I sat with a friend the other day and as we have both raised adult children and are once again bringing up little ones, we discussed how things had changed with the introduction of technology, technological devices, and technological toys being so readily available today.
Ten or fifteen years ago we allowed our teens to get cell phones at 16, bought specific learning programs for our PC for younger kids, and only let them play games if they were on a console like PlayStation or Wii.
Nowadays my 5-year-old has his smartphone, used under supervision and mainly for youtube kids. He also owns a kids tablet, several smart toys that require technology to work, and can use a laptop as well as we can.
Naturally, screen time is a concern and we balance his technology time with other activities like playing, crafting, reading, and being outside.
We do encourage him to play educational games and as a homeschool mom, I firmly believe that his general knowledge, reading skills, maths skills, and logic are developed through the use of online educational games.
Finding good quality online games
So, I am constantly looking for good quality, trusted sites where I can find new games that will both stimulate and entertain Hamish. One of the great sites I’ve come across is http://www.plays.org
Plays.org is a user-friendly site that offers you a wide assortment of free, fun games that you can quickly play on your browser.
Unlike many other game sites which have a ton of ads or require downloads before you start to play, I discovered that Plays.org did not require you to register or set up an account before playing. You also do not need to download an App first, instead, you can simply log on and pick a game to start playing any time you like.
The games are simple, easy to beat, and reminiscent of the old Nintendo console games.
Their simplicity, and lack of ads and upgrades needed, for me as a mom, allows me the knowledge that Hamish is playing a game intended to let him have fun, learn something and retain the innocence of childhood, even in such a fast-paced modern world.
Top 3 Games that we are enjoying
I have only been using the site for the last month and we’ve tried several games, however these are the games we are currently enjoying for entertainment and learning at home…….
I love this game, inspired by the arcade classic Pacman.
The object is to eat the cheese whilst avoiding the cats. Your child will use the arrow keys to move the rat and a level is complete when all the cheese has been eaten. However, if a cat bumps into you are dead, unless you ate a power pellet which turns you into a ghost and lets you eat the cats.
Unlike the original Pac-Man, this game is easier with just 6 levels and slower speeds.
This game is fun and great to replay until you master a level. Hamish at 5 thoroughly enjoyed this and did not find it too difficult.
Complete the Sequence
This cute kindergarten maths game requires your child to put the numbers in the correct sequence. With 3 levels of difficulty – easy, medium, and hard- your child can pop the bubble that contains the correct number to finish the sequence.
A great beginner numbers game that allows your child to practice maths skills, number recognition and develop their hand-eye coordination as they look to find the correct bubble. A graph underneath shows if the sequence is in ascending or descending order and all sequences are randomly generated.
We are currently using this game as a brain break in our homeschool maths lessons.
Dinosaur Train bridge builder
This has to be Hamish’s favorite game. He loves dinosaurs and has watched every episode of Dinosaur Train and so finding a fun game with his favorite dinosaurs from Troodon Town was a bonus.
Designed for preschoolers, your child will help the dinosaurs to cross the chasm by breaking down numbers and adding them up, finding the length of the chasm, and choosing the log bridge units that are the same length as the chasm.
When your child has found the right length the dinosaur will cross the bridge. This took some time for Hamish to master but it was easy enough for him to grasp after I initially showed him how to measure.
I was impressed to find that there is a game for everyone. From educational games that help your child with reading, spelling, and maths to character games like Avengers, Tom & Jerry, and Batman to simple old-school fun games like Tetris.
The games are both PC and smartphone or Tablet compatible, allowing you to play anywhere and the games save to your web browser for you to log back in and replay.
Overall I was really impressed to find such a comprehensive library of fun and educational games on a safe site to use for Hamish.
Have you tried this site before? If so, what was your favorite game?