As a young kid, I was a brat. We all were brats because of your existence and experiences, up to that point, led you to believe that you were the center of the universe. I distinctly remember playing an educational card game with my mom, and she beat me. I was upset, threw a tantrum, and cried.

She told me to take a deep breath, learn from the experience, and try to improve during the next game. I lost again, but I was closer to that elusive victory. Eventually, my efforts paid off, and I pulled out a win.

That roller coaster of emotion is what I remember the most about that day. Learning how to control them took time, but it made me try harder and gobble up more knowledge; emotions are a great motivator.

Kids are sponges for learning and experimenting. Every experience, every new word they learn, every behavior they embrace, is an investment in their future.
The key to nurturing a well-rounded child is to institute a stable support system at home so that they grow up content with their achievements and ambitions.

The biggest impression that one can have on another’s life is in early childhood years. Parents inherently understand this.

The goal of a parent is to help children feel competent and confident, to help them develop a sense of passion and purpose.

Today the prevalent medium for child’s play is on a screen. Online applications and games are excellent ways to entertain and educate children while giving parents a few minutes of well-deserved peace and quiet. However, this does have its drawbacks.

Kids miss out on quality family time with their parents and siblings; gross motor skills delay as verbal skills may also be impacted. The muscle control to hold a pencil correctly or sit up straight for several hours in a chair may also be delayed. Early childhood education is about polishing and shaping the holistic child, which will eventually form the basis of their lifelong educational journey.

Education games are an excellent way to instill the love of learning.
Game play encourages teamwork, develops social skills and conveys the value of education through experience. Also, it aids in kids building their confidence and self-esteem while learning the skills of patience and concentration.

Games teach children how to win and lose with poise and good manners
Team Building: Games teach kids how to get along with others in addition to teaching the concept of rules and following rules. They also learn to think about moral issues and problems.
Intellectual Benefits: Kids learn how to detect patterns, to plan ahead for their next move and predict the outcome of alternative steps. They learn from experience and utilizing educational games enhances our children’s ability to expand their intellect.
Logical Reasoning: Studies have shown that kids who play numerical educational games where they move game pieces through a series of sequentially numbered spaces develop superior math skills.
Impulse Control: Educational games teach children to follow the rules and reflect on their decisions. This translates into better performance on educational tasks that require mental focus and self-control. Educational games and workbooks designed to give kids practice in specific subject areas such as numbers and logic assist in developing transferable skills. Daily as adults, we encounter situations where our patience is tested. Raising well-rounded kids who become well-adjusted adults requires that children be exposed to a situation where they are engaged in an abundance of social experiences, where they can explore and practice the social skill of patience.
Analytical Skills: Children learn that with practice, they discover that problem solving is a result of practice. They are not afraid to take more chances and learn from their mistakes. Kids develop self-confidence in their problem-solving abilities and enhance their analytical skills and abilities.
Cognitive Benefits: Educational games can be used teach math, logic, and critical thinking skills. Numerous studies have demonstrated that kids learn more when they attempt to explain their reasoning processes. Educational games are a powerful learning tool that teaches kids problem-solving abilities are developed like a muscle. This muscle strengthens with practice, continued effort and learning.
Critical Thinking: When games or experiments are used in combination with lessons on hypothesis testing, basic logic, and other topics, they offer kids meaningful ways to practice their general reasoning skills. Educational games can be utilized to teach general principles of critical thinking.
Improved Working Memory: Playing math games that involve number identification, counting, number line estimation or games where children need to choose the greater of two numbers, mainly where kids can identify numerals quickly, children develop and expand their working memory and devote the mental capacity to solving math problems. These educational games help children develop an intuitive sense of numerical scale. These skills developed early in life are predictive of higher math scores later in life.
Engaging with your child while playing a game, and asking them to explain their tactics or the tactics they see others use allow kids to articulate their problem-solving thought processes.
9. Cooperation: Learning how to share, take turns, collaborate, and persevere, can be a painful lesson; it’s critical to learn these skills early in life. Educational games and team play imparted in the game requires the need to cooperate and work together for a greater good.

10. Respect and Civility: By playing games with siblings, parents and extended family, kids learn the value of being civil and respect for others. When playing games, everything is shared, and civility and manners are taught and learned organically. Civility is the practice of good manners in both speech and behavior. Civility requires restraint; it instills the ability to put the interest of the common good above our self-interests, treating others with decency, regardless of any petty differences. Civility is taught by positive role modeling by an adult.9

Civility requires that we practice empathy, respect and social consciousness.
11. Love of Lifelong Learning: The love of education – reading, experimenting, exploring, curiosity, discovery, and creativity are established in our youth. Educational games are a fun and exciting way to encourage children to be capable learners. Educational games allow parents the ability to inspire a craving for learning with excitement and passion.

12. First-Hand Experience on the Value of Education: Parents are the most significant influence on a child’s early life, exposing our children to new experiences, experiments and challenges provide our children new opportunities and perspectives. This teaches our kids the importance and value we, as parents, place on their education that will remain with them throughout their lives.

13. Resilience: Playing educational games with your children and their peers teach kids fair play and consequences when they do not. Parents serve as role models, and children will model our behavior. If we cheat at a game, we teach our children to cheat. Parents have a responsibility to offer a challenging environment where children can learn through first-hand experiences. Kids work through bumps, bruises or losing a game; nevertheless, this is the foundation for building coping strategies for greater challenges in life.

14. Emotional Stability: By creating a consistent, secure and fair social environment, with clear expectations and predictable consequences, children can develop skills in managing themselves and their emotions. Playing educational games affords us the ability to instill in our kid’s fair play and to control their emotions when they lose a turn or lose the game.

15. Social Skills: Playing games with peers and friends are essential foundational elements to developing social skills. As parents, we instinctively understand that it’s important to introduce our children to other children and support their transition into their building their friendships. The earlier this is done, the better; children overcome shyness, gain self-confidence and leads in their social development.

16. Holistic Development: Educational games allow parents to build a strong foundation for our children’s emotional, social, physical and mental development, which will set them up with the skills needed for a lifetime. Children enjoy the process of discovering what they are good at and improving what does not come as easy when encouraged, in an interactive and engaging manner.

17. Valuing Diversity: Valuing difference and diversity are imperative in a child’s development. By exposing our children to various cultures, children understand that everyone is unique and special in their way with their culture, beliefs, and ethnicity. This educational experience serves to teach our kids to appreciate and accept differences and become well-rounded members of society.

As parents, we are role models and lead the way with our children’s social experiences.
Utilizing educational games, children can develop patience and learn to wait for their turn, to share a toy, the playground or waiting in line for their turn playing an educational game. Educational games benefit our children with tangible benefits; the advances children achieve towards becoming well-rounded kids who become well-adjusted adults are truly invaluable.

Our children deserve every opportunity to attain their full potential. Every parent wants their children to love learning, exploring, being physically active and growing their curiosity.

Engaging with kids is an opportunity to bond with them, to help them learn, to explore, to be creative and more. As parents, we want to encourage our children’s interests, curiosity, and natural gifts.

Author's Bio: 

Content Strategist for Play2Health. We believe that fun, engaging and simple tools make it easier to instill the love of learning and physical activity. If our children are more comfortable with being wrong and taking more chances, their curiosity and creativity have room to develop and grow. Our team consists of individuals with masters in education, teachers, and school administrators.