Do your kids love playing video games?
Most parents seem to shudder at the thought of video games and screen-time, but I’ll be honest and say that setting limits in this area wasn’t my strong suit in parenting.
My boys are gamers.
Compared to most standards, I was always lenient about screen time with my kids. Of course, I’ve done my fair share of harping about it, but for the most part I never won the battle. (For the record, I also never really fought that hard.)
Everyone says to pick and choose your battles, and video games weren’t on the list of battles I chose. If they weren’t playing anything inappropriate, I was okay with them.
Video games have always been something my boys enjoyed doing together, and with six years between them, those opportunities were few and far between. Even with an age gap, they both enjoy some of the same games and they’ve done a lot of bonding over video games throughout the years.
Ironically, my oldest is now a full-time college student majoring in Computer Science with a goal to enter the master’s program for Interpretive Entertainment. That’s a fancy name for video games.
In the end, I guess all the games I let them play weren’t so bad.
Even though I failed the screen-time thing, I have spent my fair share of time aggravated that I couldn’t get them interested in other things. It’s hard to compete with technology!
How do you get your gamers interested in other subjects or activities?
Screen-Free Educational Activities
Art for Kids Who Love Gaming
Video game characters (and their artists) have sparked interest in both of kids over the years. My kids didn’t just have favorite characters, they had favorite artists. Still do! Just like we throw around celebrity names-my boys toss around the names of artists and game designers like it’s common knowledge.
Although, I never recognize any of the names, there’s an entire industry and market of people who would know exactly who they’re talking about. That’s awesome!
- Design a video game character.
- Take an online digital art class.
- Design the setting for a video game.
- Look for drawing classes in your community.
- Visit museums, colleges, or universities with exhibits of digital artwork.
- Learn to draw anime
Reading for Kids Who Love Gaming
If your kids are playing video games, chances are-they’re reading!
When my kids were little, I was always shocked by the amount of reading they’d have to do to get through the game. Thank goodness for all that reading/
My boys loved games like Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Mario Party. Getting around in any of those worlds required a novel’s worth of conversation between characters. I remember my youngest learned some mad counting skills from counting all his coins while playing Mario Party ten years ago.
Obviously, our kids can’t sit in front of the screen all day, but these were some positive take-aways from allowing them to play. Luckily, video game companies like to make money in other markets too and I was always able to find books based on the games they loved growing up.
The way I see it, words on a page + my kid’s willingness to read them = happy mom.
Books for Kids Who Love Video Games
- Pokémon books by Scholastic
- Vintage Mario Bros. comic books
- Minecraft Modding For Kids
- Strategy guides
- Coding projects
- Game On! 2019: All the Best Games: Awesome Facts and Coolest Secrets
Writing for Kids Who Love Video Games
Write a game review.
Let others know why you think your favorite game is so awesome.
Sometimes it’s even more fun to write about what we don’t like! Write a review of your least favorite game! Be the critic. What you would change? How would you improve the game experience?
Write a story for a game.
Guess what video games have?
- Point of View
What a great way to teach the aspects of writing needed for a great story! I’m not sure if we realize how much we can incorporate the things our kids love to inspire them to do the things the things they think they hate.
Next time your kid is going on and on about his game, have him write down some of the things he loves most about it and use those ideas and momentum to spark his next writing assignment.
Career Research for Homeschooled Kids
Who knew you could grow up and play video games for a living? It’s true! Do a research project on the types of careers available to someone in the gaming industry.
How much do they make?
What would your kid love about these jobs?
What colleges and universities have programs in these fields?
The career research in this field will lead you and your gamer down one fun rabbit trail! You’d be shocked to see some of the annual salaries reported for these jobs.
- Lead designer
- Software engineer
- Software Developer
- Game Writer
This book, The Art of Game Design is a great read full of information for anyone wanting to get started in game design!
Other screen-free activities gamers love:
- Build a bird feeder.
- Learn to play chess.
- Strategic board games such as Risk and Battleship
- Gundam figures
- Sculpt figures out of clay.
- The Unofficial Minecraft STEM Lab for Kids
You’ll love these other activities:
- Winter Nature Craft: How to Make Easy DIY Bird Feeders
- 100 Brilliant STEM Activities Using Everyday Items
- Amazing Hands-on History Activities for 14 Ancient Empires (free notebook cover too)
- 21 Hands-On Math Activities for Elementary and Middle School
- Ultimate Guide to Learning Activities in a Jar or Bottle
- 100 Easy Ways Kids Can Fight Boredom & Celebrate Childhood
What screen-free educational activities would you add to the list?