This is an adage we have been hearing since our own childhood. However, today, there are so many demands on a child’s time ranging from academic to creative learning, we often forget the importance of the games. Games benefit children and can be a source of entertainment as well as a break from the routine while aiding learning.
In this time and age, children have multiple options in terms of ‘Play’. Not only can one choose the medium or context i.e. outdoor games, indoor or board games, digital or virtual games – but there is also opportunity to play alone or with others.
While we know of all the health benefits of playing outdoors, children also sharpen a host of intellectual and emotional abilities while playing.
There is always a need to balance play time with other activities.
In moderation games benefit children. A few of them are listed here:
1. Teach kids to think
Kids these days enjoy playing video or digital games. Digital games are simulations based on real life. Similar to books, digital games are full of knowledge. The advantage that digital games have is that they are interactive. While playing these games, children learn to interact and strategize their game plan.
Also Read – Do Video Games Help Children?
2. Improve math skills
Many board and card games have numbers at their very heart. Lots of games also use probability, with children having to work out the chances of certain outcomes, when to push their luck and when not to. Children also become proficient at calculating odds and estimating how many points they will need to win. Many virtual puzzles also enable children to win through elimination.
3. Enhance visual-spatial skills
Video games are often set in 3D virtual worlds that kids have to navigate with the help of GPS or navigation systems. The result is that kids who play these games have the chance to practice their visual-spatial skills. This can lead to a better understanding of distance and space.
4. Develops real world skills
Children tend to learn negotiation skills through games like monopoly. They also develop analytical skills based on the game cards as to what their next move should be. Research says that a child gets a 20% better understanding of real-world applications through Game-based learning. Video games like Fortnite and Minecraft allow children to virtually experience the importance of teamwork for survival.
5. Increased attention span
Playing games can increase the attention span of children. Outdoor games enhance the concentration and observational skills. Research also shows that children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) have benefitted from outdoor games.
Teaching children is no easy feat, and their high energy levels and short attention spans can make it incredibly difficult to keep them interested. Learning through games is a fun way to reduce the stress of learning and also keep them entertained.
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‘Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning.’