Video games can be so beneficial to a child’s education and development that they are increasingly being used in remote learning programs, after-school programs, and homeschool curriculums.
Not all video games are created equal, however. And if you want your child to get the benefits, it’s important to be intentional about which ones you choose to allow them to play. It’s also important to get the right equipment and implement certain guidelines for gameplay. Consider the information below for how you can best utilize video games for your child's progress.
How Video Games Can Help
Almost any game with text instructions can help kids learn and strengthen their reading skills, and they may not even realize it! Using a remote control or even the controls on a touchscreen can improve hand-eye coordination.
There are games and websites that specialize in teaching kids coding, which is a profitable skill to learn these days. There are countless games that help to develop children’s problem-solving skills, whether it’s solving a puzzle, uncovering a mystery, or managing a virtual kingdom/city. Lastly, there are just as many games that encourage kids to use their imagination and creativity.
Furthermore, playing video games can even help kids lead better social lives. These are just a few of the many benefits that games can yield for kids.
If you decide that you want to expose your child to more video games, you need to ensure you have the necessary equipment. For example, if your tablet, laptop, or desktop computer is out of date, consider investing in a new one. By finding online deals and discounts, you can save a significant amount of money on devices from various manufacturers. Another factor to consider is internet speed. If your internet connection is spotty and slow to respond, you may need an upgrade that ensures smoother gameplay.
Tips for Choosing Games
Since there are so many types of games out there, it’s important to be strategic when choosing ones for your child. Start by looking at each game’s rating (e.g., EC, E, T, etc.) which provides a general sense of what age level it is appropriate for.
Also, be sure to read online reviews before purchasing a game. And if you want to see for yourself what the game is like, play it before your child is exposed to it. Moreover, it’s a good idea to take your child’s interests into account when it comes to choosing games — the more they are interested, the more they’ll learn.
Games to Consider
As previously mentioned, there are a plethora of video games on the market that can benefit children. We’ve made a brief list of popular games to look into that don’t contain excessive violence, sex, drug use, or other offensive content:
● The Oregon Trail
● Little Big Planet Series
● Democracy Series
● Rocket League
● Portal Series
Navigating Screen Time
There isn’t a single method of controlling screen time for kids that works for every family. However, it’s generally recommended that kids shouldn’t spend more than 30 to 60 minutes a day playing video games on school days. Also, it’s good for other responsibilities and commitments to be fulfilled before game time, such as homework, household chores, and family time. Putting boundaries in place not only will allow you to monitor their playing, but it will also help them appreciate game time more.
So video games may not be terrible for kids after all! Consider the potential benefits of games for your child’s learning and development. If you determine that you want to use games to further your child’s education, then be sure to invest in any equipment you need. Lastly, be selective when it comes to the games they are allowed to play, and establish clear boundaries for game time.
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