We tell our children to listen to our advice and recommendations, right? But do they listen? Not listening is why I’m a parent in the first place.
Fortunately, my father is a bit of a geek and got me involved in Macs about 20 years ago. My three children (all three pre-kindergarten) are Mac users, so I’m always on the look out for handy, dandy, triple distilled Mac games that entertain and teach (children).
Teach And Entertain
That’s easier said than done. Many games, Mac or otherwise, are designed more for fun, and whatever intrinsic value there is can be summed up in a word—babysitter.
I don’t want to give a $1,000 technological marvel to my kids just to keep them out of trouble, so I work to get them involved in using the Mac to learn.
For my pre-schoolers I’ve managed to find a number of useful games which are easy to use, don’t cost an arm and a leg (have you seen the price of Lego’s?).
Little Hopper’s Memory Matching Game is one of handful of beneficial Mac games for pre-schoolers.
Think of it as Concentration for kids. It’s easy. It’s fun. There’s actual learning involved.
Even better is the extra added benefit of learning to concentrate while learning numbers, letters, barnyard animals, and things.
Point, Click, Listen, Watch, Click
Mac games for pre-schoolers and kindergarten age children need to be simple, but provide an incentive to play, and be beneficial (besides the aforementioned babysitting feature).
What could be easier than point and click? Memory Matching Game starts with a simple, attractive control panel with selections.
Click any of the four modes and sound plays to describe each one. Click difficult or easy. Then click the arrow to start the game.
After that, it’s just like the old Concentration game on television. For example, using the Animals mode, your child needs only to click on a box. The box changes to a specific animal and speaks the name.
Clicking on another box reveals yet another animal. Then both boxes close. And so on. Points are gained by clicking on two boxes with the same animal inside.
It’s a good way to teach a bunch of things at the same time (click each image above to get a larger, pop-up image).
Concentrate And Learn
At the pre-school age, children tend to have a limited vocabulary, limited knowledge of barnyard animals, numbers, and letters.
What Memory Matching Game does is elegant, simple, and very useful. First, they learn basic instructions.
Second, they learn to use the Mac’s mouse to point and click. Each point and click gives them incentive to move forward in the game.
Practical uses include learning letters, numbers, animals, and so on. Scoring can be handled by three-year-olds with ease. The only problem I see so far with Memory Matching Game is that it’s easy for children to want more levels and there’s just so many numbers, letters, and barnyard animals available in a point and click game.