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Empowering the mind through play is a proven way to capture kids’ attention, teach them vital skills, and introduce a vital ingredient in learning: fun! When education starts becoming less of a chore and transforms into the highlight of a child’s day, you know you’re doing something right!
From a practical perspective, coding is clearly the way to go, but there are many ways in which coding games can empower young creators while they are having fun. For many children and teens, games are the ultimate pastime. Few things are cooler than topping a high score, so imagine the buzz they obtain when they create their very own game! Game design turns children into creators; it gives them an idea of what it might be like to create their own startup when they are older, to present an innovative idea to the world, or use their creativity to make important changes.
Game design also teaches them important team-building skills. When creating a game, the entire team has to make decisions, which emphasizes the importance of working to a specific time, brainstorming, valuing ideas, receiving feedback from others in a non-defensive manner, refining one’s selection and of course, making the ultimate choice. Teachers can take the opportunity to note each student’s learning style – whether or not they take initiative, whether they have an active or reflective style, whether or not they take into account others’ feelings, etc. They can then encourage those who tend to be more quiet, or who lack the confidence required to speak their ideas, to share their knowledge with the rest of the group. Natural leaders, meanwhile, can avail of learning to listen to others’ ideas; often, the very best ideas in a team are drowned out because someone does all the talking, and another, all the listening.