Primary Games Arena is a website I came across in September when looking for games that would help my Junior Infant class with their mouse control skills. It has subsequently become one of our most visited websites in the class. It is operated by Primary Technology which is a UK based company that provides ICT services to education worldwide. The website is full of simple, interactive and competitive games that help increase learning across several curriculum subjects.
Primary Games Arena has assembled various games from different websites in one place making it a super games arena. It is clearly laid out and simple to navigate. They have graded games in each subject area into suitable years so it’s easier for teachers to see if a game would be suitable to their class. Just keep in mind the years are named differently as it’s an English based website, there’ll be no Junior Infants but a Nursery and Reception section.
There’s a vast array of games to play. Not only can you search for games by subject and year but also the game type whether your looking for a strategy, construction, shooter, puzzle, stimulation, role play or adventure game. Not to mention the best part, it’s free to use. Children can play in school and at home to consolidate skills. At the moment in our Junior Infant class our favourite games are Pattern Match Math where the children have to figure out what is missing in a pattern. Children can chose whether they would like to play using shapes or symbols and it also classifies into colours too. As the children are playing, it gradually gets harder to solve what is missing in the pattern. The children love it and it complements the pattern work that is being done in the classroom.
Another favourite is a simple counting game called Eggy Steady Go, where the children must count the eggs that a hen has laid and click on appropriate number. Great for counting and number recognition. Also the children just love the slightly humorous game The Hiding Hippo. I use it in class to supplement the teaching of rhyming and phonics. There are three games, in each one and a table in each with two sets of rhyming strings, you can read them together moving the mouse over them or as they are all CVC words the children are attempting to read the words themselves. After you read the words and see what’s on the table a hippo comes to the table and in what the children think is very funny hides one object. After which they must guess what’s missing. You can play with the whole class orally and if you like chant, ‘It’s not the rat, it’s not the bat, it’s not the cat, it must be the hat.
Although after Christmas I plan to progress on to the children writing the CVC word on their white boards as to what’s missing. All the games I’ve used in the classroom have been bright and engaging for the children and they love them and what’s more they are new to me too. Just when I thought I’d seen every games website, I find a new one stop shop for games.