There are millions of fantastic sources of online learning for kids. In this article I have hand-picked the best free educational websites for kids, as a child psychologist and mum of two.
I’ll help you find the best online educational resources for your kids, whether you are looking for home education resources or simply hoping to inspire your child with a new learning project.
Kids Learning Websites: Which One Will Suit Your Child?
There are many reasons why you might find these free online educational resources helpful, and these are just a few:
- Your child is home educated and you are looking for new inspiration or lesson plans.
- Your child is temporarily out of school for health reasons and you want to keep some structure and learning in their daily routine.
- You are trying to keep your child occupied during school holidays, and keep them learning.
- Your child is looking for a new interest and you want to give them some inspiration.
- You are looking for additional online learning resources to boost your child’s confidence or skill level in a particular topic area.
These free learning resources may provide your child with ideas for projects that they would otherwise not have the chance to try!
What used to be called “distance learning” is now a fantastic and free opportunity to broaden your child’s learning experience.
Online Learning Websites For Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem
As a psychologist I tell parents it’s vital not to overload children with too many activities as this can overload the nervous system.
On the other hand learning new skills can provide an immense boost for children’s confidence and self-esteem. This is especially true if your child has struggled to find a passion at school.
Remote learning through these great websites is ideal for children who do not have the confidence to try face-to-face clubs. They can explore a variety of topics without the worry of how to “do” social interaction.
Even if some of your child’s online learning is in group form in virtual classrooms, any interaction will feel more controlled and manageable for them.
Educational Websites for Kids: Categories in This Article
I have divided the resources into twelve categories to make it easier for you to find them. They are:
- General/mixed subjects
- Current affairs
- Life skills
- Computer programming
- Science & nature
- Art & craft
- English as a second language
1. Free Online Learning For Kids: General/Mixed Subjects
Khan Academy has a formidable reputation as being one of the best educational websites.
This online learning platform is especially great for maths and computing for all ages, but also a wide range of subjects at secondary level.
Note that the Khan Academy uses the United States grade level system but it’s mostly common material.
This website has so much to offer. Do go over and investigate!
Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization.
I believe this online platform is no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision.
I was blown away by the wealth of topics and the user-friendly way they are presented.
Unlimited access to hundreds of free courses and online classes.
You only pay to upgrade if you want a certificate at the end.
Young students age 14+ can set up their own account but younger learners can use a parent account.
Seneca describes itself as “The UK’s Fastest-Growing Homework & Revision Platform”.
For those revising at GCSE or A level there is tonnes of free revision content on this interactive website, with paid access to higher level educational material.
There are some helpful primary school teaching resources from primary year 3 upwards.
This free website offers taster courses aimed at students considering Open University or other higher education, but anyone can access it.
These interactive lessons are adult level but some courses e.g. nature and environment are accessible to older kids.
Openlearn is ideal if you have a high achieving teenager who is looking for a learning challenge.
All sorts of engaging educational video lectures for older students. A great way to learn about things that are not on the school curriculum.
I love Ted Ed’s bit-sized videos. The best thing about them is their engaging graphics that will catch the eye of teens scrolling through on their phones.
They will find themselves unwittingly engaging in 5 minutes of learning!
“Smart videos for curious minds of all ages”. This is a great resource providing a wide range of cool short videos full of educational content.
Boost your child’s critical thinking and expand their knowledge.
A YouTube channel with videos on many subjects such as artificial intelligence, economics, sociology and study skills.
It’s an eye-catching and easy to navigate website containing beautifully crafted and themed videos.
This YouTube channel is as above but presented with primary aged children in mind.
It looks brilliant.
A fun and easy way to top up your child’s learning!
Why not line these up to for your child to watch whilst on a car journey or travelling on your holidays?
A digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.
iDEA Awards provides free mini courses on a range of subjects to help young people develop digital, enterprise and employability skills.
A great option if your child is motivated by awards.
Lots of free educational activities and interactive games for young children of primary school age (elementary school).
It includes a free e-Book library, phonics guides and maths free educational games and printable worksheets.
Free challenge packs and other learning resources on a huge range of different subjects.
Many activities can be completed indoors.
The badges cost extra but are completely optional.
This wonderful site offers listening activity ideas and educational games for younger kids under 6 years old.
The Blue Peter badge scheme has been running for many years based on the popular UK television programme.
Kids of all ages in the UK can document their achievements in various areas (e.g. sport, music, conservation) and apply for different coloured badges.
The badges provide free or discounted access to many UK attractions such as museums and art galleries. What’s not to love?!
Educational free online games for little children.
Video lessons, quizzes and fun facts for students of all ages.
2. Educational Websites For Kids About Current Affairs
This UK site based on the children’s TV programme is a trusted source of information on current events for 6-12 year-olds.
3. Kids’ Learning Websites in Social Studies and Life Skills
Barclays Bank offers free online lessons for kids in life skills such as:
- Saving money and sticking to a budget.
- Saving money
- Managing stress and nurturing wellbeing
These interactive activities and videos are intended to be parent-led.
The resources are conveniently divided into age categories: primary school, secondary school and young adults.
This amazing website from the united states contains free worksheets, activities and lesson plans.
It covers social studies, social science, moral education and citizenship in a stimulating and interactive way.
For example, the “change the world” worksheet, children learn about Martin Luther King Jr. Then they think about ways they would like to change the world for the better.
4. Free Learning Resources in Computer Programming
Learn computer programming skills though Blockly.
A fantastic resource which may spark an interest in computer science!
Another invaluable resource for future computer programmers and game designers. Creative computer programming.
5. Online Learning Resources in Music
Excellent free online tools for music theory.
This site is suited to high school students and older primary school students or middle school students.
6. Kids’ Websites About Geography
National Geographic Kids website is jam-packed with learning, fun games, activities and quizzes for children.
Your child can journey on virtual field trips!
Don’t miss these free resources if your child is curious about the world.
Geography fun brain games!
A beautifully simple site with easy-access quizzes on topics such as flags and capital cities.
7. Free Online Education Resources About History
The Big History Project is a joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge to lifelong learners around the world.
I love the way it is crafted to put history in context, from the time the earth was formed, using a multi-disicplinary approach.
The videos are high quality and informative.
This site is suitable for middle school and high school children.
8. Online Learning For Kids in Languages
Learn different languages for free.
Suitable for young people as well as adults.
Web or app based.
My son uses the free version of Duolingo to supplement his Spanish GCSE learning and it has boosted his confidence in understanding and speaking the language massively.
9. Educational Websites For Kids About Science & Nature
Free lessons aimed at primary school teachers in a variety of topics.
The videos are brief, fun and visually stimulating including many science experiments.
All essentials in good modern educational resources!
“Real world” STEM projects and science awards young learners can complete from home.
A fun way to keep your child motivated to learn more about science, from outer space to sustainable energy solutions.
Schools’ pages and home activities for nature-loving kids.
Many of the activities can be done in a garden if you cannot get to a remote forest location!
10. Free Education Resources in Art & Craft
A fantastic site teaching children 3D designs.
This free online resource provides some easy and fun art activities for kids.
Fabulous easy-to-follow ideas for craft activities for little ones.
You will find a huge range of both seasonal and evergreen online art activities.
Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.
11. Maths Educational Websites For Kids
American “math skills” site using American grades, but great for UK primary school age too.
12. Online Learning For Kids in English as a Second Language
Resources for children who are learning to speak English.
Online Learning For Kids: Summary
The opportunities available in these free learning websites are mind blowing!
Pick a subject area that your child would benefit from engaging with or would enjoy, and dive in.
I recommend you choose only one project at a time so your child doesn’t get overwhelmed.
I hope you enjoy these online learning websites!
Dr Lucy Russell is a UK clinical psychologist who works with children and families. Her work involves both therapeutic support and autism assessments. She is the Clinical Director of Everlief Child Psychology, and also worked in the National Health Service for many years. In 2019 Lucy launched They Are The Future, a support website for parents of school-aged children.
Through TATF Lucy is passionate about giving practical, manageable strategies to parents and children who may otherwise struggle to find the support they need.
Lucy is a mum to two teenage children. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, children, rescue dog and three rescue cats. She enjoys caravanning and outdoor living, singing and musical theatre.
Join They Are The Future’s free Facebook group for regular tips and great ideas to support teens and pre-teens with their mental health! Join the group: Parent Tips for Positive Child Mental Health UK.