Games with rules
Young children are strongly motivated by the need to make sense of their world and, as part of this, they are very interested in rules. From a very young age children begin to enjoy games with rules, and to invent their own.
While playing games with their friends, siblings and parents, young children are learning a range of social skills related to sharing, taking turns, understanding others’ perspectives and so on.
The use of electronic and computer games (together with TV viewing) is a particular area of anxiety for parents. The concerns relate to violence and to their lack of developmental or educational value. There is some evidence to suggest that viewing violent images can lead to increased aggression in children.
Studies have also shown, however, that well-designed computer games can offer very engaging, creative, open-ended or problem-solving challenges to children, which are likely to share some of the benefits of problem-solving or constructional play with objects. Despite worries about the solitary nature of electronic and computer games, in practice children enjoy these most when they are played with others and the best games stimulate a good deal of talk between children which helps develop their language skills.