Life Skills & Gaming: How To Teach Your Kids Both

Did you know that many games that are on the shelves in the stores are designed to teach valuable life skills? For example, children can learn patience from Monopoly and Risk – playing the long game teaches them strategy! They can gain excellent dexterity and problem-solving from video games and they can learn so much about the language in which they speak when they do crossword puzzles and more.

As parents, we want to teach our children as much as possible. We look to buy here when it comes to finding the best puzzles for our children to do to pass the time and help them with their general knowledge. The key is in knowing how you can tie in a lesson about life skills into the games that they are playing. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways you can teach your children both.

Four People Playing Dominoes

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  1. First, you need to choose the right game. If you want to teach your children about money management, pick games like Monopoly and Pay Day so that they can learn how they can “win” as much money and property as possible as they play. When you see them achieving the end goal of saving money, start a home tuck shop so that you can teach them how to manage the real thing! 
  2. Tie the games that you choose into your child’s interests. Children will be far more interested in playing games with you if they are interested in the subject involved. Games like Rollercoaster Tycoon, for example, taps into their interest in theme parks and offers them the chance to be creative.
  3. Most of the time, puzzles and jigsaws are the first games that children are given. They are taught to move from the outside in, building the puzzle as they see fit to replicate the picture on the outside. If you ensure that your child can see the image they are copying, they’ll be able to build a picture of their own life – puzzles teach them to dream!
  4. Problem-solving is a big deal in life, and the problems that your child solves while they are moving through a variety of board games and role-playing games will help them to think quickly and analytically in life, too. 
  5. Word games are perfect for helping your children to learn to spell, as well as helping them to learn how to speak correctly. Grammar is a big deal, and the spellings that your children will have to learn as they get older will ensure that they are ahead of the game at school.
  6. There are so many different types of games out there, but when you teach your children how to play board games like chess and draughts, you are able to teach them how to be skillful and competitive. This will offer them plenty of practice at how to solve problems and think fast and strategically in life, too. 
  7. Lastly, gaming offers your children the chance to have FUN. Games are for those of all ages, of course, but childhood is where the fun begins 

3 Fun Video Games To Play With Your Kids

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Those of you that are regulars on my blog will know how I feel about video games and gaming. I think they generally get a bad rep from lots of parents, usually because people don’t seem to understand the concept of gaming or how beneficial it can potentially be. 

So, I think it’s a good idea to encourage your kids to game – as long as they do so responsibly. It can be a very healthy hobby, and it’s also a chance for you to get closer to your kids. There are loads of enjoyable video games that you and your children can play together. Some of these are unique to the video game world, while others bring classic board games to life. If you’re looking to pass the time at home, here are the best games to try:

Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games

Mario and Sonic have teamed up for multiple games celebrating the various Olympics over the years. If you have a Nintendo Switch, then this is an excellent game to buy for the whole family to enjoy. You and your kids can compete against one another in a series of Olympic sports using popular characters from the Mario and Sonic universes. It’s a fairly active game as well, and can get wildly competitive! All ages can enjoy it, and it could be worth buying a Switch for this game alone. 

Scrabble

Yes, the classic board game has made it to the video game real on both Xbox and Playstation. The fun thing about this game is that it encourages your kids to practice their spelling and to learn new words. If they struggle, then you can easily use a word finder tool online to help them out. What I love most about Scrabble on the video game platform is that your kids are way more likely to play it than the original board game! It just seems much cooler to them. Plus, there are some extra features to keep everyone entertained as well. 

Overcooked

Lastly, we have a wonderful cooking-based game that the whole family will fall in love with. I’ve seen parents who have never cared for video games suddenly become engrossed in this one! The premise of Overcooked is easy to understand – you’re in a kitchen and you have to fulfill all the food orders. The instructions and controls are simple for children under 8 to follow, so everyone can get involved. It can get really frantic and exceptionally entertaining. It’s available across multiple platforms, but the Nintendo Switch version might be the best because you can use motion controls and get more people involved. 

There you have it: three excellent family games for you and your kids to play. I’ve linked videos to all the gameplay trailers, so you can see more about the games themselves. The moral of the story is that gaming can be a brilliant family activity. Instead of viewing video games as something that pushes the family apart, look at them as a hobby that can bring you all together!

What To Do When The Kids Start Moaning That The Internet Won’t Work

There comes a time in every dad’s life when the kids start bleating that the internet won’t work. For those of us old enough to remember a time before the world wide web, it’s not such a big deal. But for kids raised on zeroes and ones, it can be a traumatic experience to lose contact with the outside world, especially if you’re on lockdown

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The internet can go out of action for all kinds of reasons. And for some of them, you need to be some kind of network engineer or Ph.D. to figure them out

Others, though, are easy to solve. Here’s what to do when the internet doesn’t work for your kids. 

Check Whether You Can Solve The Problem

Most problems with your internet service occur because of factors within the home itself, but not always. Sometimes there’s an issue with the exchange or work on the line. In that case, there’s nothing you can do. 

Go to your router and check whether the “internet” light is illuminated. If it is, then it means that you still have internet service to your home and that the problem is under your control. 

Change Channel Settings In The Router Settings

Channels are bandwidths that your devices use to communicate with your router. Each device connects via a specific channel, preventing annoying cross-talk. 

Internet connections, however, can drop if too many devices try to use the same channel at the same time. It is vital, therefore, that you create different channels for each of them. You should be able to find this in the device settings. The password for administrator access should be on the router itself. 

Get A Range Extender

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Sometimes, WiFi can cut out because the signal isn’t powerful enough, especially if your kids try to watch the internet in the garden. Take a look at a WiFi extender list and find a device that will provide enough range for your property. 

Most routers will send out a signal about 20 meters before the quality begins to degrade. WiFi extenders pick up the signal from your router and then pump it out around the house further. The result is a far larger coverage area – perfect for providing internet access in the summer house. 

See If The Problem Is To Do With The Wireless Signal Itself

Another way to diagnose internet problems is to see whether it is a problem with the wireless signal or network settings. 

Instead of trying to connect to the router remotely, use an ethernet cable – the thing that looks a bit like a phone cable. Whack it in a compatible device and then connect it directly to the router. 

If the computer can connect to the internet, then you know that you have access, in principle. But if the wireless isn’t working, then it could be for a host of reasons. Try to update the driver software to ensure that you installed it correctly. Also, try resetting your router and re-entering the password, just in case there is a firmware problem. 

4 Tips To Battle Creative Block on Lockdown

The COVID-19 lockdown is starting to take a toll on many of us. Dads everywhere may be struggling with the realities of working from home. Not to mention taking a pay cut of at least 20%. They may be struggling with their sense of identity having been laid off. Or they may be using this lockdown as an opportunity to take stock, reassess and focus their efforts on what brings them the most contentment and fulfilment. For many Dads, this is an opportunity to re-engage with their creative side. To dust the cobwebs off the manuscript they’ve been working on, take their art supplies out of the attic or start retuning their guitar.

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However, creativity doesn’t always come easily. And it can be a source of huge frustration when creative block strikes during the one time when they actually have time to invest in their creative endeavors. Here we’ll look at some practical and workable tips to overcome creative block while on lockdown.

Remember, it’s important to consume before you can create

That creative spark is rarely ignited in a vacuum. Sometimes you need to ingest what other have created in order to inform and shape your own work. You can either draw inspiration or learn the glaring errors in others’ work that you can hope to avoid in yours. Fortunately, in the digital era, content is easy to come by. A little too easy in fact. With so many ways to watch TV online, we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to movies and TV shows not to mention games and music. Use a guide as a tool to find out what content is available on which streaming services and curate your experience to inspire rather than distract.


Get some fresh air… you can totally still do that!

The recent lockdown may see us spend most of our days indoors. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that you can and should still go out for an hour or so every day. A brisk walk can be just what you need to get the creative juices flowing again. You need to put some distance between yourself and your page / canvas / music sheet. Otherwise you could spend hours just glaring at it and getting increasingly frustrated. The act of walking gives you some distance while also liberating your mind and improving cognitive processes.

Install distraction blocking software

Often we’re not so much afflicted with creative block as we are burdened with so many other things to keep us occupied. As such, we can potentially lose minutes or even hours to social media or browsing online stores when the creative well runs dry. Consider installing distraction blocking software to keep you on task. And keep your phone in your desk drawer. 

Try not to overthink

Often we fall into the trap of perfectionism and hobble our own creative efforts before they’ve even had a chance to get off the ground. Try not to overthink. Write, draw or paint from the heart without giving much thought to the quality. You can always go back and make changes. Once you’ve unblocked the creative well, then you can start thinking about creating something good