Preschool online materials can be a great educational start for preschool age kids. This article discusses online safety and educational elements to look for in your search for online preschool materials. Useful online resources are also included.
Using preschool online materials can not only help introduce your child to concepts and facts that will bolster his or her ability to function well in kindergarten. In addition, your child can become acquainted with technology in a fun and functional way. Keep reading for more about what preschool online materials can do for your child.
Of course, making sure your child doesn’t meet with anything untoward online is an issue of enormous importance. There things can help avoid this:
- Supervision - No matter what precautions you take, it is possible that something will be missed. If you, or another responsible adult, is right there on the scene, you can quickly address anything that might arise.
- Parental Controls - A blanket approach to making the Internet safe can help ensure that it’s okay for your child to look around a little on his or her own. If your child is precocious in his or her computer skills, this can be particularly important.
- Preview - Taking a look yourself first and even doing the activities that you will introduce to your child is the best way to ensure a minimum of unpleasant surprises. You can cut down the time in this process if you use sites you trust or that were recommended to you as a jumping off point.
Keep an eye out for external links that could lead your child to sites you haven’t previewed, and also for advertisements. Also, check to make sure that your computer meets any website requirements. If it doesn’t, games and activities may not work properly. Using a designated browser may also be required.
Educational Elements to Seek in Preschool Online Materials
If kindergarten readiness is on your mind, these are some of the things to look for in preschool online materials:
- Motor skills - using the computer keyboard pretty much ensures that your child will get some motor skills practice
- Computer skills - same here: they go with the territory.
- Imagination - there are various ways in which preschool online products can invite your child’s creativity: check to see if the games are pretty rote, or if your child’s imagination is being engaged
- Reading and Math Readiness - look for games with letters, easy words, numbers, counting, and other reading and math readiness activities.
- Thinking Skills - look for games that ask preschoolers to think in different ways: matching, sequencing, locating, guessing, and reasoning are all thinking skills.
- Everyday Information - games that reinforce the things children need to know about: hot and cold faucets; traffic lights; telling time; etc. are also useful.
Some Sites to Check Out
Companies that provide products and services for preschool children may have related online games and activities available. If you already trust the products and services, and your child is familiar with the “world” of the company, such sites can bring a very congenial experience for your preschooler. It is often the case that these sites require cookies to work and if you block cookies, the site may not function properly.
- Disney offers a paid preschool online service that is designed to prepare children for kindergarten: playhouse.go.com/ It features new material every two weeks, and has won several web awards. You can read a review on the Apple Computer website here: apple.com/games/articles/2007/10/playhousedisney/
- Fisher-Price offers a free set of preschool online learning games at their site: - fisher-price.com
This set is part of a larger group of infant and toddler games, which is convenient because you can probably find something to match your child’s level, even if he or she is a little ahead of or behind age peers.
- National Geographic Kids: kids.nationalgeographic.com/ is, in general, aimed higher than preschool. But if your child is really engaged by animals, he or she may find the animal section of the site kids.nationalgeographic.com/Animals/ really absorbing. The material changes, so preview it soon before your child visits.