I am probably the last person on the planet to discover A Google a Day. It’s simple: every day, Google gives you a question to search, and you submit your answer, trying for the best time, and it lets you know if you got it right. The questions seem to be pretty kid-friendly, based on my playing around with it this morning, but they aren’t so simple as to be boring. I think kids will LOVE to play this little game, and I think it has some real educational value in teaching them to find the right search terms and read the question carefully.
A similar type of game that students have loved playing is The Wikipedia Game. The gist is simple as well, but it can be somewhat challenging depending on what topics you choose. You choose two completely unrelated topics (the only guideline is that both must have a Wikipedia article devoted to them). Pull up the article for one, and using only links within Wikipedia (no going to external sites that are linked from Wikipedia pages!), get to the other. For example, get from “Collegiate School” (yes, we have a page!) to “Carrot,” or from “Marshmallow” to “Muhummad Ali.” There is a site called The Wikipedia Game that will provide subjects to link to and from, but the suggestions and articles aren’t always kid-appropriate, so I have the kids come up with their own, which is usually far more random and entertaining than whatever I might come up with. Whenever I play this game with a class, I have to brace myself for months of “Can we play the Wikipedia Game today? Pleeeeeaase!!” every time they come back to the library, and kids will come up to me and randomly say stuff like, “I got from Lady Gaga to Toothpaste last night!” It’s fun! And they learn a few things, I think: how to browse text to find what they are looking for, and also how to look for connections. I have yet to see two topics that can’t be connected somehow.