Free Rice

Website review by
Elizabeth Crane, Common Sense Media
Free Rice Website Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Learning and ending hunger, a few grains of rice at a time.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 59 reviews

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about social responsibility and world hunger while testing their core subject knowledge with fun, simple games. While the default activity is English vocabulary, it's easy to switch to other subjects, including geography, science, math, art history –- even SAT prep. The surface-level topic coverage keeps the games fun, which keeps you playing -- which means you're donating more rice. On every page kids can learn more about the countries on the receiving end and about other opportunities to help end hunger. Free Rice successfully combines learning with social responsibility in a way that's positively addictive.

Positive Messages

The site explicitly combines learning with social activism. Each correct answer in the endless quiz donates real rice -- ten grains per answer -- to the UN World Food Program.


Violence is not an issue on this site.


Words like "inimical" (hostile) and "omasum" (a cow's stomach chamber) show up, but swear words are nonexistent.


There are no ads on this site. Ad-like links are provided to sponsoring entities like the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and World Hunger Relief. There are also links to their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drugs here. The questions in any category make no reference to alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that for every correct answer to this site's endless quiz, ten grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. It's addictive, it can spark competitiveness -- "I can donate more rice than you can!", and bragging -- "My vocabulary score topped out at 42!" Neither children nor adults are immune to its lure.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTimothy thammina. June 16, 2020
Adult Written byTeacher Parent. December 1, 2018

Improve for More Rice

This is a great idea, but the actual game format could be improved to keep people interested. The questions repeat too much and too close to each other. This mu... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 17, 2013

Awesome game

I think this game is really fun and it goes to a good cause. And it really helps you learn new words you never knew before. And I think is awesome about it is t... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 11, 2013


I loved it.

What's it about?

It's fiendishly simple: the screen presents the viewer with a vocabulary question. Click on the correct answer and FREE RICE donates ten grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. A graphic on the side shows bowls of rice as they fill and accumulate. That's it. Except that now there's another word on the screen, a harder word, so you click on the definition for that one and watch as the score improves. By the time the participant checks out the other topics available -- geography, French, multiplication tables -- dozens of words have been defined and multiple bowls full of rice have been donated.

Is it any good?

The site's stated goals make it plain. Free Rice exists to provide free education and help end world hunger. Period. Somehow they manage to make it fun in the process. Kids like the game format and respond well to the challenge of improving their scores. Parents will want to play it themselves for the mental stimulation. And all the while, every correct answer drops another ten grains of rice into some hungry person's bowl.

Interestingly, the site's FAQ does more than answer typical questions. It presents issues that might be raised about hunger, about the nature of learning, and why the site even exists. The sponsors who pay for the donated rice are listed and linked to, and questions that a thoughtful adolescent might ask -- like how much rice does it take to feed a person for a day -- are addressed. There's more to chew on here than just rice. At the time of this review, Free Rice had donated over 96 billion grains of rice -- and improved the minds of countless people along the way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the meaning of world hunger and what they learned on this site. Be prepared for conversations about different artistic styles, or sentences peppered with words like "scoff" and "chastise." As vocabulary improves, confidence grows, and dinner table conversation may never be the same.

  • Are there any shelters close to you where you can donate canned food? It's important to know that hunger isn't something that only happens in far-off places.

Website details

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