Did you know that playing video games can actually develop your child's problem solving skills? Think about it. They play, hit a challenge, try multiple different ways to solve the challenge, ask for help from others who have gotten past the challenge and keep trying until they WIN!
In learning there is a concept called TRANSFER. Transfer is the cognitive process that takes place when we take a skill or piece of knowledge from one situation or context and apply it to a different one. Transfer does not happen automatically, it is a process. It is a thinking pattern that needs to be developed.
Below is a quick activity you can do with your kids to help them transfer the critical thinking skills they are developing playing video games into their real life!
1. Pick a video game! (Preferably one your kids find fun!)
2. Play the game up until a fail point (Run out of moves, Loose a life!)
3. Ask your kids these questions in sequence:
What did you do well?
What did you not do well?
How could you do that differently to WIN next time? (Things to look for: Asking for help, trying different ways, research and practice)
4. Let them play again (a few times if needed)
If they are still struggling go back to STEP 3
If they WIN go to STEP 5
5. Celebrate the WIN! And then ask these questions in sequence:
What did you do differently to WIN?
Explain some of the different ways you tried to WIN. (You can help them with this one if they are struggling)
Have you had a problem lately that you do not know how to solve?
How could you use the things you did to WIN in the game to solve your problem? (Things to look for: Ask someone for help, try different options, practice)
6. Encourage your kid/s to try and solve the problem.
Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments!