Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kids on the Computer

Just before Kelvin was born Trev decided to show Matilda how to use the computer. I wasn't that keen on the computer lessons at the time (she was barely 2 years old) but it seems to be something she enjoys. She can learn new games and new things at her own pace. Games like Memory, dot-to-dots and jigsaws are all things that she likes on paper but also enjoys on the computer. She has also found some great drawing, colouring and music games that she enjoys.

Now, two years on she's a real wizz and seems keen to pass on her knowledge to her little brother!

We started out on the ABC Kids website and she particularly loved the games and videos on the Play School site and the Five Minutes More site and they were always very easy to navigate.

So what makes a good kids website? It has to be easy to navigate - not too much reading required (although there are still some words on the page), easy to click around (no clicking, holding down and dragging). The whole game should fit onto one screen (so there's no need to scroll up and down). If all these boxes are ticked then Matilda can be pretty independent playing on the computer whilst I'm pottering around her. She oftens plays whilst I'm cooking dinner and we keep the laptop on the breakfast bar so I'm right there to make sure she doesn't accidentally stray from the "safe" site.

Anyway, over the last couple of years we have started to explore other kids games sites apart from ABC. Matilda went through a masive Peppa Pig phase so we checked out that site and it's good fun - especially the mazes.

Much more recently we got into Poko and discovered the joys (and ease) of the C(anadian)BC kids website. Many of the programs are shown here in Australian and the site is so straight forward that Matilda is able to click from one game to another when she gets bored playing the games she's on.

We have tried playing Thomas the Tank Engine but I need to be hovering the whole time and everyone know how frustrating it is watching someone else drive the computer! This is the same issue we have with Angelina Ballerina and even The Wiggles sites.

So I'm interested to know if other people have computer savvy pre-schoolers (or is it just me)? Do your kids play on the computer?


JANE said...

Interesting post, Ange. Something similar has occurred on PB. Joshie loves playing dinosaur games and puzzles (, Dora the Explorer ( and the BBC's Beebies ( Have fun, Kelvin! J x

Sarah said...

Not so much here. We'll occasionally use google images to look up a particular bird or frog or whatever, but I'm obviously driving in that scenario. We look at the photos that get emailed from preschool and we've visited Peppa Pig and Miffy from time to time, but I haven't encouraged it (I actually don't use a mouse so it's tricky for her anyway). She's just as happy (and I'd prefer her to be) playing in the 'real' world. :)