Using Video Games to Build Skills
When Devices Take Over
We’re struggling with device take-over. Our kids are obsessed with YouTube and Nintendo. They turn into zombies when on the devices, with stunted communication and interaction. We couldn’t get them to do anything constructive with their devices.
We’ve done the basics – instituting time limits and using screen time as chore rewards. But with screen time being so engaging for kids, I wanted to see how we can use the screen time in a more educational and insightful way.
I grew up with video games and know how motivating they can be – especially when playing with friends and family. Today’s multi-player games make it easy to join in the games your kids are playing. Here are ways we use video gaming to build skills:
Play With Your Kids
Besides being fun, there are important reasons to join in the video games with your kids. You can set the example for how to react in different situations. Persevering when things look grim, working together to solve problems, and showing how to encourage each other.
Playing together gives you first-hand knowledge about what they are experiencing and points for conversations. The more stuff you do with your kids, the closer you become. Gaming is a fun activity to do together, and it helps you make good memories with your kids.
Set Friendly Competitions
In today’s society, there can be a ‘winner take all’ attitude, and ‘second place is the first loser.’ It doesn’t have to be that way. With friendly competition, you can help kids learn how to be a graceful winner and an amicable loser – while also learning teamwork, leadership, and how to strategize.
We like to play a set of games, with players earning points that we mark on a leaderboard. Then we give prizes to all leaderboard placers.
Ask your kids to determine what the prizes should be (within reason) for the winners. This presents an opportunity for kids to collaborate and compromise. This also gives you an insight into what rewards are important to your kids and what motivates them to achieve.
Talk About the Game
When the game ends, the discussions should begin. Ask what they liked and didn’t like about the game, and how they’ll play differently next time. When kids explain their strategies, you showing them that you value their ability to experiment, theorize, and execute.
As kids play, some games enable you to view their performance scores. At Arcademics.com, you can play free educational games with your kids and then view reports on what content they did well on, what they struggled with, and how they are trending.
Kids need help from adults to make meaning out of their play. There are many teachable moments during gameplay that you can demonstrate guidance and advice in a way that connects with them. Gaming with your kids can have a positive impact on their development and family communication.
Join in their fun!
From Arcademics.com, the leaders in free multiplayer edu-gaming.