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.