Saturday, October 28, 2006

Learning Any Which Way

My boys LOVE LOVE LOVE GameCube. They play games for one, they play games for two, they trade in games that they tire of.

GameCube can be the cause of many distractions, many parent-child disagreements in our home.

Why not just take it away from the boys? you ask. Truth is, I do, from time to time, but always end up giving it back at the end of the day or a few days later.

And I've just decided that there's another reason I can't take it away for good -- at least not from my six-year-old. And why is that?

Because...he learns a lot from GameCube.

Like what? you ask.

Well, for starters, he learns hand-eye coordination; he learns about high tech and how to make things work for you. In playing certain games, he learns all about sports, specifically current hockey and baseball players. He knows names of players, of teams, knows their stats, and more importantly, learns geography.

On Friday nights, while sitting around the Shabbos table, we often play Geography. We go around the table and everyone says a place name using the last letter of the last place name given by the prior player.

My little guys thinks of the most obscure places! I wonder how he knows of them -- my husband pointed out to me this weekend: GameCube. Because my son knows team names, he knows what city these baseball and hockey teams play in, eg. Anaheim, San Diego, Detroit, he stores the names up to use in future Geography games.

It is a wonderful game, and all of us -- ages 6, 9, 11 1/2, 45 and 46 -- play and enjoy it thoroughly!

So...could I interest you in GameCube to start...and then perhaps a game of Geography?


cruisin-mom said...

I'll stick with Monopoly

Sholom said...

Bread and circuses!

Mia said...

I have a big boy at home and for his 35th birthday I gave him a PSP (portable playstation).... I can´t really say he learns anything from it....

I like your Shabbes game, we used to do something similar. One had to give a word and than we had to find a song with this word in it. The winner can choose the next word..... it´s great fun and you remember a lot of songs you thought forgotten....

Have a good week!

tuesdaywishes said...

I'm glad someone has something good to say about video games. I sure don't. One Shabbat table idea that has been good for us is to bring a sefer to the table a read aloud. We also have a couple of books of Tanach riddles and puzzles. One terrific book of discussion starters I've seen is called "Shmooze". It has lots of good open-ended questions. If all else fails, we get out the Golden Book of Jewish Humor.

I also (and this may be too strict for most people) declare certain topics off limits at the Shabbat table. Mainly, this is whatever book series or movie or video the kids have been talking about all week. I deserve a break from Star Wars or Harry Potter or Redwall, don't you think?

PsychoToddler said...


Nintendo's new system, the unfortunately named "Wii", is coming out soon, and it looks very interesting, because it will include a motion-sensor controller.

So the kid actually has to get up and move around to manipulate objects in the game. For example, to play a tennis game, you have to stand up and swing the controller like a tennis racket. There are also several exercise games coming out. It will be interesting to see how this does.

Wendy said...

We have Gamecube issues at times. My boys love it. They do learn from it and there are good things. Besides the learning (which admittedly is not a huge selling point to me - books win!), there is the social aspect - it's what boys talk about. We don't allow any electronics (TV, video games, etc.) on school days at all. It helps keep it in check. (BTW, mine are almost 8, 9-1/2, 11-1/2 :)

kasamba said...

I'm coming!
Should I bring the nachos?