Productive Screentime

If your child is like mine, they are always either online: in the car and online, in the bathroom and online, in school and online, asleep and dreaming about being online, or charging their device. Undoubtedly, your instinct is to limit their screentime, but there is another viable option. Consider the following three apps that can keep them engaged during their screentime AND grow their intellect.

#1: Minecraft

Minecraft is a video game that enables players to build structures out of textured cubes in a generated 3D world. In addition to building, other activities include exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat (don’t worry, there’s no blood or semiautomatic weapons). This game is a great way for your child to learn about spatial awareness, something that many girls miss if they don’t play with Legos. Your child can get lost playing the game and constructing elaborate and ornate buildings, but there’s more. Your child can also learn to code in Minecraft and create mods. (I think “mods” is short for modifications, but I could be wrong.) Most mods add content to the game to alter gameplay, change the creative feel, or give the player more options in how they interact with the Minecraft world. Your child will need an actual Minecraft account to begin coding, and they can learn to code using tutorials from Tynker.

#2: Minesweeper

Minesweeper was one of the first games I played on a smartphone. I actually think the phone was a Palm Pilot. Anyway…Minesweeper is a puzzle video game. The objective of the game is to clear a board containing hidden bombs, or “mines,” without detonating any of them. Players are given clues when the game reveals the number of neighboring mines in each field. While this game brings back memories, it’s also a great way to teach your child logic and deductive reasoning, skills that will serve your child well in mathematics as well as other disciplines. You can download a free version of Minesweeper Classic and there’s also a professional version available for a small, one-time fee.

#3: Duolingo

If your child isn’t fortunate enough to attend one of youse dual-language programs, have them try Duolingo. According to PC Magazine, Duolingo is the best free online language program. It’s unique features and clear structure make it a great platform for learning or strengthening skills in several languages.  Spanish. German. Japanese. Korean. Italian. French. This online tool can build your child’s vocabulary and fine tune their accent with its audio tool. Duolingo also haa incentive badges that your scholars can collect and redeem to decorate their avatar or buy gadgets within the tool. Don’t miss this great opportunity to improve your child’s language skills!!

With these apps, you’ll be able to allow your child screentime without the guilt or fear that you’re doing them harm.

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