There are not many children who flourish in a school setting where rows of desks are towered over by a lecturing, monotonous teacher. Learning is fun… I’ve never quite understood why our schools are hell-bent on making it anything but fun. That’s why I send my son to a private Montessori school and it’s also why I let him play lots of online games. So many apps and games developed for kids his age have an educational element and he has learned an overwhelming amount from playing them. I’ll never forget the morning I noticed him, at three years old, standing in the living room staring out the window at our neighbour’s house, hands on hips, lamenting, “Well, looks like neighbour Bob’s house sustained some damage from the twister”. It took me a few weeks to realize, he’d learned all those words and how to use them from a game about tornadoes on his Leap Pad.
Knowing that my son responds so well to educational games has led me on a perpetual search for more and more games and activities online for him to learn from. My search has yielded some pretty amazing resources, and one of them is BrainPOP.
BrainPOP was founded in 1999 and has been used in schools worldwide. It covers almost every school topic you can think of. The effectiveness of BrainPop was even studied by an independent educational research firm and found to be an effective way of teaching children.
From the study, which can be found here:
Students who were in classes that used BrainPOP showed substantial growth in Science, Language, and Reading Comprehension and more moderate gains in Vocabulary, during the course of the study.
The BrainPop website is divided into curriculum topics, but you can also search for suitable material by country-specific curriculum standards. The web site also has a junior version, a Spanish & French version, UK version and one for the professional development of educators.
BrainPOP’s web site is full of free games that aren’t just fun for kids – you’ll find yourself wanting to play them. too. Here’s one that develops problem solving skills, spacial relations and visualizes fractions… but it feels kinda like Angry Birds or Cut The Rope: Slice Fractions.
These games are not like the other point and click games your kids play online… these are brilliant, imaginative, addictive and fun. If you purchase a yearly subscription (for families it’s only $99/year) you can have unlimited access to lessons, videos, interactive activities and even more games as well.
Check out BrainPOP, even if you don’t have young children – it’s fun for everyone.
Have you tried BrainPOP before? What did you think?