First I hope everyone had a great holiday! I had a great one, and it just keeps getting better ’cause next week is my birthday! For those of you who don’t know, my birthday is my favorite day of the year! So over the break Maddie (our 4 year old daughter) got into playing the Wii. We don’t have a ton of Wii games and the ones we do are somewhat difficult for her to play. So I started looking online for games that were good for age 4. I found a couple of forums where people were asking the same question, and a few replies. One person replied that she was appalled by the fact that the person was asking the question in the first place. How dare they want their child involved with video games… to which I have the (probably somewhat unpopular) opinion… GIVE ME A BREAK! Especially for the Wii, where it encourages kids to get active and not to just mash buttons! So we let our 4 year old play video games. My sister (the healthy one) lets her children play video games. It’s really not the end of the world, and it’s great to help them with coordination, problem solving, following directions, etc etc etc. Here are a few things to help your child be a successful gamer…
Set Time Limits – My sister limits each of her kids to 30 minutes a day. They can earn extra time by doing things around the house to help out (aside from their usual chores). Also if you can see that your child is getting too upset or frustrated with the game, it’s time to turn it off and step away from it for a while (even if they haven’t reached their time limit yet)
Find Age Appropriate Games – Do research, read reviews, find out about the games that your children want to play. We thought Maddie would like a Littlest Pet Shop game, since she loves the toys. After reading reviews on Amazon though, it was clear that it would be a bit advanced for her. Apparently there is a lot of reading in that game, so I knew we should wait a bit before we try that one. I did find out that Go Diego Go would be perfect from reading reviews on Amazon, and sent a text to my husband at work that he needed to bring it home for her. Now even if your child CAN master more advanced games, that doesn’t mean they should. Ratings are there for a reason. Mature rated games are just that… for MATURE adults. Not for your Tweenage son! It is like running out and buying an R rated movie for your 10 year old to watch. Don’t do it! Please take an active interest in what your children are playing!
Get Involved – When your children are learning new things on a game, help them out a bit. Once they have it down they won’t need you so much. It’s great to be able to spend time with your child teaching them how to work the controls. You can also get involved by playing with them. Again, it’s great bonding to sit down and play a fun game with your child.
So we purchased Go Diego Go, and it turned out AWESOME! To make Diego jump you have to jump, to climb across a vine you have to pretend you are climbing, she loves it, and I am able to get a bit of work done while she is playing.
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