Gaming is an activity that all children get involved in nowadays. It is their equivalent of playing the games that we enjoyed at a younger age such as Barbie and Lego. Despite warnings about the risks of gaming for children, there are many benefits too. Just as the dangers must be managed, choosing the right games for your children can maximise the advantages. We explore these benefits below.
Improved Reading Skills
Children who struggle to read and don’t like books will happily read instructions in a game because they are motivated to learn how to play it. They will even go online to get more information about their favourite games.
Improved Visual-Spatial Processing
Because of the three-dimensional nature of many games, children must learn to move through this game environment. We use visual-spatial processing to determine the distance of objects from us, to navigate through traffic, and for many daily tasks. Studies have shown that kids who lack this skill also struggle with mathematics and reading. The design of Kids Keyboards can assist with visual-spatial processing, being especially helpful for children with learning disabilities.
Games with quests or the requirement to resolve a challenge teach children flexibility in the way that they think through situations. This is one aspect of executive functions that enable kids to cope with their world. These games also teach the ability to organise and plan ahead. A parent of a child with ADHD may experience problems with flexible thinking.
For children who have difficulty socialising, gaming provides a topic of conversation that all the other kids are talking about. It enables them to contribute to a conversation. Playdates for older kids normally centre around gaming. However, just like in the real world, children may be exposed to bullies, known in the online world as trolls. Parents need to be alert for signs that their child is having a negative gaming experience and help them deal with it or stop playing that game.
Studies have linked creativity to kids’ gaming. This spills over into writing essays and artwork. The same did not apply to online browsing and using cell phones. These findings provide an opportunity for game developers to design games that include more strategies for enhancing creativity, as not all games are equal in this regard. Here is the lowdown on creativity and gaming for children.
Inspiration for Learning About the World
Parents should take note of games that involve mythology and other aspects that can be tied to teaching them about culture, history, geography, and civilisations. This can be linked to online searches for more information, which gives children skills in research and teaches them where to find new knowledge. This leads to complex learning.
Inspiration for Physical Activity
Video games that involve sports teach children new moves that are effective in real-life games. This inspires kids to want to mimic these strategies for themselves and even to take up a new sport that gets them excited. Studies have shown a correlation between watching sporting tournaments and increased physical activity.
These are all good reasons for letting your children play video games.