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Gamification in education, learning by playing

Not all children today learn better only through pencil and paper. Learning should be fun. However, this is not the experience of most children in conventional school systems. Reading and math can be frustrating for a child who doesn’t understand the underlying concepts or the broader picture of what he or she’s learning.

In many cases, children are structurally encouraged to memorize information and simply follow the guidelines following the school curriculum, without establishing the building blocks and the right foundations for understanding and critical thinking. The school can become even more daunting as courses become more difficult as the student levels up.

Game-based learning platforms can create an engaging dynamic that inspires students to develop competencies and skills as they focus on game activities.

Regardless of the topic, whether your child hates or loves him or her, educational games can help him instill a love of learning, so if games are consciously chosen, it can be an extraordinary way to learn, don’t close to it.

The term gamification has been on the rise in recent years, if you don’t already know this term you will most likely start hearing it in different contexts during your child’s educational period. We can say that “gamification” is a technique that applies the principles of the game to situations outside the game, for example in education. It is a new didactic tactic in which the elements of the game can motivate students to absorb new information. Gamification does not necessarily have to be digital, it can also be analog or a combination of both.

Kids and games

Many children and young people spend several hours a day playing. It is part of its development process, therefore gamification offers opportunities within education because it responds to the living environment of young people.

However, by integrating the imagination, creativity, and mechanics of the game with the desired information, knowledge can come to life significantly. Compared to traditional grading systems, it offers a much more effective way to inspire different skills, such as creativity and commitment, managing to motivate children, incentivize the spirit of overcoming that is key to success.

An interactive learning environment is created, the rewards obtained by feeling an inner sense of real achievement and having the ability to creatively solve and master challenges become much more meaningful in this type of learning environment.

Goals of gamification in education

It’s very likely that at your child’s school they’ll apply some form of gamification to student learning. The goal is to increase student acceptance and motivation to learn as well as increase retention. Many students struggle with a wide range of problems, including learning problems and developmental delays. If not, at home you can search for games that can be used to have fun and entertain at home while learning.

Gamification techniques could be used as a means of intervention in the following 3 basic areas:


Video games require quite a few complex problem-solving skills. Even the basic arcade games found on smartphones require the player to think deeply about strategies to advance to the next round. By doing this, users test a variety of ideas and finally discover which one works. This type of experimentation is exactly what a teacher wants students to use when solving problems during lessons.

In addition, gamification strategies reward the process by advancing player level or awarding prizes such as badges, points, or sometimes additional in-app items that can be used at future levels. This increases motivation while keeping the child engaged.


As all educators know, children come in all shapes and sizes, and that includes those who are especially shy or introverted. Some students struggle with debate or class activities, but games can help these kids get out of their shells.

Video games require players to assume new roles given different scenarios. This asks users to see one conflict from another’s point of view and make quick decisions. Because a player can separate himself while engrossed in the game world, shy players often become leaders. This element could greatly improve performance when some children struggling with their confidence in school can actively participate.


When someone plays video games, they experience a variety of emotions, from emotion to disappointment. Most importantly, almost all players experience frustration from failure. While this varies, most allow users as many lives or attempts to reset the game to an earlier level. This can be annoying, but it keeps bets relatively low, motivating users to try again.

When used in the classroom or at home, gamification can significantly improve motivation by keeping the risks of failure low. This allows students to take educational risks without ruining self-esteem or confidence, which motivates children to persevere.

Timez Attack

If you enter the web, performing a quick search you can find a myriad of games for all ages and focusing on the different areas of study.

I leave you an example with which your little one can learn the multiplication tables in a fun and interactive way.

The conventional way to teach multiplication tables is by using flashcards. This is perhaps the best example of memory learning used in conventional schools. This sometimes becomes a pointless memorization task, but this can be effectively combined with interactive games. For example, the game Timez Attack demonstrates a better way for children to master this skill in an entertaining way.

The game’s graphics are made in 3D animation and the story takes place in a castle-like setting. Automatically, this puts kids in the way of playing a video game, the way they get their attention.

The player is required to demonstrate their visual understanding of simple problems such as 2×2 by throwing sets of numbers to the wall. They have to figure out how many sets of numbers equate to the multiplication problem.

Periodically, an ogre comes out to help activate the player’s memory of previous multiplication questions and to reinforce the long-term memory of these problems. Overcoming the ogre by finding the right answer helps players have a sense of achievement and improvement.

Games are great tools to complement the way information is taught at school and at home. Through imaginative contexts and the use of game mechanics, what was once perceived as boring comes to life in new ways. However, this should not completely eliminate traditional reading and study tasks.

You can take it as something complementary you can do in your free time (always under adult supervision) to learn and fix concepts you’re learning at school while having fun. It should always be noted that an adult must control the time he spends since he should not stop playing actively, do sports, or do other daily activities.

All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.

Carolina González Ramos

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