Fun & Educational Computer Games for Kids
As a mother of four children, I often wonder how much screen time kids need these days. I don't believe in using television as a babysitter, and there aren't any video game consoles in our home. Our eldest gave up begging for one a long time ago. We do have computers, though. Several of them, in fact. My hubby writes software, and somehow we ended up with more computers than people in our house. Kind of a stray-computer-instead-of-stray-kitten thing, I guess. So we do let our kids play age-appropriate educational games on CD's as well as browser-based games.
I'm constantly amazed by how computer literate kids are. Watching my three-year-old son navigate his way around a website is a real thrill. He can't read, but he knows some letters and he can recognize links based on how many words he sees there. Graphics are a big help too of course. He can work a mouse better than his Grandma, and he can even paint pictures using a cool program called Tux Paint.
My kids' favorite websites are starfall.com and poissonrouge.com. Starfall is an amazing site that really teaches kids to read phonetically through the use of games. Kids get to learn all about our minor holidays, such as Groundhog Day and Earth Day, too. My brother, who is raising his family in Brazil, uses Starfall to help his kids learn English. When my boys are on Starfall I feel like they are using their time wisely. Poissonrouge.com, or Red Fish Soup, can be played in French or English and is a collection of delightful games with cheerful colors and sound effects, and is appropriate for preschool-age kids. Neither Starfall nor Poissonrouge has any advertising, but users can support them by shopping in their online stores.
Games on CD's are a great way to go for kids because we don't have to worry about them stumbling onto something inappropriate on the Internet. I've found some great deals for kids' software on the bargain rack at various office supply and electronics stores, but lately I've been shopping online. One of my favorite sites is GoodHabitZone.com, which sells high-quality games for the whole family and lots of other software too. Their prices compare to the clearance racks, and they offer free shipping, which is hard to beat.
Nothing beats spending quality time with your kids, but if they want to unwind in front of the computer for a while, it's good to know that there are quality options available. They'll have fun, they'll learn something, and you'll be impressed by their developing skills.
- Learn to Read at Starfall - teaching comprehension and phonics
A free website to teach children to read. Perfect for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Contains exciting interactive books and phonics games.
- Poisson Rouge - Red Fish Soup - Games for Children - Jeux pour Enfants
- www.GoodHabitZone.com - Great Award Winning Software!
Software on CD's for the whole family.