Friday, July 07, 2006

Online Educational Sites For Young Children

I've been writing endlessly on this blog about my pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding experiences. (It has to be because I started my personal blog after my children came along so I never got to record any of these. Lol!)

I'm going to take a breather today and talk about the online resources I use to teach or rather to play with my children instead.

Here's my step to step guide for teaching your child using online educational resources.

Step 1 - Introducing the Alphabet with Elmo's Keyboard-O-Rama. The kids love this one. When they press the correct alphabet on the keyboard they will see lovely animated action denoting each alphabet. After just a few turns on the keyboard, my two year old can now easily recognise his favourite animations. When I ask him to press "S" for Star or "T" for Toothbrush, he will quickly pick the letters out without hesistation and smile broadly when he is rewarded with the correct animation being displayed.

Step 2 - Reinforcing the Alphabet. After my girl became more adept at manuevering the mouse, we moved on to Learn to read at Starfall to learn more words starting with each Alphabet. Again, lovely animations, sounds and educational games delight her. It delights me as well as I can leave her to learn on her own without supervision. Lol!

Step 3 - First Steps towards Reading (through nursery rhymes). Before we learn to read, it would be a good idea to introduce children to words and sounds from nursery rhymes. My girl's favourite is Lalitha's nursery rhymes. Almost every nursery rhyme I learned as a child is here and more. I love the simple animations and home style singing without music at the site. My only grouse is it is a bit slow to load when first entering the page. After that it is fine.

Step 4- First Steps towards Reading (through bedtime stories and fairytales). I love this BBC storycircle site. All the stories I loved as a child is nicely animated and narrated here. You can find stories on Goldilocks & the 3 bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Princess and the Pea, Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, The Lion and The Mouse etc all nicely animated and narrated here. Another good stories site is The StoryPlace Pre-school Library. It concentrates on teaching using a thematic approach/through themes.

Step 5 - Learning to Read. Now that she has mastered her Alphabets and introduced to the concept of reading from nursery rhymes and stories we move on to learn to read the phonetic way again from Learn to read at Starfall. Repetitions offered through the related games, movies and reading pages with interesting animations and sounds helps her learn to read and remember. There are further stages to help a child learn to read from the site but my girl hasn't reached those stages yet so I'll review those later.

Step 6 - Learning to Write. This site Literacy Center includes an animated page to show my girl how to write her Alphabets (capital as well as small letters) and numbers in the correct way when I'm too lazy to show her how.

Step 7 - Learning to tell the time. Literacy Center also has a page to teach little ones to tell the time correctly both digitally as well as through the old fashion analog clock. There's no direct link to the telling time page. You'd have to browse around a little to get to it. Here's a quick tip. Just press the "Numbers" pad and go to item no "8".

Step 8 - Learning about the weather. I love to use this weather song and game to teach the kids about the weather.

Step 9 - Learning through music and songs. I learned a lot too from this site about instruments of the orchestra and I love to sing to my kids karaoke style using music and lyrics from NIEHs Kid's Pages Sing Along Songs Index. I used to sing to my girl till she fell asleep in my arms with the music still running. It sure helped a lot during naptime. She'd fall asleep in 10 - 20 minutes flat instead of an hour giving me more time to get things done.

There are lots more sites we explore but most of them are for games and other stuff. The sites reviewed here are mainly for educational purposes but they're not short of fun. Theres also a fingerplays ideas site, the url which I have lost :( and many craft ideas sites but we'll come to that another day. In the meantime, have fun with your kid!

If you like the sites I reviewed here or you have some to share with me, do drop me a comment. I'd love to hear about how your child enjoyed them.

The link at Lalitha's nursery rhyme is broken and I'm really sad about that because it was an excellent site. If anyone knows a new link, please leave your comment with the new link. Thanks.

Related posts:
Teaching my kid to tell the time
Teaching my kids the basics about colors

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  1. Thanks for putting this up. It is a great help as I am looking for such sites.

  2. I've been writing endlessly on this blog about my pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding experiences. (It

  3. I like this post, it helps lazy mum like me a lot! I've checked out some of the links, they're quite useful for kids. But my concern is how young should we start introducing computers to kids as I'm worrying about their eye-sight. Both hubby and I have eye problems, and I wish my kids won't have to wear glasses until they're much older.

  4. wmd,
    My pleasure :)

    What are you trying to say? ;) lol!

    I am not sure about the age but maybe teach them the correct way to read and watch tv and have them sit not so close to the monitor?

  5. Hi MG, why didn't you add the Arts & Crafts site which featured the leaf art? I thought it was pretty good.

  6. immomsdaugther,
    There are too many good crafts sites so I am leaving that for another post on another day if I am not too lazy, that is.


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