Free online activities for younger kids


Okay, so there is a lot of free content out on the internet that is available for both kids and adults, but much of it isn’t as ‘free’ as it might appear. Many apps are great fun for a few minutes worth of distraction but soon require in-app purchases in order to continue. Even some well-respected sites are full of advertising that can lead younger ones off in the wrong direction, unless they are being supervised. Good online activities should be fun, engaging and even promote education and you don’t have to pay for them, if you know where to look. Here’s some examples of the sort of thing kids will like and that parents can be confident in.

Marvellous Marvel

Much-loved by younger children, Marvel’s characters include Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Hulk. Fortunately, Marvel Kids produce age appropriate content for free on their website. This includes the sort of platform and ladder type games that younger children seem to pick up so instinctively and which can be played on a tablet or a PC. And if you don’t fancy your kids spending too much time in front of the screen, there are mazes, word searches and even sodokus that children can complete, helping to promote more educational activities whilst still inhabiting the make-believe world of super-heroes.

Jump to Jumpstart is a good resource for finding activities for kids according to their age. An American site, it lists some of these according to the US grade system, but parents can also easily navigate by looking for activities suited to four-year-olds, for example. As well as games, the site features holiday activities and worksheets. The worksheets range from simple colouring in type activities to science and maths ones. You can even find worksheets that encourage critical thinking and social studies, covering subjects like Polar exploration and ecology in depth.

Learning to Read

Younger children who are learning to read can find many opportunities to access stories and non-fiction online, but not all sites are specifically geared towards phonics learning. In many cases, those site that are genuine phonics resources only offer temporary access to their content during a free trial period. Fortunately, Starfall, a registered charity, offers free reading material that is phonics-based, mirroring the sort of reading done at school, and which can be accessed in a helpful way for a variety of reading skills. There is some content that parents need to pay for, primarily aimed at home educators, but there are plenty of online books kids can browse through and read without needing any expenditure at all. Another good site to head to for phonics material is which allows parents to download PDFs. It also has a handy instructional guide to help adults get the best results from the activities, when they are assisting children with their learning.