I thought I should write about paid and free online educational games for preschoolers. Both are fun, interactive and responsive on mobile devices. The best thing is that fun learning games for kids have free trials. This means that the parents can test out the games before subscribing the children.
For clarity, many children are spending much time in front of screens – TV, smartphones, other mobile devices, etc. This post is not about getting the kids on screen all the time. It is about using free online educational games – in short bursts – to improve kids math and reading skills. Taking the children from beginners to intermediate and advanced readers (and mathematicians).
Maths Learning Game: Sumdog (https://www.sumdog.com)
Reading Learning Game: Reading Eggs (https://readingeggs.com.au)
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1. Sumdog – free online educational games for preschoolers
Sumdogfree is a free online educational game for preschoolers. The paid version can unlock other advanced features Reassuringly, the maths feature is free! You can upgrade to unlock the paid version if you like. Unlike the other fun learning games for kids on the Web, Sumdog has fewer graphics and no ads.
That means that the loading time is faster. There is also a variety of math learning games for practice maths skills and knowledge. The focus is on mastery of math concepts through fun learning games.
‘My children had used Sumdog. They love it’. Parent
Sumdog is compatible with multi-devices. This online educational games for preschoolers can be used on Laptops, Ipad, Tablets, Amazon Kindle Fire or Andriod smartphones apps.
The math topics (and structures and contents) are relevant for pupils pre-primary and primary school children. The outline of Sumdog is straightforward. Easy to navigate through the interface: Grades, Topics and Skill activities.
Sumdog games make learning fun. There are over 30 structured online educational games for preschoolers. Each game targets a specific learning skill. For example, each math skill is mapped to a specific topic. The topic has a fun learning game to help kids master that particular skill.
The online learning games keep the kids motivated as they revise and build new maths skills. Perhaps it is important to know that parents can prioritise each math learning activity. Selecting the right maths skill sets to match what the kids are learning at school.
As for the beginners, Sumdog initiates a diagnostics test which places the child at the correct level. This means that the user will have to do the test, without any assistance, for the Sumdog learning engine to place at the best starting point.
Sumdog math –
Easy for parents to sign-up and create accounts for the children. Sign-up is free unless you want the additional features of the paid Family Membership. It is important that the kids start right by working at the right skill level.
So, use the Sumdog’s dashboard to do the following: (Note: Doing step 1 places the child at the right starting point, no need to follow the other steps. To personalise the games after trails do steps 2 – 5)
- Do Diagnostic Test,
- Choose Skills,
- Select Grade,
- Pick a Topic, and
- Select the right Maths Skill to practise
I briefly mentioned earlier that Sumdog focuses on the mastery of preschoolers’ maths skills using free online educational games. This is clear at the start of (and during) the learning phases where the kids get to practice a series of questions. Which is then followed by the interactive gaming features. In other words, mastery of math skills is the priority.
The games are rewards for getting a question right. At the end of a game, the kids collect coins to store in their digital wallet and spend in the shop as they please. For example, buy dress-up clothes for their game characters or their pet animals.
I like how Sumdog motivates children but at the same time give the full control over to parents to prioritise the learning outcomes. And, parents can log on separately and see how the kids are performing.
I would recommend Sumdog as a parent to any parent wanting to give their kids a head start in maths. Sumdog is fun learning games for kids. A useful learning tool to use as enhancement exercises and for developing kids’ maths skills and knowledge.
2. Reading Eggs – free trial online educational games for preschoolers
Reading Eggs is a fun reading program that uses games, puzzles, stories and songs to teach children the building blocks of reading. Use of phonics to introduce reading is one of Reading Eggs’ best features. Below are 5 features of the Reading Egg’s Interface. Each one addresses a range of age group:
- Beginner (Reading Eggs Junior, ages 2 – 4)
- Intermediate (Reading Eggs, ages 3 – 7)
- Advanced (Reading Eggspress, ages 7 – 13) levels.
The other two features are the Maths Seeds for children ages 6 – 9 and the Library archives. All in all, the 5 features can develop a child from a junior reader to an advanced reader.
Check out the lifestyle category for more free online educational games for preschoolers.
How it works
The online reading program helpful as kids learn phonics and the letter sounds. The Reading Eggs Junior introduces phonics and simple words.
The kids actively participate with Reggie the Egg, Sammy the Ant and Jazz the Cat. They join in the songs and dances as they learn letter sounds and decode simple words.
Research (see the link below) shows that it is in the best interest of children to learn letter sounds and phonics early – either through observation or practice. Reading eggs combines these learning phases together. The kids fun learning games enable them to observe and listen to the characters. And, practice by imitating. Effective learning takes place.
Before the children get started, the Reading Eggs program initiates a test. It recommends a lesson for them. Perhaps it is good to get the kids at the right level. Adjust the children’s learning level by re-setting the initial test. Bear in mind the child’s reading ability – beginner, junior, intermediate or advanced.
This places the kids at the correct level. However, Reading Eggs does not know about the children’s needs. Nor the children’s prior knowledge or personal challenges so it is important to work closely with the kids at the start of trial/subscription.
Reading Eggs has fantastic interactive reading games for kids, both for the juniors, intermediate and advanced readers. The important thing is for the kids to have fun when they are using the reading program. They will learn the letter sounds, decode the words, learn the sight words, and learn how to read.
To get there, have the right focus while the children are learning. Keeping the 5 tips in mind at the start and during the learning phases:
- Learn letter sounds: focus on activities (repeated activities) to do with learning letter sounds. Sammy the Ant does a fantastic job with the letter sounds!
- Decoding: put together the letter sounds to decode simple words. S/a/m = Sam!
- Word families use the activities on rhyming words to identify the word families.
- Sight words: also known as the high-frequency words needed memorizing as they cannot be decoded. Sam the Ant has some unique ways to teach children to memorize sight words.
- Learn letter names: identify letter names as you engage with the children.
- Learning the letter names is not the priority when early learners are learning to read, learn letter sounds is the priority.
Research carried out in the US to test the effectiveness of Reading Eggs on children with low reading ability. The intervention study titled Effects of Reading Eggs on Reading Proficiency Levels showed improvement in reading ability of pupils tested in a school. The researcher said:
“The results reveal that the Reading Egg[s] used as a supplement [in the classroom] was effective in improving reading proficiency scores.”Source: Lowery, L. D.(2017). Effects of Reading Eggs on Reading Proficiency Levels. (Doctoral dissertation).
The tips are based on 6 years of using the Reading Eggs’ Junior and Intermediate levels at home. The reading program is suitable for a wide variety of ages. Can be used with toddlers or intermediate readers or for enhancement exercises for the advanced readers at pre-primary and primary school children.
Take this as an enhancement learning for the kids. Set aside screen time so that the kids know when to get on and off the screen at the weekend, after school or during holidays.
The kids learn best with parents. It is important that parents guide the kids as they learn to read, write and do math at home. It is important that parents part-take when children are learning. This may be too much to ask, but kids learn to take responsibility for their leaning when they are guided well.
So, perhaps it is important to create a balance. Set aside screen time and have fun with the kids while they’re learning to read and do maths. 😊
Inclosure, reading is an important life skill to impart to children early in life whether reading is introduced in the form of online interactive reading games for kids, intervention program at schools or one-to-one tutorial program at home. I have used the basic and intermediate features of the Reading Eggs program for over 6 years with my children. And, I have witnessed, first hand, its positive impacts on them.
Reading Eggs program is a good starting point for children to learn letter sounds (also called synthetic phonics), decoding words, word families, phonics, sight words and letter names.