When to introduce young children to video games

Quand initier les petits enfants aux jeux vidéo

Kids have been playing video games since Pong was released in the early 70s. According to Common Sense Media, before schools closed, kids spent an hour or more every day playing social games like Minecraft and Fortnite. But screen time has increased dramatically in the age of social distancing. Last year, budding gamers searched high and low for a Nintendo Switch in a physical store or online so they could connect with friends through games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

When should children start?

Quand les enfants devraient-ils commencer?

Our country’s new normal has left many parents wondering not only if they should introduce video games to their young children, but also when. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that children under 18 months avoid screens altogether, toddlers 18-24 months use high-quality programs or apps only with a parent, and children Preschoolers ages two to five shouldn’t spend more than an hour a day watching “high-quality shows,” like PBS Kids.

But Dr. Sinem Siyahhan, co-director of the joint doctoral program in educational leadership with UC San Diego at California State University San Marcos, believes children and adults can also share meaningful time learning about the world through games. video.

“I have a three-year-old and we used to play Minecraft together,” she explains. “We do this because when he showed interest in animal sounds, I thought it would be great because I can walk around the on-screen environment and name all those animals instead. to go to the farm. I can ask him, “What sound does a cow make?” And it’s really useful because it creates a dialogue. »

We asked Siyahhan, who also co-wrote the book Families at Play: Connecting and Learning Through Video Games, for advice on how and when to introduce kids to the game.

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Find a game suitable for your age

Trouvez un jeu adapté à votre âge

Just like the movies, books, and TV shows that kids consume, you want to find a video game that has a subject matter that’s appropriate for their age. But Siyahhan also recommends finding something that matches their level of skill and cognition. Games with complex controls can overwhelm a preschooler. So she suggests starting by browsing websites like Common Sense Media to find games appropriate for your child’s age range.

“Don’t be afraid to go to Google Play or the App Store and see what people are saying,” she says. “Try downloading a game to your tablet and give it a try. Explore your curiosity. »

Siyahhan says there’s a common misconception that all video games are inappropriate for children because some have violent content. But as tablets have grown in popularity, the medium has become more diverse. There are many educational type games and apps featuring characters like Dora the Explorer for preschoolers and beyond.

You can’t just watch your kids play

Siyahhan says choosing which games your children will play is not enough. You still have to participate with them in some way, even if that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to participate. Look at the screen your children are playing on and be ready to find opportunities to build a relationship throughout the game.

“When kids know all the mechanics of the game and can teach an adult, it makes them proud and they feel what they are doing is valuable,” she says.

And you can encourage your kids to become active learners by going deeper into the educational aspects of the game. For example, if they’re playing a game with dinosaurs, they might want to know more about when the creatures ruled the world. Earth 65 million years ago. And you can also have conversations about how to think for themselves and deal with their frustrations when they can’t complete a level.

“You also teach them that they have to persist,” Siyahhan says. “If they die three times and give up, that’s not a good lesson to learn. You can use it as a learning opportunity. Give it a few days and encourage them to pick up the controller and try again. Talk about it and ask what they think happened.

Start setting boundaries

There are many reasons to encourage young children to play video games, including speculation that it can lead to careers in computing and other STEM professions. But that doesn’t mean you should let your kids spend all their free time playing Minecraft instead of going out.

Siyahhan is hesitant to offer specific settings, but says as you explore video games with your child, it’s likely that limitations stemming from your parenting style and values ​​will emerge. She also says that just because video games aren’t the same as playing a sport, it doesn’t make the time spent playing them less valuable — it’s still quality time spent together.

As they get older, all of these priorities – finding age-appropriate games, exploring them together, and setting boundaries – will help lay the groundwork for how they’ll discover new games and play new games and apps at home. the future.

Is it bad for a 4 year old to play video games?

A study from the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family suggests that video games can be addictive for children and that children’s addiction to video games increases their levels of depression and anxiety.

Should 6-year-olds play video games?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 18 months, followed by a maximum of one hour per day until age five.

Are video games a waste of time?

According to a recent study by the NPD group, 73% of Americans over the age of 2 play video games. They are popular for a reason. They are great fun and the fun is not a waste of time. … The vast majority of people who play video games lead healthy and productive lives.

How do you know if your child is addicted to video games?

9 signs that your child is addicted to video games and how …

  • The child has an explosive and extreme reaction to being removed from play.
  • They lose friends.
  • They stop playing sports.
  • They no longer participate in the things they once loved.
  • Game content shifts to inappropriate topics, such as animated pornography.

When should you introduce kids to video games?

Playing age-appropriate games for your kids might seem like the most obvious gentle introduction to video games, but there’s more to consider here. It’s a general principle that until about age three, your toddler will see anything that takes your attention away from him as a bad thing.

How long should a 7 year old play video games?

Set clear boundaries for your child’s play. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the time allotted should be less than 30 to 60 minutes per day on school days and 2 hours or less on non-school days.

How many hours of video games are healthy?

A study reveals that four hours of video games a day are beneficial for your mental health.

Should a 5 year old play video games?

Your 5-year-old now Researchers increasingly believe that playing these games activates dopamine, a brain chemical that makes kids want to keep playing them over and over again. In addition, frequent use of computer games increases the risk of childhood obesity if excessive game time replaces active play.

What video games are good for 5 year olds?

10 of the best video games for kids ages 5-8

  • The Lego Movie 2 video game, £24.99 – great for team play. …
  • Paw Patrol: On a Roll, £29.99 – great for TV fans. …
  • Dragons: Dawn of New Riders, £29.99 – great for a challenge. …
  • Crayola Scoot, £34.99 – great for multiplayer battles / family fun. …
  • Super Mario Odyssey, £49.99 – ideal for parent nostalgia.

Which console is more child-friendly?

The Xbox One S is a better choice for families who already own a lot of Xbox games, as it will play select Xbox 360 titles. If you’re tired of discs cluttering things up, consider the Xbox One S All-Digital Console Edition that stores all your games in the cloud.

What games do 5 year olds play?

Read on to discover seven unique and fun games and activities to play with your 5-year-old.

  • Memory. This classic card game helps children develop important memory skills. …
  • Simon says. This very simple and minimalist game requires at least two players. …
  • Relay acting. …
  • Parachute. …
  • Extraterrestrial. …
  • Puppet show. …
  • The scarf.

Should a 2 year old play video games?

The study found that 2-year-olds who engaged in physical activity — like crawling through a tunnel or playing ball — did better on a test of mental flexibility than toddlers who had to play games on their own video.

Why Don’t Parents Like Video Games?

Maybe your parents hate video games for many reasons. Initially, they thought the games would entertain you. Something you can play in your free time, so you don’t get “bored”. At first you play several games on the weekends, and maybe a few during the week, after homework of course.

How do video games affect child development?

Video games can also have a negative effect on a child’s development. Particularly in aspects of violence, antisocial tendencies and behaviors, and increased aggressive thoughts and feelings.

Are video games bad for toddlers?

But too many video games can cause problems. It’s hard to play games and get enough exercise if you’re always playing video games. And without enough exercise, children can become overweight. Overdoing video games could also affect other important things, like a child’s friendships and performance in school.