Sonia Dogra

It wasn’t long ago, that as a child, I loved to move my fingers on my father’s typewriter. This mechanical equipment lured me enough and tickled my inquisitive mind. Cut to the twenty first century. Nobody, yes nobody, loses sleep over a typewriter anymore. But I do struggle to manage my seven-year old’s fixation for digital notebooks, IPads, laptops, online surfing and the like. The fact is that I myself struggle to keep abreast with this ever-evolving digital landscape that has become a seamless part of our lives today.

Yes, my child spends a lot of time looking at screens and I have to admit that this technology is an inevitable and necessary evil today. So, it is apparent that I cannot do much to cut down this screen time. But there is one thing I can surely do. And that is to develop a healthy interaction between my child and the tech world. I have to help my child to avoid becoming a digital time waster and rather shift focus to proactively building necessary tech skills needed to survive today.

So, if my child sits online what are the sites I can encourage her/him to visit. Here is a list for parents and children to try out:

PBS Kids:All the shows on this educational website have their own learning section at PBSkids.org. You have song along songs, counting games and more!

Sesame Street’s Online Home:Has hundreds of video clips and games that can help learn alphabets, counting, colours, etc.

Starfall.com:Works with your children through letter recognition all the way through to reading plays, nonfiction and comics.

CoolMath:Is an amusement park of math. There are games based on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, money and more. It basically is for children aged 13 and more. However, there is CoolMath4Kids.com for those in the 3-12 age group and CoolMath-Games.com for pre-schoolers.

MakeMeGenius.com:Is filled with videos that cover a variety of subjects, such as physics for kids, photosynthesis, the nervous system, solar system and electricity. All the videos are kid friendly!

TIMEfor Kids:Is a part of the popular TIME magazine and is very interactive. It deals with politics, environment, science, sports and even has topics based on current affairs.

National Geographic Kids:Helps about animals, see and share photos of nature, learn about different countries and try science experiments. There’s even a “Little Kids” section for the younger explorers in your house.

The Kids Page:Has more than 5,000 pages of learning games and activities. There areonline colouring pages, jigsaw puzzlesword games and activities that you can enjoy with your children.

How Stuff Works: Children have an inquisitive mind that is always asking questions such as why is the sky blue or how a tornado forms. This site helps the child with an all-round learning experience.

FUNBRAIN:You surely want to bookmark this one for your child. There is Math, reading, online books and learning games.

NickJr.com:Helps children to explore their creativity, play dress-up, learn new music, put together puzzles and work on numbers and shape recognition.

Scholastic:Is the popular educational website from the publishers of educational books. It has activities broken up for different age groups.

Disney Jr. Educational:Isfor the lovers of Mickey and his friends. The games focus on memory, hand-eye coordination, colour matching and other important skills for developing minds.

BBC History for Kids:Is a website where games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time. There is ancient history, world history and histories of specific countries.

Discovery Kids: This site by Discovery Channel gets children involved in learning without making it seem like work. Why do we need trees? Are jellyfish fish? Who travels with the President? These are just a few of the facts children can learn through this site.

KidsKnowIt.com:Has free educational movies, listen to educational music and read fun facts about everything from bats to bones.

Learning Games for Kids:Has almost every subject you can think of. Word, spelling, social studies, brain, science, art, vocabulary, literature and keyboarding games as well!!

Old Farmer’s Almanac:Islearning with a twist. There are riddles, puzzles, timelines and weather conditions that you can follow along with your child in the comfort of your home.

Kiddle: That kiddle features at this place in the list doesn’t make it less important. It happens to be a child friendly search engine. It is designed for search on the world wide web through the input of an image or a visual display of the search results. It also boasts of games that are invigorating for the young minds.

Code.org:From Harvard University,it encourages school students to learn computer science.

Google Doodle: Why I recommend this logo of Google that alters every second day because it links you to the subject of the doodle for further information and harmlessly helps your child with some entertaining games.

MessengerForKids:Replaces the popular WhatsApp so that parents can download the app on their child’s phone, create a profile for them and approve friends and family with whom they can text and video chat.

It’s a fast-paced world. We can certainly not expect children to live in the age of dinosaurs today. But with technology proving to be toxic, it is important to sift the choices the child makes while online. The above given list can certainly see a lot more additions. As is rightly pointed out technology is not bad. It is only for us to see how well we can put it to use without being abused by it. Happy surfing!!!

 

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