How To Enrich Your Child’s Gaming with Learning Opportunities
Smartphones and tablets have become more common and accessible in recent years. Children of today have more technology at their fingertips than ever before. As such, kids tend to spend a lot of their free time playing video games. This can turn into an unhealthy use of time.
As Parents and Educators, you want your child to make the best use of their time. While time spent gaming can be seen as a waste, there are ways you can use your child’s vested interest in gaming positively. We’ll be going over the advantages of game-based learning and how it improves the learning experience. As well as some of the ways you can enrich your child’s gaming experience with learning opportunities and creating healthy gaming habits.
Game-based learning is pretty self-explanatory. It uses video games to teach lessons and skills. There are different ways that game-based learning can be implemented and different styles. But these games all share the same goal. To teach a lesson in a creative, engaging, and fun way. Kids are more likely to retain knowledge from lessons in this format thanks to the unique learning process. Game mechanics teach kids that failure isn’t necessarily a setback or a reason to stop trying, but instead that more work and mastery are required for success. Games can be highly motivational as well. They can provide clear goals to work towards, as well as a sense of achievement when reaching those goals.
Some good examples of a game-based learning experience are lessons created in Minecraft Education and Roblox Studio. The aforementioned lessons are based on their respective games and offer a way of learning to code. Since both Minecraft and Roblox are massively popular among youth, lessons involving these games are more likely to keep kids interested and engaged. Students are presented with a fun way to interact with the gaming world. These lessons allow kids to foster creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, as well as advanced problem-solving skills.
Gaming in the Classroom
As mentioned previously, Minecraft Education and Roblox Studio offer game-based lessons to students who want to learn how to code. Using video games to teach lessons to kids has exploded in popularity in recent years, especially with online classes becoming so popular due to the pandemic. Many schools and after-school academies offer classes that include Minecraft and Roblox-based lessons.
Some also offer Scratch, a much simpler block-based coding game designed for young kids and absolute beginners to learn code. For more advanced students, there are coding courses using Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine is based on the C++ language and is used in many popular games today, including Fortnite, Valorant, Squad, Rocket League, Tekken, and others. These courses can help your child grow and possibly gain interest in a career path in coding/programming or STEM. Making games and creating your own ideas in-game is extremely fun and satisfying.
Puzzle Games are another great way to help your child develop their problem-solving and creative skills. There are a wide variety of games that fit into the puzzle game category, and each of them serves to build a different skill. There are word puzzles like WordScapes that improve vocabulary and speech. Games like Sudoku or Chess improve logic, strategy, and spatial awareness. Games like Portal or The Talos Principle offer a more complex overall challenge and teach how to think outside the box.
There’s something for everyone out there. Many of these games offer multiplayer experiences, so parents can play these games alongside their children. This makes for a great learning experience and for some great bonding time.
How Gaming Fosters Thinking Skills
Faster-paced video games are often a great way to improve your child’s decision-making skills. They also foster decisive action and help teach how to function properly under stress and pressure. This provides real-world benefits as there will inevitably be situations in the future where your child will have to make accurate decisions under stress. Be it in school, in sports, or when they mature and start working.
There are also games that teach critical thinking, the scientific method, and help act as a catalyst for thought. These games involve an active learning process, and success can be very rewarding.
A good example is Kerbal Space Program, which teaches Newtonian physics, orbital mechanics, engineering, and space flight. Websites like Brilliant offer engaging game courses that improve logic, math, engineering, coding, and science. Each of these games fosters healthy gaming habits and improves your child’s thinking skills.
Gaming doesn’t have to be unhealthy. It can be used to your advantage. Perhaps now your perception of your child’s gaming time isn’t so bad. You can help guide your child towards games that build future skills and encourage thought. Instead of discouraging them from gaming as a whole, encourage them to play games that offer an active learning process. There are tons of resources, free games, guides, and reviews out there to choose from to point your child in the right direction.
Questions and Contact
If you’d like to know more about us and what we offer or have any questions about game-based learning, or the fun games our curricula use, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-665-7799 and we’ll be happy to get back to you.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog post!