You watch your kids playing games online on your computer, iPad or phone and wonder if they’re getting anything educational from them. Since your kids are already online anyway, have you thought about joining in?
No matter the age group, there are online games that can be educational and fun for the whole family. By playing with your children, you can teach rules like how to take turns and how to be a good sport — rules that possibly are overlooked in today’s fast-paced society.
There are a massive amount of game sites online. It’s up to you as a parent to choose the ones most appropriate for your child, no matter the age, and playing online with them obviously gives you an excellent chance to do so. If you see sites that you don’t approve of, put parental blocks on them and explain to your child why you are doing it.
Online arcade, puzzle, word and educational games
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Funbrain is an excellent all-around game site for kids in preschool through junior high. The site features a Kid’s Center, where five games are listed under each grade from Kindergarten through Eighth grade. You can click on an individual game or the grade itself, where you will be taken to a page with a variety of games for that age group.
There is a main arcade area where you and your child can play games that improve help hand-eye coordination. If you have a little one, head on over to the ‘Mom and Kids Playground’ where parents can teach their preschoolers how to use the mouse and the Internet. Funbrain has a number and word games, along with reading page that contains actual books for middle schoolers. There is also a fun section of Mad Libs for Funbrain Juniors. And, as always, there is the ‘All Games’ link you can click on when you can’t think of anything to play.
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Another fun game site is iWin.com. This site isn’t for the little ones, but is perfect for pre-teens and young adults. The site has different kinds of games sorted by genre, like brain and logic, hidden object, or game show and word games. You can then filter the genre you want by Top 100, free, or steals and deals, among others. You can become a member of iWin.com by clicking on the membership tab; there are two different membership types to choose from. The site boasts the largest membership of casual games offered on the internet.
Online one on one
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One of the best online kid’s clubs is Webkinz. On this site, you can adopt a pet for free. When you first register, you are provided with a certain amount of ‘KinzCash’ to buy food and clothing. After that, you have to earn cash by playing games. You will have a house to decorate for your pet; you may buy furniture, wall décor, and many other items.
There are “clubs” like this all around the Internet, and some of them are quite good. Sit alongside of your child while he plays in the club to learn how it works, and then join the club yourself. Make your own profile and play right along with him. You will get an idea of what types of activities and games are being offered, as well as what kind your kid likes. In addition, it will let your child “teach” you how to do some of the activities, which will enhance his self-esteem.
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Parent-child online game playing is a great bonding experience. When you aren’t available to play, give your child access to the games you have been playing together. Tell her to practice for the family tournament you will be having. This not only gives the child time to hone specific skills, but also has her looking forward to the fun you all will have as a family.
Now your kids won’t be having all the fun.