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8 Unexpected Lessons Kids Can Learn from Video Games

Thanks to #DisneyInfinity for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion.

I sat down with my 5-year-old son the other day as he was playing video games, and I was blown away by the tasks he was able to do!

The speed at which he was solving problems, and the creative solutions he was coming up with to do so, really impressed me. Not only was he better at most of the games than me — he was way better. In fact, it was as if the tables had turned, and he was teaching me.

The whole thing was awesome yet disconcerting at the same time. We all know video games often get a bad wrap. As a parent, I find it hard to watch my kid disappear into an imaginary world they can navigate and that I don’t understand.

It can be a hard thing for parents to see their kids disappear into imaginary worlds (and this is not just video games) especially when you don’t understand the world or realize that your kids are more proficient than you are at navigating it. Thus, it’s important to choose your kids’ games wisely while still keeping an open mind.

As my son led me through his beloved imaginary world, I marveled at the skills he was picking up while playing — math, logic, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills that will serve him well for his whole life. It’s not fair that we did not have games like this when we were kids!

I’m so glad to get to play with him now, and I was surprised at how much fun I had playing with him.

Apparently it’s not too late to learn a few new skills yourself. Here are some of the life skills kids (and parents too!) can learn or brush up on while playing video games.

  • 8 Lessons Kids Can Learn from Video Games 1 of 9
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    Video games often get a bad wrap, but it's actually true your kids can learn a bunch of valuable life lessons by playing them. Here are 8 of them right here.

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

  • Understanding Others 2 of 9
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    A lot of game play involves understanding characters and their motivation. This builds both storytelling and interpersonal skills.

    Monster's Inc/MU characters Mike and Sully, for example, have a wonderful and dynamic friendship. Their characters are frequently challenged with moral and interpersonal dilemmas that kids can learn from. Themes like secret-keeping, loyalty, and considering others' emotions are explored via these lovable but not-so-scary characters.

     

    Check out all the familiar characters you will meet while playing Disney Infinity.

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

     

  • Reaping Rewards 3 of 9
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    Work hard and reap the rewards! Videogames mark achievements, which is motivational. After all, everyone likes to be rewarded for their efforts. 

    Disney Infinity games reward users for their efforts by providing them with special items that they can "unlock" via game play.

    Explore Disney Infinity Playsets to learn more about the many gadgets you can unlock through game play. 

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

  • Being Original 4 of 9
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    The best video games out there are those that give you the power to be the designer. Flexing your creative muscle is always a win. One of the unique and wonderful things about Disney Infinity is the ability to completely personalize your play space via the toy box. Create your own world to explore. Your only limit is your imagination.

    Learn more about the Disney Infinity Toybox.

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

  • Friends! 5 of 9
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    It might seem obvious, but the best games are more fun when they're shared with friends! Teamwork and group play are a vital part of many of the best online games today. 

    The MU characters work together. Even when things are difficult, they are still fun. When things are fun, they are even MORE fun with friends. Playing Disney Infinity games is progressively more fun as you add characters and invite your real-life friends to play the games with you. 

    Check out the Monster's University Play Set on Disney Infinity.

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

  • Creativity and Courage 6 of 9
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    Trying new things can be scary. It's relatively low-risk to stand up to bad guys in a video game. In some cases this can instill confidence. Problem solving in video games, wherein the stakes may be lower than they are in real life, often requires creative, out-of-the-box thinking. These imaginary successes can translate to confidence and creative thinking in real life as well. 

    So many kids relate to the characters from the Pirates series — not because they have ever walked the plank, but because they can imagine themselves at the center of these grand adventures. Video games give them the opportunity to role-play and imagine their adventures in a whole new way. This can help kids build confidence, not to mention it's entertaining!

    Go on a swashbuckling adventure with your favority Disney Infinity pirates.

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

  • Having a Plan 7 of 9
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    It's important to have a plan and work toward a goal. Video games can help kids achieve their goals, whether it's a plan to build an imaginary world, save money for a new accessory, or master a new skill. 

    Disney Infinity games open a world of possibility for saving and planning with their power discs. Collect one, or collect them all! 

    Peruse the collection of Power Discs that you can add to enhance play on Disney Infinity.

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

  • Family time 8 of 9
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    Videos are a great family activity — one of the things that can be enjoyed by young and old alike, and a great way for everyone to have fun and play together.  Who knew moms were so good at video games, too? Just like the Incredibles, your family might have some unexpected super powers. 

    Check out the Incredibles on Disney Infinity

    Photo credit: Disney Infinity

  • Persistence 9 of 9
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    Video games can teach patience and persistence. Even if you don't get it the first time, practice improves your skills and your score. It's endearing to watch my older kids teach video-gaming skills to the younger ones, coaching them on when to jump or "go left!" They want their younger siblings to succeed. Sometimes when the older ones least suspect it, the younger ones help them out, too. This reminds me of the relationship between Mater and Lightning McQueen. Mater may falter and be perceived as less slick, but his loyalty and practicality sometimes make all the difference in the world.

    Check out Cars Characters on Disney Infinity

     Photo credit: Disney Infinity

 

 

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