Computer Games That Are Good for Your Child
Computer games have developed a bad reputation in recent years but, if you choose wisely, some computer and console games can actually be good for your child’s development. Depending on their age, ability and what you’re trying to improve different types of game deliver different benefits.
Pre-SchoolThere are many computer games titles designed specifically for pre-schoolers. These games introduce kids to the computer and teach them to understand the concepts of numbers, colours and shapes. Many of these games are created by well known publishing and broadcasting companies and have been well researched and designed in conjunction with child development specialists to make sure that they are appropriate for this age group.
These games help to develop self awareness and coordination in pre-school children as well as introducing them to new ideas and activities. Limited exposure to computers and computer games before starting school has been proven to help children grasp new computer skills once they start school.
Improving SkillsSome fast paced games might seem to have no possible benefit to the player other than excitement and entertainment but there is some evidence to suggest that they can help improve concentration, reaction times, co-ordination and motor skills. Slower paced games, such as fantasy or adventure games, improve strategic thinking abilities and problem solving skills.
Some games combine these two elements putting the player in a fantasy environment where they have to navigate their way around obstacles, solve problems and occasionally act quickly to gain points or save a ‘life’. This type of game delivers the most benefit as it develops awareness and anticipation as well as the fast reactions and strategic thinking of other games.
Games as Learning ToolsIncreasingly educational software is being designed to promote learning through play. The interactive capabilities of computer games have proved to be more effective at getting information to stick in children’s minds than more traditional teaching methods.
While computer games can’t teach our children everything they can be used for a range of learning activities from building a virtual world to maths based games. The important thing to remember with educational games is to choose the right ability level for your child.
ADHDComputer games used to be blamed as contributing to incidences of ADHD, however in recent years studies have shown that using computers and computer games can help to ADHD sufferers improve their ability to focus. While computer games don’t offer a cure for ADHD they can sometimes help sufferers learn how to manage their condition without drugs.
On the downside excessive use of computer games can lead to concentration problems and even addiction so make sure that your child’s computer game playing time is kept to a maximum of two to three hours a day. Also, be aware of what games your child is playing. Although there are loads of great, positive computer games that can deliver developmental and educational benefits there are also violent and disturbing games that are not designed for children.