Educational and Engaging Online Play

by Elena on October 26, 2012 in Education

Games are a standard and engaging way to hook and motivate students. After twelve years in the classroom, countless games were used to review concepts, teach logic, and foster problem solving and reasoning. Interestingly enough though, I have never personally been a huge game player myself. Sure, I have let myself get distracted by games on Facebook over the years, and have found myself playing Angry Birds while waiting for an oil change, but games have only become a part of my personal life in a real way in the last few years.

Wife to an avid game player and mom to a daughter that can hold her own at chess and other strategy games, finding games that are both educational and suitable for family game play is important to me. And now that Principessa is more interested in her computer, I find myself on a quest to find games that are worthy of screen time and that will engage her with some critical thinking.

The problem of course is that there are SO many sources for online games. Every day it feels like something new is cropping up. So finding a few places with multiple choices, like Big  Fish Games, is a bonus.  Big Fish Games offers new games every day with the opportunity to try a game with a free trial before committing to it.  Games are available for multiple platforms and devices, and engage children and adults of all ages with a variety of games for all interests.

A fan of hidden object games, we tried out the White House game from Big Fish. In this game, players take on the role of “Miranda Hunt” to help her retrace the steps of her mentor and professor that has disappeared after working in the White House. Players travel through the White House solving puzzles, follow clues, and explore rooms in the White House.  The thing I like best about the game is that in addition to the hidden objects, players are provided with fun facts about the history of the objects.

Like the history of paper…

Or how Jefferson invented the wheel cipher.

Players take a tour of the White House to find hidden objects.  The tour includes the Oval Office among places.

Playing the game is straightforward and Principessa was very motivated to find all the objects in each room (One note about the objects: a few of them can be hard to find on some of the darker screens).

Families that spend a lot of time playing games online might be interested in Big Fish Unlimited, which allows gamers to play and choose from over 100 games that are playable on the cloud without having to download anything to their computer.  The service will retail for $7.99 per month.

Other Big Fish Games that look like fun: Arizona Rose and the Pirates` RiddlesThe Timebuilders: Pyramid Rising, and Flip Words.

Playing games can be fun, educational, and can provide an opportunity for family time. But when our children get to the age of wanting to be a bit more independent, having games that you can count on as safe, appropriate, and valuable is crucial.

What are your favorite online games for children?

Ciao Mom

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Big Fish Games. I was provided with a download code to play.  All opinions are my own.

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{ 1 comment }

Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer October 30, 2012 at 8:05 am

This looks cool, though a little old for my daughter. I love the idea of learning games. My favorite is a classic – Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego!!

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