There are lots of toddler games online, offered by every toymaker, company, cartoon, and the like, but how many are truly learning resources? Some sites are also well-intentioned but so cluttered with too many links, pop-up windows, and flashing objects and noises that you get tired looking for the right game before your toddler even gets a chance! It can be tedious to search through pages and pages of search engine results to get to the real gems online that truly promote childhood literacy and cognitive development and let your child have fun along the way.
My husband and I have an increasingly curious and restless 3 year-old (site visitors know he goes by Destiny Baby here), so we are constantly on the look out for ways to both entertain and educate. Earlier, I mentioned how, one day, Destiny Baby and I stumbled across the Fisher-Price infant and toddler online games site. Now that my son is older and he has become really proficient at using the mouse and keyboard–it still blows my mind that he is so comfortable with computers at such a young age–we have been looking for really good websites for him where he can continue to build his computer skills and learn at the same time. We even tried our hand at creating an online game for toddlers.
After several months of searching the web, we realized that we had sifted through an awful lot of site and had compiled a pretty good list of online sites featuring toddler learning games and activities. It’s a mix of nonprofit sites like the Literacy Center Education Network and commercial sites like Fisher-Price. As long as the games are free and don’t require sign-up or registration to use, they are included here.
The best results come when you try out the games yourself first to get a feel for what your child will expect and what activities would be most appropriate for them. For infants and toddlers it is great to participate in these activities with your child, as you’ll both have a lot of fun. As they get more independent they’ll probably like to play some of the games on their own, but it’s always good to be nearby to explain things and to encourage their good work!
Here is our list of recommended sites.
Literacy Center Network – Features activities to learn ABCs, phonics, counting, colors, and shapes, with all of the site’s content available in either English, Spanish, French or German. I really like the fact that ABC activities feature both uppercase and lowercase letters – separately and together. The site also features writing and keyboard activities, some with extremely cool animations of pencils writing out words to help your child understand how to form written letters. All activities are accompanied by a pleasant voice that reads the letters, colors, shapes, numbers or words out loud.
Readtoday.net - This site is linked to the Literacy Center Network and features printable versions of all kinds of games and activities covering the alphabet, phonics, colors, shapes, and numbers. I found this site very useful when I wanted to print flash cards for a road trip with Destiny Baby. Site also features all learning resources in English, Spanish, French and German!
Fisher-Price has online games and activites divided by infant, toddler and preschool. You can check out our earlier review of this learning site. Games include tap and color, counting games, ABC games, phonics, and music.
Starfall learning to read activities feature alphabet, phonics and words with human voices and interactive play. Also features printables.
Learning Games for Kids.com features all kinds of games for preschoolers and elementary school children. You have to explore the site a bit to figure out which games would be appropriate for where your chld is at in their stage of development. The idea of the games is also to teach keyboarding skills.
UpToTen.com – Click the free games on the left side of the screen. Features a games and activities search engine. Each game and learning resource comes with a note to indicate what age each game is appropriate for – very handy!
PBS Kids Between the Lions – Features a selection of toddler games teaching words, numbers, colors and shapes, including the fun ‘ABCD Watermelon’.
Boowa & Kwala is an online preschool activity center for kids from 0 to 6, with 800 games full of bright colors and music that will keep your toddler entertained for a long while. I found it inspiring that the characters were created by a couple for their daughter. Destiny Baby really liked the alphabet game, a simple electronic flashcard alphabet game with upper and lowercase letters.
Mightybook.com – Teachers toddlers and up to read with animated picture stories (with accompanying voice), sing-along songs, jokes, learning games, puzzles, videos, contests and more.
As we come across new sites we will post them in the future. Enjoy!
In addition to reviews of educational toys and games, at DestinyBaby.com we also review products designed to help parents facilitate preschool and toddler learning at home. There are great products that use the computer and videos to teach reading through phonics, math concepts, and whole early learning curriculums for home schooling or parents that just want to supplement their child’s coursework.
There are lots of toddler games online, o…