5 of the Best Educational Video Games for Back to School

Are you worried your child spends too much time playing video games and not enough time getting ready for the upcoming school year? What you may not know is that not all video games are about violence and fantasy worlds – some are quite educational!

New games that teach useful skills to increase creativity and help kids learn are being developed every day. Check out these educational video games that are sure to teach your gamer a thing or two while having a blast!

1. My Word Coach

Equipped with a built-in dictionary featuring over 17,000 words, My Word Coach helps kids work on their verbal communication skills and vocabulary through six different word-related games. Players are able to insert missing letters to form words, spell out the answers to various definitions, and choose words to match a particular description. For a fun and challenging mode, try it with multiple players!

2. Escape Adventure Island

In this JumpStart video game, young learners engage with a 3-D environment while practicing their math, reading, and critical thinking skills. Escape Adventure Island invites players to use their explorer skills and brain power to escape a mysterious island after a crash landing leaves them stranded!

3. LittleBigPlanet 2

With some fantastic graphics and some funky tunes, this great game encourages your kids to develop their problem-solving skills. Players navigate through a rich landscape, finding a wide range of objects along the way – many of which can be used to help them solve puzzles.

4. uDraw Studio: Instant Artist

Let your young ones create and unleash their inner artist with this game! uDraw Studio allows kids to explore their curiosity for art while developing their drawing skills as they create their own masterpieces. This original video game will be one that your kids will not want to put down!

5. Portal 2

Unlike conventional video games that require players to shoot their way to victory, in Portal players must use their wits to escape Aperture Laboratories and its robots. It’s a memorable and mentally challenging experience that players won’t forget!

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How Video Games Can Help Your Child

We all know that video games influence our children, but is that really a bad thing? We all know the dangers of video games but do you know how video games can help your child?

Wondering Why Your Child Can Beat a Video Game in a Matter of Days?

The answer lies in your child’s thought patterns. There is a large amount of concentration and goal orientation that is learned when your child aims to beat a video game. Their pattern recognition and reasoning changes as a game continues. Their situational awareness also changes as their video game style develops and they start to play new and different types of games.

A Well Known Benefit is Higher Adaptability to Teamwork and Cooperation

With the rise in multiplayer games as well as online gaming, this benefit is well known. When working together with large groups, there are a few skills that must be met to create a working team. Some of these skills are learning to compromise, pattern recognition, and reasoned judgments. These skills may sound familiar from an average workplace.

Video Games Help Your Child Respond to Challenges

As most adults know, when overcoming challenges, a key factor is risk assessment. When your child plays video games, they go through the same process. They assess the risks of avoiding an enemy or take the risk of approaching them head on which helps nurture and create your child’s gaming style.

What About Responding to Frustration?

Video games help with this too! Have you seen how many times your child has jumped off a level only to have to restart at the beginning? Chances are you’ve only seen a fraction of how many times they’ve had to restart that level. The difficulty of games vary but chances are your child is working their way up to even harder video games.

This persistence can be credited to your child’s ability to rethink goals. Out-of-the-box thinking is a large part of most video games. Their ability to process and rethink the situation helps them accurately assess their skills and interpret information differently that complements their gameplay style.

After Seeing All the Benefits Video Games Offer, How Do You Feel?

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Secretly Educational Games to Play with Your Kids

Despite what society might believe, video games aren’t a mindless activity. Most games are extremely cerebral, requiring mental acrobatics to achieve certain goals in a creative way.

Ever since the game’s industry’s early days, game developers that try to create “edutainment,” mixing kid’s entertainment with educational materials. Unfortunately, these attempts ultimately failed to keep the player’s interest, due to poor understanding of what makes a game fun to play. An educational game can’t teach a lesson if it’s off.

This month, we’ve created a list of fun games that are secretly educational. They’ll love playing them — and might even learn a thing or two.

1. Scribblenauts

Scribblenauts is a series of “puzzle/action” games for the Nintendo DS and mobile devices. Players must use logic and problem-solving to guide the protagonist, Maxwell, through the game’s intricate series of quests. The player scribbles the name of an item on the DS’s touch screen and can use that object to solve the riddle.

Unlike linear puzzle games, Scribblenauts recognizes multiple solutions, allowing players to approach each problem from a unique angle and still hope to succeed.

2. Sid Meier’s Civilization (Series)

Civilization is a long-running strategy game series, created by Sid Meier. Each game gives the player a chance to rewrite history and make decisions that will change the foundation of their society. Gamers take control of a fledgling nation and learn about finances, strategy, and resource management as they steer it towards prosperity.

Civilization requires the player to look at the big picture, focusing on the macromanagement of their nation, with early game decisions leading to potentially massive consequences as the society ages. Players must balance the needs of their society with winning the game.

Recently, Sid Meier confined that a special edition of Civilization, CivilizationEDU, would be available for school use.

3. Professor Layton

The Professor Layton series revolves around the titular professor and his young apprentice as they roam the game world, searching for mysteries to solve. The player must collect clues and complete riddles to help the duo in their quest. With over 150 puzzles of increasing difficulty, Professor Layton gives a great mental workout.

The game’s storyline is entertaining, stimulating, and holds the player’s attention while teaching math, logic, and problem-solving skills. The third game in the series won a Parent’s Choice Silver Honors award in 2011.

4. Portal

The Portal series is a first-person puzzle game that tasks the player with manipulating physics to complete tests and defeat a malicious Artificial Intelligence known as GLaDOS. The player finds a Portal Gun, a device that opens one entrance and one exit portal at a time. Think laser tag, but with a gun that opens wormholes through space. The goal is to use these portals to make it through an increasingly complex obstacle course, before confronting GLaDOS at the center of the facility. .

Both Portal and its sequel are great tools for teaching physics, spatial movement, and creative thinking. While the game hints at a dark backstory, the actual gameplay and dialogue are exceedingly clean and witty.

5. Minecraft

The obvious inclusion on this list, Minecraft is already used in some schools (Mojang, the developers, even offers an Education Edition of the game with extras for classroom collaboration).

Minecraft is essentially the digital equivalent of handing your child an endless Lego set and telling them to go wild. They can build anything that they imagine, as long as they have the right components. The game teaches geometry, physics, and resource management all wrapped up in a blocky package. The possibilities of the game world are virtually limitless. Players have created everything from gigantic replicas of statues to fully playable video games inside the game.

Exciting GameTruck Events in Jacksonville

Social interaction is just as important for your child’s development, so gather a group of friends, and let them cut loose with a GameTruck party. We specialize in no-hassle party experiences that your guests will be talking about for weeks. For more information or to receive a quote, give us a call at 904-800-0880!