The Case for Games in the Classroom

Monday, 3 October, 2022 - 12:58 pm

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Not just the Hebrew Academy teachers believe play should be an integral part of the everyday curriculum found in schools. According to the Academy of Pediatrics, Drs should be giving out prescriptions for play because of the tremendous benefit in a child’s cognitive development and overall well-being.

As many educators follow this trend, technology experts have focused on educational apps and websites benefiting the educational space. While there may be tremendous benefits, the rise in technology use in education has many downsides. As developers and content creators rely on the dopamine effect and addictive nature to keep you on their platform longer, a simple research project can lead to many opportunities for distractions. The technological advances of spell check, grammar correction, etc. take the space of students learning to think for themselves as they begin to rely on machines. 

The greatest challenge we face is the declining need for social interaction. Children are so engaged in their devices, albeit in an educational setting, they don’t have the opportunities to experience the joy of connection, compassion, and validation. 

Walking into our Kindergarten classroom, you will find students engaged in social happy banter that leads to confident adults. The smile of compassion, the jokes, and joyful learning are natural experiences here at the Hebrew Academy, the longest-running Jewish School in Orange County.  Staying true to our mission to create opportunities for children to engage and connect, our teachers and staff are always looking for fun, innovative ways to engage, motivate and inspire real learning. Meaningful opportunities to play allow our students to develop the social-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills that build executive functioning that inspires success throughout their academic career and beyond. Our warm and welcoming classrooms are a safe space for children to build strong relationships with their peers and teachers and learn the power of compassion and empathy. Ask any alumni, the friendships formed on the Hebrew Academy campus last a lifetime. 


Perhaps the next time your child is bored, instead of encouraging them to grab a device, pull out a board game and play. Aside from the educational benefits, like sharpening memory skills and cognitive development, the powerful connection, the confidence, and yes, even the ability to be a good loser will benefit your child tremendously. 


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