kids
It’s already a well-known fact that kids today are more tech savvy than their predecessors. When my daughter was only 11 months old she managed to press the right combination of buttons on the TV remote to order a “Harry Potter” movie on Pay-per-View. When we noticed what she was watching it was too late, next month we had to pay the bill for that movie.

Often, she comes to me when I work and to keep her entertained I open one of the kids websites in a separate small browser window, aligning my open applications next to it. So she watches her cartoons and lets me do my work – thanks to my wide screen. Fortunately, there are some great websites for kids, and I often enjoy playing all those games or watching shows online with my daughter.

Let’s face it – kids love the Internet. So for those of you with children – your own, or nephews, or nieces, or friend’s kids – here are the 8 interesting websites that will delight any kid and even a grown up. You can also look at those sites from a Graphic Designer’s perspective – the animation, artwork and interaction are awe-inspiring.

  1. Thomas and Friends – Thomas the Tank Engine is an absolute favourite not only for boys but for girls too. My daughter can’t say her own name yet, but she already knows and says names of most of the engines on Sodor station: Thomas, Percy, James, Henry, Emily… The site offers various games and activities, and three short fragments from Thomas and Friends series, including the famous song. You can also watch a full 5 minute animation, narrated by Ringo Starr, on YouTube.
  2. Toopy & Binoo – Toopy is a mouse with a vibrant imagination, and his little friend, cat Binoo, often outdoes in creativity his buddy. I have to applaud to the website designers and producers as well for their creative inventiveness. Who knew that clicking can be so much fun. Try it out and see for yourself. The site is filled with hidden games and activities (you can print out some colouring pages, puzzles, build it yourself stuff).
  3. Pocoyo – Isn’t he cute? I’m glad I have an excuse to watch Pocoyo cartoons with my baby: his adventures are hilarious and his laughter and dancing are contagious. Recently Pocoyo won an award from British Academy Children’s Film and Television Awards. Pocoyo’s creator David Cantolla runs a blog where he goes behind the scenes and talks about all challenges and triumphs that come their way. You can also find several Pocoyo series on YouTube
  4. Knowledge Network Kids – it’s an educational Canadian TV channel where they show several children shows and animations as well. This site presents series of short fragments from various shows and cartoons (click on the animated little screen in the top right corner to watch them), as well as lots of games and activities.
  5. HIT Entertainment – From a small distribution company HIT has grown to owning numerous high-quality animation movies, and distributing them worldwide. Check out the Playlist and you can visit many other websites dedicated to various children shows, like Barney, Bob the Buildrer, The Wiggles and more.
  6. TVOKids.com – another popular Canadian site among kids. It offers a variety of engaging educational activities, games. This is a new site for me, so I’m still discovering its hidden gems.
  7. Treehouse TV – The only downside of this website is that you’re required to browse it with Internet Explorer to watch videos and they don’t work on Mac either. Hopefully, they’ll smarten up soon and optimize their website to be cross-platform and cross-browser.
  8. I want a hippopotamus for Christmas – it’s just a music video from YouTube that was set to a very hilarious children song performed by little Gayla Peevey (some people argue it was sung by Shirley Temple). So if you want your children to learn a new song for Christmas, show them this video :-)

I’m constantly looking for other fun and interesting websites to play with my daughter, so if you know of any, please, let me know.

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10 Insightful Bits in response to “8 Entertaining Bits for Kids & Grown Ups”

  1. noggin.com is another good one. They’ve got games, videos, coloring pages, etc. I was just there yesterday with my 4 year old playing blue’s clues. He’s just about got the mouse thing figured out now.

  2. ibit

    thanks a lot, for another great kids site, Brian. My daughter says “thank you” too :-)

  3. Just tried TreehouseTV with Opera on Linux and it worked fine. The only hard requirement I run into was Flash, but all these sites are requiring it. Any specific pages you could not access?

  4. ibit

    The entire Toones n’ Tunes section – when watching videos – it requires Windows Media Player. It didn’t work in FF on Windows, and doesn’t work at all on Mac.

  5. LGR

    My son absolutely loves Thomas the Train. I will have to show him the site tonight. He will want to stay glued to the computer all night once he sees it.

  6. ibit

    oh-oh, hope you won’t blame me for that, LGR ;-)

  7. HIT Entertainment telecasts shows like “Thomas” etc. on the Cartoon Network & Pogo channels here in India, and kids watch it.

    Even my sister liked them. I too liked them.

    But, nowadays, they are getting unpopular bcoz of some shows like ‘Jetix Power Rangers’ etc.
    Power Rangers is full of violence and it’s simply worthless.

    By the way, I love Pingu. Check the website here @ pingu.net

  8. Yay! We’ve just watched umpteen episodes of Pocoyo. Well, when I say “we”, of course, I mean that I was hard at work…

  9. ibit

    I’m really glad that you found another useful kids resource here, Rory, and that it helped you work in “peace” :-)
    Welcome to my blog, btw.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on