It was when my 3 year old earned her first ‘critter’ for her animal collection – Marshmallow Mouse for the learning about the letter ‘M’ – and begged for more time on the computer that I began to see why this tool has been so successful.
Reading Eggs is a (subscription-only, although there is a trial) Australian tool for 4-7 year olds that sets out to engage children in readings, from playing games in the online playroom to moving through phonics to phrases and sentences. Children, led by an engaging wee ant called Sam, move their self-designed avatar around a map, completing lessons on the way, earning prizes and animals.
My then 4 year old collected eggs that she can exchange for prizes, read 22 books and collected nearly 100 golden eggs before she lost interest last year. The game clearly engages children immediately – it’s bright, colourful and they can see their animal collections building with every lesson. At times, the activities seemed a little similar (perhaps that’s why she lost interest?), and the busy dashboard requires a parent to work through activities with younger children, but I am intrigued to see if the second child hangs in there.
After all, who’s next, after Marshmallow Mouse? Lesson 2 is the letter ‘S’ so her new ‘critter’ might be a Super Spider, a Singing Snake, or even a Silly Sausage;-)