Online Games and Activities for Early Literacy
Books are not the only way to learn to read. Many children teach themselves to read with the aid of online games and activities designed to foster early literacy.
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, television and the Internet have become avenues for learning to read by combining audio, visual, and written media to foster literacy in learners of all types. The following websites, many based on popular educational television shows, are a few of the many learn-to-read websites on the Internet.
Learning the Alphabet and Letter Identification
The beginner section of Starfall.com presents children with clickable ABC blocks and alphabet animations. This section is also available in sign language.
LiteracyCenter.net offers online activities that teach foundational skills including letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, as well as an activity to teach letter location on the computer keyboard. These activities are available in English, French, Spanish, and German.
PoissonRouge.com presents alphabet activities in English, French, and Spanish.
Alphabet Action and Bembo's Zoo both present interactive and entertaining letter learning animations.
Listening to Stories
Oftentimes, a child's motivation for learning to read comes from listening to stories.
StoryPlace.org, the Children's Digital Library, provides animated stories at preschool and elementary levels.
Beginning to Read
Starfall. Starfall is designed to inspire a love of reading. It is divided into four sections: ABCs, Learn to Read, It's Fun to Read, and I'm Reading. It presents animations, games, and interactive activities for helping children of all levels learn to read. Starfall also offers downloadable and purchasable games, printable activity sheets, and curriculae.
Between the Lions. Based on the award-winning PBS television series, Between the Lions invites children to "Get wild about reading." The program is aimed at children ages 3 to 7 from preschool through grade three. It provides games, stories, music, and video clips, as well as downloadable mp3 music and videos for offline use. The Parent and Teacher page inclusions an index of skill areas such as Learning Letters, Building Words, Making Sentences, Expanding Vocabulary, and Creating Categories each further categorized by games, videos, and activities.
Sesame Street. The new Sesame Street website allows users to create an Early Reading Playlist based on a child's current interest, such as animals, music, sports, holidays, places, or favorite muppet character from the television program. Sesame Street playlists turn learning into an interactive adventure with games and videos.
Children learn to read in a variety of ways, but many are using computers at increasingly younger ages. Many children's websites now provide interactive learning games and activities that entertain and foster early literacy and other foundational skills for children from the toddler years, preschool, and throughout early childhood.