Video Games - a great option for Family Game Night!
Recent statistics indicate that 92% of kids from age 2 to 17 play video games regularly. Let's face it, dads, this shouldn't surprise you because you might be part of the 67% of heads of households who also play games. You probably enjoy playing video games for the opportunity to wind down, get out some competitive urges, or just have fun. But do you know that playing video games with your kids is a great way to connect with them and take advantage of teachable moments?
Q&A with NFI Dad, Stephen
We talked to a "real life dad" about his experience playing video games with his son. Stephen is the husband of one of our staff members here at NFI, and he plays video games with his 3-year-old son Ethan. Check out what he has to say!
NFI: Why is playing video games a great way to connect with your child?
Stephen: It teaches him healthy competition, positive encouragement, problem solving, and sense of accomplishment together. I also can walk him through the process on how I solved a certain game level.
NFI: What value do you and your son get from playing games together?
Stephen: We get just "Ethan and Daddy time." Also, we use it as a reward for good behavior.
NFI: What are your favorite games to play with your child?
Stephen: We like to play Wii games (Mario Kart, Toy Story, Baseball, Bowling, etc.), puzzle games, and number games.
NFI: How do you evaluate video games to decide if they are appropriate for your family?
Stephen: No violence and it has to be clean. We also keep the time spent to a minimum and only use it as a reward - not a right.
How do you use video, computer, or online games to connect with your kids? Check out our tips below!
Resources for Video & Online Games for Dads & Kids
Playing online games is a great way for dads who travel a lot or who don't live with their children full-time to stay connected and share a fun activity with their kids. Talk to your kids about their favorite video or online games to play and ask them to teach you. Or, check out the resources listed below:
- Guest blog post on The Father Factor from Kill Screen Magazine - Chris Dahlen, a dad and editor-in-chief for Kill Screen Magazine (a magazine and website devoted to games and culture), shared some great tips and advice for dads on what to look for in video games for the whole family.
- The best video games for dads and kids - This article lists 10 video games that dads and kids will both enjoy!
- ItsYourTurn.com - This website offers free multiplayer internet games like chess, Battleship, Connect4, and others.
- PBSkids.org - PBS offers several free online games. Your little ones can learn numbers, colors, matching, and spelling with familiar characters from Sesame Street, Curious George, and Clifford.
- Facebook Games - Facebook offers several multiplayer games that you and your kids can play together. Send a Facebook invitation to your kids to play favorites such as Farmville, Scrabble, or Family Feud.