Poisson Rouge (Red Fish Soup) is one of the best online sites for toddlers and pre-kindergartners. This virtual playroom encourages children to explore, discover, and learn through scrolling, clicking, and dragging their way around numerous intellectually stimulating games, puzzles, animations and activities.
Navigating around Poisson Rouge
Poisson Rouge can be accessed via Zui.com. Once you are on the site, you can hand over your computer mouse to your children, and let them scroll, click and drag away without any further instruction. You will immediately witness all the amazing content this site offers for young children.
You will also see the natural interactivity of this site; the option of where to go, what to choose, how to do it, and how often is up to each child. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it.
When activities are opened up on a new page, clicking on the red fish (almost always located somewhere on the page) will take the user back to the main page. Sometimes a back arrow is there to take you back to the previous page. With the art gallery (the stain-glassed fish), you have to click on the artist label in order to go back to the gallery; clicking on the stain-glassed fish will take you back to the main page.
Games and Activities on Poisson Rouge
The site currently offers over 200 games, puzzles, animations and activities for young children to safely choose from. Some of the music is in French; the site also offers some activities where children can learn words in other languages such as English, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, and Greek. The charming and playful artwork, sounds, animations, and music will keep your children exploring and discovering, learning through playing.
One of the activities my son and I really enjoy is the Optical Illusions. When you click on the optical illusions picture, you are given a menu of illusions to play with. One of the famous illusions is the St. John Lateran Floor, where a two-dimensional drawing appears to be three-dimensional. Poisson Rouge adds funny characters to the illusion. Scrolling over the characters makes them stand up or turn upside down.
Another great activity is the virtual piano. When you click on the piano, you are presented with a keyboard. Clicking on the keys of the keyboard plays the notes and also draws the corresponding notes on the musical staff. Clicking on the play button will replay the song you just created. How cool is that?
Scrolling over the castle reveals flags, and clicking on each flag takes you to the “school” of that country’s language. Each tower of the castle has a different theme (e.g., animals, clothing, tools, numbers, etc.) and each theme introduces about 20 words. There are over 250 words in each lanugage! This is a very fun and engaging way for children (and adults) to learn words in other languages.
This is only a glimpse of all that Poisson Rouge has to offer. The considerable amount of thought and work that has gone into the design and development of this site is quite evident. Poisson Rouge also sells some products on its site in order to help keep the site free for everyone. Besides that, it is completely ad-free. It is continually getting bigger and better.
For Parents and Teachers
For adults who don’t have time to explore the site, Poisson Rouge provides a guide to all the different activities this site offers. Clicking on “Info” and then “User Guide” provides some information about each of the objectives and goals of Poisson Rouge’s over 200 games, puzzles, animations and activities. This is a work in progress. So far, they have posted 25 out of the 36 sections that are currently available.
Please feel free to share and comment after playing with Poisson Rouge.
Renny Fong has been an educator for over 15 years, teaching pre-kindergarten through fifth grade; he currently teaches technology. His wife and his five-year-old son are his biggest joy and inspiration. He started his blog, TimeOutDad, in September 2009 and has been a contributor to Book Dads since 2010.