My son is kinda nerdy. Yeah, I know, he’s only 3. But I can tell, he’s going to be like his parents. Nerdy. In a good way.
Why do I say that? Well, because he wants to spend most of his time on the computer or on one of our many iDevices. He loves to play with cars and blocks, but given the choice, he’ll pick the computer every time.
When he was younger, maybe right around one year old, my mom introduced us to Starfall.com. My mom is a teacher and she has used this excellent free learning website with her younger students for years and she wanted to let Miles play. He loved it, of course, and quickly learned that Grandma would let him play whenever he wanted! 😉
[box type=”shadow”] From Starfall.com “Starfall.com opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. Our systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.”[/box]
He began playing Starfall games on a regular basis and I credit it, to a large degree, for helping Miles learn to identify letters by 19 months, knowing the alphabet by age 2, and reading at 2.5! (He is a pro at using my laptop now!) Starfall makes letters, numbers, and reading fun! I like that it isn’t purely academic play — Kids can learn about holidays, they’ll read stories about social situations, and learn lots of songs. Miles sings songs all the time that I’ve never taught him and he must have learned from Starfall.
- Gingerbread Man (This used to be known as “man man” at our house!) – Create an animated gingerbread man by choosing shapes and colors
- Alphabet – Clicking on each letter takes your child through a series of animations and games about that letter
- Earth Day – Children learn about recycling and cleaning up the earth by sorting recycleable items from a park scene
For Miles’s 3rd birthday, my mom got him a subscription to Starfall’s extended service, More.Starfall. It links from the main page and has more games, animated nursery rhymes, songs, and a talking library!
Here’s a video of Miles playing one of the More.Starfall games (Word Machine) about a year ago:
Starfall has a Kindergarten curriculum, mobile apps, and even a store where teachers and parents can purchase Starfall Educational Products. You can also give More.Starfall or another item as a gift! Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, and friends — the kids in your life will LOVE More.Starfall! It is absolutely worth it to get the extras with a subscription.
[button link=”http://more.starfall.com/info/ways-to-join.php” type=”small” color=”red” newwindow=”yes”] Click here to sign up for More.Starfall![/button]
Want to try More.Starfall for FREE for one month before you join? Starfall has generously provided me with 5 codes to distribute to our readers. If you’d like a code for one month of free access to More.Starfall, please leave a comment below. Tell me why you’d like to try it and make sure your email address is filled in on the form. I’ll contact the first 5 commenters and send you your codes! Gone!