Computer games The rising generation lives digitally. This can no longer be denied. Everywhere infants already encounter smartphones, tablets, and Co.
So it is clear that computer games for children are becoming more and more popular. After all, this conveys a certain media competence in a playful way, which is now irreplaceable. But if you are a mom or dad of a child yourself, you probably ask yourself one or the other question: At what age should you introduce yourself to the topic? Or also: How can you keep track? Read on here for answers to exactly these and other questions!
Advantages and disadvantages of computer games for children
Let’s be honest: Computer games for children often have a rather negative reputation. Especially first-person shooters are discredited for having a bad influence on the youngest among us. But in fact, scientists have found the opposite. According to neuroscientists, it is precisely these “shooting games” that promote spatial orientation, attention, and perception. Strategic thinking and team awareness can also benefit from such games.
It is often argued that too much time in front of the computer can be addictive. This is, of course, a point that we cannot and do not want to deny. As is so often the case, the dose makes the poison. If you played in moderation and adapted to your age, multiplayer in particular can bring some plus points: On the one hand, they strengthen social and communication skills, and on the other hand, they often also promote English skills. After all, young people around the world gamble with each other here.
From what age are computer games worthwhile for children?
Nowadays, we can’t avoid the flickering screens. Almost everyone bridges a small waiting time by scrolling on the smartphone, checking the news on the computer or switching off a video game on the console or tablet. And our children see this and want to imitate us from a certain age. After all, we are their living example.
So when is it safe to introduce computer games to children? While we will give you an initial answer, we would like to emphasize that you know your child best. We can only give general tips, which you can then customize.
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The little ones (0-3 years)
Children are now growing up completely digital and touchscreens have become indispensable. But especially computers, smartphones or even a console are not yet recommended at this age. After all, the brain makes enormous progress every day, especially in the first three years. So it alone has enough to do with all the other impressions that rain down on them in everyday life. In fact, these are processed at twice the speed during these years. In some cases, the brain works so hard that it consumes half of the calorie requirement.
Therefore, especially at this time, the topic of computer games for children is rather discouraged. These are usually overwhelming and cannot be processed as quickly as it would be necessary. Another reason we would like to mention deals with spatial perception. This develops from the beginning of the 2nd year of life. So the brain is not yet designed to really recognize two-dimensional things on a tablet or the like. For this reason, scientists advise that during these years you should focus primarily on the fact that your child is often in direct contact with peers and adults.
Nevertheless, there are a few possibilities that playfully introduce the topic of digital media for the youngest among us. Because even two- and three-year-olds can discover the world interactively with learning systems such as the Tiptoi from Ravensburger. In this example, they use a pen that plays music or stories. Here, even eye-hand coordination is promoted. This is also supported for coloring games on a large touchpad. You may know them from waiting rooms or children’s play corners. There, the little ones can fill prefabricated images with color with one or two touches.
irst steps into the digital world (3-6 years)
When the first important stages of development, such as learning to speak and walk, have been completed, the brain can absorb significantly more from about the age of three. Because from this age, the children already recognize connections between cause and effect. From the age of four, the memory then runs at full speed. Here it now understands concepts of quantity and time, which can be playfully processed in small computer games for children. For example, there are various search games, so-called point-and-click games, in which your child learns, for .B, how to assign.
From the age of five, the little ones slowly reach preschool age. They understand more and more that there are also self-invented solutions to problems. In addition, the need to learn something and thus to be able to do something is probably developing now. Therefore, from this age, the topic of educational games slowly comes to the fore. Kids can playfully practice reading and writing outside of school. Even the first mathematical problems can be solved with such games. There are even dedicated children’s computers in our online shop.
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Despite these many advantages, we would like to briefly point out that especially at the beginning the playing time should be somewhat limited. For example, start with 20 minutes a day, where you also sit next to it and can always be there for any questions. This also has the advantage that you can keep track of what is happening and you spend time together.
Computer games for children in primary school (7-10 years)
At the latest in primary school, i.e. from the age of six or seven, media literacy is becoming increasingly important. After all, most kids at this age have a cell phone to call their parents or be in touch with friends in emergencies. So it is only logical that computer games are becoming increasingly important for children as a leisure activity.
In general, the USK (Entertainment Software Self-Regulation) in cooperation with the Stiftung Digitale Spielkultur recommends a time between 45 and 60 minutes for the under 10-year-olds. So it is also possible for your little ones to deal more intensively with the topic of the game. However, we still recommend that you always stay close by to answer any questions.
Independent gaming from the age of 11 Computer games
Here, too, there are different views as to whether flexible and longer playing on the screen should be recommended from the age of 11. However, it is clear that with increasing age, computer games for children are becoming more and more complex and time-consuming. In addition, the cooperative factor is becoming more and more important, so that your child can also communicate with his friends after school via such games. However, it is still true that you should always keep an eye on the individual games. This is the only way you can make restrictions if the content is inappropriate for age.
In addition, the ever longer school hours should not be neglected. It is best to set a certain framework so that there is enough time for homework, learning and sufficient sleep. For example, the Digital Game Culture Foundation in cooperation with the USK recommends 90 to 120 minutes for children aged 12 and over.
From the age of 14 at the latest, young people become more and more autonomous. The time can be flexibly divided. On average, 2 hours a day is still a useful framework. This is especially true for a school week. During the holidays or on weekends, you can of course also make out larger time slots. A little tip: Time to gamble is always a good incentive to do homework or so that the nursery is finally cleaned up again.
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How can you keep Computer games track?
We’ve already hinted at it, but the be-all and end-all about this topic remains that you have a certain interest in your child’s development and hobbies. Of course, it is ideal if you explore the games together. But we also know that this is not always possible. In this case, it is particularly important that you deal with the titles in detail beforehand.
After all, you know best what your child’s stage of development looks like, what they might be scared of, and how well they know how to separate reality from the virtual world. In addition, some in-game functions can also be decisive for whether this is suitable for your little ones. Under:
Is there a way to set a so-called parental control in the game?
Can possible cost traps arise?
What is the age assessment of the game?
Speaking of age: A good first overview of which title is suitable for which group is given by the so-called USK assessment. This is the entertainment software self-control. Independent testers determine here whether the games from 0, 6, 12, 16 and 18 years are recommended. Regardless of this, however, you should also read about the content of the respective video game beforehand.
Conclusion: What can computer games do for children?
Now we have given you a rough overview of the topic of computer games for children. It has become clear that we have now arrived in the digital age and that the screen is also indispensable in the everyday life of our little ones. This means that on the one hand we have to prepare our children for this, but on the other hand we also have to give them a certain amount of time to develop away from the screens.
But if they have grown a little older, gambling can bring some advantages. In this way, really important things such as communication, motor skills, attention or even strategic thinking can be conveyed in a playful way. In addition, there are various ways to bring topics from school to the children. Nevertheless, as a parent, you also have responsibility for the consumption and content of the games.