In A Nutshell
- Apps and video games can be both educational and entertaining.
- Consider your child’s age, maturity, and needs when selecting a game or app.
- Screen time should be limited, especially for young children.
Video games and apps are ubiquitous these days, and many children enjoy them. Some can be entertaining and educational tools. Others, on the other hand, can be a waste of time or cause problems if not monitored.
Here are some things to think about when selecting video games or apps for your child.
The Game’s Or App’s Purpose
What is your child’s motivation for playing the game or using the app? There is no correct or incorrect answer to this question. Just keep in mind that games and apps that aid in learning or schoolwork are not the same as “for fun” games.
There are numerous educational games and apps available, such as apps that assist children in becoming more organized. Apps that teach kids self-control, for example. In general, there’s no harm in looking into apps like these to see what works best for your child.
On the other hand, there are numerous apps and video games that are solely for entertainment purposes.
Spider Rope Hero and Spider Rope Hero Gangster Vega are two of the most popular. While popular games like spider hero may help children learn some skills, they are not educational. It is critical to think carefully before allowing your child to play with them. The same is true before purchasing a gaming system such as the Xbox or Nintendo Switch.
The sweet spot is games that are both entertaining and educational for your child. People frequently use Minecraft as an example. It is popular with children and is used in classrooms and schools to teach teamwork and other skills. You can find examples of Minecraft learning workshops on YouTube.
Another example is keyboarding games, in which children learn to type the correct keys to defeat space invaders.
Maturity And Age
It is critical to select video games and apps that are appropriate for your child’s age. A 7-year-old should not be playing a shooting game. And if you buy a game with cute cartoons for preschoolers, your 12-year-old might be disappointed.
Common Sense Media has game and app reviews with age recommendations. Use these reviews as a guide to determine what is best for your child. However, keep in mind that children are not always as mature as their chronological age. Teen content is not appropriate just because a child is 13 years old.
Skill level is also important. Children who are struggling with reading may prefer video games or apps with less text. Or they may require technology to assist them in reading. Knowing your child’s strengths and weaknesses can help you make more informed decisions.
The skills that your child needs to improve are also important. Downloading a slew of apps just because they’re “educational” is probably not a good idea. Before purchasing an app, consider your child’s learning requirements. Learn how to choose the best learning app.
Even if a video game or app is educational, entertaining, and appropriate for your child’s age, you should still consider screen time. Some children have difficulty putting down electronic devices. They may spend the entire day playing a game and neglect other activities they enjoy.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of two avoid using screens. The AAP also recommends no more than an hour of high-quality screen time for children aged 2 to 5. For older children, consistency of rules and a healthy relationship with technology are more important than the amount of time.
It all comes back to the goal of a game or app. You might be fine with your child spending four hours straight on an app writing comics, but not with the same amount of time on a mindless shooting game.
Consider how much time your child will devote to a video game or app before purchasing it. Will your child drop everything to participate in the game? Here are some suggestions for limiting screen time.
How Children Interact Online
Another thing to keep an eye out for is how kids interact online. Many children find social media to be difficult. Consider how your child will use any social media app, no matter how innocent it appears.
Multiplayer online video games can also be a source of contention. These games can be difficult for children who struggle socially. Bullying and harassment may occur if you are not present.
If you’re unsure about the content of a game or app, read the Common Sense Media reviews. They will emphasize these issues, as well as others such as privacy and advertising to children.
- Consider your options carefully before allowing your child to use social media apps or play online video games.
- Understanding the purpose of a game or app can assist you in making sound decisions.
- The sweet spot is games that are both entertaining and educational for your child. Play Now