Just for Kids

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
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Easy-to-digest content; activities make you hungry for more.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about agriculture, the environment, and other science-related topics. A travel section offers information on a few countries; other areas discuss healthy living and being respectful and responsible. Activities let kids practice spelling, word recognition, and math skills. There's so much great content here. Kids learn about big-picture things, such as vegetable names, the life cycle of a worm, and global food distribution, in an easy-to-understand way. Just for Kids is delightful, but the addition of more challenging interactive elements would help increase both the learning and the fun factor.

Positive Messages

Games and activities with a focus on spelling or other academic tasks feature vegetables to also reinforce healthy eating. Some activities also stress responsibility.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Just for Kids is a warm, colorful website with lots of health- and science-related content for younger kids. Kids can click through story-like slide shows that teach the value of friendship and of eating fruits and veggies and that have some fun fact-based tales about insects and worms. It's from the University of Illinois, and although some sections feature links to other resource sites, most are educational, safe sites sponsored by U.S. states and nonprofit organizations.

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What's it about?

JUST FOR KIDS is a website that offers kid-friendly information on a variety of topics including treating others well, agriculture, and nature elements like weather and the woods. Kids learn about responsibility in sections on baby-sitting and pet ownership; activities like a printable pet-food-cost-estimation sheet help drive the point home. The text is broken down into easy-to-read sections with images and narration. Many activities also help kids practice language skills like spelling as well as basic math skills like counting and division. You can choose between English and Spanish text for each section.

Is it any good?

Just for Kids, created by the University of Illinois Extension program (an educational outreach effort from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), offers background information, activities, and additional resources on a number of topics ranging from insects to basic agriculture. The content doesn't feel overwhelming or boring because the site's clever design breaks up the text with a slide-show-style presentation and lots of images. Kids click through pages while either reading or listening to narration; in addition to learning about responsibility, nutrition, ecosystems, and other topics, they also get to practice basic math and language skills in games and activities. The Adventures of Herman the Worm introduces kids to all things worm-related, and the Great Plant Escape is a mystery featuring Detective LePlant and some leafy helpers. Navigation is a little funky; once you enter a section it's hard to get back to the main menu (you have to click a link way down at the bottom of the page), and there could be a more cohesive theme to the page, but overall it's an inviting place for kids to learn about healthy living on Earth and all that it entails.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • This site features a few games and activities that help kids practice spelling and other skills. Discuss how that's different from games with fighting or shooting. Which are the best kind to play?


  • Different sections of this site touch on growing food, choosing food, and eating nutritiously. How can your family eat a more balanced diet?


  • The Best of Friends section talks about pet ownership and responsibility. If your family has a pet, discuss ways your child can be more involved in its care. If your child wants a pet, what factors should your family consider before getting one?


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