Thursday, July 17, 2008

Link of the Week: Waterford Press

Free Games, Activities and More
  • Waterford Press is a small company which specializes in pocket-size books for travelers and naturalists. Their traveling line includes Speakeasy, City, Eco-Traveler for various destinations. Their naturalist line includes national, regional, and state guides.
  • On the website, they provide games, activities, and quizzes which are free to download in PDF format. Files can then be printed and saved for repeated use. All foster interest and stimulate learning about the earth sciences.
    • Their Games Category is quite comprehensive, and, as demonstrated in the Maze links below, the range of material includes all Primary-age skill levels. Subcategories include:
  • Room for improvement:
    • Downloading is only available one page at a time which feels lumbrous. It would be much more convenient were one able to download a subcategory at a time, or at the very least, all the pages of one particular game, activity, or quiz.
    • Some pages could use better formating, with compression and multiple activities per page.
    • The website formatting feels clunky, and the webmaster should demonstrate enough familiarity with HTML to prevent column overlap which is dependent upon individual browser settings. This is a simple thing to correct and one wonders why they do not, especially since they know about the problem.
  • Summary: The uneven production values for both the site and the material itself hampers an overall positive impression, and reflects poorly upon the company's retail material. However, this free site offers fun and interesting games and activities for children ages pre-K to 5th- or 6th-grade skill levels, which foster parental involvement. It is a good resource for Cub Scouts, Activity Days, FHE, quiet time, and road trips; could also be used as lesson enhancers for home study.
Things to know:
Sponsor: Waterford Press
Emphasis: Primary Earth-studies Education
Rating: 3/5 Not as professional as one would wish but with good educational intentions

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