Many of the same technology options that preschoolers love are just as appropriate for children up to third grade. However, as children begin to develop basic reading skills, additional options open to them.
As soon as your child is old enough to write, he is also old enough to peck out letters on a keyboard. These activities will both amuse your child and also educate him on how to use a word processing program:
- Ask him to type his name and other words or phrases he enjoys. He can write “thank you” and “get well” notes, and illustrate them with family photos. Play with text font and size. Practice copying and pasting.
- Name and save documents together, and create and name files to put them in.
- Identify the different parts of the computer and the terms for point-and-click commands on commonly used programs.
- Open an email account for your child. Have her email grandparents, friends, or other people who are close to her, and help her open the emails that come to her.
You should be supervising your child whenever she is online. A child this young should not spend even a few minutes alone in front of an open Internet connection.
Digital Literacy Fun
To build your child’s reading skills, try these entertaining games, apps, and activities:
- The STACKS is Scholastic's kid-friendly website dedicated to books, reading, authors, and games.
- Scholastic's Book and Games Apps are based on popular characters and series that kids love. You might want to try The Magic School Bus: Dinosaurs or The Magic School Bus: Oceans.
- Scribble Press (and the Scribble Press app on iTunes) is a multimedia creativity platform for creating, sharing and publishing stories.
- The well-regarded Starfall website has many activities for first and second graders, and your child might enjoy its short, very simple stories that emphasize different letter-sound combinations.
- PBS Kids Between the Lions provides vocabulary activities, games, and stories with some additional scaffolding (vocabulary words, for example) and captions that highlight each word as it is read.
- WordGirl, the companion website to the PBS Kids television show, offers entertaining games with vocabulary development. Kids will barely realize they are learning, they’ll be having so much fun!
- Zoodles is a “kid safe” zone which links to many popular games. You can download it, and it help contain your child’s web experience to safe sites only.