Have you always been of the belief that your kids are wasting their time playing video games or sitting with their faces glued to their tablets, and that they’d be much better off playing with a jigsaw, doing some colouring or playing a matching game? Have you ever wondered if they actually learn anything useful from this kind of screen time that people are so keen to warn parents about?
You can take matters into your own hands and encourage your son or daughter to engage with and play games that will help them to develop a mathematically curious mind. If they are going to play games anyway, you might as well make it work to your advantage (and theirs!). Make it your mission, your quest, to teach them how to learn something that will benefit them with the use of these educational games for kids and other ideas.
Through learning activities, solving number games and other games for kids, your child could potentially gain number sense, learn how to better apply logic, improve on their thinking skills, and develop their reasoning.
Keep reading to find out more about how games and activities can help them learn about physics!
Learning through a fun game is the subject of educational research that has been studied for many years now, thanks to the emergence of numerous different gaming consoles, websites and, more recently, apps. Experts in this field study what is learned through playing video games, some silly and some educational, and how the data put forward, design principles, and communities of video gameplay can be used to develop new learning environments for people of all ages.
After all, it is not just kids who love to play games, adults are equally mesmerised by new game releases as playing games often allows them to switch off from everyday life and just have fun. But what if they could also learn something new from playing a game after work or expand their knowledge during a pre-bedtime gaming session? Should we not place value on having fun with these learning games?
Video games have been proven by experts to help with developmental skills. Photo on Foter.com
Studies suggest that action video games not only help you develop psychologically, but they also help you to learn faster than many other methods of learning. Of course, the same can’t be said for all games, but there are definitely some games and activities that have a well-deserved place on any physics curriculum.
So, even though the gaming worlds get a lot of criticism over children becoming hooked to their screens, losing the ability to communicate face to face and fail to develop other social skills, more studies are now finding that such games can have some benefits to learning and almost act as an educator.
For instance, scientists have revealed that those who play action games have better fine motor skills and reactions, which shows a positive change in their brain rather than a negative impact. So, nobody can say that kids play doesn’t do much to help kids.
Educational toys are very important to babies and toddlers, as we all know because they encourage the child to learn maths, science, physics etc… i.e. they help to develop a child’s senses.
Since this is the case, then why should we not encourage our kids to keep on developing by interacting with fun games and scholastic experiments as they grow older and continue to take in information? Fun learning can be applied to a range of subjects, not just physics, including geometry, geography, kids science, astrology, algebra and much more.
Not only are experiments and discoveries hugely impactful, but enjoying some fun science games can also help your child to learn more about science and technology.
There’s a range of free online activities to try in the form of apps, websites and other software, with something for everyone. Whether your child is fascinated by animals, cars, plants, space, magnets, light, music, or other science-related topics, you’ll be sure to find an educational game that will keep them entertained.
Below, we have put together a list of some of the apps and games available for you and your kids to try out. Some must be purchased, but none of them is likely to break the bank!
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Tinybop Simple Machines
Age range: 4+
“The app presents the 6 elements of basic mechanics — levers, pulleys, wheel and axles, screws, inclined planes, and wedges — that are used to solve playful little physics puzzles, like cracking open ice boulders with wedges or using levers to lay siege to a castle. You know, typical real-world stuff your kid might have to face someday. And because it’s physics, and physics is hard, the physics game offers a downloadable companion, the Simple Machines Handbook, to help you better understand what’s going on and explain it to your children. Or perhaps vice versa.” Reviewed by Common Sense Media
Play games to help your children learn new things. Photo credit: Jim Sneddon on Foter.com
iOS and Android
Age range: 3-8
“The physics app title refers to the anthropomorphic balls that kids select to begin the game. Their character then rolls through levels, encountering obstacles that are overcome by creatively applying basic physics concepts (e.g. fall off something, bounce, and land on another thing). There’s no scoring, so kids don’t get competitive – just smart.” Reviewed by Common Sense Media
Crayon Physics Deluxe
Linux, iOS and Android
Age range: 8+
“Parents need to know that Crayon Physics Deluxe is a nifty puzzle game that can teach your kids some physics. The play is drawing-based, wherein your cursor becomes a crayon, and once you draw something it immediately assumes mass and weight. There is nothing about the content to concern parents unless your kids are old enough to tackle the puzzles, which start out easy but get progressively harder. Although kids as young as age 6 and 7 can play the early puzzles, the later puzzles are better for kids age 8 and up. Since there’s no storyline, this is a game best played by kids who like to do puzzles.” Reviewed by Common Sense Media
Web, iOS, Android
Age range: various
“All of the nonprofit’s site’s resources are available to anyone, and you can access its contents using a variety of different platforms. Take part in the interactive classroom blackboard teaching style with short quizzes and questions to test your knowledge and improvement. If you really love Khan Academy and what it offers you in terms of Physics help (it also offers help in other subjects such as Maths, Science and Computing) then you can donate to support its ongoing existence.”
Learn Physics via Videos
Age range: various
“A free application for Android that helps you with your physics studies with interesting science videos and video tutorials divided into snack-sized chapters. With a basic download, you only have limited access to the content provided and must purchase the application for more. The app provides a quick summary of essential concepts in Physics via Videos by following bite-sized chapters, including: Electricity and Magnetism, Heat and Temperature, Relativity, Dynamics, Motion, Angular Motion, Introduction to Physics, Radioactivity, Static and Current Electricity, Laws of Electricity and Magnetism, Basics of Quantum Mechanics, Wave and Light, Gravitation, Force, Torque, Matter, Sound and Its Properties, Introduction to Electronics, and Thermodynamics.”
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Online Math Learning
Online Math Learning is a website offering free online maths help and resources, but most of all, it makes learning fun!
On the website, you will find
“interesting quizzes, practice, homework help and other materials to keep you occupied; or fun facts, games, puzzles and other cool stuff to make this subject something to be enjoyed rather than dreaded. Have some fun while learning some key skills to improve your grades.”
Make the most of your wifi at home by using it to educate your children. Photo credit: mista stagga lee on Foter.com / CC BY
The Physics Classroom
The Physics Classroom is yet another free-to-access set of instructional pages written in a user-friendly manner and complemented by cool graphics and visual elements to make the journey even easier. The classroom tutorial section is the ideal starting point for those grasping for understanding or searching for answers to basic Physics questions.
In addition, the website has numerous sections and zones that you can pick from. Just take the Physics Interactives, for instance, which is designed with tablets in mind and includes skill-building exercises, simulations, and game-like challenges to add a bit of fun competition.
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Furthermore, there’s the Concept Builders area, which offers a collection of exercises that focus on discrete learning goals. Complete with many interactive elements, this section is the perfect tool for getting students thinking about the meaning of concepts.
Last but not least, the Multimedia Physics Studios has a huge collection of animations and movies designed to demonstrate the principles of physics in a visual way, with explanations to accompany each lesson and links to further information.