Game-based learning is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom while engaging kids with real learning.
Game-based learning turns potentially tedious study time into an adventurous knowledge quest, complete with catchy soundtracks and digital rewards. It helps keep kids engaged with the subject matter and motivated to pursue greater expertise. Best of all, web- or app-based gameplay integrates easily into both online and in-person classes.
We’ve curated the best K-12 educational game sites and apps, arranged according to cost. Many are free (or offer free basic accounts), while some provide progress tracking and analysis tools for teachers. All are remarkably creative and will help kids enjoy learning.
50 Sites & Apps for Educational Games
This easy-to-navigate site affords a wide range of educational digital games for students or anyone who enjoys gameplay and learning. Included are math, word, geography, puzzle games as well as classic games such as chess, checkers, backgammon, mahjong and more. But it’s not just fun and games at Duckster. An extensive collection of illustrated lessons in history, biography, geography and science are accompanied by quizzes and links to the relevant games. No account required to play or learn.
Wordle’s simplicity belies its intriguing intellectual challenge. This new, highly popular word game tests memory, vocabulary, and spelling in a puzzle format that allows for rapid gameplay and feedback. Teachers and students can play this free game on the New York times website, no account needed.
Khan Academy Kids
An award-winning, free iOs or Android app, Khan Academy Kids offers a comprehensive collection of educational math, literacy, and music games and activities for kids aged 2-8 years. Top-rated by users, this free app includes no ads—and no subscription is needed.
Vocabulary Spelling City
Three dozen free games cover topics including vocabulary, spelling, phonics, and language arts. Each game includes several variations, so the total number of games to play exceeds 100. Just start playing- no account needed. Looking for premium content? Head over to the new site for premium games at VocabularyA-Z.com
Explore this extensive selection of math, logic, skills, and word games for kids in grades K-6. Created by educator Coleen King, Math Playground is kidSAFE/COPPA Certified and includes only COPPA-certified children’s ads. Shareable in Google Classroom.
From the publisher of Math Playground, Puzzle Playground is a free game-based learning site that uses puzzles of every kind to engage kids’ imaginations. Don’t think “jigsaw” because these amazingly creative puzzles go far beyond shape-fitting. Instead, these varied digital puzzles will keep kids of any age busy challenging their problem-solving, trial and error, spatial reasoning, and perseverance skills. Super fun too.
Best Free Virtual Escape Rooms for Schools
These top free virtual escape rooms combine the best elements of gameplay — suspense, skill, knowledge, and speed. Arranged according to age suitability.
Moose Math – Duck Duck Moose iOs Android
A multi-level math game that allows kids ages 3-7 to earn rewards and decorate cities by solving math problems disguised as adventures. Common Core-aligned for kindergarten and first grade.
Don’t worry, this site doesn’t advocate gaslighting or psychological manipulation. Rather it’s a collection of free online number, word and logic games, brain teasers, sudoku, crosswords, and more. Free with (blockable) ads. For a premium ad free gaming, visit adfreegames.com, where users pay only $10 for a full year of access.
With tools for teachers, games on every school subject, badges, groups, and tournaments, PurposeGames offers a lot of free educational play. Create your own games and quizzes, too! Need a break from geography? Try the entertainment and television games, which allow users to show off their knowledge of Family Guy, The Simpsons, child actors and other light fare.
Easy as ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), these super simple digital games are for young learners aged 2-5 years. Games include memory match, Alphabet Hunt, Fire fight, jigsaw puzzles, and more. Want more early education resources? Check out the ABC Kids Early Education curricula and ideas.
Solving the Rubik’s Cube!
From educator Ryan Chadwick comes this top-notch digital tutorial for one of the most challenging hands-on puzzles ever. Includes images and advice to boost your speed solving Rubik’s cube. Free, no account required.
Annenberg Classroom That’s Your Right
Kids play alone or in multiplayer mode to learn and practice their Bill of Rights expertise. With high-quality graphics and music and three levels of difficulty, this free game is an excellent way to support civics education for middle and high school students. Additional resources include a Constitution guide, review of Supreme Court cases, and lesson plans.
Cells Alive! Puzzles and Games
Free digital memory match, jigsaw, and word puzzles help students reinforce classroom biology lessons. The interactive cell models are also a great way to learn about the parts and functions of plant and animal cells.
Browse K-8 educational games by grade level, popularity, and topics such as math, grammar, and vocabulary. New games include chess, sudoku, and What on Earth?! (geography). Free, no registration required.
A unique and visually captivating geography brainteaser that encourages children to decipher locations using hints from Google Street View and Mapillary visuals. Ideal for fostering cognitive abilities and logical reasoning, while providing an entertaining and immersive experience.
GoNoodle Games iOs Android
Unlike most digital activities, GoNoodle is designed to get kids moving rather than keep them glued to the screen. The latest free GoNoodle games for iOs and Android feature kids’ favorite characters, moves, and music.
A rich resource for social studies education, the nonprofit iCivics was founded by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2009 to educate Americans about our democracy. The site includes an educational portal for learning about civics and standards-based games and curricula.
Hundreds of free games for preK to post-secondary students, grouped by grade level and including subjects such as animals, geography, chemistry, vocabulary, grammar, math, and STEM. Choose relaxed mode for fun, timed mode for practice tests.
Math and Sorcery
A super entertaining iOS app for learning basic math skills in an 8-bit style role-playing game. Students are challenged to find the stolen book of math and sorcery. A great way to improve mental math speed.
National Geographic Kids
Free quizzes and games in topics ranging from animals and bugs to solving ciphers.
More than 300 lively educational games and mobile apps for preK-6 students. Games can be searched by Common Core State Standards, as well as Next Generation Science Standards. Fully free for desktop use, premium plan for mobile devices.
PBS Kids Games
Dozens of free games, from math to social-emotional learning, will delight younger learners. No account required on this user-friendly website. English and Spanish. New games include Nature sights and Sounds, Puppy Pet Care, Road Repair, and many more.
A deceptively simple interface allows users to play surprisingly challenging games for free. In addition, teachers create gamified quizzes, then share the code with their students. A jaunty musical soundtrack adds to the enjoyment.
Play to Prevent Games
With a focus on sensitive topics such as opioid misuse, HIV/AIDS, vaping, and unintended pregnancy, these games tackle tough social issues while supporting kids’ mental health and development. Free with request for access.
Find 140+ free learning games in a wide variety of subjects, including math, language arts, typing and keyboard skills, digital puzzles, and more. Games are grouped by grades as well as topics. Highly popular with teachers and students alike.
Explore art-based games and quizzes on this super appealing, highly visual site from Great Britain’s Tate Museum. Activities focus on learning and discovery rather than test scores. An exceptional way to get kids thinking about and making art. Free.
HoloLAB Champions (Educators Edition)
Players in this remarkable virtual chemistry lab will measure, weigh, pour, and heat in a series of competitive lab skills games. No safety goggles required—but don’t forget your virtual pair! Free for educators. HoloLAB Champions is available in English on Steam for the Oculus Rift and VIVE VR platforms. Free to educators.
A simple, easy-to-use site with digital flash card-based games in a wide variety of subjects and topics, including English, math, sciences, and languages. No login required to play, but a free registration is needed to save your scores.
NASA Space Place
NASA invites users to investigate Earth and outer space via games that ask big questions such as, “How does NASA talk to its faraway spacecraft?” and “How does the sun make energy?” Free and fascinating.
FREE ACCOUNT OPTION
This imaginative K-6 online platform uses game-based learning to boost kids’ academic success. The two main programs are online assessment prep and adaptive intervention for struggling learners and at-risk students. Free basic teacher’s account allows one teacher and 30 students/all subjects or 150 students/1 subject.
An award-winning, innovative site for K-8 game-based learning in math, language arts, geography, and other subjects, Arcademics includes an educational portal that allows teachers to monitor student progress, generate detailed reports, and assess student learning. Free basic account provides most features and is ad-supported. Free 30-day trial. No credit card required.
An online education gaming platform, Oodlu is perfect for learners of any age with some reading ability. Teachers create their own games using the built-in question bank, and analytics provide progress reports for each student. Free standard account.
A wonderful gamified learning/quiz platform with a user-friendly interface, Blooket offers nine different game modes and runs on student devices as well as desktop computers. Free basic account allows for unlimited sets & edits, unique game modes, and question set search for up to 60 players.
Turtle Diary Online Games
An extensive collection of games, videos, quizzes, lesson plans, and other digital tools for preK-5 students, searchable by topic, grade, and Common Core standard. Free and premium accounts.
Created by a high school student, Gimkit bills itself as a game show for the classroom. Kids can earn in-game cash with correct answers and invest the money in upgrades and power-ups. Reports for educators are generated after every game played. A second program, Gimkit Ink, allows students to publish and share their schoolwork. $4.99/month, or group pricing for schools. A 30-day free trial of Gimkit Pro can be converted to a free basic account.
One of the most popular sites for gamifying the classroom. Teachers create games and quizzes and students answer them on their mobile devices. You’ll find a plan for every budget: free basic, pro, and premium.
A fine, fast-paced vocabulary game. Educators can create their own word packs and track student progress. Free basic accounts allow play of all public word packs, sharing, and exporting, while the moderately priced Pro and Team accounts allow unlimited word pack creation and assignments.
Legends of Learning
A fine collection of standards-aligned science and math games for K-8 students. Free teacher accounts, with premium features for school and district-level accounts. Bonus: Learn about the games before signing up here. Be sure to check out their free upcoming game-based STEM competitions.
An award-winning, standards-aligned online math game designed for grades 1-8, Prodigy is modeled on popular fantasy-style multiplayer games. Students select and customize an avatar, and then prepare to battle math problems. Free basic account includes core gameplay and basic pet features.
Buzzmath provides more than 14,000 interactive math questions, as well as manipulable objects, audio text reading, math glossary, brain teasers, badges, and digital rewards. Teachers can personalize learning for each student with this standards-aligned supplementary math resource.
From the makers of the popular Prodigy Math, Prodigy English is a gamified English language learning program that features all the fun bells and whistles of gaming, from creating worlds to boosting energy with correct answers. A suite of teachers’ tools includes assessments and reports. Aligned to Common Core reading and language standards for grades 1 to 6.
Sumdog’s standards-based math and spelling practice platform aims to boost student learning and confidence with adaptive personalized gameplay. A hit with kids and research-validated to boot. Free 30 day trial.
A block-based graphics game, designed for education, that allows students to build and explore virtual worlds. Built-in educator controls support a safe and education-directed experience. The abundant classroom resources include lesson plans, training for educators, challenge building, and more.
A 2016 SIIA CODiE winner for Best Game-Based Curriculum, Skoolbo offers educational games for reading, writing, numeracy, languages, science, art, music, and logic. Digital books and step-by-step animated lessons support young learners as well. Various plans for classes and schools, with the first month free.