Allowing your kids screen time is not necessarily a sedentary activity depending on what they’re doing. A new study shows that playing video games is probably better for your young ones than letting them sit in front of the television.
Researchers in the Games Research and Interaction Design Lab at Queensland University of Technology examined the effects of games and television shows for children ages 2-5. They separated the media into two categories: passive or active. Active experiences can refer to content that stimulates them either physically or mentally. It turns out video games can stimulate kids both mentally and physically, and therefore are probably a better option, at least according to this study, than television.
Some games require light to moderate physical activity, while others require children to interact with the game.
The researchers determined active games can encourage young children to be physically active, and can also exercise their cognitive skills. Such games “can improve academic performance, social skills and self esteem,” says Dr Penny Sweetser, who was involved with the study, reported The Border Mail.
Still, this isn’t a free pass to let Angry Birds babysit your child. Dr. Sweetser says parents need to engage with their children to really enhance their cognitive skills. But next time you need to let the screen distract your child long enough to make some food or brush your teeth, letting them play a video game might be a better option than plopping them in front of the television.
Keep in mind, though, there have also been reports that parents blame video games in particular for exposing their children to violence. And just this month, President Obama suggested more research be conducted to see the impact of violent video games and other media on children.
Parents: what media do you prefer your child to take-in — video games or television? What programming and/or games do you think are acceptable for your kids to watch or play? Tell us in the comments.
[VIA: The Border Mail]