Traditionally, games in general and online games, in particular, are viewed as a waste of time and a distraction. Especially for children, who many feel should be focused on their schoolwork first. But in the recent years, there’s been a growing amount of scientific research supporting learning games for kids. They can actually be a solid building block for their education, and a fun computer game is obviously much more capable of reaching inside a child who is struggling with a particular issue (like math anxiety, for example). This is why schools and teachers of younger generations have begun to open up to the possibility on online games as a teaching and learning aid for all kids of subjects.
Still, since class objectives must still be met, the school is usually not the ideal place to explore learning games for kids at length, and since the group of children is also quite large, the effectiveness of the exercise is also difficult to measure. This is why the best place to employ learning games for kids as an educational aid is actually at home, where the child can be exposed to games perfectly tailored for their particular educational needs and issues to be worked on (and improved).
The subject is actually a very important hot topic of conversation in the academic world, preoccupied with finding improved ways of teaching and learning, and in the world of video game development as well, which is preoccupied with finding better ways to serve the field of education. We don’t really have to get into off-topic details here, but it would suffice to say that yes, learning games for kids are a truly helpful tool, and game designers are making them more and more sophisticated to help the educational process become more fun and more efficient. Therefore, not only that you wouldn’t be wrong to encourage your children to play them, but you could possibly even do them a disservice if you don’t.
The Best Learning Games for Kids of All Ages
No matter if your kid is 4 or 6 or 7, there isn’t really an age too young for an interactive learning tool, as long as the content is age-appropriate and you limit their playing time properly. If you need a guideline on just what the appropriate play time length should be, this is the rule of thumb: 1 hour per day total time for all computer, Wii or tablet activities (and TV time as well), and if the child is not in school yet, perhaps the 1 hour should also be divided in two periods of time. Then, for kids of school age and up, it is ok to add about 10 minutes extra to that starting hour for each year of school (the grade the child is in), up to a maximum of 2 hours.
This is our list of suggestions of the best free learning games for kids, depending on the subject they focus on:
English Learning Games:
The ESL Games collection features multiple options for kids of various ages. Their games have extra benefits beyond improving the ABC or spelling or vocabulary; for example, some of them specifically target the improvement of memory. A very popular English learning game has proven to be the Contractions game (with words and expanding vs. retracting balloons, hence the name of ‘contractions’).
Spanish Learning Games:
Rockalingua has a collection of really fun and interactive Spanish learning games for kids, while other websites even offer a Spanish vs. English word match game for kids who need to learn or get better at both.
For kids who need to learn how to type better and faster, there’s a wonderful collection of keyboarding games here. Some of them can even be successful in classes or an official skills lab, or for group activities.
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spelling, with different meanings. Games focusing on homophones are a little but very efficient way to improve your child’s English skills. Some of our favorite homophones learning games for kids are in this collection here. Feel free to explore www.learning games for kids.com more, their other collections are also useful.
Math improving games:
Cool games has a great collection of math improving free online games. The kids’ favorites are Coffee Shop and Happy Wheels, or so the number of total sessions and parents’ forums seem to indicate.
All subjects games:
You can find here, at Mr. Nussbaum’s online site, a great collection of 146 educational games (some of which are online variations of classic board games) for a lot of different school matters. You can access geography games, United States history games, science, arts, math, printable games and much more.
You now have everything you need to introduce your child to the magical and effective world of learning games for kids. Education shouldn’t be a chore, and such games are here precisely for that: making learning more fun, and thus more effective and fast. Have fun!