Kids love to play games. These days they are all about their gaming systems and a lot of the games are violent or not the most appropriate for them, so I try not to let my kids play them. Luckily, I’ve found some online games that are a great alternative. There are a lot of fun puzzle games on sites like Iplay.com that are not only enjoyable for children, but are educational and great for the brain.
The skills that children can learn from different types of games will help the development of cognitive skills, including the added benefit of getting a head start on advanced games such as chess and go. Check out some of my kids favorite games and their benefits below.
A logic game, Tower Builder, allows kids to rescue a lost pebble that has fallen from the top of a mountain. Several levels here take place in a valley where intricate structures of rods and stone must be put together in a fashion that helps the pebble escape his situation. Concrete skills will be developed with regard to weight transfer, friction, and the nature of stacking parts on top of each other. Kids will also learn to measure distance and learn how to deal with a center of balance.
Jewel Match, a match-3 game, takes place in 100 levels, from fountains to block grids. Here, the point of the game is to correctly match up three or more jewels in succession. Skills developed in this game include pattern recognition and the ability to turn chaos into an ordered state. Children will need to see jewels from across the board to develop a strategy for connecting them.
Lastly, the board game Catan Carbonated is a direct descendant of the adult board game, Settlers of Catan. Players need to build roads and settlements, while gathering and trading supplies, in order to gain territory. The concepts of trade, cooperation and competition with other players, and resource management are all necessary to be effective.
It is amazing to see the complex lessons that you can learn by playing puzzle games. Skills necessary for doing well in each game, as well as skills necessary for doing well in life, are packed into each tile, gem, grid, and character.