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A Beginner's Guide to Gaming for Kids

Family Travel
by Candice Walsh Apr 27, 2010
Kids barely out of their diapers are getting familiar with the Internet. Here’s some fun finds for keeping them occupied on a rainy day… just don’t mention that some are educational.

It took me hours to pull together these websites. There is something outrageously addictive about chasing cartoon animals across a computer screen or participating in impromptu spelling bees. Try not to wrestle the computer away from your kid.

8-10 Years Old

Addicting Games
A website with a huge selection of games. Try taking care of a dog at the Doggy Day Care, or shoot some hoops with Slam Dunk.

There are games for older players as well. Why not take down a college student in Don’t Taze Me Bro?

Andkon Arcade
Just good old-fashioned fun games. I must admit, I got distracted by the Bubble Shooter for at least 20 minutes, and failed miserably. Or try the Dress Up Yoda game and listen to his silly comments.

Discovery Kids
For the little nerd, this site has excellent educational games including trivia and puzzles. Keep the crabs away by squirting them with water, or get creative and design a bedroom.

5-7 Years Old

A site that teaches kids how to read with phonics. Cutesy characters and big fonts help kids sound out letters slowly by following a story, like My Horse Glory. Say it with me: M-y H-ORR-s Gl-or-eeee.

Club Penguin
If your kid has a particular desire to dress, act and socialize like a penguin, this is the site to visit.

The website name cleverly disguises the fact that this site has online math games for kindergartners to third graders. Try a trial version to inspire some mathematical love.

A more personalized experience, kids are able to pick the age, gender and appearance of their character. I took Calm Owl on an epic journey through Early Poptropica, and then Nabooti for a “Choose Your Own Adventure.” The perfect game for wanderlusters.

Webkinz is like the exclusive VIP section of the gaming world for toddlers – unlimited access requires purchasing a Webkinz stuffed animal. Once the kid has access, he or she can play games and interact with their animal like a virtual pet.

Games for kids AND moms. Have the little ones play Fishin Mission while you kick butt at Super Hyper Spider Typer. (Nailed that one, by the way. Let’s see how you do.)


Sesame Street
It’s hard to resist the charm of Cookie Monster as he counts oranges in Spanish. Kids can also play Magical Numbers with the Count and learn shapes with Big Bird.

PBS Kids
For the kids who want to get to know their favorite cartoon characters a little better. Clifford the big red dog is always willing to play, or they can explore Storybook Village with Super Why.

Print off some Bernstein Bears coloring pages or play games based on kids’ favorite cartoons.

Nick Jr
Games for preschoolers, including endless Dora the Explorer possibilities and other familiar characters like Max and Ruby.

Finally, if you’re a parent worried about the kind of content your kid is browsing through, check out KidZui. This is the mother of all toddler gaming browsers, allowing access to 2.5 million sites, games and videos approved by teachers and parents. And it’s free!

Community Connection

Let your child’s creativity run wild with Tux Paint. For more serious gaming, learn more about World of Warcraft or the colorful world of Second Life.

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