I spent some time this afternoon getting the tour of FunBrain.com from my nine and seven year olds. They found out about it from a seven year old friend. I was surprised. It’s video games — some educational, some just for fun but that’s it! No “friends,” no virtual world, no bartering for virtual stuff. No begging me for virtual credit. It’s kinda “old school.” yet, they still seem quite engaged. Granted, they don’t get a lot of screen time (at least in this house). Gasp! Is that ironic?!
But they have the usual electronic barrage of Wii and XBox and ITouches blah blah blah over at their dad’s so it’s not like I’ve doomed them to the dark ages. We actually like to do “dark age” things over here like read and stuff! So my kids were equally as surprised when I asked them to show me a site they like that we could review together.
It’s 11:43pm and now that the under 10 set is having more adventures in Neverland, I’ve gone back to take a closer, “unsupervised” look. There’s a lot there — over 100 interactive games, organized for kids, for teachers, and parents. They are also sorted by Most Popular, By Grade (K-8), Number Games, Word Games, Just for Fun, Matching and Puzzles.
It says The Moms and Kids Playground “helps parents introduce their preschoolers to the Internet and teaches them how to manipulate the mouse and keyboard.” True. My seven year old still finds it entertaining.
The games themselves are really simple but they are cleverly strung together into a bigger “game” so you have to beat one game to be able to unlock the next and advance through the 25 levels.
When I asked my nine year old daughter why she likes Funbrain she said, “It’s funny. And there’s no cyber-bullying. It’s just you and the computer and the video games are so fun to do and they’re educational.” I’m pretty sure that last part was for me.
photo credit: deryckh