My children, intellectual pursuants that they are, spend a lot of time on the computer. We’re computer geeks, what can I say. So here is an inconclusive list of some websites that caught their attention and have them coming back for more.
Warning: these first couple site are not educational, but are just for fun. Learning sites come next, don’t worry.
Club Penguin—my kids love this one. They play arcade type games, buy pom-pom type pets called puffles, and solve mysteries and super-spies. A few weeks ago DS7 chose a Club Penguin book from Barnes and Noble. They’ve been going here since DS20 introduced it to the family back when he was DS13. The younger kids 9, 7, 5 all have login avatars. We don’t have a membership so there are certain things they can’t do, but I’m fine with that. Check them out at www.clubpenguin.com.
Pokémon—DS9 loves Pokémon. It’s his older brother’s fault. On this site he can login and play games or they have, I think, every episode ever made. He watches his favorites, skips to the best part, then runs outside and reenacts the scene. Visit them here: www.pokemon.com/us.
Poptropica—this one is the fault of DD15. I don’t know the back story on how she found it, but she’s been playing games there for more than four years and has gotten logins for DS9 and DD7. It’s here at www.poptropica.com.
Now as promised here are the educational websites. Come on, you know I’m trying to squeeze a bit of learning in wherever I can.
Poisson Rouge—this is an innovative site. I heard about it online through another mom, and when I first went to investigate, I thought, “There’s no way they’re going to like this. I has no words.” But I showed it to them anyway, and what do you know, they love it. The first difference I noticed from the usual kid’s sites is that there is no saccharin excited voice telling them what to do on any given page. They just have to click around with the mouse and figure out what changes when they click where. The next thing you’ll start to notice is how an amazing amount of information is subtly woven into the vast number of pages on this site. It has vocabulary in multiple languages, music, science, art . . . Really just do yourself a favor and check it out. http://www.poissonrouge.com/enfants.php
Peep and the Big Wide World—this site is created around the same named science ed. Series. Peep is a chick who, with his friends, discovers new things about how the world works. The site has featured episodes, games and a lot more info if you want to pursue a specific lesson. It also cracks me up that it is narrated by Joan Cusack. Why does that crack me up? I’m not sure; she just does. Give Peep a peek here: http://www.peepandthebigwideworld.com/
Boowa and Kwala—I stumbled across this site as I searched for preschool songs about three years ago. It is based on Boowa the blue dog and Kwala the black-bereted, yellow koala. There are a lot of preschool and early elementary aged games, songs, and stories. Find it here: http://www.boowakwala.com/kids/boowakwala-home.html
I have to put a couple honorable mentions here.
www.starfall.com was the first favorite website of DS9. It is how he learned his letters and their sounds. We don’t use this sight much right now, because DD5 is resisting learning and this site doesn’t try to pretend it isn’t teaching you anything. Nice reading and phonics stuff here. Now that DS2 is 2, he’ll be ready to start enjoying it. Or at least his little cousin who we watch twice a week might, since he is talking a lot more than my son.
I also like a lot of the games on www.lego.com, and virtual Legos don’t get left on the floor.
www.jumpstart.com This is the site to which I bought a membership, the one and only. Is that enough said? A couple of pros are the lifetime membership option: who wants to pay monthly for the next ten years. And the preschool through 2nd grade software you may have seen inn stores come as free downloads with your membership.
www.pbskids.org My kids play quite a few games here. They especially like Martha Speaks and Dinosaur Train. I especially like Between the Lions.
What websites do you and your child frequent?