3 Tips for Parenting Kids Beginning their Gaming Experience

Watching your kids get older is a whirlwind of emotions. It can be sad, happy, exciting, and even scary. As they grow, they develop new interests; for many kids, this means exploring video games. This can be uncharted territory for parents. You want your kids to have fun, connect with friends, and explore who they are. The problem is that you may be new to video games or haven’t played since you were a kid. You may not know what games are age appropriate and align with your family values. You might be looking for tips on parenting and video games. 

At GameTruck, we understand that this new chapter of parenting can be a roller coaster of emotions, so here are three tips for you to try to help your kid explore the world of gaming. So, whether you’re planning your next birthday party in the mobile gaming theater or smashing boredom during family game night, you can rest easy knowing your kids will have a blast!

  •  Be active in their video game adventures. 
    • Showing interest and staying connected is one of the best ways to know what and with whom your kids are playing. Gaming with your child is a fun way to build memories and maybe some inside jokes. Even if you’re not a big gamer, you can sit with your kid as they blast away villains or race across the finish line. Ask them to teach you how to play their favorite game. This can help them practice their communication skills as they perform the role of a “teacher.” Being active in their video game adventures may look different from family to family, but it is a great way to stay connected and build memories.
  • Ask transformative questions. 
    • Gaming can inspire transformative questions. These questions go beyond “how are you” and “how was your day?” Transformative questions help you bond with your child on a deeper social and emotional level. They can also help kids learn more about themselves as the answers to these questions are not simple “yes” or “no.” 
    • You can ask things like, “What games are your favorite? Why?” Another transformative question surrounding video games is, “What do you look for in a game?” 
    • These questions can also mix big topics. For example, you could ask, “what makes someone a good squad member?” This connects friendship and gaming into the same question that inspires deeper levels of conversation. 
  • Discuss and set boundaries. 
    • Before you sit down to have this conversation, think about what you want to say and what the boundaries will be. You may not want your child to engage in certain themes, like intense violence or language. Let them know ahead of time so they can ensure their gaming aligns with your family values. It’s ok to explain why certain things are off-limits. You may feel that intense violence or gore is disrespectful to human life; talking about these things with your child can help them better understand and follow the rules you set for gaming. Examining games before you permit your kid to play is also wise. One of the fastest and easiest ways to do this is with ESRB ratings. This handy rating system will give a recommended age and why it has that age recommendation. For a more in-depth examination of games, many blogs explore different games to help parents like yourself make the best decision possible for their families. Here are some additional questions to consider in the conversation with your child. 
      • Whom can your children play with online?
      • What’s the procedure for in-game purchases?
      • How long can they play video games each day?
      • Is there a way they can earn additional screen time? 

Exploring the gaming world can be exciting and yet scary for parents. It’s a sign they’re getting older, but you will always be their parent and want what’s best for them. You want to help your child have fun, be safe, and game in a healthy way. Be active in their video game adventures. Ask transformative questions. Discuss and set boundaries. These three tips can help set your family up for success in your gaming fun!

8 Activities to Gear Up for Fall

Move out of the way, summer! The season of pumpkins, apple cider, and spooky movies is here! With school back in session, it’s time to prep for weekend adventures and entertainment for the kids, but that can get expensive. Here are eight fun activities your kids will love that won’t make your bank account cry.

  • Celebrate “National Pancake” Day
    • Start or end your day with comfort breakfast food! It’s quick and easy to make, and the kids will love it! From regular to vegan, there’s something for every type of pancake lover! You can also skip the cooking and let someone else do it. Visit your favorite breakfast restaurant as another way to celebrate National Pancake Day. 
  • Grab an on-sale sprinkler
    • Hit those after-the-season sales to grab a cheap sprinkler or other water activity. This way, you’ll be prepared for the next hot day before fall weather truly arrives.
  • Video Game Party
    • Invite your kid’s new classmates over for an exciting memory building experience they won’t forget. No matter what the weather is like outside, GameTrucks are always the perfect temperature inside. With hundreds of games to choose from, classics and new releases, your kid will love deepening their friendship with new and old friends. Call your local GameTruck today to book your fall party!
  • Laser tag
    • Blast away boredom with laser tag! From capture the flag to last man standing, your kids and their friends will have a fantastic time, while you (and maybe some friends) can get a much-needed break. Call your local GameTruck today! 

  • Celebrate “Talk like a Pirate” Day
    • Have a family challenge to see who can talk like a pirate the longest. Fill your day with pirate-themed activities from watching movies, reading books, coloring, and dressing up as them. 
  • Nature painting
    • Unleash the inner artist and nature enthusiast with this idea! You’ll need paint and canvas from the store. Gather up rocks, leaves, sticks, and other outdoor objects. Once you’ve got all of your materials, get painting! Use your leaves as paintbrushes. 
    • Forget the canvas at the store? Not a problem! Grab some rocks to decorate!

  • Visit a Used Book Store
    • Pick up a new book to celebrate “Read a Book Day” on September 6th and “International Literacy Day” on September 8th. Reading with your kids is a wonderful way to build their vocabulary and reading skills. 

  • Help around the neighborhood
    • Help your kids get real-life experience by assisting others in the neighborhood. Does someone need leaves raked up or their lawn mowed? This could be an excellent opportunity for volunteering or to make a little bit of money. 

Even though the chapter of summer is closing, the fun doesn’t have to stop. Get ready for an incredible fall season here on the GameTruck, full of excitement and memories! Subscribe to our email newsletter to ensure you never miss out on our newest family fun guide blogs! 

Five Fun After School Activities

The school bell has finally rung to welcome a new academic year. While the kids are busy during the week, what about the weekends? Do you need family-focused activities? Then this is for you! Just because school is here doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. A season change shouldn’t stop the creation of family memories. Whether you’re spontaneous or a planner, this list has affordable ideas for both types of people. 

  • Chili Cook-off – Kids Help Make
    • Gather your friends and family for a fun dinner or lunch together! Break out your best chili recipe for a chili cook-off. Have your kids help you prepare and cook the meal. This delicious idea will help kids learn valuable life skills such as cooking, washing dishes, following a recipe, and serving others. 
    • Additional note: instead of a competition, you could ask everyone to make a different type of chili. Someone could make a hot chili while another makes a sweet chili that way, everyone is bound to have one that they will like.
  • Host a cookout or fall party!
    • Host a cookout or fall party – imagine being able to have adult conversations in peace and quiet. Imagine us “old people” beating the kids in laser tag or having your kid teach you about their favorite new video game they’ve been dying to get. This is a GameTruck party. We offer more than just video games, gelly ball, and laser tag; we strive to build belonging and community through memorable play. Let us help you host a fantastic cookout or fall party that everyone will love! 
  • Art Project – Pumpkin Art or Wreath Making
    • Help your kids get crafty this season with different art projects! From pumpkin art to wreath making to candle making, there are many crafts to prepare for fall. Pumpkin art is an excellent idea for when you need a cheap, unplanned activity for the kids to do. All you need are pumpkins of any size and paint supplies. You’ll have cute decorations unique to your family when they’re done. 
  • Play Video Games
    • If your child is a gamer, this idea will make their week! Embrace your inner nerd and pick up a controller. Have your child teach you how to play their favorite game. Allow them to assume the role of a teacher as they show you how to play the game. Gaming with your child builds memories both in and outside the video game and can generate fun conversations with your kid. Even if you’re not the best gamer, they will appreciate the effort and bonding time over something they love with you. 
  • Thrifted Costume 
    • Have some family fun with thrifty at your favorite second-hand stores. This idea is great for creating fun memories, affordability, and spontaneous Ness. Before you start, decide on a budget. How much is each person allowed to spend on their costume? Next, decide if you want to do special categories like the 80s or leave it open for imagination. Then head to your favorite stores. Be sure to take lots of pictures to post on social media to have friends and family vote for the costume they think is the best and the silliest. 

Just because school is back in session does not mean the fun has to stop. Dedicate a weekend or multiple ones to trying something on this list!