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 Top Family-Friendly Sites on the Web  

 

We've selected some of the best sites for families and their diverse needs. From shopping to homework help to recipe collections, here are some sites well worth the effort of a few "clicks".

For our Top Kids' Free Online & Downloadable Games, click here.

 

Reference - Dictionaries


Bartleby.com is an excellent place to get quotations, thesaurus entries, English usage tips, and more. Amazingly, it's all free.

Word Central is a kid-friendly site dedicated to words! It features a student dictionary, word of the day, games, rhymes, and more.

Rhymezone.com When you're desperately searching for a rhyme, synonym, or the perfect phrase, this is the place to go.

Thesaurus.com comes complete with a thesaurus that is searchable by headword and category, a dictionary, style guides, a translator, and games.

Merriam Webster - collegiate dictionary and thesaurus  

Encarta Dictionary is Microsoft's online World English Dictionary. Easy to use, comprehensive.



Reference - Miscellaneous


Findlaw.com for self-help legal guides, as well as a legal dictionary.

How Stuff Works contains fascinating articles that explain how "stuff" - ranging from televisions to toilets to ultrasounds - work.

Children's Book Reviews: our list of online reviews.



Reference - Online Encyclopedias


Britannica.com is home to an exceptional online encyclopedia service that is free. Put in a search, and it will dig up relevant encyclopedia articles and links to web sites.

ArtsAndCulture.com is an online encyclopedia focusing on the arts.






Miscellaneous Interesting Sites


Lycos Top 50 Searches with Aaron Schatz summarizes and discusses the day's and week's top 50 searches at Lycos.

Yahoo Buzz Index is a daily summary of interest levels of Yahoo! visitors, divided into categories like Movies, Sports, and Music. 



Shopping


Amazon.com contains an enormous selection of not only books, but software, music, electronics, health products, kitchen items, computers, video games, clothing, and more. Fantastic service and a wealth of information on the site itself.

 Amazon.ca While the range of products is not quite as large as its American counterpart, Amazon Canada remains an excellent online store for Canadians looking for music, books, software, video games, and more.

Barnes & Noble Vast selection of books, music, gifts and more.

Little Smarties Educational ToysIncluding Leap Frog and Baby BumbleBee Educational Toys and DVDs. Free shipping provided with every purchase at Little Smarties Educational Toy Store. Educational Toys for the Little Smarties in your life.



News


CNN.com is a first-rate news site, replete with news stories in text, video, and audio format. 

MSNBC.com allows users to customize their own home page in addition to providing 

News.com is a technology news site. 



Online Games


At RealArcade, users with a RealArcade GamePass have access to high-quality games (arcade, puzzle, word games, and more) and get a free video game of their choice each month. The games offered include ones appropriate for kids, as well as adults. RealArcade has over 180 games--click here for a free 30-day trial of RealArcade GamePass. Highly recommended.

Shockwave.com is home to a tremendous amount of online interactive games using, of course, Shockwave technology. You'll find arcade, puzzles, casino, and more for all ages. Be sure to download their free Shockmachine which allows players to download games they can play offline.



Downloads


CNet.com You'll find plenty of downloads, complete with reviews and editor's picks. 

Tucows features downloadable software, including freeware and shareware with reviews.



Kids' Search Engines


Yahooligans is Yahoo!'s web guide for kids. Links to sites for school help, research, fun and games, and more. An Ask Earl section allows kids to ask questions and read answers about a variety of topics.

Ask Jeeves for Kids allows kids to type in a question in natural language and wait for a number of links to sites that may have the answers. They also get to "peek" at questions other kids are currently asking.

Searchopolis is a filtered search engine that sorts search results by grade level, contains Expert Picks,  and links to important reference tools.



Helpful Family Utilities, Search Engines, & Products


XDrive is a personal online hard drive service. Here, users can store and share files without using up their computer's hard drive space.

The Alexa Toolbar is a very handy and free downloadable toolbar that allows you to easily search the web (with Google), block pop-up ads (you pick and choose), view statistics (such as traffic rankings and customer reviews) and related sites for each site that you visit. It's informative and a time saver.

Anonymizer offers a complete set of online tools to protect consumers' privacy and security when they surf the Internet. Anyone leery of online spies can feel safe and secure using this vigorous tool - Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing. Create anonymous, disposable email addresses to protect your personal accounts against spam. Anonymizer Nyms.





Want to know which toys everyone else is buying? 

Take a peek here: Top Sellers in Toys at Amazon, updated daily!



Family Education


Family Education Network contains expert advice from teachers, pediatricians, family therapists, and learning disabilities therapists, as well as original articles and suggested educational activities.

StoryPlus.com features a library of downloadable children's books, some of which are free, as well as interesting articles that offer tips on how to build children's reading skills.

Family.Com Education is a department of the Family.com mega-parenting site, and contains plenty of educational features and stories.

Zero to Three is designed to help parents and professionals alike understand the significance of the first 3 years of a person's life.



Home & Hobbies


Better Homes & Gardens features a how-to encyclopedia, recipe center, gardening topics and a tool for gardening plans online, decorating center, and more.

iVillage's Home & Garden features articles and ideas about crafts, decorating, gardening, and do-it-yourself projects.  



Fun & Learning for Kids


StoryPlus.com features a library of inexpensive downloadable children's books, some of which are free. These are original stories offered in English or French that your kids will enjoy.

Lil Fingers.com features games, activities, and storybooks for toddlers.

The Yuckiest Site on the Internet from the Discovery Channel features games, activities, "Worm World", "Roach World", and more.

Fox Kids Favorite Fox Kids television shows, like Pokemon, Digimon, and more, are featured here. Information about the shows, plus games (like Digimon Pinball).

Discovery Channel's Live Cams features live cams of animals (polar bears, gorillas, etc.) and other interesting subjects (volcanoes, construction, etc.).

PBS Kids Go behind the scenes and learn more about PBS kids' shows, like Sesame Street, Between the Lions, Zoboomafoo, Dragon Tales, Caillou, and more. Features games, stories, and coloring pages too.

Cool Science for Curious Kids is a nice site for kids to learn about biology. Facts about snakes, lizards, butterflies, dust, plants,and more. Plus, art activities.

NickJr. Filled with information about Nick Jr. shows, like Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder, Maisy, Franklin, and more. Meet the new host of Blue's Clues, Joe. Packed with parenting tips, activities, games, crafts.

SpongeBobSqaurePants.com offers games and activities for Spongebob SquarePants fans.



Recipes & Cooking


BettyCrocker.com allows users to type in ingredients on hand in order to find recipes.

Emeril's web site features Emeril's recipes, a recipe wizard, and more.

Cookbook Wizard is a site where users can organize and share recipes by managing their own cookbook online.

Cooking.com is a well-organized site that features recipes, menus, and tips from top chefs.



Parenting


Parents - covers a broad range of parenting topics. Both informative and fun, this site is made by the publishers of Child and Parents magazines.

Parent Soup is built around a variety of parenting categories and provides an all-purpose base for parenting advice, issues, and concerns.

Family.com is a member of the Disney.com family and features great articles from the Family Fun magazine, as well as recipes, health issues, boards, and lots more.

DiscoverySchool's Parents features reviews, study tools, articles, and more--all designed for parents.

Parents Place Besides offering parenting articles, the parenting boards here are some of the best on the web.

NickJr. Filled with information about Nick Jr. shows, like Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder, Maisy, Franklin, and more. Meet the new host of Blue's Clues, Joe. Packed with parenting tips, activities, games, crafts.



Explore Edutaining Kids:


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Especially For Women:


Oxygen.com is a wonderful resource and community with a network of sites, including Thrive.com (dedicated to healthy living), Momsonline.com (dealing with parenting issues, and ka-Ching (all about small business, career, and money).

iVillage.com, the internet for women! Parenting, health, beauty, relationships, and more...features a huge community and loads of articles.



Entertainment


Entertainment Weekly Online features top entertainment news stories, reviews of movies, books, TV shows, videos, and more, plus back issues of EW magazine. 

Film.com contains an extensive reviews database

The Internet Movie Database features movie and TV news, top movies, photo galleries, and is an Amazon.com company.



Music


All Music Guide  is part of AMG (All Media Guide) and is dedicated to reviewing and tracking music.

Music Search  is a music-only search engine with loads of reviews and music news. Searchable sites are human-reviewed. 

Children's Music Reviews: our list of links to online reviews.

With music downloads now such an "iffy" thing, there is a certain level of comfort when you can download music safely and legally. Our favorite site for music downloads is RealRhapsody. Listen to Music Online with 750,000+ Songs at your fingertips with RealRhapsody. 14 day free trial, then only $9.95 month The range of music offered will suit every member of the family. Basically, your family can listen to any song in the library while online. If users want to burn a song for offline use, it will cost them 79 cents. Kids, especially tweeners and teens, love this!

 


Amazon's Holiday Toy List






Gaming News & Reviews


GameSpot is a premier site for reviews, previews, cheats, and gaming news. Now requires a paid subscription for access to its reviews.

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