As most parents know, kids like video games. They are a lot of fun, and many manufacturers encourage their use for educational reasons. What are the top educational video games for children?
hat do they really learn playing educational video games? What should parents know about video games and their children?
The Top Educational Video Games for Children
There are a lot of educational video games on the market for children, as well as online. Educational video games for children are available for many gaming systems, PCs, and via flash player or shockwave based interfaces online. You will find educational video games that teach preschool skills and those that offer logic problems suited to older children and even adults.
How can you know which educational video games for children your children will enjoy, play and learn from? Some educational video games for kids are created purely by game designers and may offer limited educational value. Others may be boring or dull, and not fun at all. Look for games that not only offer educational activities, but are fun for your particular child.
Some games you may want to consider for your older children include Brain Age and Brain Age 2, city building and simulation games, such as Zoo or Rollercoaster Tycoon or historical civilization building games, like the Sid Meier’s Civilization series. Do be sure to check game ratings, but strategy games are a great learning tool for older children. Some schools are even beginning to use these sorts of educational video games and student learning projects in the classroom.
Educational Video Games for Young Children
Parents often joke that their preschoolers are more computer literate than they are. It’s not surprising given that even little ones enjoy educational video games. Many educational video games are available for very young children. You can even buy game systems, like those produced by LeapFrog, aimed entirely at this market. These may be easier for a young child to operate and allow them to play educational video games for children more independently. Handheld gaming systems may make car rides more pleasant for preschoolers and parents while allowing children to enjoy educational video games for kids. Parents may want to realize that much of the time very young children lose interest in educational video games quickly, and choosing those that are particularly appealing to your child is important.
Many educational video games for kids aimed at preschoolers rely on favorite characters, such as those on popular children’s television programs, as a teaching tool. This is typically very effective, especially if your little one has a favorite character. Educational video games for children in the preschool years often focus on teaching letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Many online sites offer a wide array of educational games for kids aimed at preschoolers, and this can be a great way to try out game options. Some also offer subscription based services to allow more access to new and different educational games for kids.
The Good and Bad about Educational Video Games
Is gaming good for your child? More and more studies are showing that children do learn from educational video games for kids. One recent study has shown significant benefit to strategy based games for older children with more information available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/1879019.stm. Young children may find educational video games for children entertaining, fun, and a good way to practice new skills.
It is important to choose good educational video games. Know and understand the ESRB rating system, and choose appropriate games. Avoid allowing your children to play games that are overly violent, as studies have shown these can increase aggression, particularly in teens. Video games, educational and otherwise, can be costly.
Some video rental stores offer educational video game rentals, and your local library may have educational video games for your PC available in the children’s section of the library. These can be great ways to try out video games, educational and just for fun. You may also want to choose two person or multiplayer video games when possible to encourage your children to socialize and interact with one another or friends.
There are drawbacks to educational video games for kids. Some children may spend too much time playing educational video games or watching television and this is a concern. Limit video game time, and be sure your children get plenty of physical activity to prevent the concerns with obesity linked to too much television and video games for children. The answer, on the whole, is simple. All things in moderation is a good rule for educational video games. Educational video games are a great learning tool and a lot of fun, but too much of a good thing can lead to problems.