In this technological age, there are so many games available online that it is hard to determine what is developmentally appropriate for our children or educationally sound for that matter. I have researched (and had my daughter play) several online games/activities that are appropriate for your preschool or your pre-reading child. Most, if not all, of these games are phonics based. This is not to say that I recommend a phonics only reading program. I just found these games to be educationally sound and developmentally appropriate for preschool age/pre-reading children.
I recommend playing these games in a scaffolded fashion. In other words, the first time sit down with your child to play the game, even playing it yourself first to demonstrate how it is to be completed. During the next couple of times, sit with your child and guide him/her through the game, playing with him/her, maybe taking turns. Finally, have your child play the games by him/herself.
This game combines the classic game of Memory with learning letters and their sounds. Children are asked to match the letter with the picture that begins with that sound. Children can play the game in two modes, with a timer and without. This game is through the Read, Write, Think website.
Another game through the Read, Write, Think website, this one asks children to match pictures to their beginning sounds. For older children (kindergarten/first grade) or children who are ready, there is an opportunity to match pictures to their short vowel sounds or long vowel sounds.
This is a game that allows children to match pictures that begin with the letter chosen. This is a great page for children who are just learning that letters make sounds and what sound each letter makes. Or it’s a great page for children who need additional practice with letters and their sounds. I also like that is has a child’s voice to guide child as they play.
Starfall is quickly becoming a well known website to parents and teachers of pre-readers. I first learned about Starfall when my son was in kindergarten last year. I wish I had known about it before then. Now, I have my daughter play on the site every once in a while to help build her phonics background. Starfall offers four sections: 1. ABC’s (recognizing the letters and their individual sounds) 2. Learn to Read (using pictures and blending sounds together to make words with common chunks) 3. It’s Fun to Read (using common sight words to make up stories) 4. I’m Reading (choose fiction or nonfiction books to read independently or to have the computer read aloud). I like how the website allows a child to build on his or her previously acquired skills.
Do you recommend any other online literacy games? I believe quality online games are few and far between. If you happen to know of one that you love, please let me know!
This month, at Literacy Toolbox, I’m going to focus on literacy games you can play with your children. Sight word games, spelling games, storytelling games, etc. Do you have a unique or interesting literacy game you play with your child?
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