While a kindergartner may be more adept at using the arrow keys on the key board, the games that required the arrows and not the mouse were immediately more difficult for the preschooler.
With practice he could probably learn to control the arrows better, but it was hard for him not to want to use the mouse. Even during the game, he was reaching for the mouse. Moving the mouse out of site may be one way to alleviate this.
Adobe Flash Player 10
The Thomas & Friends free online games work with Adobe Flash Player 10. If you do not have the current version, you can download a free copy here: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer.
FavoriteFree Thomas & Friends Online Games
The Great Discovery – Thomasandfriends.com/usa/games_great_discovery.asp
One of the top games on the Thomas & Friends website is The Great Discovery. The preschooler can pick which engine to be: Thomas, James, Percy or Stanley.
The Great Discovery game involves basic problem solving and teaches the child to use the mouse. There are obstacles placed on the rails. The obstacles are made easy to find as they are outlined with white boxes.
The preschooler can scroll over the obstacle to hear a short description of the problem. Then the preschooler must click on the obstacle with the mouse. A screen of four possible solutions appears. The preschooler clicks on the object that will help them move the obstacle from the track.
Each game has four obstacles in it. This game is one a preschooler can play without much help. They will gain confidence in their mouse skills and problem solving skills with this game.
Matching Games – Thomasandfriends.com/usa/games_matching_landing.asp
Start with the most basic matching games, which uses four cards. Once the preschooler has mastered that game, move on to a more difficult game with more cards. You may be surprised at how quickly the preschooler can match the cards, with eight or even 16 cards to flip over.
Puzzles come in different forms on the Thomas & Friends website.
Build an Engine – Tomasandfriends.com/usa/games_build_an_engine.asp
There two levels for the Build and Engine Game: Easy and Difficult. The Easy game is five train pieces for Thomas. The game does take some precision, and the preschooler will be learning how to click, drag, and drop items with the mouse.
The more difficult version has 13 train pieces, for the Duncan puzzle.
More Difficult Games
Some games were abandoned due to the difficulty level.
Emotions Game – http://www.thomasandfriends.com/usa/games_emotions.asp
One of those games was the Emotions Game. There are two levels of the Emotions Game. In the first level, the preschooler matches the emotion to the face. The preschooler may have trouble distinguishing between angry, sad or surprised.
The other version of the Emotions Game is a memory matching game.
Puzzles – Thomasandfriends.com/usa/games_puzzles.asp
These puzzles are more like traditional puzzles. They are more difficult than they appear, as the puzzle pieces need to be rotated. The preschooler may try to move the puzzle pieces before they are rotated, or click too many times and rotate the pieces too far.