The Guiltless Pleasure of Educational Computer Games
Online computer games are so prolific now they are getting harder and harder to avoid, especially with the cult status of Club Penguin for elementary school students. If allowed, children seem able to spend countless hours zoned out in front of the computer. At first, you may think that it's better than watching tv, computers being the future and all, but the games can be so mindless and their glazed-over looks tell a different tale. There are, however, some really great educational games online that are just as fun. Kids can learn math skills, reading and writing, science, history...pretty much anything. Mommy Poppins has dug up the following sites as some of the best educational games online, so parents can have a couple minutes of peace without feeling too guilty.
PBSKids.org is a great site with games for all age levels. The site has all their favorite shows and characters. From the Sesame Street reading games for toddlers to Cyberchase math games, there's something for everyone. I particularly like the Railroad Repair game. It's a math game that teaches adding decimals. There's also a page about NYC history. The American Museum of Natural History has a site just for kids. Science games teach kids about biodiversity. There's even a game that shows all the wildlife that lives in NYC. The Lego site has some spacial relationship games that any kid can play, but can also be challenging enough that they're fun for grown-ups too. The New York Philharmonic's site has a kids game room where kids learn about music. For older students The New York Public Library hosts HomeworkNYC.org. In addition to loads of information, kids can get homework help from a librarian. Kabooses' funschool site has tons of games and great graphics for children from preschool up. Kids won't even know they're at an educational site. Here's a site where someone has compiled the top 100 educational computer games. Starfall.com has games that take you through all the stages of learning to read.