Activities

Adding an Educational Twist to Online Gaming

by Jeana Lee Tahnk


Adding an Educational Twist to Online Gaming

There are so many online gaming sites geared towards young kids, but not many of them have education as its first and foremost priority. Sure, many sites are entertaining, but if your kid is sitting in front of the computer for an hour, it would be ideal if they learned more than just how to move the arrow keys to make a race car go faster around the bend.  

There are so many online gaming sites geared towards young kids, but not many of them have education as its first and foremost priority. Sure, many sites are entertaining, but if your kid is sitting in front of the computer for an hour, it would be ideal if they learned more than just how to move the arrow keys to make a race car go faster around the bend.  

If you’re looking for a versatile and well-crafted educational site for your kids, check out ABCmouse.com. It offers different curriculum choices for toddler, preschool, pre-k and kindergarten-aged kids and boasts a huge inventory of more than 2,000 individual learning activities and 350 lesson plans. The site follows core learning themes such as Reading (ABCs, sight words, phonics); Math (numbers, measurement, shapes); The World Around Us (social studies) and Art/Music (drawing, painting, songs). Since its team of advisors consists primarily of education experts and teachers, it makes sense that the site offers such a rich array of educational activities.  

The home page is a graphic of a classroom setting and serves as the base station where all of your activities can be selected. You can customize lesson plans for different children based on age and “Guided Learning” or “Independent Learning” modes, and can even track progress (if you want more of an organized curriculum). Otherwise, the graphics are intuitive enough for pre-k to kindergarten-aged kids to bop around the site on their own and make their own learning discoveries. The lessons are highly interactive, constantly asking questions of the child as well as offering praise for completed activities. 

There’s one feature called “Record a Book” that is really cool. Members can record any of the books in the site’s library, or your child can even record a book and send it via email to anyone. It’s a great option for distant relatives, grandparents, even parents who may travel on business frequently.

What’s the catch? There is a subscription fee of $7.95 per month or $79 per year (the site is free for public schools), which allows you to register up to three children. Although it may seem pricey compared to other free edutainment sites, an added benefit of ABCmouse.com is that it’s completely secure. There are no pop-ups, no ads and no external links that may divert those little wandering eyes elsewhere.

If you’re interested in mixing a little education into your kid’s screen time entertainment, it’s worth taking a look at this site.

 

 

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