Our family is definitely an electronic one!
We have been using the LeapFrop learning systems for years. We have been through the Leapster TV, ClickStart, every handheld system, including the newest LeapPad GS, and have several Tag readers. Like many kids, our kids learn to use the computer as they are learning to walk and talk. PBS and JumpStart educational games are among our favorites.
Even with all of our electronic learning systems, we still love our online games. There are websites that just promote reading, some that are great just for math, and many others that have a little bit of everything.
One of our favorite early learning websites is Seussville. After the kids pour over Dr Seuss books, they are given a reward of playing on the computer. Sometimes they never make it to the computer to play after getting caught up in reading, but when they do Seussville.com is filled with quirky fun.
Sesame Street is a show that has been on nearly every day in our home for over 11 years. I have a feeling that after The Littles are too old for Sesame Street that I will miss it. SesameStreet.org is fun and full of giggles. PBSKids.org is a site that has Sesame Street and the rest of our favorite PBS shows featured in more games.
Thomas the Tank Engine is another favorite in our home. We have spent hours building tracks and villages, shunting trains and obsessing over Thomas. The Thomas and Friends website ThomasAndFriends.com brings great joy to The Nut House.
FisherPrice.com has more early education games that The Littles get into. We have many FisherPrice toy sets that the kids have passed down to each other, and they get excited to play online with the same characters they play with in their bedrooms.
Colgate toothpaste has a fun website called Healthy Bedtime Habits. This site is a great addition to The Bedtime Shuffle as it already includes everything they do before bed, which is wash their hands, brush their teeth and read a book. Every night before bed, kids and parents can log in their accomplishments and earn points towards a free toothbrush as well as different activities on the website. The more points they earn, the more free activities they get to do. The Free toothbrush is a bonus that excites me the most!
I heard about Starfall.com years ago when my oldest first started school. Starfall is a Learn to Read website that is used in schools, but is also a great tool for homeschooling. It teaches reading levels from Pre-K up to second grade, depending on your child’s reading level.
A homeschooling friend told me about FunBrain.com. Funbrain is a site for both reading and math development and can be used by children at all educational levels. Again, this site is great to supplement public school or homeschooling.
Both Starfall.com and FunBrain.com were great sites to visit over vacation to help the kids remember what they learned during the short time they were in public school. 2-3 months off is a long time for little ones & visiting these sites a few times a week is not only a great way to spend time with the kids, but also help them not feel so overwhelmed when they do go back to school.
Now that we are in our 4th year of homeschooling, all of these educational games are part of our weekly life. When ever I can disguise fun as learning I jump at it. Right now, all five of my kids are playing an educational video game, either online or on their handheld game systems. They also think they are on Christmas break and are getting time off from home education. They are so wrong!
So there are a few of our most used educational websites. Enjoy! What are your favorite online early learning educational games?