free fun and learning game sites my preschool boys love: part 1
Posted by contentgrrl on December 6, 2007
My sons, 2 and 5, have some time on the computer every week. When they play online, they have a select few favorite sites:
First is Starfall.
My neice-in-law turned me onto this site, after her daughter learned to read on it. It is absolutely the best program I’ve seen for teaching regular* kids letter sounds and letter combinations, building skills along an excellent curriculum with fun games, songs, stories to click around, and more.
There’s even a lesson on the alphabet in American Sign Language. And there are activities for every season and holiday on the Calendar: Earth Day’s cleanup is one of our favorites.
The lessons may be low in production value, but it’s very lightweight bitwise, so it can work in low bandwidth, while still being very colorful and full of great animation. I don’t know how they fund it (well, there’s a store with games, books, journals, plush dolls, and phonics packs), but bottom line, it’s a wonderful site, and I give a lot of credit to Starfall for making it easy for my sons to learn phonemes.
* The exception is one of my former employers, Creative Education Institute, which has the best program around for evaluating people with special learning needs and tutoring them in reading, English as a second language, and mathematics from number recognition to fractions. But unlike the Starfall site, the CEI systems are not free.