There are a number of free games online to play for children’s STEM learning that parents and families can utilize. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, countries across the globe have implemented school closure as a key measure to combat the spread of the Covid-19 disease. Subsequently, parents and families are stuck at home with their children. Despite these circumstances, children can still remain happy and have fun learning.
Online learning providers have also made good on the current situation by offering their resources for free giving parents and families an opportunity to fully engage their children in learning. The use of technology involving computer-mediated activities and games is a valuable tool that may be used by parents to engage their children while at home during the current crisis. While play is not always media driven, computer- mediated games and activities make learning fun for children and provide valuable learning experiences.
Parents and families are asked to ensure children are adequately supervised while on the internet. Teach your children safety tips and make rules governing the use of the internet with your children. Also ensure activities are schedule for online usage as children should not be online for the entire day.
Importance of Computer-Mediated Game Based Learning
Researchers agree that children learn best through play. The experts also state that, children learn in technologically rich situations which are defined learning cultures to support their learning in a natural and unobtrusive way.
According to research, computer mediated games:
- Have potential to hold the attention of children and develop their interest in tasks
- Give children confidence about their potential to attain targeted skills
- Engage children’s thinking, feeling, and learning
- Allow for the construction of personalized connection to tasks and to oneself as part of the process
- Motivates learning, offer immediate feedback and influence positive changes in behavior and attitudes
- Helpful in improving knowledge and have the potential to teach desired learning skills
- Effective in teaching literacy, cognitive skills such as problem solving and spatial awareness, social skills such as the ability to collaborate, and the learning of content in STEM
- Provide the opportunity to use technology as a learning tool to build children’s intellect
- Offer multi sensory exploration while building and supporting motor skill development
- Allow multi-modal communications through fostering interpretation of linguistic meaning, visual meaning, audio meaning, gestural meaning, and spatial meaning
- Have the potential to aid mathematical thinking, understanding and maintaining mathematical communication
- Allow children to develop a variety of numeracy skills that involve using mathematics purposefully in different play activities
- Build and support children’s creative thinking skills, imaginary and divergent thinking skills
- Provides a learning culture in which the communication process is practiced densely. This includes children speaking, getting feedback to their questions in this process, communicating, interacting and engaging with parents and families in learning
- Provide opportunity for children to learn through real life situations and experiences using technology
- Allow children to learn and maintain their learning by practicing so that they will not miss out on learning to while school is out.
PreK- 2nd Grade
Age of Learning
Age of Learning developed ABC Mouse which is a popular online game-based learning platform. It provides developmentally appropriate activities for STEM learning for children in pre-K to second grade, While a one month free trial is offered, the company is now offering home access for children currently at home due to school closure. GO to the link here.
PBS KIDS Games
PBS KIDS offers free games for children 2-8 years old. These games offer learning and engagement related to STEM learning. Parents can down load the app here. Your children are allowed to browse and engage in a child friendly atmosphere. There are features for parents as well.
Play -Based Learning Activities
Play based learning activities for children 3 to 10 years old are offered on this learning platform inclusive of games and hands on activities parents can use at home at this time. This platform is recommended by UNICEF. You can link here
Elementary to High School
Scholastic Learn at Home
Educational publisher Scholastic provides an online learning platform for pre-K to high school learners. You can link to Scholastic Learn at Home This platform supports children’s learning while at home during school closure. It provides engaging opportunities for games and hands -on activities related to STEM learning. Parents and children who are English Language Learners ( ELA ) are also supported .
Now if you want to shift your focus from online games here are some useful STEM online resources you can engage your children with. These are specially selected based on current situation of social distancing. Since most parents and families across the world are not able to take trips to parks, zoos and some outdoors. I want to assist you in giving your children the opportunity to go to these places right from the safety of your own home.
Animal and Nature-parents can find digital engagement in English and Spanish for PreK to elementary age children. There are a number of digital books covering the theme Animal and Nature here . Learning experience is offered here free by Scholastic. Children can watch videos, listen to story and engage in activities and quizzes.
Project Learning from Scholastic Learn at Home – supports children from pre-K to sixth graders to find projects every day to engage in at home to enhance STEM learning.
Maths with Parents provides online platform with free resources for parents at home at this time with their children. Parents can click on school closure and start their math adventure with their children. You can link to the platform here.
Discovery Education offers virtual field trips. Parents you can take your children to the zoo and jungle virtually. Your children can also take STEM field trips. They will not be missing out at all. You can join in this adventure here.
Mystery Science provides access to free digital lessons and hands-on activities in science for children in kindergarten to fifth grade. This platform supports children and families at home during this present crisis. Parents can link here to access resources.
Khan Academy provides access to free learning resources for children pre K to Grade 12 during the period of school closure. Parents and families can link to resources here. There are schedules for children’s learning activities throughout the day to while at home.
Audible Stories offers free access to a huge collection of stories for children now at home through Amazon. Stories are offered in six different languages. You can link here.
Despite school closure due to Covid-19 pandemic, parents and families are provided with the best free games online to play for STEM learning as well as other computer-mediated activities. Online learning providers have also made good on the current situation by offering their resources for free giving parents and families an opportunity to fully engage their children in learning to while at home.
Experts agree, children learn in technologically rich situations which are defined learning cultures, that support their learning in a natural and unobtrusive way. Computer-mediated games and activities allow children to learn and maintain their learning by practicing. This will ensure children will not miss out on learning while school is out. Parents are asked to ensure children are supervised while online and to use online platforms that are child -friendly.
I hope you will share all those meaningful and engaging learning experiences with me as you stay at home with your children. You are free to leave your comments, opinions, questions and or concerns. I am more than happy to respond to you in a timely manner.
Tracy-Ann Morgan-Smith, PhD, JP