kids-playing-with-ipadUnfortunately, getting outside is becoming a rarity and children need to be supervised and due to our demanding schedules parents are becoming more time poor therefore, children spending a lot more time in doors.  Nevertheless, if children are inside and attached to technology as they are these days, technology still can be beneficial for your child.  Before you flick that switch on the remote or fire up the computer for your kids to play on during these holidays pause for a few seconds and ask yourself the BIG question – What will my child learn from this?

You may turning it on to keep them entertained that’s fine for a short time, however there is a bigger issue here.  Today we have such a vast array of programs, dvds, websites, cd’s there is in short -  so much choice.  Why not make those choices an opportunity and opportunity to learn as well. Turn those hours that your kids spend glued to the screen into something useful.

Now before you jump to conclusions, learning today is fun, the tv shows that have an opportunity to learn are great – learning certainly is not the chore you were probably bought up with.  Just take a look before you dismiss my suggestion thinking that your kids wouldn’t be interested.   The programs are designed number one to be fun and entertaining and to keep your childs attention the whole time, then they add in the educational aspects, before you know it your child will be rattling off facts, and their general knowledge will increase immensely.

Need a few tv programs to get you started?  Try these,

  • Backyard Science – science experiments in a fun, real life way
  • Man v Wild – learning about different plants and animals you can eat, and how to survive, great entertainment
  • Deadly 60 – information about the behaviours and dangers of deadly animals
  • Megastructures – how they built great buildings of the world, awesome
  • Engineering connections – shows how inventions have changed over time, telescopes, dams, ships, Ferris wheels
  • Mythbusters – form experiments to test myths that have been around for ages thru to latest special effects on movies
  • Time compass – ancient civilizations, learn about them, what they did, the food they ate

And on the Internet just to get you started:

  • Woodlands junior – has lots of brainy games, and problem solving,  racing cars by answering maths questions
  • Look for ‘sugar sugar’ -  you need to get the sugar into cups before the time runs out – awesome!
  • – learn to play and play people from all around the world!
  • Reading Eggs – learning to read, read first then play games

Want to buy to some great computer games, then check out the series from DK – World Explorer is a great start – travel around the world, collecting clues to find the treasure, get to know your countries, and national treasures.

Research has showed that kids are deeply engaged in learning through such games and that they are engaged on a different level.  Learning is a very important internal drive for people, we have a basic drive for gaining knowledge.  Apparently this desire is as strong as the desire for having fun.  It is these two concepts that are now taken consideration when designing games.

Microsoft is currently conducting their own research into this area, and is studying and designing trial games that include learning as a focus.  They are trying to take that obsessiveness that children have to computer games to create educational games that are just as obsessive.

So before you flick the switch direct your kids to shows, games that has learning at its core, before they while away hours of just entertainment.

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