Friday, September 23, 2011

Preschool Learning - The Play School Website

Play School is a TV show well-known in Australia. I have such fond memories of it from the days when my friends' kids and then my own son and I enjoyed watching it and interacting with it together. Some of the presenters have changed over the years, but Big Ted, Humpty, Jemimah and the gang don't look a day older! Nowadays, there's not only the TV show, with its trademark songs, stories and creativity, but also the accompanying website. Even if you can't access Australian TV, I hope you can explore the delights on offer at ABC TVs Play School website with your preschool child.

There are several Games on offer. What I like about them is the creativity they offer young kids. There are digital ways to make music and art in Music Maker, Make a Face, Paint and Dance, and Art Maker. There are learning games like Hickory Dickory Clock and Match the Toys. Each has a simple interface and intuitive controls, and features toys or objects kids will know. I also really like the interactivity of games like Adventures with Toys, that encourage young kids to follow directions and make creative decisions.

Make and Do offers simple tutorials for art/craft projects, colouring printables and recipes suitable to cook with kids.

There are also Videos to watch of the actual recent Play School TV shows. These offer kids suggestions and inspiration for their own play, plus give them a chance to listen to stories, sing, play and learn. I really like the way the adults on the show have fun too, and invite kids to join in all their problems and silliness. Or you can watch several Clips, which are short segments from the shows - a great way to learn new songs with your youngster!

I asked a young friend, a four-year-old, what he likes about the Play School website. He told me his favourite activities are Paint and Dance and Make a Face. He likes that there are lots of choices in those. He dismissed Make a Rainbow and Hide and Seek as too easy. Generally though, I could see that the interactivity of most games really appealed to him.
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