Online games for toddlers: they are a necessary tool in that bag of tricks all parents are required to carry. If you’ve ever been in a car or at the dentist with a toddler you know exactly what I mean. You’ve probably did a search for online games for toddlers because you’ve: (a) had your iPhone dunked in the toilet, or (b) have had your entire work report erased by darling by accident.
I’ve been there myself. Both times. Online games for todders are actually easy to do with your child. Some online games for toddlers will work when any key is touched they have set up some of the coolest keyboards for toddlers on the touchscreen, it makes it much easier for them. They are intuitive. Even if you don’t have any experience in education, you can use the right online games for toddlers to teach valuable pre-reading skills to your little one. If you have a baby between one and two you are ready to begin a little point and click.
Babies love to push buttons. (Pun not intended, I swear). No really. They love cause and effect. Electronic games are the perfect outlet for that urge. You need the right kind of online game for toddlers that will foster curiosity and not frustrate.
I’ve got a background in education, four kids, and have spent a lot of time reviewing apps. I think this qualifies me to put up a list of online games for toddlers. I did a little search to find valuable games that can be played on the home computer as opposed to an app. I found a few online games for toddlers that will let them push buttons at their own pace.
These educational computer games are a great way to introduce your very young child to reading. Reading? Yup. Even though your baby is probably not yet potty trained, that doesn’t mean he or she isn’t ready to learn valuable skills on the computer. The right kind of online games for toddlers will help your child develop important pre-literacy skills.
There are 3 ways online games for toddlers can benefit 1-3 yr olds:
At the moment there aren’t many studies on the effects of online games for toddlers. But PBS made a statement in regards to recent studies on the effects of television on toddlers:
“A review of current research has been published by the London-based National Literacy Trust and by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Although several studies suggest age-appropriate programs can help preschoolers learn language, there have been far fewer studies focused on toddlers. There is some evidence that 18-month-olds will respond to the visuals of programs with words, especially if the content is of high quality. But other studies suggest children under the age of 22 months learn words less effectively from TV than from interactions with people.
So if you choose to expose your toddler to online games, be aware that quality educational games for this age group should focus on those three main areas: emergent literacy through symbol recognition, lessons in problem solving, and improving hand-eye coordination.
Online games for toddlers help develop early literacy skills through shape and symbol recognition.
Some toddlers develop very early literacy. They seem to grasp onto sounds and symbols in their environment from a very early age. So how do you stimulate their desire to learn with a useful tool like the internet? Start with simple shapes in their environment like circles and squares, triangles and stars. Choose online games for toddlers that teach basic recognition. Once your child has mastered these shapes and more, then begin to expose him or her to the letters of the alphabet.
Online games for toddlers teach problem solving skills.
Of course the internet does one thing the television cannot. It’s interactive on a whole different level. Online games for toddlers can engage children while they teach. As an educator I think it is important to focus your child on problem solving strategies while playing the games with them. Do the objects on the the gaming monitor move in a predictable manner? Can your baby recognize cause and effect when they click on an object? Repetition is important in teaching problem solving and should be carried over into regular life outside of computer gaming. Keep your child’s exposure to short, intermittent time frames. Always end on a good note, and if your child appears frustrated, switch to a new task before ending the time at the computer.
Online games for toddlers help develop hand eye coordination.
The best thing you can do for your toddler is give him plenty of tasks that make him manipulate objects and move them either during free play time at home on your living room floor or while sitting at the computer screen playing an appropriate game. This is an important developmental step that helps ready toddlers for reading. Puzzle building, object moving, and activities that encourage shape sorting are all excellent hand-eye coordination activities for this age group.
I did a little digging and have found what I believe to be the top ten sites featuring the three core skill areas vital for toddler learning and development. Check out these sites with your diaper wearing learners. They may not yet be old enough for preschool, but they still can get a bit of the action their older siblings and parents are at. The following list of websites are for non-readers and emergent readers. Many of these sites can be operated without any reading knowledge, which means your tot should be able to navigate them independently, although I would recommend you interact with your child while they play.
Play the best online games for toddlers by simply clicking on each picture below:
POISSON ROUGE is a pictorial website for toddlers and preschoolers. You can peruse the site’s over 200 online games for toddlers, activities, and animations, most of which is free to view. It is purposefully designed without any written directions. Want to expose your little one to a second language? Parents can peruse the site’s over 200 games, activities, and animations to learn French, English, and Spanish, as well as play a board game, experience optical illusions, paint, work with numbers, play piano, and visit an art gallery, to name just a few activities available to tots.
ZIGGITY ZOOM is a great interactive website for kids 2-5. There are plenty of games for older preschoolers and early elementary kids but also some nice gems for little tots who are learning how to use the mouse. Feed the Monster is a great online mouse game for toddlers that is simple and independent. Knights and Dragon play is a bit more sophisticated. Players learn to use the arrow keys to move characters around on the screen. When they enter a door the game takes you to a new room. No reading is necessary to play. The website has a nice scroll over voice feature that makes navigating a cinch for non-readers.
KNEEBOUNCERS is a colorful, delightful website that introduces babies and toddlers under 2 to colors, shapes, letters, music, and a variety of bouncy animated games. Their online games for toddlers will respond with brightly colored animations when the child clicks on any key on the keyboard. To allow for further development, the website asks for $2.95 a month membership or an entire year for $20.95. There are free games available to visitors who want to test drive the site first. Geared toward babies 0-2, this site delivers a frustration free experience for both baby and parent. They also have an iPod/iPhone applets available for Apple users.
UP TO TEN boasts as being the number one independent kids’ site in the world. They offer over 1,300 games for children 0-10 years old. Games are sorted by age, skills, and can be searched using their internal database. UP TO TEN uses a special icon system to organize their almost 1,400 games and activities: Green icons indicate motor skill development; Blue icons indicate intellectual agility development; Orange icons indicate computer literacy development; and Red icons indicate that an adult presence is necessary.Categories include stories, animations, songs, musical games, puzzles, sorting, races, and paper and scissor activities as well. Some of the best free online games for toddlers are: Sort Shapes by Size, Shoot Darts, and Music Box Dance.
FISHER PRICE ALL TODDLER GAMES hosts over 27 different online games and activities for infants and toddlers. This is a good place to start if you want quick access to just a handful of games carefully designed to hone in on the three main skill areas for todders. Each game highlights a different area of early literacy development for children 0-3 years old: introduction to the ABC’s, numbers, counting, recognizing shapes, colors, listening to animal sounds, and exposure to musical instruments. Of course all games correlate with Fisher Price merchandise, but they are free to play.
EWTNkids is a global Catholic Network (Eternal World Television Network) that has a colorful map of a virtual town. With your help, tots can use their mouse to click on a town building (church, faith factory, or house) and go inside it. Babies can go inside the Morgan’s house to view Baby Grace’s nursery and click on objects that come to life. Toddlers can even help Baby Grace get dressed for the day. Children ages 1-3 might also like to visit the Diego family house and play the xylophone inside little Teresita’s room. Visitors to the town are given the option to join or to play as a visitor. It is completely free to try out. There also activities for older kids, including lessons in Latin inside the school.
DRESS UP GAMES has a virtual nursery that is very cute called “Sweet Nursery” which is great for teaching cause and effect. It’s further down on the top ten list of games for toddlers, but still a winner. Tots who are able to click and drag will have a blast decorating the the nursery by clicking on all the furniture in the top right corner and seeing the room change its decor. Your tot can change the rug, flooring, crib style, make the toys appear and disappear, change the window treatments, lamp, chair, dresser, and boxes. It is beautifully animated (although a bit busy looking), but your little girl will love playing in this room.
BEARRIFIC DRUMMERS is a wonderful listening memory game for toddlers. We love this member of our top ten online games for toddlers. This game is part of the Bearville website (0wned by Build-a-Bear), which hosts almost 40 different online games for kids. Most of the other games are not as suitable to a toddler as this one, however your almost 3 year old might like MAGIC BRUSH, an online coloring page that fills in their chosen color within the lines with a simple click of the mouse. Bearville is perfect for kids ages 3-7, but this game is especially great for the littlest bear lover in your clan.
Visit BUILD A NEIGHBORHOOD by PBS kids. It has a lot of online games for preschool kids, but they also have a terrific “Build a Neighborhood” activity which is a perfect online game for toddlers. It is tied into the legendary Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show, and it is perfect for babies up to 3 years old. Tots can choose from a Town, the Fairy Castle, a Farm, and a Construction site. The machinery even has sound effects when clicked on. As long as they can click and drag boys and girls should have no trouble placing and moving objects on the screen. If the display is too small, just use your browser to zoom in.
KOL Jr.’s SHAPE DROP is another great website with online games for toddlers. Kol Jr.’s Shape Drop teaches hand eye coordination and shape recognition, two important skills for reading literacy. Players have to choose between two shape holes when presented with a shape to match. To get the shape into the hole they have to use the arrow keys to line it up. The game adjusts for the ‘almost’ accurate player, so if your little one gets close enough to the hole it will automatically line up. It is easy enough for little toddlers to manage, too. The game gets more challenging the more skilled your toddler gets, but it starts out easy enough for a 2 yr-old. I like the simple graphics that do not overwhelm the player. Overall, it is a good matching game for 1-3 year olds.
So enjoy these 10 online games for toddlers. Bookmark the page and come back and enjoy it regularly!