Today I’m sharing one of my favorite websites with you, Zoodles. If you have student computers in your classroom or your students visit a computer lab then you will love this free website!
“Teacher, the computer is broken!” Does this sound familiar? You take time out from your small group instruction to find out what is going on only to discover that “broken” means the student has clicked out of the educational program that took you 5 minutes to log-in to and set up. It’s not their fault, their lack of fine and sometimes gross motor skills make maneuvering and controlling the mouse difficult. So you type in the correct URL and return to your group only to repeat the process over and over again until you become so frustrated you shut down the computers and proclaim them officially “broken.” Fun times!
Zoodles solves this problem by creating a “safe zone” for kids. It’s like the Hotel California, they can get in but they can never leave- how cool is that? You can set up a free account at Zoodles and then select your student’s age group. Zoodles comes with recommended games for each age and grade level. The icons for each game are conveniently located on the kid-safe site and your students can simply double-click on the one they want to play.
Some of the free features include:
- Personalized Play: Each child can have their own personal playground (this might be a bit much if you have a large class.)
- Parent (Teacher) Dashboard: customize Zoodles to meet the needs of your students.
- Child-Friendly Interface: No more typing in URLs.
- Age-Appropriate Content: Content adapts to each child’s age and skill level so they are always learning at the highest level.
- Games: Thousands of fun, educational games that are always changing so students don’t get bored.
- Videos: These fun and educational videos cover a wide variety of topics like dinosaurs, counting and more.
- Storybook: You get one storybook with the free version, the one I have is The Three Little Pigs.
- Insights: See the sites your students have been visiting.
There is a paid version of Zoodles geared towards parents with all sorts of bells and whistles but you can use the free version in your classroom. Here’s a very brief video introduction to Zoodles below.
Zoodles apps are available for Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, and android. There are many more things Zoodles can do but I will let you explore the site and discover them on your own. This one is a must if you teach preschool or kindergarten.
This review is not sponsored or endorsed by Zoodles. All opinions contained herein are entirely my own.