Wii Educational Games

The Wii is Nintendo’s best-selling video game console. Desirable for its kid-friendly features and ease of use, the Wii boasts a wide variety of games and activities designed for everyone from preschoolers to adults. Some games are traditional, while others are made specifically for a purpose, such as getting in shape. Others are educational in nature.

Types

Educational games come in several forms. Some are trivia games, designed to test your knowledge of interesting or important facts. Others test your skill, such as how fast you can solve a math problem, or how many times you can identify the correct definition of a word. Some educational games disguise the learning by wrapping it up in the guise of a quest. As you play the game, you solve puzzles on your quest and are tested on your knowledge. Other games focus on exploring one area, such as the ocean, and teach you facts about it along the way.

Features

Wii educational games come with several different features. Some games let you play against family members, so you can compete to see who is the smartest or knows the most trivia. Other games gradually become more difficult, so you can increase your knowledge and move up to harder levels. In these games, you compete against yourself. Some games teach a specific skill, such as reading, in a variety of different ways. In these games, you can choose which way works best for your learning style.

Examples

"Endless Ocean: Blue World" is rated as a top Wii game for children by the website for "Parenting" magazine. This educational game is geared for children ages 10 and older. In the game, children swim in the ocean and encounter more than 300 different types of plants and animals. Along the way, players learn facts about the animals, as well as how to feed and heal them. "My Word Coach" is an educational game for the Wii created by linguists. This game has more than 17,000 words and definitions and is designed to help you increase your vocabulary. "Smarty Pants" is a trivia game designed for multiple players; it has a useful feature that filters the questions according to the ages of the participants. "Big Brain Academy" is a fast-paced game designed to test you abilities in five different areas: memory, mathematics, analysis, visual learning, and logic or quick thinking.

Considerations

Consider the needs of your child when choosing an educational game. Does she want or need a game that focuses on one area, such as mathematics, or does she just want something that will exercise her brain? In addition, think about the age of your child. Many games require that the child be old enough to read and follow directions. Wii games are not inexpensive, so also think about whether other family members will play the game as well.

Expert Insight

While educational video games have many benefits, including the promotion of learning and problem solving, they can have a detrimental effect on a child’s behavior, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. If a child spends too much time playing video games, like an hour or two per day, he may become socially stunted, do poorly at school and become less active. In turn, this can lead to weight issues.

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