Effective Ways Video Games Can Improve Your Child

Effective Ways Video Games Can Improve Your Child

dd96b064-a497-4577-8308-0af6d6c3aeebVideo games are often portrayed as “the bad guy of the modern age” stopping kids from fulfilling their school assignments or socialize with their friends in an appealing outdoor environment. There has been a lot of discussion about how video games are corrupting the children, wasting their time and even making them violent. Still, not as much attention was given to the possible benefits of video games and the best ways to use them. Here is how video games can be the perfect tool for improving your child.

 


photo by goodmusicbrighterchildren.com

Brain Training

A study performed in China showed that playing action video games has a positive effect on certain brain areas. In fact, according to the study, gamers have more gray matter and improved connectivity in certain sub-regions of their brains. Also, games which require spatial intelligence, active problem solving and memory can increase IQ, brain function and academic performance. The important thing is for the child to find a certain game mentally challenging. That can be everything from mazes to Sudoku.

Enhancing Concentration

According to a 2009 study done by American Psychiatric Association (APA), playing video games can increase the ability to focus in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Though that benefit cannot be translated literally to school success, where the child will be working a not-so-interesting task in a less stimulating environment, it can be used to gradually improve a child’s ability to concentrate on a single task.

Practical Skills

Certain types of video games can improve a child’s practical skills. Toddlers can enhance their fine motor skills by selecting items on touchpad or clicking on objects with a mouse. School-aged kids can improve their reading skills, perception, reasoning math skills or simply learn how to follow directions and get around in space. Additionally, children will master a set of technical skills, required for navigating in this highly digitalized world. Angry Birds game, for instance, is even teaching kids some basic coding skills.

Individualized Learning

db8938c8-468f-4b42-a7a5-4422790db4ea

Every kid is different and has its own pace of learning. Individualized approach is not widely used in today’s schools, but it could be significantly beneficial. Video games, on the other side, allow children to learn at their own pace and without constant parent or teacher oversight. Games can be adjusted to provide simpler or more difficult challenges providing a unique and engaging learning zone. Websites, such as Poptropica are providing the kids with the possibilities to develop learning techniques, gauge cognitive development, facilitate individual learning and do their own research.

 

 

photo by doctorshangout.com

Emotional Intelligence

Some games which involve story-telling can create a fluid literally-like engagement with morally and ethically complicated situations. Emotional intelligence is not something that you can just learn by heart, it is something that you acquire in a range of complicated situations. Most of the kids do not encounter such situations until they are older in real life, but they can have similar experiences that are otherwise difficult to simulate by playing video games.

Socializing

Only 20 percent of gamers play alone, while 70 percent of them play with their friends who are in the same room. As you see, for a vast majority of gamers, playing video games is a highly social activity. Many of these games are promoting togetherness and teamwork in order to achieve some common goal. In order to get to that specific goal players need to communicate with each other and find an acceptable solution. This way, video games are improving children’s interpersonal skills.

There are many technophobes out there who still think that nothing good will come out of educating kids in the digital environment. Of course, people are afraid of what they do not understand. Similarly to when our ancestors discovered fire, at first, it was scary and dangerous, but when used in good purpose it can be extremely beneficial.

Article By Peter Minkoff

 

Featured image credit

Leave a Reply

*