Technology is all around us and is a part of our daily lives. Your child will encounter technology at an early age, so building a healthy relationship needs to start now. Our Tech Tips for Kids series will help you set-up your child for success.
Today’s Tech Tip for Kids is: Play a game together!
Playing games and apps with your child has several benefits, even for younger children. One of the best benefits game playing introduces to your child is the concept of rules. Every game has it’s own set of rules, sometimes those rules are defined and other times, especially with young children, those rules can be made up on the stop. With technology rules for a game or app are well-defined and the goals are clear so your child learns what they need to do, within the rules, to “win” the game. This helps them develop their decision-making skills. When you play these games with your child, you are there and available to help them make good decisions, understand and follow the rules, ease frustration and ultimately reinforce the sense of accomplishment and affirmation when they “win” or accomplish the goal of the game.
Playing together also gives your child a chance to ask questions of you and you a chance to ask questions of them. Ask open-ended questions about what they are seeing and what they are learning. These conversations help support and better understand what they are learning and seeing. Asking questions also helps build their vocabulary so such conversations are even easier in the future.
When selecting a game or app for your child, try and makes sure that it is something that builds on their interests. A game or app can be the greatest educational tool ever created but if they aren’t interested they aren’t going to play it, even if you play it with them.
Apps and games on your devices are great learning and developing tools. They are even better when you take the time to play with your child and help them make better use of the technology around them.