New parents may find themselves treading into eerily familiar waters as their own kids begin to play video games. Memories of parental chastisement over wasted time are relevant as our children reach gaming age. In an age of increased access to video games managing play time and reinforcing skills through discussion becomes increasingly important.
Children Love the iPad
Tablet PC’s and smartphones fit rather well in a toddlers hands. Educational toys are no longer solely the domain of Leapfrog style devices. Access to iPads and other tablets combined with internet technologies has brought touch-based entertainment, educational tools and games to the fingertips of children.
What Can Kids Learn?
Many scientific studies suggest that games can teach problem solving skills, improve hand-eye coordination and help explain physics and mathematics. It would be easy to create math lessons from any particular game’s combat system. Video gaming can also increase concentration skills.
Percentages, exponents, logic and multiplication abound in nearly every role-playing game. Sports games are excellent source of addition and subtraction and more advanced concepts such as statistical analysis. Discussing and disassembling game mechanics is an excellent way to teach beginning and advanced mathematical ideas.
The next round of video game consoles fully support motion sensor devices. The Microsoft Kinect engages children in physical activity while providing opportunities for learning. The newest dancing and sports games through these movement tracking systems are great additions to family fitness. The intriguing Oculus Rift virtual-reality device offers the possibility of teaching children practically anything within virtual worlds. Both motion-sensing and virtual technologies offer interesting possibilities for teaching in the future.
What can be done now to ensure that the time children spend playing video games is used effectively? Scheduling play time and including discussion time afterwards is important. Engaging children in conversation after a play session can help them retain information and provides an outlet for the information they have learned. Ask them questions about the games to reinforce concepts and skills.
Where to Find Appropriate Games Online
The games markets for mobile devices are excellent sources for finding flash games. Apple has its own market which can be accessed from any Apple device. Android employs the Google Play store to host compatible games and applications. Here is a short list of websites where games can be found:
The concepts in this article are occasionally idealistic. Money will continue to be spent on more sports, first-person shooters and other seemingly non-educational game titles. It is important to realize that educational opportunities exist in unexpected places. A child obsessed with only online first-person shooters is learning teamwork and questioning them about their play experience provides them a chance to express their critical thinking and self-learning skills. Learning those traits certainly does not seem to be a waste of time.
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