Games for your mind

Posts Tagged ‘Reflections

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

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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math-comicsSome children hate math, was the same for me when I was a kid, like many other classmates of mine I didn’t like numbers, equations and when  our teachers explained  formulas and wrote exercises on the board my mind was always somewhere else.
I think the real problem is that math appears boring to the kids and without interest there’s no learning.
That’s why math based games can be a good stratagem to make this subject more interesting among kids and teenagers.
Nowadays we have a lot of interactive and classic math games that can be used as educational tools to show how cool and interesting math is.  A game is a perfect trick to involve kids in math studies without annoying them.
It is scientifically proved, that kids learn faster if they have fun during the lesson and math games can provide both learning and amusement.

Math games are a great way to improve skills, measure proficiency and, above all, have fun. Math games keep all their promises and I think could be the future of education, especially with problematic kids and negligent teenagers.
Smart and clever games can sharp children’s math skills and make teachers happy and less stressed.
So happy math to everybody with clever games!

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game-theoryGames theory is a disciple that studies the problem of the interdependence between the players of the same game.
The behaviour analysis of game players is called strategic interaction and is used in Business studies to understand complex aspects of some kinds of markets and to build descriptive models based on subjects’ behaviours in uncertain situations.
For example, the famous “prisoner’s dilemma” is one of the main problems in game theory and is used to explain the reasons of a certain player’s choice rather than another one.
Originally developed by Merrill Flood e Melvin Dresher, the prisoner’s dilemma is based on the following riddle:

Two men are arrested by the cops, but they don’t have sufficient evidence to incriminate them:
for this reason, the cops decide to lock the two prisoners in different rooms and visit them separately to make a deal.

  1. If one of them testifies (defects) against the other he will obtain the liberty and his crime partner will be sentenced to 10 year in jail.
  2. If both remain silent, the will convicted to six months jail sentence.
  3. If each betrays the other both of them will receive a five year jail sentence.

So prisoners have to choose if betray the other or remain silent with the reassurance that nobody will ever know that he betrayed his partner before the end of the trial.
Now the fundamental question is: how should the prisoners act?
The game theory explains this dilemma with the help of Pareto optimality, a concept developed by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who studied the economic efficiency.
The best choice for both the prisoners is to play in accord with the dominant strategy and confess their crime.  This is the only way to contain the damages and the risks of be betrayed first by the other, minimizing the risk of a 10years jail sentences.
This interesting slide is a good introduction to the game theory study.

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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_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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John_Lennon_mind_gamesToday I would like to make a tribute to a music legend of the past: John Lennon, probably one of the greatest artist of the last century, and to one of his best soloist songs:  Mind Games, which is also the title  of the album released in 1973 that bring back John Lennon‘s music on the emotional Pop-Rock sound.

Mind Games is not so famous like Imagine or other big hits of Lennon, but I think it’s one of the most interesting Lennon’s soloist works. Originally entitled make “Make Love, Not War”, like the famous  slogan against the war in Vietnam, Mind Games is another masterpiece deeply related to the  pacifist hymn “Give Peace A Chance”.

Mind Games stands for the possibility of use our own brightness to change the world, like Lennon did, using his fame to protest against the war and defend world peace. Mind Games is another great artistic prove of Lennon‘s commitment, explicitly declared in the last ironic sentence of the song: I want you to make love, not war, I know you’ve heard it before.

Games for your mind is all about that feeling so well expressed in this beautifull song: love not war, education not violence, free thoughts not  manipulation,  fair play not romp.

Playing  Clever games together today to paint a brighter  tomorrow!

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