Not all virtual games are bad to a child’s lifestyle. In fact, many computer games can test the child’s alertness, comprehension, creativeness and other helpful skills. As long as you pick the right game, your kids will stay far from unhealthy gaming. Here are 6 examples of child-friendly educational games you can install in your PC:

Caillou Kindergarten: Counting and Thinking Skills Combined

This game is good for kids before or during their kindergarten days. The best part of this game is its focus on organization and counting. Specifically, Caillou is going to teach kids essential skills such as associations, sorting and recognizing numbers. Aside from math, the game will teach children some French and Spanish words.

In just one game, there are a total of 26 activities that children will surely love. One activity involves clicking squares with numbers to help Caillou complete the maze. Another one is searching for misfit objects inside a room. The rest are looking for opposites, spelling words letter-by-letter, matching photos, coloring images and other exciting activities.

The best part of this game? Children can bond with their parents. The whole family will definitely have a fun time teaching the young ones.

Aqua Words

Now, we’re heading to puzzles. Aqua Words aims to teach vocabulary through puzzle games. In this game, bubbles present letters in random order. The child must form words from the letters given. Longer and more complex words gain higher points. Once a word is formed, new bubbles are going to replace the existing ones. The child should think carefully on which bubbles to click because the new ones might give more complex letters.

Since children have different intellectual levels, Aqua Words has three various game modes: strategy, time attack and arcade. Arcade mode is similar to Tetris which can test the child’s focus. Time Attack, on the other hand, requires speed. Lastly, Strategy aims to test the child’s creativity with words. Aside from the modes, the game also has three difficulty settings.

Realore Studios

Bob the Builder: Can Do Zoo

Personally, this one’s my favorite. I play this game with my two kids at home. Bob the Builder needs to create a zoo to save the animals sent into a town. While most preschooler games focus on letters and numbers, this game aims to teach life skills. It focuses on challenging the child’s critical thinking skills such as problem solving, recognizing patterns, shapes and colors, and following directions.

Problem solving is taught through puzzles. The game wants the child to realize that every problem is just a puzzle with a certain solution. Meanwhile, recognition and memory tests challenge the child’s perception of colors, patterns and shapes. Now, one of the most crucial skills for a child is following directions. The game’s building activity teaches the child to follow step-by-step instructions. I love how my kids get blueprints and rewards as if they are architects. I also noticed that my kids are so excited in collecting stickers that can be received as rewards.

In addition to the colorful graphics and catchy gameplay, the background music is delightful and engaging. My kids and I sing along during game time. They also have no issues navigating around the game because Bob the Builder reads the options when the mouse pointer hovers on a menu.

Dora’s Carnival 2: At the Boardwalk

My daughter loves Dora the Explorer so much. No wonder she always gets excited playing this game. Dora has so many games available. But, each game has a specific theme. The carnival theme is a favorite of my little girl.

This game has 10 mini games available. Examples are giving water to dolphins, recognizing colors of boots and choosing the correct piñata. The activities aim to teach counting, improve coordination of hands and eyes, and some Spanish words. There is also a challenging air hockey game with Swiper that can be played by parents as well.

Talking about unique rewards, tickets are won from mini games so you can purchase prizes such as printable coloring pages, connect-the-dots puzzles and picture frames.

SpongeBob SquarePants Typing

Typing games can be redundant, boring or too challenging for kids. But, SpongeBob SquarePants Typing game is a fun way to teach children how to type fast. It is a unique typing game because it has a storyline as if it came directly from an actual episode. The scenes are funny, capturing the essence of the series completely.

The activities such as Snail’s Pace Race, The Glove World 500, A Star Is Born, Doh Ray Me and Senseless Patrick have different storylines but only one test – typing! Don’t worry if your child gets lost because the game will teach him how to properly place his fingers on the keyboard. Not only that, the game will remind your child about proper posture while typing.

Your family will surely enjoy this game for quite a long time because it has 17 levels. The rewards are adorable certificates your kids will definitely love.

Diego’s Dinosaur Adventure

While most educational games for kids focus on easier activities, Diego’s Dinosaur Adventure takes it up a notch with challenging ones. It also veers away from the usual math and letters lessons. It teaches kids about dinosaur names and their correct pronunciations, dinosaur bones and skeletal system, and the extinct creature’s food and habitat. So, as a relevant reward system, prizes are bones to be collected.

The major activities for this game are dinosaur racing, matching dinosaur needs, flying dinosaurs, egg rescue and a maze. In the dinosaur racing mini game, kids can pick their own dino to race with. Each dinosaur has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. The path is not safe because of the obstacles such as rocks, wood and water. The Flying game has a similar theme as this.

The Matching game will teach kids responsibility and association. The child must take care of the baby dinosaur by matching certain needs to the newly hatched dino.

Final Thoughts

The rise of technology is not purely disadvantageous to humans. It can enhance classroom tools and ways of learning at home. Of course, parents should take full responsibility when it comes to the kids’ control of high-tech gadgets. They must supervise the child at all times, especially when in front of the monitor.

Early childhood education is probably one of the most difficult lines of work in the world yet holds a great impact to the formation of a good society. Parents may be considered as the first teachers of a child however they can only teach life lessons as much as their experience took them. In order to augment and create a follow through in the learning process of a kid, an institution with trained professionals should start inculcating the basic academic and behavioral principles as early as they can.

Preschool teachers do not solely rely on their personal knowledge and training in molding kids into good citizens. Just like warriors who are to face a grueling battle, preschool teachers need their own set of weapons and these weapons are strategically placed or made available on their classrooms. If all considerations and researches about effective early childhood education are applied, then a preschool classroom is a “teacher” on itself.

These preschool classroom must –haves may be stand alone or need guidance from the teachers. Their true objective is to foster conversation, exploration of materials, and learning to make predictions. The more it sparks curiosity and interaction between kids, engaging them to worthwhile activities which for them may look like just games, the more they are lured into learning something important.

Easel

Easel is one of the fundamental tools that should in a preschool classroom. It serves as a medium for preparing kids to know and experience art. Aside from the fun they get in color mixing, they are also slowly introduced to the basic principle of colors.

Easel also promotes eye-hand organization, small motor control and artistic freedom.

Building Blocks

Block play offers young fellas opportunities to discover their potentials. Basic block building is an excellent way of introducing balance and stability, creativity and design, color appreciation, mental stimulation, mathematics, self-expression and a lot other diversity of skills, such as motor, social and cognitive abilities.

On the other hand, building blocks are brilliant instrument for teachers to teach the young children without getting bored and it encourages positive social interaction which is a vital fraction of learning.

Magnets

Magnets are one of those stimulating toys that engage hands-on learning movement. Children and even adults love them simply because they are able to arouse our curiosity.

Playing with magnets offers important lessons for young children in experimentation, recognition, and categorization.

Learning with magnets can be a good way of promoting coordination just by exercising the hand and finger reflexes which is essential for writing. Moreover, by simple linking and disconnecting magnets, a child is subconsciously using his brain and practices thinking skills on dealing with gravity and equilibrium.

Play Dough

 

Preschool teachers should include Play Dough as one of the interactive teaching materials. Play Dough, also known as Play Doh, is a non-toxic modeling clay, and an astonishing tool that provides a lot of learning opportunities for youngsters.

Learning with play dough can be messy; however, using this amazing tool can be very beneficial to children. Play Dough has some calming therapeutic effect to cranky kids. It helps them to express their emotions. Not only that, Play Dough enhances hand-eye coordination, creativity, motor and skills, and amplifies inquisitiveness and understanding.

Children Of The World Learning Floor Puzzle

Racism is never a problem to young kids. It is important to expose little fellas to different cultures for them to understand how different life would be on the other side of the world. Introducing the different groups of people through puzzle, especially to the age class which they can relate to, prepares them to be emphatic and sensitive to the different cultures and traditions they may encounter in the future.

Costumes

A hefty wardrobe of different costumes can also be a good element for an effective preschool education. Ofcourse, the objective of costumes is not about trying clothes to kids, but rather focus on the roles they can portray when they are suited up with a specific set of clothes. Once kids are on their costumes, they can role play different groups of people or certain profession which may now test their behavior towards the character and how they handle their personal emotions while maintaining character.

Alphabet and Numerical Puzzles

 

Letters and numbers engraved puzzles are essential in learning for preschoolers. Aside from the excitement puzzles give to kids, it also fosters a variety of cognitive and spacial skills. Puzzles rouse child’s curiosity, fortifies concentration and determination.

Legos

Acquire some critical judgment and engineering going with Legos! Lego has grown into an international trend in the field of education. Legos are one of the instruments that expand lateral thinking in an enjoyable setting.

Moreover, Lego is an excellent way of introducing three dimensions to preschoolers. Aside from enhancing critical thinking and creativity, Lego has the ability to boost literacy as kids work following set of guidelines. It offers youngsters an opportunity to explore new skills without the apprehension of failure.

Puppets

Puppets make magnificent illustration aids for preschool-age children. It’s a fun way of attracting kids’ attention and getting their full cooperation. Puppets can augment children’s communication skills by providing well thought-out chances to interact with the puppets.

There are children who are averse to speak and have stage frights. By using puppets, they may be more willing to speak as they are using the puppets as medium.

Dramatic Play Set

Playing different roles is a must for preschoolers. By doing so, youngsters will have plenty of ideas on choosing their future professions. Moreover, the activity will improve their communication and interaction towards others.

On the other hand, dramatic play set will also enable kids to think critically and accordingly on the given situation.

Musical Learning Toy

It is important for every child to be exposed not only to different sights and smells, but also to variety of sounds.  The Musical Learning Toy will help preschoolers to distinguish one sound from another. By using this, they will be more acquainted on a certain sound and be able to determine it once they’ve encountered it as they grow up.

Animal Wooden Dolls

It is undeniable that most of the young children on their ages aren’t able to see different kind of animals due to safety and health purposes. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t teach them those. With the Animal Wooden Toy, kids will have ideas on the appearances and names of the animals without even seeing them physically. Also, it can be a great tool for learning, because preschoolers can easily identify things by images and shapes.

Every classroom needs a bulletin board. Open communication is important in the classroom environment. So, as a teacher, I make sure that new announcements must not only be disseminated vocally. I always post a follow-up on the bulletin board to ensure that my students will not forget.

Other than announcements, I use our bulletin board to motivate my students. I post inspirational quotes and anecdotes there. I also put the names of my best-performing students. You can actually post anything on a bulletin board, as long as it is relevant to education and the students.

Bulletin Board Background Suggestions

Having a bulletin board, however, is not a foolproof way to inform students. Why? Some bulletin boards look so dull that students would not even bother looking at it. When our bulletin board was still plain, just a simple corkboard with no designs at all, I print papers for nothing. My students would not even stay there for a minute and read all the papers.

When I started designing our bulletin board background with some enthusiastic helpers, my students flocked there once it was finished. Most of them stayed longer to read each post. Since then, I change our bulletin board’s design every month. Before I even run out of ideas, thank goodness I stumbled upon this article from Organized Classroom blog. I was blown away with some ideas I never thought of before.

Fadeless Paper

With Fourth Grade Florida Fun as inspiration, bulletin board backgrounds can be covered with fadeless paper. Meanwhile, burlap ribbon is used on borders. Bandanas are added for extra decoration. The overall result is one unique bulletin board.

Fourth Grade Florida Fun

Fabric

For a wide range of colors and designs, I commonly use fabric. After reading the blog, I started using my old bed sheets. I just make sure to cut them perfectly. If ever I would run out of ideas again, I’ll just resort to fabric. Another good thing about fabric is how easy to remove tapes from it. If you don’t want to tape your posts, you can attach strings across the board and just clip papers there. I do that sometimes. Attaching the strings may be challenging but once you start clipping your posts, everything gets easier. I use pins to attach the strings. The strings may also be put in different directions for style. For a simpler one, just straight lines would do.

Burlap

This is one of my favorite ideas. Who would have thought that burlap looks so nice as a bulletin board background? Burlap may look rugged. But, colorful papers and decorations would definitely pop. The best part? The material would tolerate the aftermath of staples and pins. It is also very inexpensive. It is perfect for themed bulletin boards, specifically rustic or western.

Wrapping Paper

I already used wrapping paper as a bulletin board background several times before. Still, it’s my go-to material until now. Like fabric, it has a lot of colors and designs. But, it is cheaper than fabric.

Aluminum Foil

Using aluminum foil is clever! I would start using this in my future bulletin boards. Aluminum foil surely attracts attention. With a shiny background and colorful posts, my students will be thrilled.

Plastic Tablecloth

Putting plastic tablecloth over the whiteboard is unique.  It is simple yet effective.

Contact Paper

For a plain background, contact paper can be a good accent. It is also easy to cut and attach to the board.

Newspaper

Another favorite of mine is using old newspapers as bulletin board background. I can save money with this material. The board looks sophisticated with this cover. I just make sure to put more color into it by decorating the borders and posts.

Wax Paper

For bulletin boards with lots of cutout images and colorful accents, wax paper is perfect to use as base. It almost has the same effect with aluminum foil. It is a shiny white material. That can surely catch attention.

Paint

I don’t resort to this much because I’m the type of teacher who pays attention to resourcefulness. But, painting the bulletin board background makes everything so easy. If you want a wrinkle-free board with one permanent color, this is perfect for you.

Scrapbook Paper

For me, scrapbook paper is kind of expensive than most of its kind. But, the final result is so beautiful. The patterns on scrapbook papers are just so beautiful and elegant to look at. Mrs. Teachnology blog shared a clever way to utilize this material. Cutting smaller squares from various patterns and lining them up is a nice idea. It is one of the most sophisticated bulletin board ideas I’ve ever seen.

Mrs. Teachnology

Shower Curtain

I will definitely use this one: shower curtain. The material has a big coverage and smooth texture. I will surely have fun using this material. Some shower curtains have intricate patterns which is perfect. I think the end result is one clean, smooth background.

Tissue Paper

Genius idea alert! The final result photo from Cross Curricular Corner is jaw-dropping. I’m going to use this one as well. Tissue papers are so thin and colorful that when overlapped, they make one amazing background. The overall look is trendy and youthful.

Cross Curricular Corner

Plain Corkboard

I know some teachers would still prefer the traditional corkboard. So, I suggest a level-up on the corkboard by putting colorful and creative borders. Also, you can put colorful papers and headers. I have to admit, corkboards look clean and simple. Added with colors, the total look would be easy and warm on the eyes.

Final Thoughts

Let’s never underestimate the purpose of bulletin boards. Other than the fact that it’s a source of class information, teachers can establish rapport with their students. How? I love working with my students. In some instances, my students are the ones suggesting some ideas. Once the students know how to talk openly with you, there would be no class conflict in the long run. Sometimes, I even hold simple group competitions on who gets to pitch the best design. Have fun decorating your bulletin board!