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By Meg Butler
Video games have a lot to teach kids—but those lessons require parental involvement. Instead of letting your child zone out in front of the flashing lights, start a dialogue surrounding how video games can apply to real life. Take a look at how video games can inspire your young learner.
Video games are great at encouraging perseverance and overcoming fear of failure. The next time your kid is afraid to fail a big test, remind him that every failure teaches a lesson and gives him a chance to pick himself back up and try again. If he can't beat the game (or math quiz) on his first try, he can learn from his mistakes and give it another shot next time.
Literacy researcher James Gee advocates using video games to teach kids to “collaborate to solve hard problems.” Video games with cooperative gameplay encourage kids to put aside their differences and work together. A game session paired with a discussion afterward can help your child be a team player in real life.
Video games can be learning’s “gateway drug." Historical games like Squire or Assassin's Creed can encourage kids to research the facts behind the fun. Piquing interest in any subject can be as easy as checking out a cool game and prodding your kid’s curiosity by asking questions about it. A video game can captivate kids who have trouble getting excited about a textbook.
The interactive, fictional environment of a video game is a great place for kids to learn and grow. Give your child a little help translating games into real lessons, and he just might feel more excited about tackling challenges in the world around him.
Is your child spending too much time cooped up in front of the TV? Check out these fun outdoor activities for every age.