Category Archives: Tech and Gadgets

5 Skills Young Children Develop from Video Games

 

5 Skills Young Children Develop from Video Games

 

When I was a child, I was jealous of my cousin who had a Nintendo video game system.  It was so much fun to play, but my parents wouldn’t buy one.  My husband, however, grew up with video games.  After we married, he told me that he wanted to make sure our kids have access to technology and video games just as he had.  I couldn’t really understand the reason why, but now as a parent of young children, I can see how video games can serve educational value and encourage the development of new skills in a fun way!

 

Math Skills

Several games require the player to earn coins or points to move forward in some way, whether that is to level up or to purchase additional characters or items in the game.  This teaches basic math skills to my sons, helping them also learn to save up when necessary. 

 

Reading and Language

Instructions and character dialogue teach language skills and reading skills.  My 5 year old, has learned to read simple commands on the screen to complete a task or mission.  My 7 year old can read specific instructions on the screen to the point that he rarely needs our assistance.  They have also have developed a greater communication with each other.

 

Teamwork and Collaboration

Have you seen young brothers work together and follow each others instructions without a problem or fighting?  I have, and it is amazing to watch them work together!  Many of the “missions” in their games require them to work together closely and complete certain tasks at the same time in order to progress.  It took them a little while to figure it out but they have learned that teamwork is the best way to get something done.

 

Map Reading and Navigation Skills

Most games will have some sort of map to see where to go next or where another player is. My 5 year old has learned to navigate and compare his movement from that on the screen to the small map.  They can find each other across New York City in LEGO Marvel Superheroes and it is absolutely amazing to see these skills at work at such a young age!

 

Hand-Eye Coordination

You might think it is easy to press a button and move around on the screen but for a young child, it can improve their hand-eye coordination drastically!  Button configuration varies per game so the memorization and ability to press the buttons automatically takes patience and practice.

 

These skills can and will still be learned elsewhere, but I love seeing my children learn together while not even realizing it.  It will always be a controversial topic on the amount of screen time children should have, whether they should play video games, etc, but I believe that there are definitely benefits.  Check out these kid-friendly video games and see what you think!

Kid Friendly Video Games

Our favorite kid-friendly video games (ages 5+)

 

Problem Solving Games

LEGO Marvel Superheroes 
LEGO City Undercover 
LEGO Star Wars 
LEGO Harry Potter
LEGO Jurassic World
LEGO The LEGO Movie
LEGO The LEGO Movie

 

Building / Creation Inspiring Games

Minecraft
LEGO Worlds

 

Exercise and Movement Games

Just Dance (Kid and Disney versions available)
Wii Sports

 

Racing Games

Cars 3: Driven to Win
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Track Mania Turbo

 

Also, read about 5 reasons I let my 5 year old play video games!

10 Kid-Friendly Pandora Radio Stations For Road Trips

10 Kid-Friendly Pandora Radio Stations For Road Trips

10 Pandora Stations that are Kid Friendly - perfect for road trips!

 

Summer’s almost here which means road trips and vacations for many! The first thing I think of when planning a road trip is how I will keep my kids entertained. Finding a good radio station is always key for my family.  Most cars have the ability to hook up to your phone for music input, or may even have internet radio built in.  My personal favorite free streaming music is Pandora Radio and here are a few of my favorite kid-friendly stations!  

  1. ABC (The Alphabet Song) Radio
  2. Baby Einstein (Children’s) Radio
  3. Disney (Children’s) Radio
  4. Family Musicals
  5. How Far I’ll Go (From “Moana”) Radio
  6. Kids Christmas Favorites (Holiday) Radio 
  7. Mozart’s Lullaby Radio
  8. Radio for Kids
  9. The Piano Guys Radio 
  10. Toddler Radio

Remember to use the thumbs up and thumbs down in order to make the station more customized for your family.  

10 Kid-Friendly Pandora Radio Stations for Road Trips

Wireless Phone Chargers – Yes or No?

Eliminate cords with wireless chargers!  I love my Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charger!

 

My answer is YES!  I have never liked cords. The sight behind our television used to give me major anxiety until my husband found a way to make it nice and organized…well, as much as cords can be anyways.  Now though, certain devices are becoming compatible with wireless charging, and my Samsung Galaxy S7 is one of them!  

Like most cell phone users, I’ve gone through a lot of cords.  They wear out or they get lost.  Then there are users whose charging ports stop functioning.  This is where a wireless charger comes in especially helpful.  But be sure to grab a “fast” wireless charger if your phone supports it because it will make a difference in charging speed!  

As I mentioned before, I have a Samsung Galaxy S7.  This phone supports “fast charge” through Qualcomm 2.0 technology.  What does this mean?  There is a technology that has been developed, tested, and approved for fast charging, and my phone works with it.  While searching around for wireless chargers, I found many that were cheap, but they didn’t support fast charging.  I ended up deciding to stick with the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad. This product is $30-60 depending where it is purchased.   

 

Fast Wireless Charging - I love it!

 

So how does it work?  Well a cord is still involved in order to get electricity to the charger, but you can hide it out of sight and never have to see it again.  After making sure the charger is plugged in, it will flash a couple colors of light, then it will be ready to charge your phone.  Simply rest your phone on it and it will begin charging within a second or two.  You should be able to use it with or without a case.  I use a LifeProof case on my phone, which is thick, but it does not interfere with the charging.  

The obvious pros to using a wireless charger are that you can just set the phone down to charge, then pick it up at your leisure without wearing out the charging port.  It is convenient on a desk, on an end table, or even on your nightstand. 

The cons are that it is a bit slower than charging by cable.  By fast charge cable, that is.  My phone still charges faster via the fast wireless charger than a 1.0 cable, but it is still noticeably slower than the 2.0 cable.     My husband explained that some of the charge is lost through the process, making it a little slower.  With that being said, I am definitely glad I opted for the fast wireless charger than the regular one.  With high use, I was able to still lower my battery faster than it charged on the wireless charger.  I have not succeeded in doing that with the fast cable.  

Any questions?  I am pretty excited to be able to just set my phone down and not worry about plugging a cable in the right way every time I want to boost its charge.  I still keep my Nomad key chain cable with me so I can always recharge on the go when necessary, but at home, I love being “cable-free!” 

Please ensure that your wireless charger is certified to support the phone you are charging!  

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