My daughter Lauren is a huge gamer – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as I love playing video games too. She is only 6 but already can out-play me on many games on her Nintendo Switch and her Amazon Fire tablet. Recently she has started playing games on my laptop which I really don’t mind as we have found a great site that offers free games, many of which are educational. A fun thing we recently did together is do an online quiz about gaming for kids – I was astonished by her knowledge and between us we managed to get a really high score.
I am finding that playing games on a computer as opposed to a tablet or console is also really helping with Lauren’s finger dexterity and letter recognition. Overall, there are lots of ways in which playing video games benefits kids. Learning via video games is really fun and she’s much more inclined to play, say, a game about phonics rather than learn phonics via a book. As a parent, it’s always good to be flexible with your approach when it comes to helping your child learn.
If you are new to educational games for kids, a good starting place is to head to the educational games section and there are so many games to choose from. I definitely wish I had the breadth of educational games to choose from when I was growing up – things have really changed for the better from the 80s and 90s. Oregon Trail anyone….?
Lauren is particularly interested in Mathematics – no wonder, her mum and dad are both accountants. A game she has enjoyed playing recently is Under Pressure which helps kids practice their multiplications – you have to answer the question before the bomb explodes. I like how the time limit for each question means that she has to think fast, it keeps her focussed on the task at hand and means she can’t get distracted. She also likes trying to beat her previous score each time she plays.
On the subject of mathematics, we also really enjoy playing Feed Math which is a fun game with cute graphics which combines two of our favourite things – numbers and sushi. A number pops up on the character which is the number you have to create from two numbered plates of sushi. It’s quite challenging but Lauren loves how the character burps whenever she gets the sum correct… she may be smart, but she is 6, after all!
Of course, not every game has to be educational, sometimes playing games for fun is just what is needed. Lauren is obsessed with Barbie right now and she loves playing Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures. You can play badminton, puppy hide and seek and horseback riding with the characters. I’d definitely recommend it for Barbie-loving kids: it’s quite simple and short but provides a welcome break from more challenging educational games. A good tip that I find helps with my daughter’s learning is saying something like “if you do 10 minutes on the counting game then you can play the Barbie game for 5 minutes”.
I’d love to hear in the comments if your kids play any educational games and if there are any you’d recommend?