I have been meaning to write about this wonderful site for a while now. It was one of those miraculous finds back in 2002/2003 that fades into your surfing past, but it undoubtedly has been (and remains) one of the most popular websites for the children at our school.
Ferry Halim is a digital artist and has created a site showcasing current projects and flash artwork. I think that searching for examples of excellent flash artwork may have been the reason why I found the site. As part of the little site is a section named Morning Sunshine which has about 60 interactive games that are utterly, jaw-droppingly beautiful. Nothing that I have ever come across on the web can touch these wonderfully crafted little games.
So when I first began playing them I discovered their simplicity and visual appeal would work perfectly for early years children. So I sought to spread the word about the site and I produced a document that allowed staff to see the different skills used by the children in every one of the games. For example the Game Type or Screen, Specific mouse control skills and other skills required.
Back in 2003 I was teaching ICT to every class in the school, including a session with 2 Foundation classes. We always began the session by using the interactive whiteboard and a simple art package like Blackcat Fresco to trace some letter shapes. I introduce the use of a music beater, the cloth covered sort, to help the children use the boards for the first time. I would still recommend this today as they have trouble with tracing smoothly on the board with their fingers when first experiencing the tool. After this short session we would work on simple mouse skills using the Ferry Halim games. “These Little Pigs” is one of those games that I began using with the Foundation stage children. All it requires the children to do is pop a bubble the little pigs are riding on at the correct time to stack them on top of each other. So just a single click. Much better illustrated if you go to the site and play it! Well the children and staff couldn’t believe how engaged they were and with a very peaceful soundtrack to the games it was lovely letting them get on with it.
So the document and site has become a very important part of developing early mouse skills at our school. I would also continue to recommend the use of the site for the early days of interactive whiteboard use, as I have done in the past when working with other schools.
This is an extract from the document I refer to just to illustrate what I mean.
My top three games from the site would have to be High Delivery, Pocketful of Stars and Bubble Bees. Please let me know what are your top three games. It looks like more games have been added since I edited the document back in 2006 so I will need to add the extra details about the games on soon.
Please use the games with your children (even the older kids love them) and let the staff have the document to support your school’s ICT planning and development in the early years.