The internet can be a great resource for parents and caretakers to find educational resources. There are websites that provide games, activities, lesson plans and other resources for children of all ages.
Some websites do charge, so you have to be careful which ones you use if you’re a mum on a tight budget like me. But luckily there are also some amazing websites out there with educational games and resources for free!
Here are my top 3 go-to educational websites for preschoolers.
Plays.org is an online gaming website that, incredibly, features over 2,000 online games all for free! They have games for all ages and interests, but I want to point you in the direction of their Preschool games category. This has 20+ simple video games for young children, which help little ones master their preschool essentials such as opposites, feelings, shapes and colours.
What I love about this website is that there are no ads, popups or anything like that. The site is really safe and clean, and you can let your child play by themself without worrying that anything dodgy will pop up.
My little boy is construction mad so he really likes this Shape Construction Game where you help the cat and dog builders by dragging the shapes to the right place! We particularly enjoy all the beeping sound effects (he has to beep along, of course!)
CBeebies has a wonderful website that features all the characters your preschooler knows and loves, such as Hey Duggie, Number Blocks and JoJo and Gran Gran. There are several sections on the site which you can find from the top menu bar. The sections include shows, games, puzzles & quizzes, make & colour and more.
Since we’ve already talked about video games for preschoolers, I want to draw your attention to the ‘Make & Colour’ section on this site. This is a site I personally use all the time to find free activities for my preschooler, and it’s especially good for mark making activities (that’s what they call drawing or writing now in preschool speak you know!)
There are loads of free colouring sheets that you can download and print at home. Recently we have been using this Alphablocks colouring activity, because we are starting to talk about letters.
Additionally, you will find drawing tutorials (great for slightly older children who have more control over the pen) and ideas for lots of other simple crafts such as greetings cards and finger puppets.
Here is another great educational website for preschool children featuring some favourite characters. On the Sesame Street website, you can watch videos, play games and do online art activities.
I love these online art games for days when I really don’t fancy getting the paints out, and the inevitable clean up! In games like this caterpillar one, you child can enjoy all the fun of sticking on pom poms and feathers without actually making a mess. My son will do this over and over again, making crazy creatures each time!
You could also use the ideas in this section as inspiration for real life art activities if you have the time and materials.
Educational websites make learning fun!
I know we’re all supposed to be trying to reduce screen time, but really I think it’s important to distinguish between different types of screen time. Obviously you don’t want your child to spend 12 hours a day mindlessly watching videos, but if you carefully choose safe and educational websites such as those above, using the computer or tablet can be a great benefit!
So these are the three websites that I return to over and over again when I need to entertain my little one, but I want to feel like he’s actually learning something too.
Do you know any more great educational websites for preschoolers? Please share them in the comments!