Screen time and video games are two controversial topics among parents and educators. The biggest concern is that our children are becoming sedentary. However, there are many active video games that encourage kids to get up and move.
I grew up playing video games, and over the years I’ve watched how game play has evolved. My son, Norrin, has autism, and video games have been critical in his overall development. Playing video games has helped Norrin’s cognitive thinking, speech, and social interaction with peers. Active video games that require physical movement have helped with Norrin’s motor planning and strengthening his core and balance. These are the same reasons why video games are beneficial for all kids.
Here are five active video games that will motivate your kids to jump off the sofa:
Zumba Kids: Zumba is the latest fitness rage. It’s so much fun, you forget you’re exercising. This kids’ version of Zumba for Nintendo Wii will have kids dancing to their favorite kid-friendly songs. Zumba Kids offers a variety of dance styles, including swing, hip-hop, disco, salsa, and more, and its 30 dance routines are designed for kids.
FIFA 14: Soccer is a fun, team-building sport that builds agility and stamina. But you don’t need to be a soccer parent to get your kids on the field. FIFA 14 for Xbox 360 Kinect allows the kids to kick the ball around the house, testing their skills. The game can determine the flight patch and trajectory of a shot based on formulas using real ball physics.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14: If you’re looking for a game that will help strengthen your child’s core and develop balance, Tiger Woods Golf for Xbox 360 Kinect is the game for your family. Your child will feel like a pro mastering her golf swing while experiencing “dynamic in-game weather conditions powered by the Weather Channel that are affected by the real weather of the course [they] are playing.”
Sesame Street: The ideal active video game for your littlest gamers. Along with characters such as Big Bird, Grover, Elmo, and Cookie Monster, children can experience the world of Sesame Street. Kids will have a blast singing and dancing while developing early literacy skills and hand/eye coordination and learning how to follow directions.
Wii Sports Resort: Last but not least, one of my personal favorites – Wii Sports Resort. With a dozen activities, including archery, swordplay, power cruising, bowling, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy. It’s easy enough for the youngest player and yet complex enough to challenge the most experienced gamer.
What games get your kids up and moving?