Educational games have become a necessity in almost all tiers of formal education. Because people have started figuring out just how much easier and fun, the whole process of learning gets with using games. For parents and teachers of young children, we’ve created this list of the best free educational games for kids. They are versatile, with uses for homeschooling, children’s home activities, and homework. Or classroom activities just as well. Here are our top recommendations by category (age group or grade):

1. Free Educational Games for Kindergarten

If your child is in kindergarten or even not quite there yet, don’t worry: there are still plenty of free educational games you can play together that will help your child acquire more skills or understanding in various fields. Most kindergarten games, if they’re not word games that involve too much letter recognition or reading, are perfectly suitable for toddlers. Color recognition, simple memory games, and basic spatial orientation games are ideal for 3 or 4-year-olds to the more senior kindergarteners or preschoolers.

kids playing games on laptops

Without further ado, these are our favorite online free educational games for kids in this age group:

  • The Snake Game: variations on this game have delighted generations of children (probably even today’s young adults). It’s fun and suitable enough to be played by a pre-k toddler too.
  • Connect Four: again one of the best games of all time, this interactive and colorful game allows children to develop logical skills in a fun way.
  • Go Fish: another classic from the preschool age group, this favorite game involves memory skills, teaches the kid to create a strategy and adjust expectations, as well as develop their logic.
  • Treasure Chest: this is a color and shape matching game that exists in one form or another throughout the age groups.
  • Comparing Quantities Quiz: this basic math game can teach preschoolers to notice the differences between object groups and to calculate how many more or how many less there are.

2. Free Educational Games for 1st Graders

children and parents playing video games together

When your kid enrolls in the first grade, things change, both capacities and tasks required become more complex, and thus the educational games must keep up as well.

  • Arkanoid: again, a well-known and beloved game of many generations of children, this arcade game teaches kids to coordinate their movements, to sharpen their reaction times and attention, etc. You probably played it under a different name – something related to bricks – but the many variants of the game still make one of the best playsets for first graders and beyond (even up to high school).
  • Knowledge Quizzes: these games are a great way to test and improve your child’s knowledge of various subjects, as long as the questions are appropriate to what the kid has already learned. An excellent place to start would be a quiz like the Worlds Capitals Quiz or the Funky Forces quiz (which tests the 1st-grade general science knowledge). You can find downloadable quizzes as well if you decide to lead the game or limit your kid’s internet time.
  • Ivy’s Meadow: a fairly simple and very fun RPG arcade game for the child’s allowed computer or iPad time.

3. Free Educational Games for 2nd Graders

In the second grade, children become much more adept and dexterous and capable of playing games which are a little more complex. Still, this doesn’t mean that the free educational games they played in the previous year(s) aren’t suitable or fun anymore; quite the contrary. These are our suggestions for new games to be introduced in the second year of school, but if the kid still wants to play with the old games as well, there’s no problem with that (for the next grades as well).

  • Ball control – this game quickens reflexes and may also awaken an interest in tennis;
  • Addington – this cute and free little game resembles the Lemmings game a bit (for who may still remember them). If you’re willing to buy or download a game instead of just searching for free educational games online, then let it be one of the Lemmings expansions and packs. Sure, the game is ancient, but it can be very fun and useful for small kids, and the still rising number of downloads for Lemmings packs speaks for itself.
  • Balloons – the ever-popular balloon burst game.

4. Free Educational Games for 3rd Graders

As we just explained above, in the 3rd grade (or any grade), kids can pretty much keep playing the same kind of free educational games they’ve played so far. You can still introduce a few novelties, but it doesn’t mean that the base of the games the kid is already accustomed to has worn out its usefulness. Here are three games we think are ideal for being introduced in the 3rd grade (and up to grade 6):

  • Connect the stars: just like connect the colors, only a bit more advanced.
  • Cooking with chef Piglet: a great way of making your kids be more interested in cooking, ingredients and of making children understand the process better.
  • Crazy Taxi: yes, car racing games aren’t educational in an obvious sense, but they contribute to tuning your kid’s reflexes, ability to cope with pressure, as well as developing their fine motor skills.

little kid playing a video game

5. Free Educational Games for 4th Graders

In the 4th grade, these are the games we think are ideal to be introduced as new types of play, since it’s time for a more serious approach to education:

  • Music Notes: the ideal game for kids to develop their pitch.
  • Math games: the internet is full of them, so we just can’t limit ourselves to one suggestion.
  • Memory games: again, too many to make just a suggestion, but easy to find online.

An ideal brain trainer for pupils and students of all ages, (as well as adults trying to protect themselves against diseases such as Alzheimer’s), you’ll find plenty of options when it comes to memory games. These are some of the best free educational games for kids which the World Wide Web has to offer.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3.