It’s no secret that children love games as much as they don’t like learning. That’s just human nature. If given a choice, most adults would kick back and play games all day. So, it’s no surprise that children would rather spend hours playing a game than reading a textbook. But what if you can combine both gaming and learning in one activity?
Mary Britt Hamilton considers games a wonderful and effective way to improve the child’s learning capabilities. Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, she attended the College of Charleston. She received a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and taught Kindergarten for eight years. She now resides in Wilmington, North Carolina. From her vast experience with children, Mary recommends the following games both for their educational as well as entertainment values.
From the age of three and upwards, children become more curious about the world around them. They can follow moving shapes and can distinguish colors more easily. Mary Britt Hamilton believes this is the right age to start teaching your child about the alphabet and reading. And what better way to do that than with the help of colorful animated monsters? Endless Alphabet does a good job introducing the child to the letters of the alphabet and moving up gradually to more complex sentences. The recurring themes in the game are talking letters, delightful puzzles, and loveable monsters. Learning to read is more fun when the letters literally talk back to you. The game can be played on any computer as well as smartphones running Android or IOS.
Starfall Kids Games
If you have trouble teaching math to your child, you’re not alone. Many parents find it difficult to introduce the world of numbers to their children between the ages of four and six. Contrary to popular belief, Mary Britt Hamilton says, children are ready to learn about math and numbers in this developmental stage. You just need to find a fun way to teach them. The website Starfall Kids Games is full of educational games suitable for children of these age groups. You can play the games with your child in the browser. Besides math and science, you’ll also find games that teach children about the arts as well as games designed to improve their grasp of reading and writing as well. The only drawback is that you can’t play the games on your phone as they’re mostly geared for the computer.
Dragonbox Math and Chess Games
Chess is a popular game that recently received wide attention thanks to a successful series on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit. Both chess and math go hand in hand and teach your child about logical thinking. Mary Britt Hamilton recommends introducing your child to chess at a young age, as this timeless game will grow with them. The game Dragonbox Math, which is available on Android and IOS phones, takes teaching math to new levels with their entertaining little puzzles and quizzes. In addition, it also offers a chess game for children that is more of an adventure. Each chess piece introduces itself to the child and displays its legal moves. By the end of the adventure, the child will have covered the basics of chess and will be able to play on their own. This game is suitable for children four years of age and above.
Another game publisher that combines education and entertainment is Tinybop Games. The games are designed both for smartphones and computers. They come in bundles and you can browse the app store of your choice and download the bundles you’re interested in. Some bundles are focused on science and introduce everything from the anatomy of the human body to the stars and planets in outer space in enjoyable little games. There are quizzes and the child gets rewarded with badges and other awards when they answer the quizzes correctly.
Mary Britt Hamilton recommends that you try out different games on different subjects and topics to see which games your child likes more. Then you can look for similar games that cover other subjects. Most games focus on visual and auditory learning styles to educate and entertain the child. The sooner you find out your child’s favorite learning style, the better you’ll be at picking the right games for them.