Knowledge about the cognitive development of the baby and young child leads to the temptation to stimulate language, memory and even reasoning earlier and earlier. In reception areas, some games are more associated with pleasure and others with learning. Yet playing is always acting, talking, imitating, communicating. In one word: to grow.
- Have educational games always existed?
The history of games to learn while having fun dates back to ancient times. These snail bob 2 games were intended for children who were old enough to learn grammar, geography, or science, before also addressing younger ones. In pedagogy, the concept of “educational game” dates only from the beginning of the 20th century, with the diffusion of active methods and the development of the nursery school. The history of educational games is therefore linked to that of pedagogical currents and their inventor, the best known being Decroly and Montessori.
- Are all games educational?
The objects to make you want to play are so numerous that a minimum classification is very useful if only to choose and arrange them. It is easy to see that motor games respond to the need to move, symbolic games need to be imagined and construction games need to be made. Similarly, there are games ready to satisfy the need to learn, such as an animal memo, a color lotto, a touch domino or a puzzle of the alphabet.
Play always mobilizes the affective, sensorimotor, cognitive and social spheres. Yes, a child can express emotion with a doll in his arms or while riding a bike, he can understand a cause and effect relationship in front of a stack of cubes or be moving small cars, he can interact with another around a box of shapes or at the top of a toboggan, he can manifest his imagination by manipulating a piece of puzzle or a figurine. In this sense, all games have educational value. No, all games and toys do not have, at the time of their manufacture, the same links with the development of intelligence. So all the games are educational as they help the child to grow up but not all of them have the same place in the “Educational Games” section!
- What does an educational game look like?
It is not easy to describe educational games, as they may be different in appearance and content. Most are presented in a cardboard box but also in the form of objects to manipulate or sensory material. It is also necessary to mention, but with reserve, all the toys on which elements are added, such as letters, numbers, and sounds of animals or words in English: the soft toys, talking trucks, electronic balls and connected toys more and more sophisticated. Attention, it is not enough to reproduce the alphabet on all the faces of a toy or to integrate sentences to create an educational toy!
The name “Educational game” is more specifically games and toys that are intended to address the mental functions (observe, recognize, compare, associate, classify, memorize, etc.). Often, the name of the game evokes the chosen theme, such as nature, colors or letters; sometimes, the title refers to the school universe: “I’m learning to …” or “As in school”.
Behind any educational game, there is an intention to teach that goes through a small pedagogical ruse: to ensure that the child does not directly perceive the project of the adult but he adheres to it for his own pleasure. Otherwise, the game would become the exercise and, without any fantasy, lose its playful dimension! Do not forget that offering an educational game to children, it is especially and first offer them to play.
- Why choose an educational game?
Educational games will never replace other toys with which the child is more free and creative, but they offer a great opportunity for the adult to make himself available, with one or a few children, to create stimulating situations on the linguistic and intellectual plan. They have their place in an ECEC, a RAM, a MAM or at the maternal assistant, some addressing children from the age of 12 months, others from 24 months. They focus on the meaning of touch, sight, and hearing, on manual skills and on emerging mental abilities, without ever pretending to learn at school (reading, vocabulary, mathematics, languages, and science).
Each educational game is designed and realized with the ambition that its use, preferably supervised by an adult, facilitates a skill, transmits knowledge or triggers a simple motivation, always remaining in the playful register. For young children, it’s more about using their repertoire of actions and tools of thought with pleasure than finding the right answer or solution to a problem. From the opening of the game box until the end of the game, the important thing is the pleasure and motivation of each child, whether he plays, learns or even pretends to play. ‘Learn!
- Is a board game also an educational game?
In the commercial offer, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate game to play more and play to learn. Many educational games are presented in the form of a deck of cards, board games, games with pawns and dice, and so on. Many board games focus on a school theme or general culture. Moreover, neither of these two names – educational or social – is included in the ESAR classification as an analytical model recognized as an international reference for the classification of toys. Educational games and board games are described mainly in the category of rules games, according to the following definition: “Game with a precise code to respect and rules accepted by the player or players.”
To play free online kids games you can also visit snail box to have full-time entertainment. Let’s put aside in this enumeration the hi-tech toys, which require a careful examination to determine whether they belong to games and educational toys.
If we follow the stages of cognitive and social development (according to Piaget), the rule games are not intended to interest children before 5 or 6 years. However, manufacturers have made so much progress in simplifying and adapting to the interests of toddlers that it is important to recognize that preschool rule sets exist and appeal to them. On two conditions: be flexible with the instructions of play; do not insist on losing and winning.
- What are the other educational games?
All educational games do not come with items in a box, such as those described as board games suitable for children between 2 and 4 years. Others are aimed at children from 1 year and offer a progressive difficulty, such as recesses, puzzles, nesting cups, abacuses, mosaics or boxes forms. They allow a variety of gestures and combinations of actions: embedding, stacking, aligning, ordering, classifying, categorizing, associating, assembling, etc. Some are even reproduction of material originally created to test intelligence.
Still, others are the reproduction of material invented by precursors of special education for children with sensory or motor disabilities. They solicit visual or auditory discrimination, markers in space, the memorization of sounds, the recognition of an object to touch, etc. These are games all smarter than each other: rough letters, sound imagery, lotto odors, and many others.