With a myriad of educational games on the market to do, it can be difficult to select appropriate ones for kids. This article will help you navigate the maze of options and find educational games that will be played with and enjoyed, rather than gathering dust on a game room shelf. The best educational games actively engage kids to think or do something, are fun and meet one or more of the following criteria:
· Foster learning through the development of new skills or the reinforcement of existing ones.
· Encourage creativity.
· Spark the imagination.
· Develop fine motor skills.
While games should be challenging, it is important that they not be too difficult or complex as to lead to frustration. Look at the rules for the game. If they are more than a few pages, consider if your child will be willing to learn them (or if they can be simplified). Games that are too complex to learn in a few minutes are much more likely to sit on a shelf. However, games that are quick to learn but difficult to master; such as classics like checkers, Othello and chess; are likely to be played repeatedly.
Think outside the box, especially for toddler educational games. Stacking cups, building blocks and chunky puzzles are perfect for toddlers learning grasping and other fine motor skills. The associated actions, such as knocking down the stack, will help keep toddlers entertained for longer and continue to build valuable skills.
Look for educational games in unusual places. Art stores often have complex Scratch Art, stained glass coloring pages, math pattern books and other types of media that are fun, educational and different. Work on color mixing by experimenting with homemade play dough and food coloring or learn common kitchen science with experiments using common household ingredients.
Look for fun games and activities that focus on skill development areas. For instance, you can build problem solving skills with brain-teasers that range from easy to complex. Beginning with ones that are easy builds confidence so that kids are willing to tackle the complex tasks in the harder levels.
Do not overlook the classic games in the search for something new and different. Classic games stand the test of time for a reason and are often offer the best in simple strategy games. A game does not need a 20 page instruction booklet to be educational.
Finally, look for games that you, as the purchaser, would like to play. Someone is going to be playing with the kids so it should be fun and interesting for you as well.