TEANECK, NEW JERSEY, June 7, 2022 — While it is always great for parents to monitor screen time for children of all ages, video games can still have a place in helping kids develop a full range of skills, from motor to coping skills and problem-solving. According to Manuel Mendy Goldring, the benefits vary greatly by the type of game and its intended purposes.
In this breakdown, Goldring examines the top games for various age groups and some ways they can help children grow and learn.
Manuel Mendy Goldring’s video game picks
Early years games
Starting out children with video games should always contain a learning component until they are ready for more competitive efforts. At ABCmouse, there is a full range of gaming activities available for children ages 2 to 8, and the Adventure Academy is offered for ages 8-13.
Games and activities are kept simple and available via computer, tablet, and smartphone for the youngest ages. Learning paths allow children to master lessons in reading, math, social studies, and more — all at an age-appropriate level.
Children ages 5-8
Outside of educational offerings, children in the early school years enjoy games with fun movie tie-ins and well-known characters. By checking the age rating, parents can verify the content is appropriate, according to Manuel Mendy Goldring.
Games like the Lego Movie 2 game allow the youngest players to engage in basic activities, such as coin collection and general movements, or partake in teamwork efforts that allow them to help older players solve more complex problems and move forward with gameplay. Lessons learned include basic applications of motor skills and, when playing together, the importance of working together.
Super Mario Odyssey starts to move out of the age range with a 7+ ranking but is still a solid option for the demographic. Parents can hop on the nostalgia train with this option, Manuel Mendy Goldring states. In a teamwork mode, parents or older children can play with a younger player cooperating as Cappy. Mission-oriented gameplay with easily displayed markers helps push players toward the next objective. Children can learn task management while having lots of fun.
For older children, games like Mario Kart, Super Mario, Animal Crossing, and more basic sports competition games start to take on new life and present new challenges while still being accessible to advanced younger gamers.
This is also an excellent time to start introducing more complex subject matter in more educational gaming options. Manuel Mendy Goldring says websites like CodeSpark Academy help children explore new skills in the STEM area through fun guided lessons. These lessons can help instill confidence in children while helping them master core subject areas they encounter daily at school.
For teens, parental preferences for age-appropriate video games take precedent. Classics like the Sims and fun options like Super Smash Brothers and complex sports games are favorites, but many teens also enjoy universe-building and more involved plot arcs in their games, making parent involvement key for setting standards and picking long-term options.