Cool Games That Encourage Learning- Geeking (with kids)
In this day and age, I think it is very important for our children to learn how to use computers very early. We started teaching the Geekling how to use the computer at around 2-years-old, although he would sit with us as we used the computer from almost day one. When children enter school they need to have the basic knowledge of how a computer keyboard and mouse works. So if they need to know how to use a computer, why not teach them other things at the same time? Plus there are a lot of really cool games out there!
I have found these websites and apps that have helped my son learn to read and do simple mathmatics. As well as his colors, shapes and other valuable lessons. Plus they are cool games that are fun. I am not saying that a parent should plug their child in front of electronics and expect the electronics to do the parents job (so quit raising your eyebrow at me) What I am saying is that as parents we need to utilize the tools that we have to teach our children. I have many different play/learning techniques – this is just one of them.
I have to say that it is nice to plug the Geekling in front of a learning game, so I can finish the dishes. However, I will also sit with him at the computer and play the games with him. I think that it is good to allow children to explore a little on their own, and if that means I get 15 minutes to finish a chore – that is just icing on the cake.
StarFall – http://www.starfall.com/ - Free limited access or $35 a year for full access
I don’t think I could say enough good stuff about this program, it is by far my favorite. For free you will get limited access to the alphabet and phonic area and the numbers area – I don’t remember what else you get for free because we picked up the program as one of our son’s Christmas presents last year. He loved the alphabet and numbers so much that limited access made him upset because he wanted all the numbers. A home membership for 1 year costs $35 (that is 2.92 a month!). You get full access to the site, there are all kinds of fun learning activities. I was also told that the kids will use this program a lot in Kindergarten so the Geekling will be one step ahead.
Disney Junior – http://disney.go.com/disneyjunior - Free
The Disney Junior site is free. Disney Juniors website has cool games, videos and episodes of their shows, Coloring pages and stories. This site is only slightly educational – but it is a lot of fun, and sometimes that is what a child needs.
PBS Kids – http://pbskids.org/ - Free
Much like Disney Junior it is free and is all about PBS’s characters. Every show has its own cool games and activities. Since PBS is more educational – so is PBS Kids
Monkey Preschool Lunch Box – .99
The #1 preschool game in the app store. Learn and have fun by helping monkeys pack lunch! Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is a collection of six exciting educational games for your preschooler (ages 2 to 5).
*** FEATURES ***
-7 different cool games that teach kids about colors, letters, counting, shapes, sizes, matching, and differences.
-Lovable animated monkey helps kids along as they play the games.
-Dozens of sounds and voice recordings of colors, letters, fruit names, and more.
-Animated Stickers! Kids get a sticker reward after every other game they win.
-Designed for preschoolers — no confusing menus or navigation.
-Unlimited play! Each game flows right into the next.
My geekling LOVES this app. He will play it for 30 minute at a time, and since it is an app that doesn’t require internet access, I can get almost all my grocery shopping done before he gets bored. There is a lot of learning to it – touch all the purple fruit – How many bananas – but it fun as well and so cute! Well so cute that I bought the 2 other “Monkey” programs by this company.
Monkey Math School Sunshine – .99
From the creators of the #1 Preschool App “Monkey Preschool Lunchbox”! Join your child’s favorite monkey in math games and activities in a playfully designed beach-themed world. Monkey Math School Sunshine allows your child to build fundamental math skills while they are endlessly entertained. Your child will count, add and sort their way through engaging games with uninterrupted play. For ages 3 to 6.
Like Preschool Lunchbox it is learning centered. This app helps with the basic concept of math – number sequence, addition, subtraction, and how to write the numbers. This is a fun game app – however it does not keep the Geekling entertained as long as Preschool Lunch box.
Monkey Preschool: When I Grow Up – .99
It’s magic toybox playtime at Monkey Preschool! THUP Games Presents Monkey Preschool “When I Grow Up”, an imagination and inspiration game for preschoolers age 2 and up.
Children love to imagine what they want to be when they grow up-and it can change from day to day! Now they don’t have to settle on just one thing. Your little monkey wants to be a pirate/astronaut/doctor? No problem. Open up the magic toy box and see what you can find!
When I grow up is cute. You pick what the little monkey wears and depending on what you pick the background changes and at the end the dressed up monkey dances. It goes like this – pick your monkey – pick a hat (let’s say fireman hat) back ground changes to a fire station. Pick a top (Let’s pick a princess top) Now you get a stuffed Dragon on the floor by your feet. Pick Bottom (Let’s pick diver). You get a submarine next to you. Now your monkey is dressed, it starts dancing with the dragon and submarine kinda dancing with the monkey and the monkey is a nice mixture of – Fire Fighter, Princess, Diver – Now you can do it all over again.
I would say out of the 3 Monkey games, this is the Geeklings least favorite. He plays it for maybe 10 minutes, then is moving on to another game. If you have a child really into dressing up, maybe they would like it more.
Super Why - $2.99
Help your child achieve the Power to Read with this collection of four SUPER WHY interactive literacy games. Your child can play along with each of the four main characters from the TV series: Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and, of course, Super Why, while practicing the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing and reading. Super Duper!
ALPHA PIG’S LICKETY LETTER HUNT Help Alpha Pig find his way home by identifying the letters he needs to follow the alphabet path. That’s Alphabet Power!
PRINCESS PRESTO’S WANDS-UP WRITING Help Princess Presto make objects appear by identifying letter sounds, tracing letters on the touch screen, and writing words. Spectacular Spelling!
WONDER RED’S RHYMING TIME It’s time to rhyme! Help Wonder Red find the rhyming words missing from her Wonder Words Basket.
SUPER WHY’S STORY SAVER Super Why…to the rescue! Help Super Why save the day by selecting words to complete sentences that fit the story.
LEARNING REWARDS Collect virtual stickers along the way and decorate a “sticker book” with over 50 items.
I love love love the show Super Why on PBS – also is on Netflix. Why do I love it so much? The characters act like Super Heroes and help out storybook characters who are in need….all the while teaching everyone to read. The Geekling went through a phase where that is all he wanted to watch, but I really think Super Why was what got him really into reading, I have to also give credit to Word World. So when I found a Super Why app I pried open my wallet and paid the $2.99 to get the app. The Geekling loves this app. It is much like the show – same type of games. I would say if your little one likes Super Why, they will probably like this app. If you or your little one has never seen this show – check it out!
These are just some of the cool games that are out there for your child to interact with…Want some good parent and child time? Go through the apps on your phone or iPad or iPod and pick one that looks good for kids and play it together. Free ones are the best because if you don’t like them you can just delete them no biggy! I will keep my eyes open for good child friendly apps and let you all know when I find them.
Ok Star Wars Celebration VI starts Thursday – but we aren’t going to cry - – well at least not much …right? Nope we are going to have our own party. So keeping up with our Star Wars Celebration VI celebration – here is today’s little bit of Star Wars.
Talk to Your Kids About…Star Wars PSAPin It