This week three readers asked me for more preschool sites, and since one of them was my sister- in-law, I decided to comply. Here are 1-2-3-4-5 recommendations for your littlest point-and- clickers, just learning to count. [Editor's Note: An updated version of this topic can be found here: Learning to Count]
The preschool section of Funschool.com 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. For older siblings up to grade six, try The Spot.
The starting page warns that these Java games take a while to download, and even at cable speed, they are right. So grab a snack and relax. You'll be rewarded with five different number games and six Connect-a-Dots. How Many? and Counting Fun are the easiest of the number games. The other three get into higher mathematical concepts such as addition and subtraction. Connect-a-Dot is a perennial counting favorite, but be forewarned the red-on-blue numbers are difficult to read.