- There are a number of websites that review and recommend sites for children. A great gateway to the Internet for kids is www.ala.org/parentspage/greatsites/amazing.html, ALA’s 700+ Great Sites for Kids, a juried collection of children’s sites in cyberspace. First established in 1997 and frequently updated, this site includes links to online resources for fun and learning that are reviewed and organized by children’s librarians. Sections include arts and entertainment, people past and present, literature and language, planet earth and beyond, and science and technology.
- Another helpful site is http://www.beritsbest.com, Berit’s Best Sites for Children. This is a directory of a thousand top-notch fun and educational sites for children up to age 12. Created by a librarian, each site is reviewed for content, organization, ease of use, and child safety.
- Education World’s Education Site Reviews, http://www.education-world.com/awards/, reviews many thousands of sites created for children. Each review rates the content, aesthetics, and organization of the site, as well as giving a general grade level and lengthy description of the site. Each review includes links to related reviews. You can find reviews by subject, by date, or by alphabetical listing.
Arts and Crafts
Many of the sites listed under Electronic Playgrounds include kids’ art or art activities. Here are a few sites that specialize in arts and crafts:
- Craft Exchange, http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft, contains kid-friendly craft projects that were submitted by people from all over the world. There are more than 300 projects here, organized by topics such as seasonal crafts, gifts, and crafts made with recycled materials.
- Michaels Kids Club, http://www.michaels.com/online/departments/kidsclub/kids_club.htm, from the giant crafts retailer, offers hundreds of high-quality crafts with clear and extensive directions; creative and fun games; an artwork gallery; and drawing techniques.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art: Explore and Learn, http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/justforfun.asp, has a “Just for Fun” section which features art games, Web activities, tutorials, and frequently asked questions.
- Etch A Sketch, http://www.etch-a-sketch.com/, allows you to create pictures on an electronic Etch A Sketch (look under Cool Games). There are also coloring pages, other games, tips and tricks, an art gallery, and an Etch A Sketch club.
who are interested in sports will probably want to visit the official web pages for major U.S. sports leagues:
- NBA.com, http://www.nba.com/index.html, is the official site for NBA basketball information. Features team-by-team player status, schedules, and basketball news.
- NFL.com, http://www.nfl.com/index.html, is the official site for the NFL and covers all the news, statistics, standings, players, and teams. It also features audio press conferences and an e-mail newsletter.
- The Official Site of Major League Baseball, http://www.mlb.com/, is the place to go for the scoop on major-league players, baseball statistics, game schedules, official rules, online baseball-related games, baseball news, and links to team WebPages.
- Official Web Site of the National Hockey League, http://www.nhl.com/, features hockey news, scores, schedules, contests, and information about all the hockey teams and players. The site also has a separate section for kids with games, downloadable wallpaper and other features.
- PGA.com, http://www.pga.com/, offers golfing news, as well as information about golf tournaments (including junior tournaments), statistics, instruction videos, and information about golf for the disabled.
- Women’s National Basketball Association official page, http://www.wnba.com/, has information about the teams and players; news about women’s basketball; and a sights and sounds section with a daily video, archive of daily videos, and plays of the week.
- World Wrestling Entertainment, http://www.wwe.com/, brings you photos, news, and trivia of the superstars of TV and live wrestling. You can play video games, take a trivia quiz, find out about live events, or order WWF merchandise. You can find more wrestling news on http://www.ewrestlingnews.com/.
- Yahooligans—Sports and Recreation, http://www.yahooligans.com/Sports_and_Recreation/, is one of the best places to start looking for sports sites for kids. It links to sites for every sport imaginable, from Frisbees and cheerleading to scuba diving and soccer, as well as magazines and news sources. Yahooligans maintains its own page on sports, http://www.yahooligans.com/content/sports/, that includes news stories, daily trivia questions, and scores for baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, and track and field.
Arts and Crafts
- Bonus.com – The Supersite for Kids, www.bonus.com, has hundreds of games, puzzles and other activities. It is a protected environment for kids with limited access to the Web at large. The site uses Java and has heavy graphics. Some activities are slow to load and use.
- eyetricks.com, http://www.eyetricks.com/, is a site devoted to optical illusions, 3D stereograms, online games and other mind-teasing oddities. It includes illusion image galleries, illusions you can perform at home, online brain games such as hangman, 3-D images, brainteasers, “Say What You See!” puzzles, cartoons, and links to other magic and illusion sites.
- FunBrain.Com, http://www.funbrain.com/index.html, is a learning site for kids that has lots of fun and games. You can search by age level and a keyword for activities, which include games such as matching pictures with words (for the little folks), practicing making change from a cash register, matching the names of elements to their symbol in the periodic chart, or identifying notes on a piano.
- The Grey Labyrinth, http://www.greylabyrinth.com/index.htm, abounds with puzzles, riddles and paradoxes—both simple and complex. There are good links to other puzzle sites.
- Headbone Zone, http://www.headbone.com/derby/, offers online games, activities, and opportunities for safe socializing for kids ages 8 to 14 covering topics such as space, ecology and inventors. The site includes a teacher’s guides for 4th to 8th-grade students.
- Magic Eye, http://www.vision3d.com/, was created by Rachel Cooper, co-author and designer of the popular paperback book Magic Eye: How to See 3-D. The site includes a gallery of stereo pictures, as well as useful information about visual health, 3-D vision, and vision therapy.
- Story Fun, http://www.mit.edu/storyfun, is a fill-in-the-blank story page that creates silly and zany stories from the words you enter.
- Thinks.com, http://thinks.com/, features a wealth of brain games, puzzles and other pastimes such as pictures you can warp onscreen, fractal trees, math and logic puzzles, software, and free offers. Uses Java.
- Totally Wic-Kid, http://www.wic-kid.com/, is an entertaining site sponsored by the Scientific Center for Research on Unsolved Mysteries. S.C.R.U.M. is an organization of detectives and scientists who are devoted to solving today’s most baffling mysteries. Totally Wic-kid is a travel mystery site for kids, and includes games and activities. Fun and interesting!