Is it any surprise that they're a major part of our almost-13-year-old daughter's homeschooling experience as well?
That's why I'm taking part in the iHomeschool Network's "5 days of..." Hopscotch series this week with a look at 5 days of video-game learning.
Today, we're talking about how some of our favorite video games have tons of math included.
Video games for math
Disclosure: While a couple of affiliate links are included in today's post, as with the rest of this series, everything on this list is here because we highly recommend it!There are a lot of "math games," especially web-based ones.
I'm not opposed to those, but if you have a math-hater, math facts with circus animals are still math facts, you know?
The thing is, we've realized that the games that Sarah LOVES playing most have a huge math component.
- Lego Star Wars - This whole series is for the DS, Wii, Xbox and Playstation systems (and includes Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, Lego Batman, Lego Lord of the Rings and a bunch more) is a TON of fun for Lego-loving kids like mine. And guess what? You break bricks and collect coins. You use those coins to complete various challenges. And that means keeping track of the coins, as well as working on your logic and critical-thinking skills, which are a key part of real-world math!
- Club Penguin - Sarah loves this web-based game, probably more than any of her others. It's got a "mission" or "quest" format that you unlock progressively, which keeps the kids coming back, and to unlock various parts, players need to complete challenges. Many of them? Yep, math-based. There's also a money component here, where you need to save up to buy igloo upgrades for your penguin's domicile and, you know, cool penguin clothes.
- Moshi Monsters and Webkinz - I mentioned these for creative play yesterday, but both have a significant math component as well. They have logic games, mini-games that are actually straight math-based (like Moshi Multiply, oddly one of Sarah's favorites) and, as with Club Penguin, a significant money component that leads to all sorts of adding, subtracting and more!
- Nintendogs and Cats, Pet Vet and Horsez - Again, the money component of these games is key. More so than in some other games, Pet Vet in particular requires you to really work for the coins to then buy upgrades, and there's a lot of logic required about what upgrades you spend money on. Buy a horse stable and you can care for horses (and make more money), but you'll have to spend a good bit up front. These are some longtime favorites of ours for science as well, again especially the Pet Vet ones!
- Angry Birds - These apps/web-based games are HUGE for learning physics. (And it's not terribly inaccurate physics - says this math major!) Sarah loves them, and likes doing things like saying, "Well, I'll need 100,000 points for three stars, and if I have two birds left, that means I'll get 20,000 points for them, so I'll need 80,000 before I'm done."
- Rush Hour - This app is based on a board game, and we have that version as well. We play it more on our phones, though, because it's great for something like passing time in a waiting room or in line! It's a logic puzzle based on getting a particular car out of a well-packed gridlock.
The rest of the seriesSunday: Why "All my kids want to do is play video games!" isn't such a bad thing (introduction)
Monday: Virtual friends, virtual art: Video games for social skills and creativity
Today: Digital currency: Video games for math
Wednesday: Pixels and punctuation: Video games for writing and spelling
Thursday: Bringing the past to life: Video games for history and geography
Friday: Our fitness is pretty funny-looking: Video games for physical education
More five-day funThis post is part of the iHomeschool network's January 2013 "5 days of..." Hopscotch series.
You can see how some of my fellow bloggers are spending their five days here.
We're sharing everything from tips and tricks for getting out of debt to using posterboard in your homeschool, from catapults to eating whole foods.
We sure are an eclectic group - I hope you'll check out more!
And if you're into the things we do in our family homeschool, check out my previous "5 days of..." series, 5 days of real-world math.