I am not a gamer – at least not a video gamer. My kids, however, love to play video games. Their first obsession was Minecraft and they eventually convinced my husband to join in the fun. Then they moved to Terraria, which from what I understand is kinda sorta similar to Minecraft. They also love playing Roblox on the computer.
Now that they are getting older, they are enjoying more strategy games like Clash of Clans and my husband loves his Star Wars game. On rainy days, they enjoy playing games on our WiiU together too. And while I don’t completely understand the obsession of gamers, I see some benefits of them as well.
My older four kids each started playing Minecraft around age 4 or so. They didn’t really know what they were doing, but they loved to run around and find things. My younger two boys aren’t quite old enough to play the games with their siblings yet, but they love watching them race and play on the WiiU from time to time.
I know there is a lot of controversy over gaming and kids. And honestly, I can see both sides. We live up north where winters can be harshly cold and our spring consists of flood after flood until the beginning of June. So it can be difficult to keep their minds occupied when they spend so much time cooped up in the house. So we have to work on a balance.
Balancing the Gamer in them
Balancing between games and life can be difficult for some children – even adults. That’s why we came up with several different ways to combat the obsessive behavior that often accompanies their gaming addiction. And yes, I do believe it is an addiction. But I also believe it can be managed.
Develop Healthy Gaming Habits
Kids are learning about games younger and younger these days. With the electronic era in full-swing, we’re seeing more and more little kids sitting in front of a screen, whether for entertainment or to occupy them. I will admit I’ve been guilty of this myself. When I need to work, sometimes the only way to “occupy” the toddler is to let him watch a movie of his choice.
And non-outside days are hard when you live in a small space, so many times my kids are allowed their devices longer than I would prefer, just to help me maintain some sanity. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t regulate their time and do our very best to help them develop healthy gaming habits.
3 Ways We Manage Gaming
First we set time limits for all our kids. When we are stuck inside for days at a time (weather, sickness, etc.), we limit their game time to 1-1.5 hours each. This does several things – it allows everyone to take turns on the WiiU and it gives them an end time.
Second, we keep locks on all their devices. Every device in our house has parental controls or a secure pattern lock. Of course, they could figure it out eventually, but they also know if they are caught using their device without first asking permission for it to be unlocked, it will be confiscated indefinitely.
Third, all devices are required to be on the central charger at night. They are not allowed to have their devices in their rooms at night, with the exception of our oldest who plays music from his (while locked). This keeps them from being tempted to look at overnight or playing games too late.
Turn Gaming into Learning
As a mom, I love when I can turn something they enjoy, like gaming, into a learning opportunity. This printable Gamer PreK Fun Pack is the perfect crossover for little game lovers! In this printable pack you will find 18 different pages of activities geared toward preschoolers. It could also be used with kindergartners as a way to review or evaluate their letters and numbers up to 20.
- Handwriting practice
- Prewriting lines
- Tracing letters
- Tracing numbers
- Alphabet Mazes
Download yours today!
The Gamer PreK Fun Pack includes 18 pages of activities that will help your little ones with handwriting, letters, numbers to 20 and more through fun handwriting pages, matching, puzzles and more.
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