I’m a big believer in allowing children to spend time playing online games. I know that this won’t be a popular opinion with everybody, but for me, the benefits of online games are huge. I’ve given this quite a lot of thought over the years as my own children have been growing up, and I wanted to share these thoughts with you, and explain a little bit about why I think online games can actually be a good thing.
Preparing our children for their future
Knowing how to use technology is something that is vitally important for our children. Pretty much every job our children could go into will use some form of technology. Learning how to navigate computers from a young age can really help to give kids an advantage as they grow up.
Online games help to teach children how to use computer keyboards to control things on screen, they can also help to teach children how to navigate websites as they move around looking for new games to play. My six year old has become a dab hand at this, and I put it down to allowing him to navigate sites such as Plays.org to find new games to play. Being able to do this by himself has been a big help during the last year when he’s been stuck at home with me and I’ve had to try to concentrate on my work whilst also make sure he is occupied and safe.
Developing skills in literacy
There is a huge push from schools at the moment to make sure that children are reading every day, especially after missing out on so much time in school during the Coronavirus pandemic. But reading skills don’t just develop from sitting and reading books. Of course, this does for a big part of it, and we love reading books together, but learning to read also happens in other places too. When children play online games, they need to be able to read and understand instructions, so this can be a great learning tool. For example, being able to read and understand the instructions for this minigolf game is vital if you want to be able to play it.
Developing skills in numeracy
As well as helping with literacy skills, online games can also be great for working on numeracy skills too. This could be just as simple as children understanding that they’re working their way up through the levels, to actually playing a game where they have to use their own number skills in order to succeed. A good example of this is connect the dots, where children need to work out which number comes next and connect the dots in the right order.
These are just a few of the reasons why I think online games can be beneficial for our children. I’m not suggesting that they spend hour upon you playing, but it is important for them to be familiar with technology if they have any chance of being successful later in life.