We often don’t associate gaming with learning. But there are educational games and apps that really focus on helping kids learn!
When it comes to gaming let alone screen time, we’re pretty on the fence about it. Most of the stories we hear about screen time aren’t that great and we often advocate for more activities that don’t involve staring at the magical window of light. But in the era where learning is going online, we’ll need to ditch the bias that screen time is always bad because there are apps out there that help others. That, and games that are educational.
Creativity in Sandbox Type Apps
Sandbox games are what we’d like to call virtual Lego. Kids can build things online and challenge themselves to create things to help them approach problems in all sorts of ways. The most famous one you’ve probably heard so far is a game called Minecraft. The game allows them to build many things from a fortress to a self-irrigating farm. Minecraft is also good news for you; instead of worrying about us stepping on scattered Lego parts (those really hurt b, it’s all on the computer.
Other sandbox games for your kids to try are:
- Pocket City
- Pixel Worlds
- Terraria – Unlike the first three mentioned, Terraria is a P2P (Pay to Play) game. However, players only need to pay once in order to have access to the game. Right now, the game is around PHP260.00.
Academic Games and Apps
Homeschooling means getting as creative as possible. And in case we’re out of ideas, that’s what academic games are for. Academic games like Jumpstart teach kids all sorts of academic lessons without making it seem so boring. Some of these ways include how to make a pizza, how to match electrical charges, etc. But not all academic games are that straightforward. Some academic games like Sudoku and 2048 are puzzle games that challenge logic and Math.
Other academic games you can check out are:
- Cashflow – This teaches kids how to manage their money. The goal is to get out of the rat race and complete your dream. You don’t need a high-powered device; you just need a browser.
- Wordscape – An English game similar to Text Twist but on mobile!
- Plague Inc. – Although the game can be quite diabolical, it shows kids how viruses and diseases spread. Their goal is to infect the world!
Critical Thinking Puzzle Apps and Games
We’re all scratching our heads on how to teach our kids critical thinking. Critical thinking is an interdisciplinary thing wherein you apply what you’ve learned academically and apply it in the most practical way possible. These educational games are often story-driven which means your kids will have to read and check the dialogue to find details to progress through the game. Other critical thinking games are your typical puzzle games such as Cut the Rope or Where’s My Water?
Some of the more fun critical thinking games include
- Ace Attorney Investigations Series – This game has three different versions: Apollo Justice, Miles Edgeworth, and Phoenix Wright. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth has kids play as prosecution lawyer Miles Edgeworth and must bring a convicted murderer to justice. Phoenix Wright is a defense lawyer, helping people clear their name. It’s an interesting series, especially for kids who love watching crime dramas. Right now, only the Phoenix Wright version is available for the computer on Steam. However, this might be better for older kids like maybe 10+.
- Minesweeper – Remember that game we used to play on Windows 95? Yes, it’s a game that encourages critical thinking. Kids will have to figure out how to unlock all the spaces without exploding themselves. It takes a little attention to detail to beat the game.
- Battleship – An interesting take on an old game wherein your kids have to find where the players may have hidden their Battleship, Destroyer, Frigate, and Submarine.
Not all apps and games go pew-pew!
We often think that games are a bad influence on our kids because we usually see the ones that involve killing, explosions, and more death. But there are educational games that help kids grow their minds. Especially now when schools are still adjusting to the whole digital system, video games are stepping up to help kids improve their mind instead of just engaging them through violence.