These free sites provide students an opportunity to learn in a fun, interactive environment.
I searched out and visited a bunch of sites with free educational games and selected the ten I thought were most useful and appropriate to education. In addition to a brief overview of each site, I have also attempted to define the grade range that each site is applicable to. I made my own judgement for most sites since it often wasn't indicated (feel free to weigh in if you think I'm off target on any of these).
Most of the sites listed here are geared towards K-12 (with many leaning towards K-6 or so), but some do have fun games that will challenge the Higher Ed student and adults as well. Take one for a spin today!
Funbrain (Grades K through 8): This popular site from Pearson Education features ‘Arcades' specific to Math and Reading, along with the ‘Classic Funbrain' games such as Math Baseball and Grammer Gorillas. Funbrain also has resources specifically for teachers, organized on this Teacher's home page.
Discovery.com's Games (Grades 3 and up): Dozens of activities, organized into 4 categories: Games, Quizzes, Puzzles, and Interactives. This is a high quality site, and it was recommended by several instructors in my children's classes. I enjoyed trying out some of these games, and the site is part of the overall Discovery.com site, which is rich with informative and fun content.
Sheppard Software (All Ages): This site provides a wealth of free games, puzzles, quizzes, and more. An impressive, rich resource of fun educational games and activities. No registration required. I have to say that I personally enjoyed this site quite a bit, partaking in quizzes, completing puzzles, and checking out the many resources there.
FunSchool (pre-K through Grade 6): If you go to the Parents & Teachers section on this site, the games are grouped by Preschool, Kindergarten & 1st Grade, 2nd & 3rd, and 4th and 5th. The site offers more than 300 interactive games and activities that are fun and easy to use. Activities include matching numbers and shapes for preschoolers and geography, math and history for third through sixth graders.
National Geographic Channel's Games Site (Grades 3 and up): This site features a variety of games and interactives and leans towards various science and history based adventures and activities, rather than the traditional subjects-specific types of games on many other sites. There's a lot of cool stuff here, like Fossil Hunts, Journey to the Edge, Rhino Rescue, Monster Fish of the Congo, Earth in Balance, and How Taboo are You?
PrimaryGames (Grades K through 6): Lots of fun games here, covering common subjects like Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and more.
Educational Games on NobelPrize.org (Grades 6 and up + Higher Ed): As stated on the site, “These games and simulations, based on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements, will teach and inspire you while you're having FUN!” This is one of the more high end sites in terms of the level of content. Challenging fun for middle school students, high schoolers, college students, and adults.
Prongo (pre-K through middle school): The games here are divided by age level (3-6, 6-9, 9-12). This is a fun site with a dozen or more games in each category.
Click here for a PDF file version of this article (provides a nice clean copy for printing, and another way to distribute this to colleagues)
Childtopia (pre-K to 6): This site has versions in 5 languages, and 9 categories of activities, including Games, Learn to Draw, Listen and Reading Comprehension, Learn to Draw the Numbers, and so on. It appears to be predominantly Spanish based on the ads that surround the playing area. There is a premium version that eliminates ads and provides a full screen interface for just $12/year.
Karooba (Grades 3 and up) : Karooba is a “social and gaming site that is focused on education”, featuring canned and custom developed Quizzes, Trivia and more. You really have to register to get the most out of it.
I hope readers find some of these sites useful, and have a little fun checking them out!
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
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Fun tool for the classroom – simple Crossword Puzzle maker!
The Khan Academy (offering 1100+ free tutorial videos)