Mastering the Mouse

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Watching a two-year-old whiz their way around a computer screen is a sight to behold. For children this young (who don’t even have the fine motor skills to write yet), scooting and clicking around a virtual page is a great way to hone the skills needed to read and write – such as hand-eye coordination.

There is no doubt computers are the way of the communications future, and even if your children don’t end up making a career out of IT, it’s certain they will need computer skills in their every day lives. In fact, many high schools now request their students submit work typewritten on a laptop.

Here are some great websites that can help your child’s IT skills, no matter what their age is. Ten minutes practice each day will see them well on the way to Mastering the Mouse.

For the wee ones

The true beginner will absolutely adore this beautiful site (and parents will also be jostling for the mouse!). The bright colors and engaging graphics are masterful in their creativity, and the site offers exceedingly amusing access to the alphabet in English, Spanish and French. Site tip: if in doubt, click on Poisson Rouge.

Boobahs may be a little surreal, but this bright and sound-effective site, which focuses on the power of pattern and repetition, will have your kids entranced. It also has click-less features which are very helpful for the beginner. Boobah Zone.

For early primary school kids

This site allows children to write numbers and letters in varying colors. Site tip: if your child is left-handed, re-configure your mouse to left-click capability. This is easily done in your Control Panel. Practise with the mouse.

Also check out Create Something Cool to build snowmen, make faces, color in, decorate a cake and make your own picture out of shapes.

For later primary school

The Mouse Club offers activities and games that are educational and mouse-a-licious. There are even free downloadables, lesson plans and educational ideas for parents. The Mouse Club. Site tip: requires pop-ups, so temporarily enable them on your PC.

Also don’t miss The Moms' & Kids' Playground for adorable and funny activities to get your mouse moving.

For teens and adults

Go to Mouserobics for a tutorial or to test your mouseskill knowledge. Site tip: try to beat your own personal best. Mouserobics.

Parents – see if you can resist the urge to click at Don’t Click It.

First published on the beijingkids website.

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