Isn’t it a parent’s dream to have their kids learning and having fun, all for free?
With all the money parents spend on activities, it’s nice to know that there really are free games for fun and educational kids.
Many free games for kids are available that can help children develop similar skills to those with paid activities. Best of all, they don’t all require parents to taxi their children around town, racing to get them to the next event.
The following is a list of free games for kids to help educate and entertain them while they’re learning.
Free Games for Kids
1. Free Online Games
Parents often try to limit their children’s screen time. But in the allowable time they do have to play with devices, why not guide them to play free online games that are fun and educational as well?
If you have a younger child who is still relatively young, many free online games for toddlers and preschool children are available. PBS Kids Games such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George are great for showing them basic math skills, colors, letter recognition, sorting, and fine motor skills by moving the mouse in the proper direction.
For older children, there are free games in many different areas. Here are a few sites with free online games to explore.
2. Literacy or Reading Games
Visit such free online game websites as Room Recess, and you will find fun reading games like Monkey in the Middle and Sight Word Safari that help kids improve their reading and word recognition.
3. Math Games
If you have kids who aren’t enthusiastic about learning and practicing math, you are not alone! Working through math sheets and repetitive questions can be boring, so it’s no wonder children aren’t motivated to practice.
Luckily there are plenty of free online math games for kids of all ages, even toddlers, to practice their math skills. There are tons of math game websites to choose from, and many allow users to filter by grade and math concepts such as multiplication, subtraction, addition, fractions, place values, geometry, and much more.
One such website is Math Playground, where you will find games such as Dolphin Dash, Alien Angles, and Galaxy Pals Fraction Pairs.
4. Typing Games for Beginners
Not many people think about typing games for kids. Playing typing games is a great idea. Not only will kids learn an important new skill, but they will also have fun learning how to type. Many are racing games, so kids can work on their typing speed once they learn finger placements and proper keyboarding.
5. Strategy Games
Strategy games like Monster Tower Defense, Dungeon Knight, Klondike Solitaire, and Sweety Mahjong are fun for the kids, free without requiring downloading, and teach kids problem-solving.
Trivia is another fun online game that can keep the kids engaged and learning. Many free games for kids online are multiplayer, so a few kids can play the games together, which is even more fun.
6. Put Together Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are a great problem-solving exercise for kids, and it’s fun to put together larger puzzles with friends. Puzzles can also teach children perseverance and teamwork!
Sudoku is also a puzzle but solving the problem using numbers. The objective is to fill a 9 x 9 grid with digits so that each column, row, and each of the nine 3 x 3 subgrids that compose the grid contain all of the numbers from 1 to 9.
Sudoku puzzles are often free in the local newspaper or can be found online for kids.
Dressing up isn’t just for Halloween! Many kids love trying on dad’s ties or mom’s heels and makeup. They love having a complete makeover because it feels like they are wearing a costume. Playing dress-up and creating their own character is fun to pass the time and show their creativity.
Parents don’t need to pay for a trip to the local bowling alley to bowl. If you don’t have an actual toy bowling set at home, set up other items in a driveway or hallway inside the house, like water bottles and small canned food items. Of course, you don’t have that handy automatic pick-up of pins, but it’s still fun.
Kids love blowing bubbles. Bubbles are a low-cost item unless you go a little high-end with a bubble shooter! Bubble liquid can be made free at home with dish soap. Bubbles are perfect for a nice day outside. Kids can try to make the biggest bubbles between each other and chase them around the yard.
11. Paper Games
Paper games where you only require paper and a pen seem like it’s going back to basics but can be fun for kids. Kids can make puzzles for friends to solve, such as playing hangman. Other games like Pictionary and the classic tic tac toe are also good fun. There are many different games that people can print online for free such as word games, a word search, a maze, spelling games, and a jumble where the words need to be unscrambled.
12. Visit a Playground
Visit different playgrounds in the city. They often have other structures, hiking trails, and splash pads. Going to various parks to play and explore keeps it exciting for the kids.
13. Have a Treasure-hunt
A treasure hunt or scavenger hunt, or even just a hidden object game, can create some excitement with kids. Make clues and tape them around the house to lead them to the final object or create a bingo card with different things they must find inside or outside the home.
14. Read or Make a Storybook
Kids can also write their own storybooks. Not only does this help them practice writing, but it will also let them display their creativity and be artistic if they want to draw pictures to go with their stories.
15. Play Card Games
There are many different card games kids can play. Even playing simple games like the memory game and solitaire on their own can be fun. There are many easy games that kids can learn to play, like crazy 8’s, go fish, and spoons.
16. Make Crafts with Recycled Items
Many of us have empty egg cartons, milk cartons, and other plastic containers piled up by the end of the week. Instead of throwing them out in the recycling, why not let the kids make an art project with them? It’s free art supplies and the perfect chance for the kids to use their creativity to create interesting structures and other things.
17. Play Board Games
Kids can play many traditional board games like backgammon, checkers, chess, monopoly, etc. There are a lot of fun board games available for kids of all ages. If you don’t have much of a selection at home, many local public libraries have free games that can be played there.
Many simple recipes are available online that kids can help with. Some just have a few ingredients, and many are one-bowl recipes that would create less mess to clean up.
Kids can also help with decorating. Decorate cupcakes, cookies, or cakes with sprinkles, icing, and chocolate chips.
Building projects make great independent or team activities. Use traditional Legos or try other materials such as planks, magnetic tiles, and bendable pipes. Building allows kids to show their planning skills, creativity, and problem-solving when trying to build solid structures. Have a competition and turn it into a game to see who can build the tallest structure!
20. Sports Games
Use whatever sports equipment is available and have the kids play in the yard. Most of the time, all that is required is a ball. Kids can play soccer, soccer, baseball, catch, and more.
There are many activities kids can do for free to entertain themselves, many of which have a learning component and inspire creativity. When kids realize there are several different activities they can do when they have free time, it will be easier for them to find ways to keep themselves busy and save their parents some money too.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Nadia is co-creator and author of the blog This Mom is On Fire, a place where busy moms can find ideas for family meals, kids' activities, and tips for saving time and money, as well as relate to common experiences in motherhood. She is also a freelance writer, primarily in the areas of lifestyle and personal finance.