Games for your mind

Posts Tagged ‘Family

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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baby_glutton-doll
WASHINGTON
Americans little girls learn how to be a mother too soon with the new Baby glutton, a doll that simulate the breast-feeding with sounds and mouth movements. This toy, produced by Berjuan, a spanish company, comes with a special bra for girls to make the playing mother experience as real as possible.
The doll as special sensors and cries like a real baby when he needs more milk and does the burp when it’s filled. In USA the baby glutton it’s object of controversy: in fact, a lot of parents organization deeply believe that this doll may  push the girls to become mothers too soon increasing the risks of teenage pregnancy.
“breastfeeding is a natural process” object Berjuan’s marketing experts and  the idea behind the doll is to promote it by showing  little girls how to do it. But many parents are concerned  that the baby glutton could be a bad toy for their young  girls and not an educational game to teach children motherhood skills.
Honestly I  don’t think that girls need to use a doll to know breastfeeding at this very young age, there’s time for that; it’s true that breastfeeding is a natural process, but it’s also true that this is a natural process of an adult woman that not belongs to childhood and puberty and shouldn’t belong to teenage like many concerned parents suggested.

babyglutton

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games for kidsParty gamesare usually played in family or during friends’ gathering. In England people like to play party games in the pubs, for example during a quiz night contest, in USA these games are usually played during private parties and festivities and in the rest of the world in every country we can find different kinds of popular party games. Gaming is an universal language with different styles in different places but the essence and the spirit of the activity remains the same:
Party games are played for fun during social gatherings and family parties because are a good way to create happy memories, and to bring different generations together in a non competitive and stress free recreational activity. Involving everyone in a fun situations, party games are experiencing a great comeback in our society, probably because we tend to go out less after the credit crunch or maybe that with our busy and frenetic life styles sometimes we need just an old fashion ritual like a party game night In the comfort of our home.
Party games weren’t so popular five or ten years ago but they were deeply played during the great depression when they were used to teach and entertain kids and relief them from the stress and the fear of a poor life. Maybe this renewed popularity of party games will decrease with the economy recovery, but for sure it’ll remain for particular and special occasion like a family game after dinner during the holidays or a quiz night competition in a crowded pub.

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All the games are based on math, there’s not  sport match without a score or  a dice without numbers.

Board and card games need math and players have to do different calculations during a game.

For this reason math games can be, especially for children, a great Mathematics Teaching Method.

Every educator knows how difficult is teaching math to kids, and how many times he have to repeat the same concept before all the students understand it.

Using board games, like the one in the video below, is a nice trick to make some difficult mathematics  principles easier to understand.

Arithmetic, geometry, algebra, there are different games for each subject to keep the mind of the kids focused on the lesson topic.  Fun and math are really distant concepts in our minds because of the way we have been educated, what if we can make math lessons funny for the kids instead of boring?

When children  have  fun, they are more open to learn difficult math calculations, on the contrary when kids become bored they tend to lose their attention.

Math games can be the answer to this fundamental teaching problem and a very useful educational tool for kids of all ages.

The video below shows how kids can practice money values with a nice and funnyboard game.

Math is boring because sometimes kids find it hard, but math should not be a problem for any child and this is the reason why games can make math easier to understand.

Every child will love math if he enjoys the lessons!

more math games

fun math games

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The essential components for a good education are reading, writing and basic computational skills.
Among these three reading is considered the most important. It’s necessary to use creativity and patience to teach reading to children.
Nowadays, with internet and others media invading our lives, the pleasure of reading a book seems lost. However, present and past studies show the importance that reading has in student success rates and also prove that forcing children to read yields poor results.
A new approach to this problem is needed to find a new and more effective method of teaching reading.
When you teach child reading, you should use variety of methods and resources for a well-rounded education.
Some educators obtained great results using educational games :
A lot of methods of teaching reading includes reading games and clever gaming situations to help children memorize letters and familiarize with the language.
Kids learn more when they enjoy the educational experience, that’s why reading games are really effective to improve their  skills.
For a kid, a boring standard lesson can’t be catchy as playing a reading game, and this is the reason why fun learning is more effective and interesting than old teaching methods.
Also the contribute of the family is important , but the teacher’s methods are crucial to create an overall educational experience.
The video below shows how reading games for kids can be used; a specific game could provide oral reading, another one could teach how to share the contents with the group, another one could involve the class into a recital.
The “Crazy Professor” video shows a game based reading seminar adopted by many American schools to develop reading comprehension among their young students.
This a clear evidence of how educational games can help children to learn the language and enjoy their reading lessons.

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kids-and-gamesOn a cognitive level the game is important for memory improvement, concentration, attention.
It’s a matter of fact that a poor recreational activity can compromise the cognitive development of a child.
Swiss psychologist Piaget proposed a classification of games types based on the structure of the game itself and at the same time on the genetic evolution of cognitive process:

  1. Exercise games are those types of games related to newborn babies until two years old. The baby try to understand how his body movement works and start to develop his motor skills;
  2. Symbolic games; simulation is the main aspect of the game and pretend to be someone else in a fantasy scenario is one of the most interesting aspect of any kind of game; according to Piaget symbolic games can help the child to organize his thoughts to a level that the language hasn’t reached yet. With symbolic games children start to develop “mental images” to learn and experiment new situations;
  3. Rule games start like imitations of holder kids games, and year by year define the child’s approach to socialization, Rule games became more frequent year after year, instead other types of games tend to decrease with the passing of time, proving how important are social relation and code rules.

We can say then that game is a spontaneous and natural activity that follow all the evolutional steps of a man, from childhood to maturity. In childhood in particular, games are for kids an important learning and self improvement tool; in general, the absence of games in a child’s life, is a symptom of discomfort and malaise.

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clever-games

Games are very important during the child’s growth, and for this reason is very important promote clever gaming activities to our kids. On a social level, children start to develop their gaming activities in three different stages:

  1. Individual games; is typical of new born babies  and it doesn’t involve any social interaction;
  2. Collateral games, children between 1 and three years start to find the firsts gaming interactions with their contemporaries, but the game still remains individual;
  3. Group games, children between four and five years start to develop more complex interactions during the gaming activities and the gaming group became a micro-universe in which children start to experiment the firsts social relations and to understand group dynamics functioning.

Besides, children’s gaming activities are important for the evolutionary development of the child for these two main reasons:

  1. With  the gaming activities, children start to discover the external reality, the unknown world that is still out of his reach;
  2. Gaming activities help children to be in control of their internal word made of passions, instincts, and to find the perfect balance between this world and the external one.

With clever games children can discover, understand, know new things, manage their needs and follow their interests.
Children need positive experiences, harmony and love: gaming activities can favourite all those important emotions.
These are alle the important reasons  why gaming activities are considered not only as the best way for children to develop their emotions and feelings, but also as  the best  knowledge tools to discover the unknown world.

Clever Games for Clever People

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Educational-Construction-ToysAmong the best educational toys ever invented for children we have construction toys: children love constructions toys, because they can alwais create something new mixing up the pieces, experimenting new shapes and using those creations to set-up fantasy games: cars ships, bridges, houses became in children’s games new playgrounds where the educational gaming approach always let the child learn and experiment something new.

With construction toys children can improve their visual skills, motor skills and start to understand the basics of pConstruction-toyshysics, and design.
Educational toys like constructions are always a good way to let the children face problem solving and a proactive thinking attitude.
Creativity and imagination are also well stimulated by educational construction toys and for every stage of the childhood there are different sets with different benefits for your children.
Construction sets are educational toys highly recommend by pedagogues and educators for all the children above 5 years old.

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Art,gaming, recreational activities, interaction with the artefacts and a lot of fun all in one great exhibition at the Tate Modern Gallery of London.

Bodymotionspacesthings, born from creative thought of Robert Morris, is the ultimate great art installation in the Tate Modern Gallery of London.

The visitor can use in a recreational way all the installations of the artist and play in a sort of art in progress path, an endless game where people are a part of a bigger artistic creation always different because manipulated by its users.

In Robert Morris recreational art installation, you can climb, you can run, drift and jump while you are contemplating a fascinating art creation, a game which always includes everyone in its artistic representation.

Due to the big success of Bodymotionspacesthings, Tate Modern Gallery extended the exhibition until 14 June 2009 and the entrance is free!

I recommend this clever gaming experience to everyone!

To get an Idea of what Bodymotionspacesthings really is watch this video and have some fun!

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Educational_toysGames and Recreational activities play an fundamental role in child development. Spencer affirms that both man and animals have a surplus of energies utilized in games and recreational activities; in 1900 Carl Cross noticed that games and recreational activities are a sort of exercise utilized to develop motor skills and mental faculties, an exercise to see that determined innate human structures are transformed in more complex behaviour patterns, more suitable for environmental modifications. Through games and educational activities, the child start to understand objects functioning; the functional game , as pedagogues call it to underline the imitative activity of real situations: the game start to acquire the firsts representational patterns, when the child start to utilize objects in a functional way and in this way it become a representative game. The Recreational experience teach to the child perseverance and self-confidence; it’s a process to become aware of his internal and external worlds and to accept the reciprocal needs of these two realities. On a cognitive level, games and recreational activities favour the development of memory, of attention and concentration, the ability of make comparisons, of build relations and of utilize perceptual learning patterns. A lack of recreational activities, especially during childhood, can create cognitive deficiencies. Recreational activities grow step by step along with intellectual and psychological development of the child; for this reason this stage remains fundamental  in every man life.

Sometimes even for adults, playing recreational activities is the only way to free their minds from any thought or worry and to unburden emotional make-up.

Games and recreational activities are very important for the intellectual development of the child because when he plays he can surprise himself and trough surprise he can learn how to relate himself with the external world; games are a great tool for the child because help him to develop his creativity, to experiment his cognitive capabilities, to build relations with his contemporaries and to give life to the development of his personality.

Intellectual potentiality, affections, relations, these are the milestones of a sane and happy childhood and of a bright future, because,  as British World War pilot Douglas Bader used to say, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”

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