Think your kids are just wasting their time when they’re playing video games? Think again! You might be surprised to learn that there’s a substantial amount of value to be gained from playing some games on computers, consoles, or tablets.
While there isn’t educational value to be found in every single game your kids will play, many offer an opportunity to improve upon critical skills that will help your child in the class in a fun and engaging way. Consider these five ways video games can help your kids get ahead in school:
VIDEO GAMES CAN BOOST YOUR CHILD’S READING COMPREHENSION
Many video games rely heavily on text to provide instructions, introduce characters, and explain important points in the plot. Even though it might be tough to get your child to sit down and read a good book, the immersiveness and interactivity video games offer can really bring a story to life and capture their attention. When your child is interested in a game, they’re going to be motivated to read and understand all of the words on the screen, giving them valuable practice for the classroom.
VIDEO GAMES CAN HELP YOUR CHILDREN LEARN TO FOCUS
With so many distractions available at their fingertips, it’s easy to see how so many children struggle to stay on task in school. Surprisingly, your kids can learn to maintain better focus in the classroom by honing their skills in video games that require close attention. From Tetris to Fortnite, many games need a high level of concentration to win. It may sound strange, but it might just help your child keep their attention on the task at hand the next time they’re facing a distraction in the classroom.
VIDEO GAMES CAN IMPROVE YOUR CHIL’S ABILITY TO THINK CRITICALLY
While some games can be quite linear and provide plenty of instructions, others leave players mainly to their own devices to find the path forward, overcome challenges, solve puzzles, and do whatever’s needed to progress. Playing games like this will test your child’s ability to solve problems and think critically, skills that are incredibly valuable in school and in life.
VIDEO GAMES MAY ENHANCE YOUR KID’S MEMOR
As they play video games, your kids will have plenty of opportunities to exercise their brains and recall information. They may be asked to memorize maps, remember sequences of events, or recall instructions. The best part about this? Your child won’t feel like this is an exercise for their memory at all. Instead, it’ll feel like – well, a game!
VIDEO GAMES CAN ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD’S CREATIVITY
While first-person shooters may not be the best way to exercise creative thinking skills, plenty of video games do give your child the opportunity to embrace their creativity. Games like The Sims, Planet Coaster, and Cities: Skylines offer your child the ability to build whatever they’d like in a sandbox environment, which can be incredibly liberating. Others encourage players to develop content of their own to contribute to the game.
Now, don’t be fooled – not all video games are going to teach your kids something. It’s up to you as a parent to monitor their choices, do your research, and determine whether or not they’re playing games that genuinely add value. It’s also up to you to impose – and enforce – rules around gaming.