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Are educational computer games good for young children?

Research shows that educational computer games can help your child learn certain skills, like recognizing the letters of the alphabet or learning to read aloud. But finding high-quality educational software can be tricky.

New games are coming out all the time and there are no universal standards to ensure quality. Many of these games can help encourage your child’s reading or language development. But not all of them will provide your child with the educational benefits they claim.

A good place to start when you’re looking for appropriate games is a store that sells high-quality educational supplies. To find a store near you, ask a local teacher. Librarians, especially school librarians, can also help guide you in the right direction. They may even be able to provide you with a list of recommended titles.

Here are some tips to help you and your child make the most of educational computer games:

  • Many software packages allow you to set the game’s level of difficulty. You can get a sense of what level your child is ready for if you play the game together the first few times.

  • Encourage your child to work through the game at his own pace.

  • Be there to help your child with some of the game’s more challenging features and give her encouragement when needed.

  • Be available to help your child navigate through the game and answer any questions he may have.

Remember, it’s important to be aware of what your child is doing on the computer. It’s also a good idea to set time limits on game-playing (10 to 30 minutes at a time) so your child gets the chance to enjoy a variety of other fun and educational activities as well.

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