When I first encountered the idea of introducing nature science concepts to children via websites, I was skeptical. I’ve always felt that nature should be experienced hands-on. However, BBC science games for children have convinced me that online science exploration can be a great way to introduce concepts, especially for children who aren’t as eager to get dirty as others or when online virtual simulations are more practical than the full physical endeavor.
My children love online learning, so I’ve searched around extensively for quality resources. For several reasons, the BBC Kids websites are some of my favorites. Namely, they’re fun, interactive, creative, well-made, and free of advertising.
Finding BBC Science Games
When you look for science games offered by the BBC, you have several options.
CBBC Games. These games are fun-based, less focused on academic lessons than explicitly educational games, but valuable for exploring some nature science concepts. With the Deadly Planet game, for example, your child will explore some of the deadly places around and track down amazing animals.
BBC Bitesize. This is where you’ll find educational games on a variety of subjects categorized by grade level. For science, you can go directly to BBC Bitesize Science where you’ll find children’s simulations (aka games) on gardening, animal hospital, nature walks, electricity, forces, and many other basic science concepts.
BBC Schools LearningZone. The LearningZone is a hub for all of BBC’s educational content, including video clips categorized by subject and grade level.
BBC CBeebies. This website for young children offers games, stories, crafts, and activities on a number of subjects. Games such as I Can Cook and My CBeebies Garden allow little ones to explore early science and nature concepts.
One of my daughters is particularly drawn to bugs and rocks, entomology and geology. BBC has really come through for her with games that allow her to explore the subjects more thoroughly before we purchase tools and locate opportunities to try out the real thing.
For example, on her learning website, we’ve linked to many BBC science games, such as
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Rocks & Soils, and
BBC School: Rocks & Soils.
For insect learning, we often visit the BBC LearningZone to explore the extensive library of video clips on insects, as well as many other quality science learning websites.
The suite of BBC websites remain among my top choices and highest recommendations. I go first to BBC when looking for a new way to introduce a subject or offer my children some indoor nature science exploration. Whatever your child’s particular interest, you can probably find it on BBC.