Online Activity Round-Up
When the short, cold days of winter force your family to spend more time indoors, the Internet has hundreds of ways to keep your child entertained and learning while clicking away at the computer.
While our editors have reviewed the games, there may be content on outside sites that is not age-appropriate, so it's a good idea to sit with your child when he first visits a new Web site. Click on a link below to get started!
Best for Babies & Toddlers
Books, soft toys, blocks, and other real-world activities are best for little ones — there's no need for them to be online now. But if your baby is clamoring to get at the keyboard, try Kneebouncers. Any key she presses yields fun sounds and cute graphics. Or visit the Clifford site for coloring sheets, video clips, and the musical xylobone.
Preschool & Kindergarten Picks
Introduce your child to the computer with simple games and amusing activities featuring characters he already knows and loves.
Clifford Valentine's Day Cards
Your child can create and print cards to color and send BIG love to her friends and family.
Tonka Truck Sounds
Can your truck lover figure out which vehicle makes which sound?
Acme Rocket Factory
Your child can help Wile E. Coyote drop the right color rocket into boxes at his factory.
Speckle and Friends
Enjoy activities filled with puppy pals that ask your child to match colors, dress doggies, and sweep leaves.
Arthur: The Effective Detective
Your child must give good clues so Detective Fern can figure out which friend she picked.
Bob the Builder
Click around Bob's town for loads of activities, games, and friendly fun.
Going to the Closet
With a few clicks, your preschooler can go on an animal adventure with Zoboo.
Sagwa: Countdown to the New Year
Get your child ready to celebrate Chinese New Year this winter with eight simple steps.
Give your young artist new ways to express her imagination through music and drawing that harnesses the power of technology.
Keep the snow outside and create a virtual paper flake instead.
Make Your Own Comic
Help your child create an original comic strip using artwork from Goosebumps Graphix. Don't forget to write cool captions!
Your child can design greetings featuring his favorite characters to e-mail to faraway friends and family.
Animorphs MegaMix Maker
With animal sounds and funky beats, your child can have a roaring good time mixing up his own tunes.
Captain Underpants Comics
Set your budding cartoonist to work designing her own strip starring epic hero Captain Underpants.
This cool program makes a simple line drawing turn into a work of art!
Puzzles & Brain Boosters
From trivia tests to puzzles to matching activities, each of these games boosts your child's critical-thinking and problem-solving skills while he plays.
Fast-paced jigsaw puzzles, matching madness, picture riddles and more: There are a ton of things for your child to spy here.
Try this deceptively tricky challenge inspired by the hit book Chasing Vermeer. Need a puzzle to go? Get a printable version.
Get in on the craze! This site features 4 levels of difficulty, plus helpful hints if you want them.
If your child loves cracking codes, direct her to a site where she can write her own and send it to a pal.
Can your child find all the hidden objects? Zoom in and take a peek inside the Dream Machine.
Build strategy skills with this classic Chinese puzzle game.
Your child will use problem-solving skills to puzzle Junkbot's way through each level.
The Battle of Ga'Hoole
Move strategically to gain territory and protect your home from invasion.
Even picking a category is fun in this carnival-themed trivia challenge.
Chomp: The Temple of Puzzles
Munch through mazes and solve chewy challenges to pass through the temple.
Boost your child's knowledge of the fabulous 50 states with this geography game.
Wonderful Word Games
Your child will rejoice in word puzzles and scrambles that challenge her to find new words and use language in new ways. These games are great for building vocabulary and reading skills.
Word Girl: Synonym Toast
Stop the avalanche of bread slices from taking over the world!
Every day, your child can discover a search-and-find word puzzle with a new theme.
Chickens squawk as your child types letters on their eggs to make words. The more words he finds, the more points he'll gather.
This untimed, Boggle-like game challenges your child to make words with interconnected letters.
Good old-fashioned crossword fun your child can enjoy every day.
In this game, similar to Scrabble, your child must make and place words on the board to reach the next round.
Amazing Math and Super Science Sites
Adding an interactive element to math and science makes them sizzle with excitement. Animation and crazy characters help draw your child in to each of these sites.
Meet scientists from the American Museum of Natural History and learn about space, insects, Darwin, and more.
Magic School Bus
There are a million fun stops for your child to explore on this bus — how about a tour of the human body to start?
Explore amazing math facts with a science and social studies twist along with your host, Number Cruncher.
If your child is a dinosaur fanatic, she'll love proving she knows her stuff with this quiz.
Help solve the baffling mystery of the burgled bank vault (and review the concept of percentages).
Guess the Number
Your child guesses higher or lower numbers until he matches the right one.
Teach your child about size order while he enjoys this game that shows what happens to small fish in a big pond.
Your young animal lover can put the animals in their proper place in the world. Click around this site for more learning games.
Put Annie Back Together
Annie's fallen apart! You child can help her by putting the bits and pieces back into the right place and learn about the human body.
Just for Fun
Sometimes, a kid just has to kick back and enjoy herself. Feel good about letting your child play these non-violent, happy games that may just slip a little learning under her radar as she plays.
Smiley's Balloon Bust
Throw darts to make those balloons pop!
Goosebumps Graphix Monster Match
Quick, match the monster cards before they sink into the ooze ... and remember, you only have nine lives!
Secrets of Droon Castle Chase
Speed is of the essence as your child flies through the air to stop an evil Lord from destroying Droon.
Remnants: The Escape
In the future, Earth is hit by an asteroid and your child must get a berth on the space shuttle to survive!
The Andy Griffiths Game
Shake that booty! Your child must move his butt to the buttshack without getting seen by buttcatchers.
Underpants vs. Blunderpants
You and your child can fight for power juice in this two-player game where the Captains collide! (Can also be a one-player game.)
Don't become quiche filling! Fling snowballs at the rat creatures to stop them.
A fast-paced puzzle game that challenges your child's visual skills to connect loops of twisty, turny strips before the board fills up.
Some sites had so many great games and activities for kids, we couldn't pick just one (or even two) to highlight. Each of these sites is filled with kid-safe, friendly fun.
At the online club for kids who love books, members (it's free!) can play games, interact with authors and each other, view slide shows and more.
Your child can find other kids who share the same favorite books on this moderated message board.
Divided by age level, this site is filled with simple learning games that support math, problem-solving, matching, and more key skills.
From Typer Shark, which challenges your child's fast-typing fingers, to the arcade action of Rocket Mania, this site is jam-packed with games for both entertainment and skill-building.
This incredibly rich site can teach your child about subjects from how CDs work to what causes acne through enticing animated movies and activities.
The charming, simple games on this site are unlike any other — entirely kid-friendly and filled with adorable characters and whimsical music.
Recommended Products for Your Child Ages 3-5