In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                            Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                            With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                            Stay Focus(e)d

                                            Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                            Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                            With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                            This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                            Grammarly for Editing

                                            Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                            You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                            Loom

                                            There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                            There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                            With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                            Chrome Calendar Extension

                                            No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                            Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                            Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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