Games and Activities (online)
Sometimes when you want to help a child learn to read, it pays to think “outside the book.” Unlike many of us, our kids are not only growing up with free access to computers, there is at least one screen at their disposal at all times.
Whether they get to the Web from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, there are fun ways to use that screen time for literacy.
Please note: Being on this list does not imply endorsement. We curate content for informational purposes only.
General | Educational Games | Sites with Book Connections
ALA’s Great Websites for Kids – Want to know if a website is safe or educational? This is the place to go.
Best Wordgame Apps for Young Kids – A collection of curated educational apps via Common Sense Media.
BestHistorySites – A collection of history games and animations, ranging from ancient history to modern history.
Boowa and Kwala – This site offers fun activities and games for kids that are easy to navigate.
Game Classroom – Games from all over the web are sorted according to skill, topic and grade level (K to 6). There’s a homework help section with learning tips, online resources and sample problems. According to the site, content was created by professional educators with more than 200 years of teaching experience, and has been outlined using US state educational standards. There are games here simple enough for children younger than five, yet more challenging ones too. There are heaps of Language Arts games
Games on History – The History Channel offers interactive games and puzzles that encourage learning in the subject of history.
Highlights – Free activities and interactive fun from the children’s magazine HIghlights. See the Book Chook review.
I Spy – You’ll find games and puzzles just like Scholastic’s I Spy book series. Check out this part of Scholastic’s huge site that offers games, riddles and fun for the whole family. The games are interactive, and kids who aren’t at the reading stage can listen to the clues. I like the neat zoom in/zoom out feature that enabled me to search the pictures more easily.
Literactive Online educational games for preschool to Grade 1. The program is comprised of carefully levelled guided readers, comprehensive phonic activities and a wealth of supplemental reading material which gradually develop a child’s reading skills in a sequential and enjoyable manner.
Tagxedo – Site that turns words into cloud blocks in a variety of shapes. See the Book Chook review.
Teaching Literacy Online – compiled list of 50 free online literacy games
Whomp – This is a Shockwave game where you attempt to make as many words as you can in a prescribed time period. It is very similar to Boggle. Players adopt a monster avatar such as the Yeti or Chupacabra and compete against another monster. This game will help reinforce spelling patterns and increase orthographic knowledge. (Jeff Berger NC Teacher Stuff, March 2010)
Sites with Book Connections
Preschool and Elementary Ages
- Arthur (at PBS Kids) by Marc Brown
- Berenstain Bears by Jan and Mike Berenstain
- Bembo’s Zoo: An Animal ABC by Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich. This is an animated version of the ABC book that created animals from the letters in their name.
- Beverly Cleary website
- Curious George by H. A. Rey
- Elizabeth O. Dulemba website (author and illustrator)
- Fun with Spot by Eric Hill
- Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
- Kideos Children’s video site with lots of content about book characters, nursery rhymes, fairy tales etc.
- Laura Numeroff author website (different from Mouse Cookie, below)
- Little Critter by Mercer Mayer
- Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
- Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
- Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo
- Mouse Cookie Books by Laura Numeroff. Moose, Mouse, Pig, and Cat are all here to play.
- Neil Gaiman author of The Graveyard Book, Odd and the Frost Giant, among others
- Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- Pigeon Presents by Mo Willems. Naked Mole Rat, Elephant and Piggie, and the Pigeon himself are ready to play.
- Shel Silverstein author website
- Seussville Playground – You’ll find the Lorax, Sam-I-Am, and the Grinch, among others.
Middle Grade to Young Adult
- The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
- The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar by Lee Edward Fodi
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Samurai Kids by Sandy Fussell
- A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
- Septimus Heap by Angie Sage
- Warriors by Erin Hunter Serve Your Clan as it tries to fulfill its prophecy