These days, video games and applications are everywhere, and many children enjoy them. Some of them can be entertaining as well as educational. On the other hand, others can be a waste of time or produce difficulties if not carefully monitored.
Here are some things to think about while selecting video games or applications for your child.
The game’s or app’s purpose
What is your child’s motivation for playing the game or downloading the app? There is no correct or incorrect response to this question. Bear in mind that games and applications that assist with learning or academics are not the same as games that are “just for pleasure.”
Several educational games and apps are available, such as programs that help kids stay organized and Apps that teach kids self-control. There’s no harm in trying out some of these applications to find what works best for your child.
On the other side, there are many apps and video games designed solely for entertainment.
Pokémon Go and Fortnite are two of the most popular. Popular games like Fortnite may help children learn some skills, but they are not educational. It’s crucial to think about it before allowing your youngster to play with them. Before purchasing a gaming console such as an Xbox or a Nintendo Switch, the same is true.
Games that are both entertaining and educational are the sweet spot. Minecraft is frequently used as an example, and it is used in classrooms and schools to teach collaboration and other skills to children. You may find examples of Minecraft learning seminars on YouTube.
Another example is keyboarding games, such as those in which children learn to type the correct keys to defeat space invaders.
Watch this video to get an expert’s opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of video gaming.
Maturity and age
It’s critical to select video games and apps appropriate for your child’s age group. A 7-year-old should not be playing a shooting game. And if you buy a game with cute cartoons for preschoolers, your 12-year-old might not be happy.
Game and app reviews with appropriate ages can be found on Common Sense Media. Use these reviews to help you decide what’s best for your child. However, keep in mind that children aren’t usually as mature as their chronological age suggests. Just because a youngster is 13 doesn’t imply they should be exposed to teen material.
It’s also important to consider your skill level. Children struggling with reading may choose video games or applications with fewer words, and they may also require technology to assist them in reading. Knowing your child’s skills and weaknesses can assist you in making better decisions.
It’s also important to consider what abilities your youngster needs to improve. Downloading many apps just because they’re “educational” is probably not a good idea. Before buying an app, think about what your child needs to learn. Advice on how to choose a learning app can be found here.
Time spent in front of a screen
Screen time should be considered even if a video game or app is instructive, entertaining, and appropriate for your child’s age group. Some children have a hard time putting down their electronic devices, and they may spend the entire day playing a game and neglect other activities they enjoy.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under two avoid using screens. For 2- to 5-year-olds, the AAP recommends no more than an hour of high-quality screen time. For older children, the amount of time spent is less crucial than following rules and positively connecting with technology.
It all comes down to the game or app’s objective. You might be fine with your youngster spending four hours straight on an app producing cartoons, but not with them spending the same amount of time on a mindless shooting game.
Consider how much time your child will spend on a video game or app before choosing one. Will your child put everything on hold to play the game? Here are some suggestions for reducing screen time.
How do youngsters communicate online?
Another thing to keep an eye on is how children connect online. For many children, social media can be difficult. Consider how your child will use a social networking app, no matter how innocent-looking it appears.
Multiplayer internet video games can be a source of conflict. These games can be difficult for kids who have social difficulties. Bullying and harassment can happen even if you don’t participate.
Check out Common Sense Media’s reviews if you’re unsure about the content of a game or app. They’ll bring up these issues and others like privacy and advertisements targeted towards children.
Is there a cell phone in your child’s possession? To get on the same page, use a cell phone contract.