Unlike when I was growing up and us kids made our own fun and games, today’s children and the fun they have is centred around technology. Most children have a console of some sort or a tablet or a phone, or all of the above and it can be a tough thing to manage for a parent. With my 3 I’ve given the usual time limits on consoles so that my kids aren’t stuck to it, I also use tech-time as a reward as opposed to a given and as many games that they play are online, I restrict their wi-fi time as well.
Now, until a couple of years ago, it was my understanding that these games were just frivolous activities for my kids to wile away the hours either playing football or shooting bad guys. I have however, since realised that there is a whole host of video games that are fun, educational and can include the whole family and now we try at least once or twice a week to have a family hour or 2 on one of our favourite games.
If you are worried about the amount of time your child spends on their console then try out one of these games and you’ll be able to not only get some much needed family time, but educate your children at the same time.
This game features a character called Maxwell, it is your job to guide him through a series of levels. Each of these levels is a puzzle, you may have to take him across crocodile infested waters or over uncertain terrain. The key to this game is that it is up to you and your children to use your imagination to help Maxwell out. You aren’t given options for how to help him, what you do is write down the thing that you think will help him so if you were to write stegosaurus then it would appear and you would try to complete the level, perhaps he needs a ladder, type it in and it appears. This is such fun to do with kids as their imagination can really run wild whilst at the same time teaching them problem solving.
The Professor Layton series has been a favourite in our family for years now, the game centres around the professor and you must help him solve puzzles and challenges. The challenges come in the form of maths, science, nature, space and they are not only educational but they are genuinely fun for the kids. Half the time I don’t think that the kids realise how much they are learning because they’re having so much fun. You meet plenty of interesting characters along the way who present various puzzles and challenges and the storyline that runs through the game really keeps the kids’ concentration. Only available on Nintendo but if you have one then definitely pick this gem up.
Big Brain Academy
I find this one better with my 2 eldest than the younger one but we all have fun playing this, us parents included. The game is similar to Professor Layton with it’s challenges but this game splits the areas of learning into 5 categories, think, memorise, compute, analyse and identify. There isn’t as much emphasis on silly characters in this game but the idea is to make your brain heavier through practice. The challenges are fun enough to entertain the kids and the real challenge comes when you take the big test and find out how much your brain weighs. We set up a little chart and wrote down who had the heaviest brain, then each time we played we we would all try and beat our previous score. The kids all bought into the competition and practiced relentlessly to try and win. All the time they were improving their knowledge and having fun too. A great game for everyone but I will offer a word of warning, us parents aren’t always as smart as we thought we were, be careful, your kids may cause you some embarrassment!