I can already here some of the arguments over this argument. Namely, that two to five year old’s don’t need to play video games. It is the same kind of mentality that led to parents saying their 12-year-olds don’t need a computer. But with changing technology comes adapted thinking, and the younger generations catch on a lot quicker than the older ones.
Want proof? According to a new study released this week by NPD group, an astonishing 91% of children in America are frequent video game players. That study is based on ages 2 – 17, and the jump in 9% since 2009 is largely due to the 2 – 5 year age group. These young children in toddler and preschool age are now playing games the same as older children always have.
Not only that, but there is no sub-genre of gamers anymore. It used to be that you either liked them or you didn’t. In fact, in the days of early Nintendo console systems and similar, if you played video games you were largely seen as a geek. Those who played PC games were uber-geeks. That just isn’t the way it is anymore; everyone plays.
But you still have a responsibility to monitor which games they play, even if it gets harder later on. These are five ways that you can let your little one play without having to worry about the content.
Poor Periwinkle is terrified to go to preschool for the first time. To help him get over his nerves, Blue and his owner Joe put together a preschool in their home to show him it will be alright. Each section of the house is another game covering various educational topics, such as reading, math, science and art. All of their favorite characters are there to help out along the way.
Don’t be fooled by the lack of description in the Amazon listing, this is a great learning game. They have five different games available on the disk, including math, reading, time and place and critical thinking skills. They are all age appropriate for pre-K to K age, and useful for learning other skills later on.
This is mostly interactive stories that your child can learn to gain an understanding of words through both seeing, hearing and looking at visual representations. But they also have fun activities and games to try as you go along, which are mostly used to revisit what was just learned.
Nick Jr has separated games by age group so you can find something for 2 – 3 or 4 – 5, as well as older players. They are based on popular shows that your child probably already knows and loves. There are characters like Moose, Dora, Toot & Puddle and more. All of them are educational, and there are different themes or learning skills to choose from within each age category.
This site is a favorite of my own kids, who get to play on it a couple of times a week. Their personal favorites are the Curious George games, and there are a lot of them. But they have other games, dozens on each show. They also have dance party clips where your children can move along to the instructions and beats, or make their own. There are also coloring pages, which are another favorite of my oldest.
Games For All Ages
It might violate your sensibilities as a parent, as the natural impulse is to limit game and TV time. But there are video games out there that can help teach out kids rather than damage their fragile minds. So don’t be afraid to explore your options.