How to Find High Quality Educational Games For Kids

As a special education teacher, I am always on the lookout for high quality educational games that will hold the interest of my students. My biggest problem is I have a wide range of developmental levels in my classroom. This makes it hard for me to shop around for games. Not only do I have to think about the kids this year but I also have to think about the kids in the future years.

Here is what I look for in games:

Settings:

o Can the sound be easily turned on and off?
o Can the music be turned on and off separate from the sound?
o Can the brightness be adjusted?

Levels:

o Can difficult be changed easily for different students?
o Can students pick up at level they completed?
o Are rewards given for completing levels?
o Are there incentives for advancing?

Players:

o Is the game single player or multiple players?
o How are the characters portrayed on the screen?

I want the games to be inviting for the students where the kids will want to play the games. The graphics and sound need to draw the children in and keep their attention without being to stimulating. This is why it is important that the music be able to turn off. Not all the children can handle the background music. Therefore, it must be able to easily turn off for some children while be readily available to stimulate other children without me having to figure out how to turn it back on.

iPhone/ iTouch Games for Education

At first, I had a little concern about my students using these handheld games for educational purposes. As I said before, I am a special education teacher and my students tend to be egocentric as it is. Giving them a handheld game, I was afraid would only thrust them deeper into their own world.

However, I discovered they became more vocal and picked up skills very quickly. They loved singing along with some of the songs and playing the games. Of course, it is too soon to tell if it translates into anything more, but they do make sounds and that is progress.

Online Educational Games

Online games will be your biggest resource whether you are a teacher or a parent. The Internet is full of free games you can play and games you can download for a small fee. The key to finding these games is to go and play a trial version first. On iTunes, the trials are normally called “Lite.” Other sites like PlayFirst, have 30-minute trial versions before you have to buy the full set. The catch is you have to sign up to the site. However, it is totally worth it to get to try out the game before you spend the money.

Finding educational games for the classroom or for your own house just takes a little bit of questioning. You have to ask yourself what it is you are trying to teach. Once you know what you want your kids to learn, the games will start popping out at you.

Online Kids Games

A child’s natural curiosity and ability to learn does not cease at the school gates. Children have always played games outside of school hours and, without realizing it, have continued their education while exploring, experimenting and using their imaginations. There was a time when play activities took place in the street, parks or even in the woods and fields. But, as every parent and guardian knows, it has become increasingly difficult these days to find external environments that are considered completely safe and secure. Partly due to health and safety concerns, out of school activities are nowadays more likely to take place at home.

Fortunately, interactive online games for home use are now widely available. These Internet resources lessen the pressure for busy parents who want to provide educational activities without having the appropriate training or skills. There are many options available, including online games suitable for all grade levels, from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Whatever a child’s interests, online games will engage and amuse. Every curriculum subject is catered to, from Math, Spanish Math, Language Arts (including word recognition, text and vocabulary) and Science. The games are bright and colorful with animated activities pitched at the appropriate age for each child. For example, younger kids could learn how to use money with an online math game. Many math games work against the clock, using humorous, animated characters of a similar age and sex to the child playing the game. Kids are able to identify with the online character and, in the money example, able to make mistakes while ‘shopping’ in the safety of their own home. They have the option to repeat a question until a task is completed accurately and successfully. At the end of each game the child is given an assessment of his or her performance and is able to print off a certificate stating his or her achievements. Online educational games usually keep a child’s overall scores from one session to the next.

Parents of students learning how to read and write will find many vocabulary games available online. Some of these games are designed to encourage children to spell or to help understand phonetics. An example would be to build up a story with a series of questions which uses words containing either a particular sound, such as ‘ar’, or end with the same letters, such as ‘ion’.

Fun games for kids are an ideal and safe way of encouraging children to develop and improve a range of educational skills at home.

Subjects Included for Online Educational Games

When a person is looking for games, they will find just about any topic that exists. The same goes for online educational games. Any topic that is being taught at school and even some that are more advanced than regular schools can be found on the internet. For any of these topics, there are multiple levels and a variety of types of games to suit many tastes.

Mathematics

There are many different types of math that need to be learned that are important to life in general. To cater to these needs, there are various games that introduce the concepts and those that can help the child with the continued learning.

Geography

There are plenty of games that can help a child learn geography. While more of the online educational games may be geared towards other subjects, there are those that teach children how to read maps, where the countries are on the maps and so on.

Sciences

Any topic in the sciences, whether it is general science, chemistry, physics, biology, geology or any other topic, there is a game for it. In fact, there are dozens of games for them of varying levels. These make science fun and entertaining.

Languages

It is not just the English language that can be learned from these online educational games but there are games that teach Spanish, French, German and more. They teach reading, writing, grammar and pronunciation.

Other Topics

Any other topic that is taught in school is found online in these games and even those that may not be included in the curriculum such as fashion or cooking. They are a lot of fun and the child may not even realize that they are learning so much. These are designed partly for this purpose but also to allow the child to understand that they are making progress by creating these different levels to each subject.