When thinking about education and learning, few adults and parents think of fun and engaging learning games. Having been brought up in the classroom at a time when the three R’s were stressed – Reading, wRiting, and aRithmatic – new parents still associate learning with long hours staring at books and scribbling numbers. But new research and theories of education have begun to uncover that learning is not all drudgery; and that if it is drudgery, it can be counterproductive. Researchers and teachers are discovering that learning games and engaging interactive learning methods are more effective at teaching children, especially young children and preschoolers, than traditional reading and memorization.
What can learning games teach preschoolers?
Almost anything! Preschool learning games include board games, interactive and group games, and even video and online computer games.
These games can teach a variety of soft and hard skills, including math, reading and motor skills. Check out some of these online learning games for preschoolers.
Moreover, according to research compiled by ParentScience.com, board and other games can increase memory and concentration, develop critical thinking skills, aid in the process of social development, teaching children diplomatic and rule based play, and fine and large motor skills.
Benefits of Preshcool Learning Games: Critical Thinking
According to research, learning games such as board and online and computer problem solving games teach and develop essential higher level cognitive skills in preschoolers, toddlers and even infants. In navigating the parameters and the rules of the game, children learn to engage in problem solving techniques with limitations that require them to work with – or in competition against – other children to reach a goal. Moreover, many educational single player games attempt to present to the child fun and engaging problem scenarios that the child must solve to in order to win or advance to the next round.
And according to some research, even non educational video games have been shown to improve cognitive and critical thinking skills in children of all age groups. But it’s up to you, the parent, to ensure that the games are age appropriate and that your child is not spending too much time in front of a screen. As in most things education related, balance and moderation are the keys to health and success.
Benefits of Learning Games: Socialization
Apart from the fact that children are developing essential critical thinking skills while playing learning games, they are also learning critical social skills. Games allow the child to work in teams and requires that the child subordinate their importance to that of the group, teaching them to work with others in a productive, non-competitive way to reach a desired goal. By playing in group learning games, children learn compassion, empathy and the importance of considering the ideas of others, which are a critical set of skills for the 21st century.
Preschool Learning games at Toddler Town Chicago
At Toddler Town in Chicago and Evanston, we are dedicated to providing children in all our programs the opportunity to learn through play and games. We provide engaging and fun games and activities to help your child learn to think critically, work with others, and develop their unique creativity in a safe and fun learning environment. Come check out our programs and some of the great activities you can share with your child! Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you!