What is game based learning and how can it help children thrive?
What is Game Based Learning?
Game Based Learning is the method of educating a child or young adult through the playing of or partaking in a game. Whether the game itself is a traditional board game, a role play game or a digital game, the learning can and will take place. It really is a fantastic way of helping your child blossom! Take a look at just a few of the benefits below.
There are many positive benefits of children learning through the playing of games. From preschool and early years right through to higher education, the benefits and enrichment game or play based learning provides are considerable and definitely should be encouraged!
- Motivation/Engagement – Children are motivated to take part in games as they do not realise that they are learning at the same time.
- Imagination/Cognitive Development – Children can use the opportunity to stretch their imagination particularly if the game requires them to ‘be in character’.
- Independence – It encourages children to become independent thinkers.
- Competition – The world is a competitive place and children need to learn early on that it is a part of life. Game based learning teaches them about healthy competition but without the pressures. It reinforces in them that failure is a part of life but not necessarily a setback.
- Creativity - It encourages a different thought process to overcome challenges or the ability to seek out a different solution.
- Suits all abilities – Games can be adjusted to suit all levels of ability. Children can ‘work’ at their own level within the game. Game based learning can be started at an early age and before a child attends nursery or school. Even very simple games will help them to develop so never too early to start!
- Moral aspect – Games are fantastic at showing children how their actions can affect an outcome or someone else’s outcome. They can learn how to empathise with others and to understand the consequences of their actions. This will really help them at school and benefit them throughout their whole life.
- Teamwork/Improved social skills – Many games require participants to work as a team, this is an important life skill that children need to learn early on. Game based learning helps them develop this skill.
- Increases attention span – A child who is learning through play often will have a greater attention span than one who is taught the same skills in a more formal way.
- Motor skill development – Children who play games often have greater fine motor skills. When taking part in more physical games such as with climbing frames or ball pools, the benefits can also include better gross motor skill development too.
It is not always as simple as just presenting a child with a game and expecting a child to learn from it but with a little support, encouragement and a little planning, game based learning can be an effective and fun way to help your children learn, develop and thrive.