ūüĖ• FREE Computer Discovery – Early Years


Children from a young age should not just learn how to use computers and digital devices but also understand how computers help us, the differences between different types of digital technology and recognise basic components. These activities should ideally be taught in sequence to first develop an understanding of computers before using them to achieve and help with basic tasks. Each activity has a suggestion of an area(s) of learning. 

Activity 1 – Parts of a Computer

Areas of Learning; 
 Understanding the World; Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as home and schools (Early Learning) 
Communication and Language; Listening and Attention, Understanding, Speaking.

Different types of computer and components; laptop, desktop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, mobile phone, tablet/iPad, calculator, digital camera, headphones. Labels for each of these. Labels and images of computers/parts are included in the activity pack above.

Lay the different computer components out on the carpet and ask the children to use the labels from download pack to put next to the correct part. (Labels resource in activity pack) 

Discussion and Questions
Talk to the children about each of the pieces of technology and why there are different types. Stress that computers are tools (not just for playing games) which help us to do many jobs quicker and easier. There are different types of computers of all sizes that have different purposes. Show the images of the different types of computers and explain what the main use would be. e.g a mobile phone has a computer to allow people to communicate when they are on the move whilst a desktop computer is more for getting work done at a desk. 

What does each part or device do? Try to show examples such as typing and looking at photos taken my digital camera that are on computer etc.

How can they help us? E.g Finding information from a library versus looking it up on the internet, talking to someone on a mobile phone/sending an email versus sending a physical letter etc. In terms of purpose, it is interesting to talk to the children about devices such as smart phones which are multi-purpose (phone, mini computer, camera etc) 

Why are some types of computer better than others for different tasks?Laptop for portability v desktop for bigger screen.

Use either the downloadable PowerPoint or Smart Notebook lyrics (included in activity pack above), which could be sung to theme of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ but replacing the lyrics to learn different types/parts of computers.

Online Activity 
The BBC Bitesize website has an interactive image¬†which can be used at the start or end of the activity. There is also a ‘Scrapyard Challenge’ (Step 3) that although directed more at Key Stage 1 pupils, could be used an interactive game on the whiteboard with the children as they should know most of the answers.¬†

Activity 2 – Computer Repair Shop (Role Play)

Areas of Learning; 
Health and Self Case: Understands that equipment needs to be used safely (30-50 months).
Mathematics: Count on and back to find an answer.(Early Learning)

Different types of computer and components; laptop, desktop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, mobile phone, tablet/iPad, calculator, digital camera, headphones. Use the Computer Repair Shop from the resource pack above, which can be edited to suit number range and computer equipment you have.

Children take it in turns to work in the Computer repair shop. Customers can visit the repair shop with a piece of digital equipment (Camera, phone, iPad) or use the posters from the pack. The children working in the shop choose the correct problem from the ‘Price list’ and then the correct price. Two items could be brought to the shop to give a mathematical ‘counting on’ challenge.

Discussion and Questions
What should we do if our computer breaks?
Who should repair our computers?
Which parts of the computer are dangerous?   

Activity 3 – Control a Computer (Mouse and Touch)

Areas of Learning; 
Interact with age appropriate computer software (40-60+ months)

Below are a number of websites, activities, apps and resources that develop mouse control skills and touch screen.

Bigger Mouse Pointer
When first introducing mouse control to children, the children may benefit from using a bigger curser. This article explains how to make the mouse pointer bigger in Windows 7,8 and 10. This article explains how it can be done on a Mac using the mouse zoom features in accessibility. The larger mouse cursor can also help on your teacher computer to help the children see which part of the screen you are talking about.

Mouse Control
Please take a look at the¬†sequence of lessons and activities outlined in our¬†Year 1 Mouse and Keyboard Activity Pack. ¬†‚Äč

The children could also interact with a range of apps to develop different areas of their learning. The Tiny Tap app (see video tutorial below) could be used to make specific learning activities for pupils. You could also try the Cbeebies, Little Digits, Lumikids and Jolly Phonics apps. 

Primary Computing Resources

Early Years
Year 1        Year 2
Year 3        Year 4
Year 5        Year 6