Educational gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. As a result, it can be difficult for mums to keep up-to-date with the latest tools to aid their child’s education. This list of the top 5 educational gaming sites for children should help.
Image courtesy of dinoboy, Flickr
1. Education City
‘Education City’ is an e-learning resource, used in 15,000 schools around the world. Research has shown an improvement in exam results amongst children who use the website. Subscription for a year costs £29.95, although parents are able to register their child for a 10-day free trial. One of the site’s most popular games is ‘Comic Book Maker’, which aids literacy by challenging the user to create a narrative using graphics and text.
Reviews: Users of TheBabyWebsite.com rate Education City a five-star website, particularly strong in introducing computers and IT to children as young as 3 years old. For slightly older children the site proves to be ‘a great educational website’ with a range of numeracy, literacy and science based tools.
2. BBC School Games
Set up as part of the BBC’s educational strand, ‘BBC School Games’ provides a wide range of free educational games for children. The games are categorised by age groups, and designed according to the age groups they are aimed at. For example, a Maths-based game aimed at 4-7 year old children, called ‘Count Hoot’s Numbers Game’, features an animated owl. No registration is required.
Reviews: Common Sense Media gives the BBC School Games sites a four-star rating, stating it to be best for 7 year olds and particularly good for making reading fun.
3. Moshi Monsters
‘Moshi Monsters’ is an online virtual pet website. It combines gaming and social networking elements and, as a result, has been dubbed “Twitter for kids”; aimed at children aged 7 to 12, the educational element stems from the puzzles in the game, which challenge a child’s arithmetic, logic and vocabulary. ‘Moshi Monsters’ takes the online safety of children seriously and does not show personally identifying information. Registration requires parental consent.
Reviews: Common Sense Media rates Moshi Monsters 3 stars, a site than is ‘more entertainment and educational’ however it is thought to be an excellent site for delivering life lessons such as learning to be responsible and learning to make decisions, particularly highlighted by some parents who claimed to initially have concerns over the ‘pin board’ forums.
The most comprehensive Maths practice website on the internet, ‘IXL’ is aligned to the national curricula for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Users select their age group and are presented with the key skills required for that school year. Each key skill has challenges attached, and the website keeps track of a child’s progress. Full registration costs £59 per year.
Reviews: Parental reviews of IXL claim it is ‘a great site for maths whether you are 5 or 13’. Many parents commented upon the site’s fun, accumulative rewards system which is a useful tool for encouraging children to progress their learning, other parents noted the helpfulness of the parent feedback that IXL gives, following your child’s work.
Aimed primarily at children between 4-7, ‘BusyThings.co.uk’ also caters to children with special educational needs, which sets it apart from its competition. The site features over 130 games and offers a free 7-day trial. Registration costs £29 a year.
Reviews: ISB Tech Class rates this site as a great website for ‘interactive, educational activities‘, ideally suited to developing numeracy and literacy skills for children aged 6 and under.
With such a range of options available, taking advantage of free trial offers is a wise move and allows you to assess the site which is best suited to the needs of your child, as well as gauging the child’s responsiveness to particular sites and systems.
This article is brought to you by Feel Good Games, the free online games providers.