The Internet has accumulated a huge collection of online educational games for preschool and kindergarten kids, many of which are freely available to the interested parent. We looked at a whole lot of these games to figure out the quality of such readily available online fun learning games.
There are a lot of websites offering online educational games in various areas of learning such as early mathematics, analytics, language etc. However, there is one major shortcoming with such online games. This is with regards to organization of such games. We found that most of these online educational games are quite unorganized. This is what we call the “buffet” model. It is like going to a buffet to eat all you want. It can be nice in the sense that you can eat anything you want – you can even start with the dessert and end with appetizer. However, for every course you have to get up and walk up to the food to serve yourself. When you take your young kids to a buffet, you not only have to serve yourself, but also serve your young kids, which makes you work twice as much.
In the context of educating kids online, the “buffet model” requires a lot of planning and hard work from the parental side. The buffet model can make navigating from one game to another quite difficult for the parent and almost impossible for the kid on its own. Looking at such content, one easily comes to the conclusion that parents have to spend a lot of time trying to organize and present content and educational games to their kids, so that the kids would get something meaningful out of it. This means that parents have to baby sit them on a daily basis and put in a lot of a-priori homework on their part.
The other side of the equation is what we call the “banquet” model, where in it is like going to a banquet. You are served with a full 7 course meal, which you can simply sit and enjoy. It is more of a finer dining experience. Of course you will likely not be able to start with the dessert and end with the appetizer here.