When it comes to finding the best online games for kids, it’s really a minefield out there. Trust me, I’ve been there for days creating this post for you! There are lots of really cool games for kids online, and then there are others. Having had to pay my 7-yr-old son to test these out for me, I can confirm every single game on this list has been officially verified as “lots of fun”!

I’ve tried to present a range of games from different sites to suit different kids (boys and girls of different age groups and interests) and to teach different things, from caring for the environment, to math and memory games, to science, music, sport, cooking, reflexes, and hand-eye co-ordination. There’s bound to be something here that your children will love and get a lot of benefit out of.

It’s common knowledge that children learn best through play, and technology really does provide so may cool games for kids that are a great opportunity for teaching fantastic skills and life lessons. And of course all the games selected here are perfectly safe for your kids to play – in moderation of course 🙂

No 20 :             Connect Four

Connect Four This site, primarygames.com, contains many of the best online games for kids that are out there, it’s a great resource to use. Connect four in particular is such a great game – online or offline. It really encourages kids (and adults!) to think ahead – ie “If I go here, what will happen next?” This type of thinking is wonderful to encourage in your children.

Somehow when this game played online and your opponent is the computer, it seems all the more amazing if you can win! And unlike playing chess online where your chances of winning are next to nothing, your child will feel on top of the world by defeating the computer in this game. Admittedly they’ll deserve full bragging rights…for a little while at least 🙂

The only catch with this site (like many others unfortunately) is that there is an ad displayed before the game starts. Your kids will be savvy enough to just “skip” it, so no big deal.

No 19:                        Candy Buff

Candy Buff OK, so there’s a reason why this one didn’t quite make it to the top of the list. No educational value here, just pure fun and reflexes using either a mouse or keyboard. Kids have to jump to collect as much candy as they can without running out of energy, while dodging the baddies.

Sometimes kids just need some light relief, and this is one of those harmless games that will amuse them for a little while. This is a good one to allow as a treat once homework and other chores have been done – my son loves it!

No 18:                        Card Match

Card match - kids memory gameWhat kids don’t like playing with cards? After deciding to choose a card game for this list, I had a hard time choosing between this one and good old solitaire. I’ve selected this memory game because it’s a race to match the cards in time, and that in itself makes it a lot of fun. And of course any sort of memory game has its advantages. Like it or not, a lot of success in school comes down to memory, so this classic game is more than meets the eye.

 No 17:                        Michael, Michael, Go Recycle!

Michael, Michael, Go Recycle!I could be slightly biased towards this game because one of my sons happens to be called Michael…but seriously there’s nothing rigged here, it’s pure fluke! I love games that promote great behavior, especially in relation to the environment. In this game there is rubbish scattered around a park along with different bins for recycling – one for cans, one for paper, one for bottles etc. The aim is to find the rubbish and put it in the right bin before time runs out. Kids can work their way up the levels of the game so they don’t get bored. This has to be among the best online games for kids. After all, making the correct disposal of garbage into a game – now that’s pure genius 🙂

No 16:                        Change Maker

Change Maker This is yet another cool game for kids, where your kids can learn all about currency as opposed to just basic math. First step is to choose their desired difficulty level, from easy to super brain. Then they select their currency – US, Canadian, Mexican, UK or Australian dollars. Then come the challenges, eg if something costs $3.10 and they’ve paid $5, how much change will they receive? To make up the change they have to select how many of each coin or note is required. A correct answer adds money to their piggy bank, while an incorrect answer deducts the same amount. I just played this one with my 7 year old and he loved it!

No 15:                        Papa’s Burgeria

Papa's Burgeria If you have any entrepreneurial children – the type like mine who will try their very best to extortion money out of you for pretty much anything – then they’ll love this game. You are the owner of a burger shop. Customers come in, you take their order, you fill the order, and depending on how well you do the job you get paid. Very cute, and a great way to show kids how basic customer service works. What a valuable skill to learn at an early age – truly priceless! This one definitely earns its place on the “top 20 best online games for kids” list.

No 14:                        Free Rice

Free Rice This one should probably be much higher up in the list. What a brilliant site, ideal for those aged 9 years and above. Kids (or anyone for that matter) can take an English vocabulary quiz, choosing which words match the meaning of the word in the question by selecting from the multiple choice answers. For each correct answer, 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme to help end hunger! Wow, not many better causes than this one. It’s actually quite addictive once you get started too! Aside from English, kids can answer questions about various subjects including the humanities, different languages, geography, chemistry, math, and the human anatomy. Really love this one, the reason it’s on this list is because it’s all about giving to charity in a wonderful way. Could be the start of your children’s philanthropy journey!

No 13:                        Fruity Faces Sudoku

Fruity Faces SudokuHave you played much Sudoku before? I don’t think there are too many people out there who haven’t given it a go at one time or another. So I probably don’t have to explain how good it is to stimulate your brain. However for kids, using numbers could be a bit boring. This is a great way to get kids thinking and effectively play sudoku using fun images of fruit. Sometimes the best ideas are so simple!

No 12:                        Map Snap

Map Snap - kids geography gameIf you haven’t yet heard of Coolmath-Games this is one site you really need to know about. Some of the best online games for kids are right here. One I like in particular is Map Snap, where kids can match places to the spot on the map where they belong. They can start by figuring out where each state belongs in their home country or continent, and then move around the world. There are different puzzles for America (North, Central and South), Asia, Africa, Canada, Europe and Australia. Make sure your kids start with the continent they live in or know most about – otherwise it will be too difficult and they’ll soon get bored. Australia is a great country to do early on in the piece as it’s much easier than the rest. Great fun way for your kids to learn a bit about the world they live in.

No 11:                        Perfect Balance 3

Perfect Balance 3 - science game for kidsIf you have a child like mine, who’s into all-things remotely relating to science in a pretty big way, he’ll love this site. There are heaps of great games here for kids, teens and adults based around physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and construction. Most will really test your knowledge so consider yourself officially warned: they are not simple! If your child has no patience and gets upset if he doesn’t win a game in the first two minutes, then this is not for him. But if he has a genuine interest in physics and in science generally then he should love this one.

I’ve chosen the game Perfect Balance 3 to promote here because it’s particularly good for encouraging creativity, critical thinking and speed. The goal is to place different shaped objects carefully to create the perfect balance. You really need to think carefully – but the more time you take, the more points you lose! This game is right up there with the best online games for kids who love science. It’s easy to see why it’s very popular…and it’s free.

No 10:                        Origami Craft Activities

Origami Craft ActivitiesAnother really cool site to check out is TurtleDiary.com. There are heaps of really cool educational games for kids there, divided up clearly into those suitable for kids from 3yrs of age to 5th graders. If you go into the “arts & crafts” tab you can find origami craft activities. Kids can create a ladybug, windmill, boat, dog and more cool things. This is great for fine motor skills, not to mention the sense of satisfaction and achievement they’ll feel with the end result.

 

No 9:            Musical Notes

Musical NotesMy 7-yr-old son has a love of music which I’m keen to encourage, and is currently learning to play the keyboard. This particular game is an ingenious and fun way to learn pretty quickly how to read music, and how to relate the notes from paper to the keyboard. It’s simple to figure out and it’s fun. What a great way to teach an invaluable skill, I absolutely love it.   More importantly, if your children are musical by nature, they’ll love it too!

No 8:            Pet Soccer

Pet soccer Here’s another site where you’ll find a huge range of great games to play in all sorts of topics, from racing to dress up to action and more – mattel.com. The one I’ve chosen for this list is Pet Soccer. I think this is definitely one of the best online games for kids. It’s a real test of keyboard skills, as you need to use the arrows (no mouse) to guide your chosen pet to kick the ball, and hopefully score a goal. As per any game of soccer there are two teams, and your child can play it by herself or with someone else: either way it’s a lot of fun. Both my 4-yr-old and 7-yr-old love it.

Aside from teaching kids things like hand/eye co-ordination and playing in a team, there’s a great opportunity to teach your child how to lose well (this is an important things that all kids need to learn). With a little bit of practice your child will get better at this, so also an opportunity for them to learn for themselves how practice makes perfect – or at least practice makes better!

No 7:            Pancake Chef

Pancake ChefThis is a cool game for kids that has so many benefits, initiating a love of cooking in any child. It teaches numbers, measurements (like cups, liters etc), how to gather ingredients together, and basic cooking methods like cracking eggs. The site has audio in it where as soon as you hover your mouse over a word it says that word aloud to you. Great for kids just learning to read or for those not yet reading. This one gets a big thumbs up from us 🙂

No 6:            Tennis Ace

Tennis AceI generally like games that involve sport. Don’t know about you, but I know when I play a sporting game or watch sport on TV, it can make me want to get out there and play the game for real. Encouraging physical activity through sports has to be a good thing for your children in my view.

Tennis Ace is a pretty simple theory, where you move your player around the court and hit the ball. However it’s easier said than done! My 7 yr old found this difficult at first, but improved quickly and had fun. His comment: you need to know something about tennis before playing this one. My 4 yr old son absolutely loved this one too. I think it’s suitable for kids of all ages – and adults!

Thankfully you can practice first for as long as you want – serving, returning and volleying. Took me ages before I hit the ball at all, let alone got it back in the court! It’s much more difficult than playing tennis on a Wii, you actually have to position yourself properly on the court and get the timing right.

You can start by competing against the easiest players, and work your way up to the more advanced opponents. For a bit of extra fun there’s a Gold Cup to win too! Awards like these can really increase your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence – my older son was ecstatic when he won a game. Would love you to let me know if your child is successful and wins the Cup – good luck to them!

No 5:            Sing Along At Ribbit Pond

Memory Game Ribbit PondThese days in my personal view, it’s vital that kids are taught to protect our environment from an early age. This Canadian site contains games and activities with this in mind, and covers topics like wildlife, climate change, land use, water, energy, waste and so on. Within each broad topic are quizzes, puzzles, tips and fun games. There’s even a “World Pizza Game” where you can learn where each topping on a pizza comes from! Very cool way to teach kids how to care for the environment – thumbs up from us 🙂

I’ve selected a fun game from here called Sing Along at Ribbit Pond. You’ll need audio for this one. It’s a great memory and listening game. Four frogs make their own distinctive noises, and kids need to remember which frog makes which noise. The more they get right, the more challenges they get. Levels go from easy to “almost impossible” – and having tried out this game and being challenged by the “easy” level, I believe their description of the top level! Another one of the best online games for kids at the moment for sure.

No 4:            Pac Man

Pac ManOK, so maybe this one has some sentimental value, but hey – it might be an oldie but it’s still a goodie! This classic game is fun, good for hand/eye co-ordination, and maybe just a little bit addictive. It’s really just another great way for kids to enjoy some harmless fun at home.

I could’ve actually picked a heap of games to promote from this site. Knowledge Adventure is a great place to find games your children will love and can learn skills from playing, from 1st grade right up to high school. Definitely another site to add to your favorites and a few games here that would easily qualify for any list of cool games for kids online.

No 3:            Toolshed Workshop

Toolshed WorkshopThis is an easy game designed for preschoolers aged 3-5, where kids have to tidy up a garage – not surprisingly with lots of tools in it! It’s basically like an online puzzle where kids have to drag and drop the tools into the specific outlines by matching the shapes. Being a busy mom I have to say, any game that encourages kids to put things away has to be a winner! Who knows, maybe your kids will think it’s fun to put their own toys away – we can only hope 🙂

 

No 2:             Oggy’s Fries

Oggy's Fries Sometimes it’s nice just to find a completely harmless and fun game, without always focusing on education as such. Oggy’s Fries definitely conforms with that criteria! This game is all about observation skills and fast reflexes, where the aim is to stop the cockroaches from stealing your (Oggy’s) French fries. Easier said than done as the horrible creatures come from everywhere! Missing the fries or hitting obstacles wastes time and hurts you. And then there’s the danger of the ketchup covering the screen and obscuring your view! This one is a real challenge, and lots of fun.

 No 1:            Baby Daycare

Baby daycare gameIt’s always good to encourage your kids to be nurturing, and to understand that other people aside from them also need to be cared for. This is a great game and may sound particularly girly, but boys are pretty much guaranteed to enjoy it too – and adults for that matter! Nice idea to teach kids a few things about looking after babies. The aim of the game is to keep all the babies happy at the same time. One is hungry, one is tired, another needs a new nappy…you get the gist, it’s pretty much like real life! The quicker you can keep all the babies happy, the more points you score. This one has made it to the top of the best online games for kids list as it’s just so much fun, and will hopefully make your kids appreciate just how challenging it can be for those poor people working in childcare!

 

I hope you get as much out of this list as I did creating it. I have to say it’s been hard work playing all these games…not! Let me just reassure you, this list has been very carefully selected, and lots of the games I tried out were rejected for several reasons – some were hard to follow, some had too much advertising, some took forever to download, some were expensive, and then others just didn’t seem to work properly! Each of these games made it onto this list of the best online games for kids after passing the 7-yr-old test with flying colors. I’m confident they’ll put you on the right track and introduce you to a heap of great sites for your kids – where you know they’ll be safely having fun online.