5/3/11

Children's Software That Preschool Teachers Love

As a childcare provider, it is important to me to provide fun learning experiences every day for my preschoolers. There is only one toy in my daycare room that is not child-powered - a computer. However, it is not hooked up to internet because I cannot control web content. It is my preference to provide specific software programs for the children in my class and over the 25 years I've been doing this, very few titles have earned my stamp of approval. I thought I would share my list of winners with you.

Jumpstart Toddlers is the first program I always introduce to children, usually around 18 months of age. There are several activities on here, but the best part of this program is that the child can cause an action on the screen by moving the mouse or hitting any key. I also love the musical instrument portion of this software program.

Jumpstart Preschool is also a wonderful program and a super follow-up to the Jumpstart Toddlers software. The activities are more advanced, but very appropriate for preschoolers. The activities span across several subjects (reading, math, etc.) Our computer table has two chairs so one child can play while the other watches (and learns too).

Bailey's Book House is a game that has been around for a long time. The best part of this program is the onscreen keyboard that teaches children letters through alliteration (for example, typing the letter D and hearing/seeing Dinosaurs Dance). There are several activities on this game for children to practice their early literacy skills.

Millie's Math House teaches young children about early math concepts through games and activities. The children love matching the right size shoes to the right size monster on one of the activities. The friendly cow leads them through several games.

Sammy's Science House is another favorite around here. From learning about seasons and weather, to learning how to build using blueprints, young children can discover their inner scientist. All the Edmark games have been a part of my daycare program for over 20 years.

In like fashion, Trudy's Time and Place House teaches children about following maps, telling time, and so much more. This one is a little more advanced than the other three Edmark programs but usually by age 3 1/2 years, most children can grasp some of these concepts.

TIPS for using computers with children.
  • Choose software carefully and do your research.
  • Supervise nearby but allow the child to learn on their own by exploring the program independently.
  • Limit computer time to no more than 20 minutes at a time, no more than twice a day, for preschoolers.
  • Use a child-sized computer table and chair(s).
  • Use two chairs at the computer table so children can work on social skills at the same time, learning to work together, learning to be patient for a turn, helping when needed, etc.
  • Use a mouse with a cord so it doesn't disappear.
  • Tuck all cords up and off the floor, behind the computer on the table (against a wall) for safety reasons.

8 comments:

  1. What a great resource! Following back - and I also stumbled your post!

    -Stephanie
    henry  happened

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  2. Blog hopping! Stop by for a visit! We are part of a HUGE Mother's Day Blog Giveaway! Over 90 blogs are giving away fantastic prize packages just for MOM! Starts tomorrow May 5th! http://dedastudios.blogspot.com

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  3. Once I started playing with a mouse, it quickly became interested in teleportation.

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  4. Ha! Hadn't thought about a wireless mouse scampering off! Good point!


    I found you through the Thursday blog hop. I’m following you now and hope you’ll stop by one of my blogs sometime too! Have a lovely week.
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/
    http://beourbest.blogspot.com/

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  5. Hey!! Thanks for the follow!!:-) I'm following you back

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  6. Wonderful information. Thanks for all the suggestions!

    New follower from Wordless Blog Hop
    Renita
    www.krazykuehnerdays.com

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  7. Here is a totally free program (Merlin Programmer for Kids) to teach really young kids how to program. Wrote it for my kids a long time ago.
    http://www.scisoftco.com/merlin/merlin_programmer.html or email me joseph.santos-sacchi@yale.edu

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  8. You should check out http://digitaltreasures.com, they have a bunch of software for kids. They even have one for toddlers that I got for my son. He loves it! The best part is we get to spend time together, and he is learning while we are doing it! I love the software that this company offers.

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