Although there are many indications that children can learn from games, some parents still do not believe that games serve as an ideal learning aid. Of course, this is a justifiable reservation; after all, what can children really learn from hours of playing Minecraft and other video games? However, experts have come out to prove just how helpful play is in childhood development; even in the field of education. Video games are indoor activities for kids that are interactive and educative.
How to make children learn from games?
We should encourage children’s imagination in every way possible. This allows them to mimic activities so that they can develop the skills needed to carry out those actions. For example, children who are not yet physically ready to ride horses can imagine riding one while sitting astride a tree trunk. Also, playing with cooking toys allows them to have a better understanding of how we prepare meals.
It might seem like the idea of play in relation to learning is a new concept. But Plato in as far back as 2,500 years ago pointed out the relationship between imagination and education. More recently, the play has shifted to accommodate some of the societal and historical changes. Children can now reenact significant historical events. They also, watch videos that explain the societal changes which led to the present state of events.
The advocacy for play and its importance in childhood learning works to improve the quality of education. This introduces newer technological learning aids. These days, games have taken on a different meaning and look than they did in the past. While the more traditional toys mostly encouraged children’s imagination, more modern games now have more categories such as action games. Here, the player mimics action-packed happenings, and adventure or time management games. While doing these, dexterity and problem solving comes in very handy.
The advantages of video games in learning also include the learning experiences provided which might not be otherwise accessible in a traditional learning classroom. For example, the imaginary world of ancient Greek mythology in video games is not something that we can easily reenact in a classroom. Space, the ocean, and the wildlife are not left out of the places children can explore through video games.
Advantages of video games:
The benefits of games are many and obvious. But educationists are still at a crossroads regarding the best ways they can use the games that will be maximally beneficial for young learners.
• Provide a goal and provide clear instructions which lead to that goal. Children learn best when there is a set goal that they must reach. Providing children with the tools and necessary planning to reach these goals will help them achieve these goals. This also builds their problem-solving and social skills.
• Make room for a collaborative effort and group discussions. When teamwork is required to complete a task, there is more room for social learning as participants have to not only complete the task but also work with their teammates. The collaborative effort also allows participants to see things in a way different from what they are used to.
• Use a reward-based system. When children are rewarded for doing a task well, they receive feedback that the behaviour is acceptable, and they are more likely to want to repeat that action. Games often adopt this reward-based system, and players get points, new skills, and unlock new features upon completing different levels and tasks.
As education is taking a new turn with the discoveries made through research, it is important that adults and teachers implement math games for kids to learn in their teaching strategies. Let our kids learn from games and develop their intellect.