You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Games’ tag.
Teach Your Monster to Read is a free online game for beginning readers. It starts with individual letter sounds, first consonants, then vowels, and then blending into words. Kids who are drawn to learning on the computer will likely enjoy the game. Each player creates his or her own monster who crash lands his space ship in a land of islands. Each island king helps to repair a part of the space ship if the monster can find the king’s missing letters.
Things that work well:
- Graphics and sounds are fun and colorful without being obnoxious or overwhelming.
- Tasks are fairly intuitive if you have played any other computer games.
- You can stop and start the game; it will re-start you where you last stopped.
- If a child makes a mistake, the game allows him or her to repeat the activity until it is correct.
Things that didn’t work so well:
- Many of the letters sounds demonstrated were too soft even though other sounds were plenty loud enough.
- I didn’t work all the way through the game but I did make it to the second island. The routine and the activities were getting a bit repetitive. You seven year old’s mileage might vary.
- The prizes were on the odd side–clothing pieces for your monster, oh-kay, but underwear? And I really have a thing against good as prizes even if it’s pretend molded jello. 😉
- And some child (read–boy) is probably going to point out to great hilarity all around that the monsters seem to “poop” their stars. (Play, you’ll see what I mean. Or maybe it’s just me!) Not a prob at home but if you had your whole classroom playing, this observation could lead to a bit of a class management struggle!
It’s hard to find really excellent computer games and Teach Your Monster to Read is certainly not a bad one–but neither is it an outstanding one. It won’t really teach a child to read but it is free and it may help some children who need a bit more practice and need it in a novel format.
If you try it with your children, post here and let us know what you think.
I’m not wild about computers and children. It’s up there with TV as one more screen that it’s just too easy to sit a kid down in front of. Yet there are times when kids want to play and they want to play on the computer.
It’s especially hard to find “places” where little ones can go and can “do something” successfully, just like older kids. CLEL.org pointed me to the site Chateau Meddybemps and it looks like a winner.
The home page is here but I like this page where there are picture links to all the activities. You can also see what skill each activity encourages. Many of them are language, math, and thinking based.
As you visit around in the site, notice how often comments encourage playing, keeping things fun, moving on when tired, and doing things together with your child. If one follows those guidelines and keeps time online limited, Meddybemps can be a fun place to visit.
If you’re happy and you know it–speak your first word in Toddler Time! Oh my, what a moment! We were all singing and had reached the “Hooray!” point–when out of the blue, a just barely walking kiddo said, “Hap-py!” I’m not making this up. 🙂
We read Choo Choo Clickety-Clack by Mayo and we all got louder and louder and louder. So many great sounds to make in that book! So good for phonological awareness! So fun!
And Ring Around the Rosies was a winner as well. Lots and lots of giggles. And when the little boy with some social struggles grabbed his dad’s hand to join in–well, we did it again! We do Rosies with two verses (scroll down the column on the left to listen) and today there were children anticipating what comes next! Another name for “what comes next” is anticipation, which leads to making predictions and later reading comprehension, and sequencing, which leads to understanding how letters go together to make words (and that was the early literacy TIP for the day).
Betcha didn’t know you could have all that in twenty minutes of fingerplays and singing and a dash of reading!
Nothing but awesomeness!
Here’s one of my favorite indoor winter games for kids. It really burns off the energy, leads to lots of giggles, and requires nothing but up and down movement! They’ll even build a bit of phonological awareness in the process.
First, show a “B b” letter and remind kids of the sound.
Then, teach them the song, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.”
Next, while they are all sitting, tell them when they hear a “b” sound to stand up if they are sitting and to sit down if they are standing. Now start singing!
It sounds simple but it is hysterically difficult even for older kids!
I’ve never met a kid (or adult) that didn’t love these games. They’re fun, the graphics are top notch, and you won’t believe the music. And last I looked, there was only one involving shooting things. 😉
So when your kid needs a break from reading and playing outdoors, check out Orisinal.
These are primarily for ages 3ish to 6 ish.
Scroll down in the left column to the pages for Singing Games which will give you the words and directions.
Listen here for the tunes.
When I was a kid and we traveled from Atlanta to Florida (every year for two weeks in a Karmann Ghia or VW bug with no A/C), we had AM radio and car games to keep us occupied.
“Cows” was my favorite, and I loved to wipe my brother’s out by being the first to spot a cemetery! (In the days before the interstate’s were finished, we drove through a lot of Georgia countryside).
My mom would usually pack us a peach basket with coloring book and crayons, pencil and paper games, etch-a-sketch and other pass-the-time trinkets–but we really had to dole those out slowly or they wouldn’t last.
So then it was back to Cows and Car Tags. Yeah, I’m old enough there were no DVD players in cars or even the means to play an audiobook (after AM radio, there was only 8 tracks; no cassettes, no walkman–and if you don’t know what those are, google them and have a good laugh :-)).
But even today, with DVD’s and audiobooks, you still need things to do in the car, and games and songs are a great way to pass the time. (Please don’t plug in movies for ten hours; truly, it’s not good for your kids). Share some family time, build some memories, have some fun, even exercise a few brain cells–you can’t do that with the kids plugged in in the back seat. The kids really will enjoy it and remember it and probably be in a better mood when you arrive.
Here’s a website with 101 of them: Mom’s Minivan!
- June 3 Lisa Moore and The Penny Project by the Train
- June 10 Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
- June 17 Christine Jones-Daboll, drama & music, by the Train
- June 24 Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
- July 1 Peggy Godfrey, Sidewalk Poetry, check back for location
- July 8 Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
- July 15 Games in the Park: Get Creative with Play, Cole Park
- July 22 Shadows & Journeys, Now or Never Theatre from Boulder, CO, Special location: Boys & Girls Club, Alamosa
- July 29 Games, Awards, and Ice Cream by the Train
Ready to have some fun this weekend? Check out The World of Goo.
It’s an online game that has great graphics and music–and it promotes thinking skills and basic understanding of physics.
Mostly it’s fun! 😉
The free demo will let you play the whole first level. After that it’s $20. Way cheaper than a movie for the family.