One of the challenges for parents is finding ways to connect children’s activities at home to things they are learning at school. In fact, this seems like such a challenge as to almost be a laughable idea.

But, if we can find ways to create activities at home that extend and link to what children are learning at school this can be a powerful experience. Of course, one of the reasons this is difficult is because children are reluctant to take on more work after a long day of learning.

Making it fun

Video games can play a helpful role here. Firstly, children are keen to play as a way to relax and reconnect with friends. Secondly, there are a wide range of games that offer innovative and imaginative ways to extend topics covered at school.

The key is finding games that are still genuinely fun. Anything designed for learning or with a curriculum outcome simply won’t pass muster. Kids are great at spotting when adults are leveraging play for other purposes — which in fact makes play cease to be play in the tourist sense.

Check this out…

On the Family Video Game Database, and in his Taming Gaming book, Andy Robertson (@GeekDadGamer) includes 1000’s of amazing games that are great fun. Here, the educational benefits happen as collateral learning. They are “proper” games, but games that address topics like history, geography and maths. They are addictive in a good way because they offer a chance to reflect on emotions, character and community.

Here are some of the lists he has created for families over the last year:

Another way to use the database is to make up your own list on the game search page:

You can customise the lists or the searches by clicking the filters button and specifying Age Rating, Platform, Genre and Theme. You could even search for the current Educational Special Offers.

The hope for the database is that it opens the door to help parents find video games their children want to play that extend learning in playful and unusual ways.

Find out more

Hear more from Andy in his recent chat with Mark Anderson: