Educational Games To Get Your Kids Ready For SchoolJul 29, 2021 05:13PM ● By Virginia Dean
With the opening of school just around the corner, educational games can provide the right learning tool to prepare children for the classroom. According to educational nonprofit Educause, a growing body of research shows that game-based online learning platforms can inspire students to develop competencies and skills as they focus on the game's activities. Educational games can help instill a love of learning through homeschooling, online education, or traditional classroom settings. Below are samples of popular online games by academic categories:
Children ages 4-18 can enjoy Homer that focuses on reading and story writing. Reading combines a child's current reading level and their passion for creating a personalized learn-to-read plan. Using that child's same interests, Homer curates stories from classic to contemporary. Available at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore. Web. Cost is a 30-day free trial, then $ 7.99 per month. For vocabulary, Vocabulary Spelling City is a supplemental literacy tool helping to build vocabulary retention and reading comprehension. Available at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Web. For ages 4-18. Cost is free at $34.95 per year for an annual family membership with up to 5 children.
Prodigy Math (ages 6-14) is the free, engaging, fantasy-based math platform offering content from every major math topic from 1-8 grade. Available at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Web. Cost is available through a premium membership. Other math games include Buzzmath (available on the Web for middle schoolers @$20 per month and $60 per year) and Twelve a Dozen (available at the iTunes App Store for ages 8-14, free, good preparation for algebraic equations).
Play, create and learn with Tinybop to develop foundational science literacy (ages 4+, available at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Microsoft @ $2.99 per app with discounted bundles available). Toca Lab also allows children (ages 4+) to explore science, including the periodic table and plants ($3.99 per app at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore). Camp Wonderopolis aims to keep children (ages 4+) engaged with fun, interactive STEM and literacy-building topics boosted by Maker experiments. Available at the iTunes Store for free.
Some of these games include PBS Kids Games (ages 2-11, available on the Web and iTunes Store, Google Play for free), iCivics (for ages 8+ on the Web, iTunes App Store, Google Play for free), One Globe Kids-Friends (6+, iTunes App Store, Web, free and includes geographic, cultural, and political facts about each country), The Time Tribe (for ages 10+ @ the iTunes App Store and Web, for historical facts and archaeology, free), Civilisations AR (for all ages at the iTunes App Store or Google Play, free, brings artifacts to life globally), National Geographic Kids (for ages 6+ on the Web, free, geography), and Carmen Sandiego (for ages 6+ on the Web for free, tests geography knowledge).
Start with Art! For ages 7+ at the iTunes App Store, Google Play, or Amazon Appstore allows the child to embark on a journey into the world of art, creativity, and visual learning.
Tynker teaches children ages 4+ how to program or code (available at the iTunes Store with individual and family plans starting at $10 per month), as does Robot School: Learn to Code for ages 7+ at the iTunes App Store for free and paid versions ($4.99). For those interested in game design, Gamestar Mechanic (for ages 10+ on the Web for free) learning play, design, and share is the motto for learning about the principles of game design.
Gamification in education, thus, doesn't need to be limited to the classroom and, in many cases, encourages children to strengthen their skills in various subjects, helping them not only for the upcoming school year but also transforming them into lifelong learners.