Video games have a bad rap, but they don’t really deserve it. Over the years, parents have come to associate video games with hours of inactivity and disconnection from the world. However, games and educational software like Readorium actually have a lot to offer kids. They can introduce new concepts, build coordination, and even get kids moving! Here’s a look at how to pick video games that empower your little one:
Before we dive into the different kinds of games out there, here are a few tips for getting started with gaming. First and foremost, if your child will be doing any kind of online gaming, you’ll need to make sure your WiFi network can handle it. This is especially true if you expect they’ll be gaming at the same time someone else is working, studying, or streaming video. Slow speeds and shoddy connection will leave everyone frustrated.
Secondly, consider investing in ergonomic equipment for your children such as a split keyboard, elevated monitor, or gaming chair. Playing games can mess with your posture, even when you’re playing in moderation. These upgrades help your child maintain good posture while they play, which can help them for life.
As an educational game company, we’re obviously a fan of gamified learning. Readorium works through a gamified system, teaching children how to read and introducing science concepts all at once. The levels automatically adjust to your child’s skill level — meaning they can advance as quickly or slowly as they need to.
We take advantage of the challenge-reward system inherent to video games and use that to motivate your child to build skills and knowledge. Kids can even use in-game currency to unlock new subjects, while parents can get reports to see their child’s progress. We’re not alone — there are plenty of learning games on the market, and they have a lot to offer kids of every age and stage.
Another excellent gaming option for families is active video games. Contrary to the popular image of gamers sitting on the couch for hours on end, these games get kids (and adults) moving and their blood pumping. For example, there’s the Just Dance franchise, which challenges you to match designed choreography as closely as you can.
If you’re interested in this kind of gaming, virtual reality systems might be a good choice. Since VR games are designed to make the player feel like it’s really happening, they have physical action baked right into the gameplay. Plus, there are VR dance and rhythm games as well — check out the popular game Beat Saber for a super fun way to get your family moving.
The last genre of game we’d encourage for families with kids is story games. Many video games are heavily plot-driven and, as a result, offer many creative benefits. Children can learn a lot from the way games reveal story information strategically throughout the gameplay process.
However, as with any style of game, age range is important. Many of the most popular story games work through relatively mature themes and, as a result, are best suited for older kids or even teenagers. Read a full review of any game before you dive in to make sure it’s appropriate for your child.
Games to Limit
Some games are basically junk food. It’s not that your kids should never play them, but moderation is key. Take, for example, the popular Fortnite series. We’ll give this game its due: it does offer a chance to socialize with friends. Apart from that, however, your child’s not going to get much from this battle-royale style game. Again, we’re not saying to ban these sorts of games from your home, but stay mindful about how much your child is playing them.
Games have a lot to offer children, but it’s important for parents to make conscious decisions about what games kids are playing — and how much they’re playing them. Limit screen time to levels recommended by your pediatrician, and try to make sure the screen time they do get is as productive as possible.
Author: Jenna Sherman
Want to help your child connect with reading and science in a fun and exciting way? Check out Readorium by signing up for a free trial.
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