Over the past few years, I have found the computer to be a wonderful tool in helping my children learn and develop many new skills. It is amazing how quickly they “catch on” to games. Many websites are so kid friendly, that once you log on and get your child started, even the youngest child can navigate through the website alone and play numerous games on their own.

I have tagged a few of these websites and added them to my “Favorites Box” online. Now my children can easily click on the website of their choice and being playing without help. One warning – it is extremely difficult to get them OFF the computer once they start! I usually use computer time as a reward and I also make sure to set a timer. The kids know that when the timer goes off, computer time is over, even if they were in the middle of a game.

I would love to share with you some of our favorite websites for kids and invite you to add a comment below to add any sites that you and your children enjoy.

This website is perfect for children who are just learning to use the computer. My son and daughter both loved Elmo’s ABC game when they two years old, or maybe even younger. It is a game where the child pushes any letter or number on the keyboard and Elmo will say the letter and a word that begins with that letter. It is very cute and simple. Even the youngest children can sit on their parents’ laps and play this one. There are many additional games on this website that teach different skills such as matching, rhyming, spelling, reading, letter recognition, shapes, weather, etc.

This is also a great website for younger children. It includes games centered around the television shows featured on the Noggin network. Kids can also watch music videos by Laurie Berkner and other children’s bands. They can also make their own music online.

We just tried this website last week. My five-year-old claims that the Poptropica game on here is “Super Cool” and lots of fun. This website also has games such as Tic Tac Toe , Hangman, and Madlibs, as well as number and letter games.

This website is based off the Game Show Network. It is definitely for older kids. They can play Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and a great word game called Lingo. I must admit I like this one for myself, too!

This not only has interactive games for the kids, but many crafts and activities to do at home. It has many different matching games, puzzles, etc. From what I have seen, this one does not seem to have as many letter, word or number games, but is still lots of fun and can develop other skills!

Great for a variety of all ages. It has games centered around PBS shows, including “Between the Lions” and “WordWorld” which are great for emerging readers. It also has coloring, videos and music. Games such as “Play with Caillou” are great for preschoolers.

This website focuses on many different skills such as matching, multiplication and addition facts, putting words in alphabetical order, etc. The downfall is that the technology on this website does not seem as advanced, so the games are a bit slower-paced.

http://www.nickjr.com/ and http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/
I must admit that these two are my least favorite, simply because the games are more like video games without as many learning tools for the kids. But they are both good websites just for fun, and are of course the kids love them!