Games and child development

Games have been a vital part of human civilization since time immemorial. Primarily developed for the purpose of amusement, they serve a plethora of other objectives too. People of all ages stand to gain a lot by indulging in various games and sports. However, if we talk specifically about games and kids, no two opinions that there is a deep relation between games and physical and mental growth of kids. In fact, they are necessary for the holistic development of the blooming blossoms.

In the bygone era, life was simple and so were the games played by children. Kids used to devise rudimentary ways of entertaining themselves and exploring the world. However, even those diversions helped kids learn a lot, and boosted their physical, social and intellectual progress.

In the contemporary era, there is such a vast variety in games that kids are literally spoilt for a choice. To begin with, games can be indoor or outdoor. In these two basic categories too, there are hordes of options. Playing Rummy Game can be fun as well as educational as it takes a lot of concentration to play.

Talking about outdoor games first, most of them involve a lot of physical activity. It is said that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Hence, engaging in such pursuits helps kids become not only physically active but also mentally agile. Team sports such as cricket, soccer and basketball etc. help instil in kids key values of life such as camaraderie, sportsmanship, leadership, motivation, patience, perseverance, striving for a common goal, and taking victory and defeat in the same vein.

Indoor games can be traditional ones such as Chess, Ludo, and card games like Online Rummy, Slapjack and Crazy Eights etc. or video games as Minecraft, SimCity, Zoo Tycoon and Age of Empires or the trendier ones such as Candy Crush Saga, Tic-Tac-Toe, Angry Birds, Temple Run, Fruit Ninja and Subway Surfers.

Most of these games involve tremendous use of mental resources. Playing them ensures excellent mental development of kids. They propel the young minds to think and act fast, plan according to the situations at hand, use logic, properly manage resources, boost hand-eye coordination, fine motor and spatial skills, multitasking abilities, memory and concentration, form strategies and responding to challenges etc.

Apart from the above-mentioned ways in which games augment mental prowess of players, games help the children to learn many a facet of life in a fun filled manner. Just a mention of the word game arouses enthusiasm and excitement in kids. Some games have been in use as tools to help the slow learners, autistic kids and those suffering from attention deficit disorder.

Rummy game which is a simple but interesting card melding game has been used by psychologists and pedagogues to ignite the curiosity of kids through colourful cards and teach them alphabet and number concepts, forming strategies, keen observation, memory and focus etc. It is of immense advantage for normal kids as well as slow learners.

Games that involve many players motivate children to cooperate with others to achieve the common goals. Kids learn to pay heed to the ideas of others, formulate plans with other kids, and divide tasks according to skills. Some online games like Clash of Clans are even played internationally, and introduce kids to players of different nationalities and cultures.  This fosters friendships among children from different countries.

However, excess of everything is bad. This holds especially true for video games and games played on smart devices. Addiction to these tech savvy games can give rise to various health concerns among kids such as obesity and obesity related ailments, eye and posture problems, and headache etc. Studies and relationships might also go for a toss. Kids might become unsociable and sometimes aggressive too. They might start living in a virtual world and lose touch with the real world, thereby finding it difficult to face the real-life challenges.

The Gist

Outdoor games are really essential for the overall development of kids. They should be made a mandatory part of school curriculum. When it comes to traditional indoor games or the current hi tech games, they yield good results if choice of games is proper and are played in moderation.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy; all play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.’