Video games and apps are everywhere these days and many kids love them. Some of them can be fun and educational tools. But others can be a waste of time or cause problems if left unattended. Therefore, when choosing a game or application, consider the age, maturity and needs of your child.
Purpose of the game or application
Why is your child playing this game or using this app? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Just keep in mind that games and apps that help with studies or school assignments are different from “just for fun” games.
There are many educational games and apps out there, such as apps that help kids stay organized or video games that teach kids self-control. For example, the game “Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training Program” available on the Nintendo DS or Wii U. In general, you can look at such applications to understand what helps your child.
On the other hand, there are plenty of other apps and video games just for fun. While popular games can help children learn certain skills, they are not educational. It is important to think carefully before allowing a child to play it. The same goes for games that both entertain and help your child learn. Children love them and they are used in classrooms and schools to teach teamwork and other skills.
Age and maturity
It is important to choose video games and apps that are age appropriate for your child. You wouldn’t want a 7 year old to play a shooting game. And your 12 year old might freak out if you buy a cute cartoon game for preschoolers. But remember that children are not always as mature as their age. Just because a child is 13 does not mean that teen content is appropriate.
Skill level is also important. Children who are slow in reading may prefer video games or apps with less text. They may also need technology to help them read.
Knowing your child’s strengths and challenges can help you make better choices. The skills your child needs to improve are also important. It’s probably not worth downloading a bunch of apps just because they’re “educational”.
Consider your child’s learning needs before purchasing the app. Read on for tips on choosing a learning app.
Even if the video game or app is educational, fun, and age appropriate for your child, you need to consider screen time. Some children find it difficult to put down their devices. They can spend all day playing and stop doing whatever they like.
Experts also recommend no more than one hour of quality screen time for children ages 2 to 5. For older kids, screen time isn’t as important as following the rules and having a healthy relationship with technology. It comes down to the purpose of the game or app.
You can put up with your kid spending four hours reading comics on the app, but not spending the same amount of time on a boring shooter. Before choosing a video game or app, consider how much time your child will actually spend on it.