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From coding to design, here are 10 websites and games to boost kids’ analytical skills

A great way to teach kids instructional design/coding is the If-Then Adventure Story, which can be used for creative writing, imagining alternate histories, presenting environmental solutions, etc.


October 24, 2018 9:00:22 am
Boost your kid’s analytical skills. (Source: Getty Images)

You wouldn’t mind if your child’s screen-time amounted to something constructive, right? We’ve rounded up some great websites and games which can potentially be tools to boost your kid’s analytical/creative problem solving skills. 

By Ritika Jain

An insider once told me that Google and some other forward-thinking companies prefer to hire candidates that show promise as problem solvers. Basically, this means they have a capacity for lateral thinking, are excellent at communication and decision-making, and show leadership skills within a team––definitely skills that will never be redundant. These life skills aren’t necessarily laid out in a curriculum but kids can be nudged towards certain challenges and be taught not to give up too easily.

Applied Digital Skills

Applied Digital Skills is one of many Google initiatives focused on computer science education. For example, a great way to teach kids instructional design/coding is the If-Then Adventure Story, which can be used for creative writing, imagining alternate histories, presenting environmental solutions, etc. Kids learn to collaborate and brainstorm to create interactive stories in these fun sessions. (Suitable for middle schoolers)

Minecraft

Good news for kids who’ve already been a fan of this game. Minecraft has been declared one of the best tools for self-expression and creativity. Players can choose between creative mode (building anything imaginable block-by-block) or survival mode (exploring the world and mining its resources to feed, house and defend themselves). For concerned parents of younger kids, the game also features a ‘Peaceful’ mode. Education Edition for schools and students has added a tool called Code Builder that lets players pick up code-building tech. It is also a social game, where students can rely on other players for help. (Suitable for all ages)

Kids Design Collaborative

Kids Design Collaborative is a non-profit design resource dedicated to the education and inspiration of future designers. With a short introduction to subjects like graphic design, fashion, interiors, architecture, film, animation and environment design, the website gives kids a project to complete and share with others. (Suitable for middle-schoolers)

PBS Kids—Problem Solving

Younger kids can enjoy games featuring Dr. Seuss books, Waldo, Sesame Street, Curious George and other popular characters on PBS Kids: Problem Solving. Seemingly simple, they teach concepts of science and engineering, social studies, nature, languages etc. (Suitable for juniors)

Math Game Time

Fun old games using logic and reasoning like Tower of Hanoi and Sudoku are listed grade-wise on Math Game Time. Others pose a variety of problems that require kids to come up with effective solutions for. (Suitable for junior and middle-schoolers)

Starcraft

Strategic video games like Starcraft, a military science fiction game where players juggle big-picture economy and micro-level unit control, can improve the ability to solve imaginary and real-life problems in real time. Tasks include constructing a base, building an army and riding to battle. One learns to search, negotiate, plan and anticipate consequences. A similar game for juniors would be Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda. (Suitable for middle and high-schoolers)

Brilliant

Brilliant helps you master foundational concepts, build intuition, and learn in-depth through interactive problem solving courses, especially in math, science and computer science. You’ll find a range of topics from astronomy to solar energy to linear algebra and artificial neural networks. There’s also a community page where people can post challenges for each other. (Age 10+)

Monument Valley

Winner of many awards including Grand Prix for International Mobile Gaming Awards, Monument Valley is a visually stunning brain-twister that draws inspiration from the optical illusionist M C Escher. The player guides Princess Ida through mysterious monuments, to uncover hidden paths, unfold optical illusions and outsmart the enigmatic Crow People. It is a surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry. (Age 7+)

Ted Ed

Ted Ed, the platform that simplifies concepts for kids through amazing animations also features some exquisite puzzles and riddles for you to crack. For example, the Leonardo da Vinci riddle explains autobiographical numbers, the Rogue AI riddle teaches probability, and the Rebel Supplies riddle uses logic. Nothing better to give your brain a jog! (Age 10+)

CodinGame

CodinGame is a challenge-based training platform for programmers where they can improve their coding skills via fun games and exercises from easy to hard levels. They can learn new concepts and get inspired by the best developers, try codes and test new ideas while practicing, competing or contributing. The platform called tech.io lets developers around the world keep up with technologies thanks to hands-on playgrounds created and shared by the community for free. They also have a blog dedicated to coding, game algorithms and AI. (Age 13+)

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