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There are literally hundreds of sites online providing thousands of free online games for young children. Most of us would tend to think of free online games to be like arcade games, full of adventure and violence not appropriate for young children. However, free games available on the internet now come in a great variety appropriate for young children of all ages, from toddlers to preschoolers, school age children and teens. Parents can also indulge and have lots of fun playing free online games with their children.
Type of Games
Free games on the internet tend to be based around age groups and game types.
For toddlers there are games involving colors, shapes and interactive free games that work on their co-ordination. There are also active games that get them working on their hand-eye co-ordination as well as games involving animals which always get them interested.
For preschoolers, free online games might involve active animation / cartoon figures and interactive, online puzzle games to help these kids grasp concepts of language, math, music and social behavior e.g. right and wrong. Games involve crafts – i.e. art and building basic stuff are also popular in this age group.
For school age children, games will have increase complexity and may include online puzzle games, games involving math, music, language / word comprehension, spelling and vocabulary related free games.
For old children in their teens, brain teasers, Sudoku and other number games, language games, complex puzzle games, reasoning games bring bit more challenges for their inquisitive minds. Teenage children might also start getting into animation and video games involve problem solving, virtual reality adventures and other active games.
For all age groups, free online games come under some of these basic categories:
1. Co-ordination, online puzzle games which test hand-eye and brain co-ordination skills
2. Craft games which indulge children in art and craft making
3. Free puzzle games which include jig saw puzzles, mazes and word puzzles
4. Music games which involve tunes, music instruments and singing
5. Math games including word and number games related to mathematics
6. Problem solving games which indulge gamers to solve presented problems through skill and learning
7. Word/language related games may include scrabble, spelling and vocabulary games
8. Picture / coloring games which are for younger children helping to develop association with color, photos and pictures.
9. Adventure/simulation games include animated and active adventuring learning games that tend to be longer, interactive and simulate real life challenges or adventures.
10. Intuition / reasoning games which may include brain teasers and mind development games
11. Physical activities which are online games that get gamers to carry out physical tasks and activities
Many of these online games are played on the computer through keyboard, mouse, touch and voice commands. There are also many popular free online games that are printable so can be downloaded and printed on paper to be played away from the computer.
Benefit of Free Games
Free online games for the young offers many benefits:
– Developing language skills in young brains as young minds learn sounds, pronunciation and phonics much easier than older brains
– Increase hand-eye co-ordination with games that involve activities
– Help young gamers learn concepts such as language, music, colors, math and social behavior through a fun process. Younger gamers learn faster when they enjoy the process
– Provides release for young children to have fun in a non-pressure environment to remove tensions and reduce hyperactivity
– Build attention span and ability to focus in young kids
– Develop essential math and spelling, vocabulary skills from an early age
– Encourage artistic endeavor and craft appreciation in children so that this is carried through their lives.
– Build confidence/ self esteem as young gamers succeed and get good at things
– Increase creativity, intuition and life skills
– Improve vital problem solving skills for school, work and life
– Add to young children’s life knowledge base
As young minds and bodies are developing, giving them mental and physical stimulation through games is vital to develop neuron networks in their brains. This early neuron network development helps boost learning and problems solving ability later in life.
As with all good things, access to free online games and free online puzzles should be limited so that young kids are not ‘overloaded’ with information and do not become addicted to free games and miss out on important physical exercise as well as beneficial physical social interaction with other children.
Importantly, parents should be involved with their children when playing these free online games to develop fun competition and boost family interaction and social dynamics. This will lead to a happier and more fulfilling family life for children and adults alike.