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educational games for kids

Educational videogames

The use of educational games, e-learning and videogames in school education became one of the main objectives of many research centres around the world.

In United States Microsoft, Columbia University and New York University had started a partnership with the Games for learning institute, to conduct different researches on educational games, e-learning and videogames.
In Europe the need for an implementation of new educational tools in school education is the new scientific research’s challenge.
The aim of all these organizations is to conduct differnet researches on the use of games, e-learning and videogames as learning tools, trying to find the perfect implementation of these new digital tools  in school education.

The European Schoolnet recently completed a survey project called Games in School, developed to analyze the use of educational videogames in European schools.
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ancient roman puppetGreek and Roman games are one of the little known aspects of these ancient societies.
In Hellenistic and Roman culture skill games were a recreational activity both for children and adults.
Since prehistoric times is possible to recognize the so-called ancestors of games and toys among the archeological finds and in the works of Hellenic and Romans artists and poets:
We know for sure that in the fifth century BC, Crater, an Athenian playwright, wrote a play dedicated to skill games.
In ancient Rome writer Suetonius wrote two different books one on Greek kids games, and the other on the Romans ones: unfortunately all these works got lost and we know only a few certain things about ancient Greek and Roman skill games.
A lot of references are traceable in the works of philosophers, poets, playwrights who, helped us to understand that in every ancient game there was a deep educational theory to help and support kids development through the use of their skills.

In the ancient Roman world the expression “nuces relinquere” (leave the nuts), meant leaving childhood and becoming adult, because nuts were used by kids to play one of the most popular skill game in ancient Rome . The nuts were used like balls and thrown to to smash other nuts, just like in the modern bowling game.

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Construction toys and creative games encourage creativity, curiosity, manual abilities and meets the incredible thirst for knowledge of the human nature. In the past, due to the fragility of the materials used to make toys, we have few traces to identify a precise date for the invention of construction toys. One of the first appearance of constructions toys dates back to medieval times, around 1245, when a Franciscan monk, around 1245 , reported about an Arab game he had learned in the Holy Land, consisting of modular elements to form a sphere.

engino construction toys

ENGINO NEW CONSTRUCTION TOYS

Other historical finds and ancient books, prove the Arab origins of constructions toys and modular board games, usually composed of elements of geometric form. In 1500 constructions where not only toys, but olso ornamental building miniatures in the royal courts, a game of ability for jesters and a nice hobby for the ladies. In fact, in the Middle Age, constructions toys and other games where not designed for children but for adults. Read the rest of this entry »

green-games

green world and ecological games

Some online games creators have realized many fun and educational flash games, to support the the environmental cause.
Here you can find the green online games top list.
I think these are among the cleverest flash games available online, because help people to “go green” and face many of the critical environmental issues of our time, such as sustainable way of life, energy savings and waste reduction. Green online games also give many tips and info about global warming and environmental pollution.
Online gaming industry endorsed environmental protection creating new ecological flash games to save the planet with the best weapons available: commitment and political activism.

All the green  flash games in the following online eco-games top list are free to play and share: Read the rest of this entry »

the board and the pieces of the Gomoku board game

the board and the pieces of  Gomoku

Gomoku (五目並べ) is a Japanese traditional logic board game, related with the game of Gobang (which uses the same board and pieces), and it’s also know in English countries as Five in a Row.
The rules of the game of Gomoku are in fact different and much simpler than the Gobang game and for this reason it’s a board game played mainly by children. But despite its simples rulres Gomoku is a strategy and logic board game more complex and difficult than Tic Tac Toe (also called Nine Mens Morris) and the modern Connect Four. Read the rest of this entry »

Rubik's-cube-variationsThe Rubik’s Cube is a famous visual logic game and a really complicate puzzle invented by Hungarian sculptor and architect Ernő Rubik in 1974.

Originally called Magic Cube from its inventor, this visual logic game was renamed Rubik’s Cube and marketed by Ideal Toys in 1980 and soon became one of the best-selling game in history, with about 300 million units sold.
A lot of people went mad trying to solve the Rubik’s cube because it’s one of the hardest visual logic puzzle ever invented, and if you suffer of anger attacks this puzzle game is definitely not for you.
You may have a Nervous Breakdown!

Rubik’s cube solution involves a long and complicated logic method, but if you want a quicker way to solve it you can check this website clicking here.

You must select the colours and recreate your puzzle in the Rubik’s cube solver and the game is done in few moves. With this program solve this intricate puzzle game is really easy.
No matter how bad you’ve messed up with your cube, with this little help you will to find the way out and win.
So now you can easily impress your boss or show off with your friends…

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A  research show how online games growth is lead by skill games.

skill-gamesAs part of a global study on the gaming sector, Ernst & Young presented the results of an investigation into the online gaming market.

The Market analysis shows how the online gaming sector registers an average growth of 13% per year.
The study confirms the acceleration of the development of online gambling and the rise of  many skill games like Sudoku puzzles, strategy games, board games.
Internauts seem to fancy in particular chess and billiard and the more traditional card games.
In the first 6 months of 2009 59% of web users has played a skill game online.
On average, the total value of the online gaming market is around $ 5 billion per year; 150% more than in 2008. Of these 5 billion, 2.2 billion are due to skill games.
Several factors support the growth of online games.
First, the high propensity of everyone on the world to play a game, which is further emphasized by the situation of economic crisis.
Second the social networking tendencies that are transforming the web, that point even more trough interactive widgets and applications.
And what’s better than addicting game to retain visitors on the web pages?

For this reason many companies are investing on advert-games, those small applications on the web pages with interactive playable games promoting services or products.
I don’t know if it’s worth invest on the online gaming market, I’m not a financial consultant, but I do know that in a way or in another, both online and offline we will always play games to have fun and laugh together.

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green toys

green toys

Ecofriendly gifts could be a great way to teach children an ecologic view.
I think that everyone of us knows how important are renewable energies to reduce the earth pollution and try to preserve our ecosystem.
Now days there are a lot of  ecofriendly gifts that work with solar energy and can be given to kids to introduce them to the ecological issues of our society.
Increase the energy standards in our cities and  change the way we produce Energy may be a too deep arguments for a child, but giving him an ecofriendly game powered by small photovoltaic cells could give the children the opportunity to familiarize with their future.
It’s not just about the battery savings or the fact that ecofriendly gifts are even cheaper than traditional ones, it’s about teaching something important to our children.
This is the real added value of these products:  When our son will ask us “how works this object?”, we will respond “with the sun” and we’ll explain the solar energy concept
In my opinion this is something highly positive for a child.
Maybe solar gifts will not be able to solve the global warming, but every little helps… and probably teaching an ecologic approach to the life to our children could help them to succeed tomorrow in what we’re failing today:  preserve our beloved and beautiful planet earth.

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Eco friendly gifts for him and her

Ecology and eco-friendly gifts

Jacob L. Moreno

Jacob L. Moreno

The term role-playing game has roots in the history of psychology.
In fact, The first to coin the term “Role Play” was Jacob L. Moreno in 1934, after experimenting in 1921 the “theatre of spontaneity”.

Jacob Levy Moreno was a leading psychiatrist, thinker and educator and has been recognized as one of the pioneer of group psychotherapy.

In 1930 Moreno emigrated to the United States and began to develop the technique of psychodrama which is still used in psychotherapy: in the psychodrama technique the patient has to recall and act (like he is on a stage) a past conflict he had against someone.

Then the roles are switched and the patient plays the part of his opponent to try to understand what the other person has felt in that occasion.

But this first sense of the word role-play has no relation with the role play intended as recreational activity, derived from war–games. dungeons and dragons

The role-playing games were played for the first time in the late sixties at the University of Minnesota war-game society.
In 1971, one student Gary Gygax developed in  a war-game with medieval setting called Chainmail, wich become very popular among all Minnesota undergratduates.

But was only in 1974, when Gygax and his mate Dave Arneson invented and released the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons that that role-playing games became worldwide famous.
For this reason, D & D is considered the first modern role-playing game and had a lot of influence on later role-playing games.

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kids-chess1Germany,

This summer instead of going on holidays, a group of researchers from the University of Trier in Rhineland-Palatinate, studied the experimental introduction of chess in elementary school for the new academic year.

The results show that 6 years old children that have begun to learn how to playchess learn more easly not only math but also German grammar.

In other words researchers proved that children who play chess are doing better during all the years of the primary school.

For this reason chess are now considered as an established educational method in Germany’s  primary schools.

Chess help children develop logic and represents a great workout for their brain; chess can also useful to facilitate the integration of foreign scholars (more than eight million students in Germany are immigrants or children of immigrants).

This new method of using chess to improve students’ performances in traditional disciplines like grammar and math is now used in all the primary schools of the Germany.

The biggest problems for the teachers was when children learned how to play chess and started to beat them.  We must say that this  a clear evidence of how the pupils can overcome their masters.

For this reason now teachers are assisted by regular chess players during the “chess hours”.

I don’t know if you live in Germany or not, the fact is that scientific evidences show that chess are a great educational game and can help children to develop not only math capabilities, but also grammar and literacy skills.

The video below shows World Chess Champion Susan Polgar playing chess vs. the young students of a German school.

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