In this blog we've included a few ideas about how parents can get the best out of games for their kids.
1) Use games to help brain development and learning.
Games can bring many benefits to kids, helping to develop young brains and start to get kids thinking about strategies and probabilities; in dice rolls in Risk and considering which cards may be left in the deck to complete a hand in a game of Rummy, for example. While for many years concerns were raised about the possible negative impacts of violent video games, and that debate continues, the rise in games specifically designed to improve cognitive development in both young and old has shown the benefits that many games can offer.
2) Limit Screen time at night.
While many games bring benefits and are increasingly being used in the classroom to aid learning, games that are played on screens do have some downsides. In particular, research has shown the harm done when we look at screens before bed, which leads to disruptions in our sleep which in turn contributes to a range of health problems. A brilliant book, ‘Why We Sleep’ [https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/295665/why-we-sleep/] has just been released, which will make interesting reading for all parents.
3) Beware online chat forums.
Playing games with friends is great, and can help kids stay in touch with friends and family outside of school hours or even on the other side of the world, but with so many stories emerging of people using online chat forums to hide their identity to approach children, caution is a must (because of these risks, Conservation Crisis does not have in-game chat option to help protect children that play the game).
4) Play offline as well as online to get the family together.
Online games can be great, and take less setting up time than offline games (probably why solitaire is such a popular online game!). However, playing hard-copy versions of your favourite online games can be a great way to spend quality time together as a family and give your children’s eyes a break from their screens (we’ll be launching a hard-copy version of our game after the app has been released).
All-in-all games can be great fun and great for learning, when played online or offline. Online is often quicker and easier, and your child can play with friends and family anywhere in the world, but offline can help reduce screen time in evenings and offer more quality family time. So, let the games begin!