An Educational game can it be both playful and promote learning?

Educational games
An educational game can it be both playful and promote learning? Recent research shows that some stimulate attention and concentration, and they increase self-esteem in children.

Is the game a sterile activity? At least he has long been considered as such. In ancient Greece and Rome, it was reserved for beings intellect undeveloped, including children. It was not until the Enlightenment and a new outlook on childhood so that the status of the game changes dramatically. The child is no longer a man in miniature, but a man in the making, the quality of its education becomes paramount. The game, childish activity par excellence, has since been elevated to an educational tool. In his book Playing and Reality, the pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott (1896-1971) wrote: "What matters to me most is to show that play is an experience: always a creative experience, experience that is in the space-time continuum, a basic form of life. "For the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980), the game is essentially assimilation of reality to me. Finally, play involves more complex activities than those that the child encounters in his daily life. Toys and Games, world exploration tools are now thought as to contribute to the development of the child and its appropriation of culture.


The playful activity essential to the emotional and cognitive development of the child, is in itself educational. In these circumstances, what are these games enhanced with the epithet "educational" invading several years the shelves of toy stores? If the classic toy allows implicit learning, in the toy "educational" purpose is clearly displayed. These are games that, in addition to their intrinsic educational feature, offer additional educational content, or ergonomic design to promote wakefulness engine. For example, a shape sorter, in addition to exercise fine motor skills of the baby, he discovered the basic geometric shapes. And if the toy in question is electronic, it also strengthens language acquisition name manipulated forms (when the child inserts a triangle, he hears the word triangle). It is therefore to learn while having fun.

If they are well adapted to the age and stage of development of the child, they help children develop and strengthen certain skills, such as mathematics, logical reasoning or grammar? This is what we will look over a few examples.

Improve the categorization and reasoning
The pedagogical perspective underlying the educational toys, it is aware from manufacturers such toys or not, is the constructivist theory which states that knowledge is constructed through action. Be actively involved in learning would facilitate assimilation. However, very little research in psychology and educational sciences verified the educational value of such toys. Existing research mainly concern computerized toys or video games used in a school setting. A very recent study by Swedish researchers Jörgen Lindh and Thomas Holgersson tests the effect of the classroom use of robotic toys (THE ego Dacta) computer controlled via the LOGO programming language invented by Seymour Papert, a mathematician and follower of Piaget.

In this game, children are asked to build a toy (such as a robot or a motorcycle) consisting of gears, lights, sensors and small motors
This Article is copyright by. Celia HODENT-Villaman doctorate in psychology from the University Paris V and psychologist.

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