When kids are young, you don’t have to try too hard to get them interested in learning – every fiber of their being is geared towards absorbing as much knowledge as they can. But even as their motor skills develop and they learn to navigate the world around them, you might want to start inserting useful lessons pertaining to letters, numbers, and other knowledge and skills they’ll need when they enter the educational system. When your tots enter school already familiar with some of the educational tools they’ll need to get by, they have a much better chance of succeeding. And the best way to get them on board with learning is through educational games that are fun, rather than a chore. Here are a few fun and educational games that your toddlers are sure to enjoy.
- Spot It! There are several games in the Spot It! series, including those that focus on letters, numbers, shapes, and animals. Designed for players 3 and up, this game asks players to compare two cards that have a variety of graphics on them in order to find the two symbols or shapes that are matching. This can not only help kids become familiar with and learn to identify specific items, but it helps to develop mental dexterity as they compare cards to determine the matching symbols on each.
- Qwirkle. This game is for children age 6 and up, so your preschoolers won’t be able to get in on the fun, but kids that are just starting school will enjoy this award winning game. At first glance, it might look too simple for this age group, since it basically amounts to matching up colors and shapes. But there’s more to it – Qwirkle is also a game of strategy. The more matching blocks players put together, they can begin to multiply points, earning a greater score. As children begin to develop more complex cognitive skills, the ability to strategize will help them learn to plan ahead and determine potential benefits and consequences of their actions.
- Endless Alphabet. This monstrously fun application for Apple and Android products features a slew of cute and creative monsters associated with each letter of the alphabet. The app helps kids learn to identify letters by sight and sound and even goes so far as to introduce words and spellings that set toddlers on the track towards learning to read. Some of the lessons may be too advanced for the youngest players (the app is for ages 3 and up), but that gives them room to grow into the game. And with no time limits or scores, kids can have fun without developing performance anxiety.
- Funbrain Jr. This game for ages 2 and up is made for Apple products and features five different games designed to help toddlers learn letters, numbers, and patterns. It’s like a virtual set of wooden blocks, but with fun graphics and interactive games that kids will adore.
- LeapPad Ultra. If you’re not keen to let your tiny tots manhandle your expensive tablet, this durable alternative designed for kids could be the solution you seek. The LeapPad Ultra is rated for ages 4 and up, and although it comes WiFi enabled to allow you to download a slew of educational apps, the built-in parental controls ensure that your child won’t accidentally end up on websites they shouldn’t see. It’s also drop-safe and features a large, hi-res screen for kids to tool around on. If you want to start the educational process early, you can enter your toddlers in Educational Playcare. But you can also provide learning games at home. And with plenty of fun options, your children will develop a love of learning early in life.