by Patrick Mickz
If your children are school age, then you know exactly what happens over the summer. They slack off. They run around with friends, play video games, and sleep late. There’s nothing technically wrong with this. I mean, we all did it when we were kids, so why shouldn’t our children enjoy the same privilege?
The truth is, when they go back to school in the fall, they will have failed to retain much of the information they stored up during the school year, making it harder for them to move on to new material. In addition, the complete lack of a structured schedule may make them antsy for a return to the carefree days of summer. So what can you do to keep your child on track with their studies while still allowing them a fun-filled summer?
The simple answer is games.
Games are fun, every kid knows that! What they don’t know, is that games can also be educational. They may not see the academic value of Monopoly or Scrabble, but you know that by playing these old-school board games, they are practicing counting, spelling, and vocabulary. And while flash cards or bingo boards may tip them off that learning is in progress, they can still have a lot of fun with these simple memory games.
Board games really only touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to educational games. There is a whole world of websites devoted to teaching kids in fun and exciting ways.
From math and science to history and geography to spelling, grammar, and punctuation, there are games to teach your children and test their knowledge. And while only a few sites offer organization by grade or age range, a targeted Google search for educational games+(your child’s)age/grade can take you to sites specifically tailored to the needs of a 5th grader, for example, or an 8-year-old. No muss, no fuss, and your child is unlikely to complain that you’re “making” them play computer games.
And it doesn’t end there. If you’re one of the many parents who has given in and allowed your child a handheld device (whether it’s a cell phone, an iPod, or a Nintendo DS), there are educational games to be had.
While most gadgets devoted to handheld gaming are not geared towards education, Nintendo does offer the Brain Age series. And cell phones feature modern revamps of standard classics like Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit.
However, the real gem in the handheld diadem is the ever expanding world of Apple products. Whether your child has an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, they can take advantage of the many educational games available on the iTunes store. In fact, there are so many, you may have to do a bit of slogging to find something that fits your needs. The bonus of handheld is that it is entirely portable, so long road trips are a snap.
In any case, it only takes a little time and effort to find the games that will engage your kids in learning (or in some cases, trick them into it) and it’s worth it to ensure that they continue to learn throughout the summer. And who knows, they may even become enamored with the wide world of educational gaming. At the very least, you can help them to retain their stored knowledge and return to school in the right mindset to resume their studies.
Patrick Mickz is an avid Bingo Player and he enjoys playing fun and educational games. You can visit his site Printable Bingo Cards.