Video Games that Inspire Learning

During the winter season, many kids will spend their holiday breaks playing at home, playing outside, watching TV, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family.  Parents can capitalize on this time that they get to spend with their kids and incorporate learning into play activities.  With the advancement in video game control systems that have been on the market in the past few years, new games that are interactive have become very popular.  There are many games that now incorporate learning, interaction, and play all at the same time.


Xbox Kinect

Kinect is a motion video camera that requires no physical gaming controller.  Instead, your body and motion becomes the controller.  Two games for pre-school students that are great for learning that use Kinect are Kinect Nat Geo TV and Kinect Sesame Street TV.  These games allow the child to interact within the environment of the game.  This means kids are virtually transported into the game where they can learn about geography, animals, the alphabet, and math skills.  For elementary aged children a great learning game is Kenictimals a game where kids get to interact, feed, and play with wild animals.  There are many other games that use Kinect including sports games, trivia games, family games, and strategy games.

PlayStation Move

PlayStation Move includes a controller and a camera that then mimics your movements onto the television screen. PlayStation Tumble is a game where kids play with virtual blocks.  There are different challenges with the blocks including building shapes, solving puzzles, making the blocks collapse, and balancing.  All of the physics behind the game is based on real-life causing the blocks to act as they would normally.  The kids use the motion of their arms and body to move the block where they need to go.  Eyepet is also a great game for kids.  Kids interact with the virtual pets where they get to dress their pets, add colors, perform tricks, and play games. Start the Party is a great family game.  This is a collection of mini- games that include hunting ghosts, spearing fish, and destroying robots.  Each mini-game provides a challenge and the person who scores the top spot wins.

Wii MotionPlus

Wii Motion Plus is an adapter for the Wii Remote.  This accessory makes the remote more accurate to the movements of the user.  There are many sports games and strategy games adapted for the Wii Motion Plus, but none that really directly focus on education.  One series of games with an educational twist include the Professor Layton series, where the player has to solve puzzles.   Another popular puzzle game is Mystery Case Files.  These games can be used with the Wii MotionPlus, but do not really showcase the MotionPlus capabilities.  Games that are rated in the top for the MotionPlus include Super Mario, Rockband, and Wii Party.

Have fun while learning this holiday season with interactive video games.

Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont

Picture By Sam Howzit

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