That your 5 year old can log onto a computer without assistance, go to “Favorites” and click on Playhouse Disney — and then easily navigate games about Handy Manny or the Higglytown Heroes — probably no longer surprises you. But while you have safeguards in place and limit their screen time, do you really believe that your child’s learning anything, well, productive? Time to add a new “Favorite” in Bellevue-based DreamBox Learning K-2 Math [www.dreambox.com], a website designed to help kids ages 5 to 7 learn math while playing an interactive video game. Kids choose an avatar and enter a cartoon world where they move along a game board path. Completing math activities lets you move to the next space and move the avatar’s story along. DreamBox is different from other math edutainment sites because it offers a personalized lesson plan. It constantly analyzes your child’s performance (not just based on how many questions he answered correctly, but how long it took and how many hints he needed) and then adds more help, or skips over areas already mastered, as needed. Parents can go to a “Dashboard” to review their child’s progress. An added perk: DreamBox will email you tips about how to reinforce math in everyday life. By offering a free two-week trial, DreamBox lets you experience its magic before buying into the monthly subscription price of $12.95. But when your kid chooses to do math facts over helping Manny fix puzzle pipes, you know the real cost: priceless.
DreamBox Learning K-2 Math
PS – For some online fun for the under-five set, check out jitterbug.tv, a new site that offers oodles of coolkids’ music and music videos, from local faves Brian Vogan and Recess Monkey, to music clips from films including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.