Everyone knows that children love computer games. However, the games that children like to play are not necessarily those that parents and teachers consider worthwhile. The best way to teach children anything is in a game. Games are learning without tears, learning spellings or maths is not nearly so frightening, when hidden within games. Games can teach anything. People used old-fashioned board games for teaching purposes, but to modern children board games are old hat. Fortunately, there are some excellent web sites, which host educational games for children. Picking just five proved somewhat difficult, as there are so many very good sites.
The differences between British and American English are confusing for children and so two United Kingdom sites are included. The first of these is games co UK, which has an educational games section. “The Countries of Europe” is a geography game, in which players must find the named country on a blank European map. There is also a similar game for “The Countries of Africa”. The game is a fun way to learn and remember the positions of the many countries on the continent. “Did you Know” is a multiple choice, general knowledge quiz game. It is a great way to increase children’s general knowledge. Dino Dig is an unusual game about archeology, in which children unearth and prepare fossils just like real paleontologists, slowly and carefully. This would be perfect for youngsters fascinated by dinosaurs, teach them dexterity, patience, hand eye coordination, as well as paleontology. There are three shape train games, which are suitable for very young children learning shapes and colours. The child clicks on the right shape or colour to hook the train wagons to the engine and send the train on its way. The first game deals with simple colours and shapes, games two and three are more complex shapes and colours. “Test My History” is history trivia game, which is a great way to learn the facts of history.
The British Broadcasting Corporation CeeBeebies television channel broadcasts to young children and has a loyal following among its young viewers. Its web site contains over 200 educational games for this age group. They include games featuring well-known and loved children’s television characters. There are puzzles, games to help with keyboard and mouse skills, games featuring everyday objects, number, letter, colour, shape, memory, counting, and art games. The games site is colourful and inviting and little children will enjoy playing the games with their favourite characters. Teachers, parents, and other adults know that little people are perfectly safe playing games on this site and they are learning while they are playing.
Play Kids Games is a United States Web site featuring educational games for children from kindergarten to eighth grade level. The site has maths, logic, memory, vocabulary, geography, arts, and music, puzzle and skill games. These games help children to learn various things. There are many games to suit each age. What is special about this site is that it has a feature, where parents, teachers, and other adults can enter content for the child to learn and the site presents the content in a suitable game. Older children studying for tests or examination could enter content and play the game as revision. This brilliant feature would be very useful to parents, adults, and children.
Cookie (USA) has great educational games for 3-7 year olds. There is reading, writing, and number games along with games about science, puzzles, and fun. The page is colourful, bright, and inviting.
Knowledge Adventure is an exciting knowledge games site for children, recommended from toddlers to 12 year olds, although some of the games such as Hangman, Clueless Crossword and some of the 12-year-old games would stretch older children. There games covering mathematics, English and science topics. In addition, the page has some mobile game downloads including a mathematics and an art game. If children are playing games on mobile telephones, they might just as well be playing something educational, rather than mindlessly zapping aliens.
There are some brilliant websites for children’s educational games and it is difficult to narrow the best down to just five. The selection here tries to cover all ages and as such is limited. There many more wonderful sites featuring educational games, typing “free educational games for” followed by the age of the child, or children, will lead to sites featuring games aimed at the right age group.
Children learn more easily by playing. Children today are familiar with computer games and it makes sense to use them as a teaching and learning tool. Children learn while playing and because they are having fun, the facts and concepts they are absorbing are easy and much less frightening than books, pages of notes, or teachers or parents telling them things. Exciting, absorbing, games make learning fun, and, when learning is fun, lessons are easy.