Part of any child's educational foundation starts out with learning the alphabet. It is a critical part of the grade school education, and it is a core requirement that children need to understand in order to excel in all other subjects that follow.
Because it is so critical to a child's educational, then exposing children to alphabet learning activities is an excellent idea. There are lots of choices available to parents for this, including online websites and free applications that you can download to a home or classroom PC.
One free ABC alphabet game software is called Sebran's ABC
. This free software offers a variety of fun activities and games that are tailored to help young children learn letters and the alphabet. Some of the games even introduce some fundamental reading skills as well.
When you first launch the software, you will see a list of activities that the child can choose from. Navigation is very simple in this software. So simple that you could run the software in a classroom and allow kids to explore through the various activities on their own.
One of the simplest games is called "How Many?" This is not so much related to ABC's as the other activities are, but it does help to teach children an early skill that they need to learn - counting.
Count the Objects
The point of the activity is very simple. A sentence at the top of the screen asks the child how many of a certain object are on the screen. Four possible answers are listed at the bottom. Clicking on the correct answer results in a smiley face appearing on the button.
Another important skill that very young children need to develop is memory. The memory game in Sebran is similar to memory card games where kids lay out cards in rows and then flip them over, two at a time, in order to find matches.
In Sebran's ABC, the matching game is identical to the real-world card game. by clicking on a square, an image appears. The challenge is to flip over two squares at a time, trying to remember what picture was under those squares, and eventually matching up all of the pictures.
Proving the value of the software for more than just learning ABCs, there are also math games on the main menu - including addition, subtraction and multiplication.
The math activities are very simple - a math problem appears at the top of the screen, with four possible answers displayed below. After choosing the correct answer, the child will be rewarded with a smiling face.
The difficulty levels can be changed for these games as well, from Easy to Difficult. Because of this, the game can be useful for a wider range of age groups.
While there are some activities in Sebran's ABC that cover other fundamentals, the majority of the activities available in the software covering learning the alphabet. One example of this is the Hangman game.
In Hangman game, kids simply select letters from the alphabet displayed on the left side of the screen. If choose a letter from the phrase at the bottom, the letter will appear. If they choose a letter that isn't in the phrase, a new section of the hangman will appear. Once the entire picture is drawn, they lose!
The sound effects for each of the activities in Sebran's ABC add an element of theater and fun to the games - kids will love the button effects and the music when they win or lose.
The "Letter Rain" game is also a fun way for kids to learn the alphabet in a high-paced, high energy game.
The way it works is that falling letters drop from the top of the screen - like raining letters - and the child has to find the letter on the keyboard and type it before it hits the bottom of the screen. This is a fantastic way to help children get used to quickly typing on a computer keyboard, in addition to getting accustomed to the letters of the alphabet.
Another activity that can help with learning to read is the object recognition game called "Pick a Picture".
Words and Objects
This activity displays a word at the top of the screen, and then four pictures below it. The game is to correctly choose the right object that goes along with that word.
Not only does this help children learn to correctly identify objects, but it helps them eventually remember entire words. This can help tremendously with developing future reading skills at higher grade levels.
A similar activity to this is the "First Letter" activity. Similar to the "Pick a Picture" activity, this game is also about recognizing everyday objects.
Pick the First Letter
The difference here is that the child needs to identify what letter completes the word. This is especially useful for younger children that may not be able to come up with the word on their own, but with the prompting of part of the word, they can identify what letter the word starts with.
Another game that helps with higher level math skills is 1+2 rain. Just like "Letter Rain" children need to quickly type the right answer on the keyboard. The difference in this activity is that the number they need to type is the correct answer to a math problem. As the math problem falls from the top of the screen, the child needs to figure out the correct answer and type it before it hits the bottom of the screen.
The game keeps track of the points depending how quickly answers are provided.
Even though Sebran's ABC is intended as free educational software geared toward learning the alphabet and reading, it is actually useful for many of the fundamental skills that young children need upon entering into the educational system. Providing children with exposure to Sebran's ABC is a great way to let them have some fun with the computer, while also developing those important educational skills.
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