As I set out in my post about TV we limit the time our children have watching TV and we also deal with time on the computer in the same way.
I am happy to sit with my preschooler and teach her how to navigate the screens etc so that she can play some online games on the computer. Limited and used in conjunction with other learning experiences, I believe that the computer can be a learning tool.
I like find online games that are age appropriate, that are in areas of her interest and that have some learning possibilities. Here is a list of 10 such games that we have had fun with:
(1). Colour Game
This is always the first game that I introduce preschoolers to. The child needs to select a colour by clicking the mouse and then clicking the area of the picture that they want to colour.
It is a great introductory game as it really focuses on mouse control from a technical aspect and from a primary learning aspect you can name reinforce their colour identification.
(2). Animal Bingo
This game requires the preschooler to listen to the animal sound and then click on the animal which makes that noise. Great activity for them to practice their listening skills and increase their animal knowledge.
(3). The Bernstain Bears Pack A Picnic Game
This game requires the preschooler to follow prompts on the screen to find particular items. It focuses primarily on the observational skills of the child.
This is an exploratory style game for the preschooler, where Elmo explains what they keys on the keyboard mean.
(5). Memory Game
Most preschool game sites will have a version of the memory card game. It is a great way to move from the real world to the virtual world, as the preschooler is generally already aware of the rules of this game.
(6). The Wiggles Shape Match
The preschooler can work on their mouse skills as they need to click and drag shapes to their right spot.
(7). Joe’s Maze
Again this takes a familiar concept and adopts in to the computer for the preschooler. They preschooler has to use the arrow keys to move the rabbit to its broccoli. Perfect for discussion of directions for example right, left, up and down.
(8). Hickory Dickory Dock Game
Excellent simple game reinforcing the preschoolers recall of numbers and introducing the clock concept. (Edit – the link to this game on the ABC website is currently not working I am awaiting a response to see if they are going to fix it. You could try this more basic telling the time game.)
(9). Dress Caillou
This is a recent find for me and I am going to use with my preschooler as an way of teaching about what clothes are appropriate for the weather we are experiencing. (Possum still wants to wear shorts even though when we are walking to school in the morning it is only 7 degrees celsius!)
(10). Brick Buster Game
This is game probably requires the most nimble computer skills of all the ones I have listed. It requires the preschooler to match up colour bricks by clicking the right column for them to be dropped into. This a level style game, with the child able to progress to more complex levels.
I would love to hear of any online games that you play with your preschooler and have found fun and valuable.