Internet lessons should start early for children. Surfing becomes more and more critical to their learning, fun, self-satisfaction, so there’s no sense in waiting. Don’t be intimidated and kids won’t be either.
Have them find the Fox (Firefox) or the blue E (Internet Explorer) on the desktop. Take their time. At first, they won’t differentiate the tiny little picture from all the other icons. Give them hints until they find it. Double click (or push enter once it’s been selected–the fine motor skills required for double clicking arrive at various times for youngsters, so don’t push them). Have the internet open to an internet start page personalized to your child’s need.
Before they open a webpage, take them on a tour of the address bar, the search bar, the back and forward buttons and the toolbar. Show them how the cursor changes from an arrow to a hand when it finds a hyperlink. Let them move their mouse around, try the buttons. Have fun.
I usually start with starfall.com. It’s one of the most kid-friendly sites I know with lots to engage their interest. Two more great ones with few ads are:
For pre-readers, have the site’s link on the start page (under ‘Bookmarks’–have them get used to the location of this box). For readers, have them type the address into the address bar. Let them take as long as necessary. It’s hard to not put spaces in the
words. And that period is quite annoying. Once they’ve finished, push enter, correct any mistakes, try again and then show them how to add a site to the address bar. Now let them play!
Repeat this lesson several times–independent arrival at site, review of webpage, playtime–until they can do it with minimal instruction. They’ll have a great time!
–reprinted with permission © Ask a Tech Teacher