Did you know that today, July 8, is National Video Game Day?
I was basically raised by video games, so I’m pretty excited that there is a national day for video games!
Some parents are scared to let their children play video games (usually because some studies do suggest that too much screen time is damaging to development), but we tend to be a little more lenient in this area as long as our kids move around a good bit throughout the week.
Rather than being a way to rot your brain and turn children into zombies, some video games actually provide benefits to children in multiple ways, providing a very basic source of STEM activities for kids.
Why Should Children Play Video Games?
Aside from the recreational value (which is also important), video games also prepare children for the future. More and more careers are all virtual-based, so if children are not exposed to computers and technology from a young age, they will lag behind their peers.
Many of today’s video games sneakily teach children basic programming, problem solving, and other techniques that will prepare children for learning STEM topics as they attend college and in their future careers. Many careers today use some elements of advanced math, programming, or online collaboration. At the very least, children can use video games to learn typing skills, quick thinking, and social interaction.
Recent studies have found that certain video games (but not all), improve mental clarity, problem solving, learning power, and thinking skills.
My Favorite Educational Video Games
I like to allow our children to play a mix of recreational and educational video games. In some cases, video games can have surprising educational benefit. However, the following games are more educational than not:
Minecraft– Sandbox game that teaches basic programming
Reach for the Sun- Stragety game that uses scientific biology to grow plants
Big Brain Academy– Various fun ways to practice the “three-R” skills
Lemonade Stand- Operate a lemonade stand and learn about budgeting, marketing, and other business techniques
Sim City– City building game teaching budgeting, planning, resource management, and people skills
Infinifactory- Complicated puzzle solving in a sandbox environment
Video Games: Easy STEM Education
STEM skills are important for children today. Video games provide children with fun exposure to the very basics of technology, programming, and math. Video games can also help children learn how to think quickly and solve problems faster, which are great advantages in today’s fast-paced world.
Do you allow your children to play video games? Why or why not?