Preschoolers love computers. And what better way to satisfy their curiosity than by enticing them with something that's both fun and educational. Today's crop of website games are for those just learning to count. Before you start, make sure your browser is equipped with Flash , Shockwave and Java .
This collection of fifteen number games from the Australian Broadcasting Company is terrific; I only wish they had more descriptive titles, and some sound or music. For counting beginners, games one, five and eight are my favorites. All the games are available for free download, so they can be played offline on either a Mac or Windows computer. For a description of each game, click on the yellow "games" menu item.
Click on by to count chickens, cats, fish, cows and ducks from one to nine. When you're finished, try your hand at 123 Order to figure out "1, 2. What comes next?" For more preschool games, visit Activities from the horizontal menu. Some of the games are for paying subscribers only, but there are ten free ones, including Number Train and Rusty Rat's Falling Numbers.
Some skills, such as learning to write cardinal numbers, can not be practiced online. That's why I love these ten printable worksheets. Each one features a large color-it-in number along with space to practice manuscript writing. With the help of some computer magic (for which you'll need the free Flash player), these black and white worksheets print beautifully, without any annoying headers or footers.
The preschool section of Funschool is a cornucopia of great Java games. Among the counting activities are Number Matching, Connect the Numbers, What's the Order? and Teach Me 1-2-3's. Before you begin, spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the buttons at the button of each screen. One will return you to the grade-level game listing, one will restart the current game, and one will take you to the next game. My favorite counting game is Fishing for Numbers, where you match numbers to sets of fish.