Gaming for Beginners: A Guide to Kids Arcade Experiences


kids arcade

Adults have attended arcades for decades for fun, competition, and social activity. Arcades aren’t just for adults – there are plenty of arcade games for kids too! For a parent new to the idea of a kid’s arcade, it might feel kind of daunting to bring your children to such a loud and bright place. However, there are several benefits to bringing your kids to an arcade: they learn essential life skills, you can practice healthier parenting and communication, and the simple arcade games themselves enrich your children’s lives. Let’s go through each of the benefits in detail.

arcade games for kids

How Kids Arcades Help Children Learn

Arcades are not just a place for fun and relaxation. Even engaging with simple arcade games helps kids learn essential skills for their social lives and brain development. Arcades offer an excellent place for children to meet friends, play with others who are the same age, and make new memories together. Compared to recreational screen time at home, where your children might spend hours watching videos or playing games with no interaction, arcade games for kids provide opportunities for your children to practice making friends! You may even meet the parents of your children’s new friends. The friendships children make over easy arcade games don’t have to stay solely in the arcade.

Arcade gaming itself teaches kids motor skills, coordination, problem-solving, and more. Plenty of the arcade games accessible for kids are analog, involving ball-throwing and gross motor skills. Even digital games at the arcade involve hand-eye coordination, reaction timing, fine motor skills, and problem-solving. While your first assumption of an arcade game booth might involve a game with a joystick, there are plenty of other control mechanisms that give children opportunities to practice skills. Most racing games use a set of pedals and a wheel, like a real-life car. Crane games require sequential analysis and spatial awareness. Plus, if kids find themselves enjoying facing and overcoming these challenges, they are learning positive emotional regulation.

The last benefit we will mention here is one of etiquette. Loud arcades might come off as chaotic, but in truth, they contain several lessons your children can learn about politeness and taking turns. This often requires some input on the parent’s part, but your child may find cleaning up after himself and treating equipment with care more appealing in an environment they find as fun and special as a kid’s arcade. They will learn to wait in line for popular games, and respect other people’s turns. Everyone is in the arcade to enjoy themselves, which makes for a much easier lesson in empathy.

simple arcade games

Tips and Benefits for Parents in Kids Arcades

Parents have plenty of opportunities to better their parenting skills during an arcade excursion as well. While arcades used to be primarily for adults, the explosion in popularity of console gaming led to arcades becoming more of a family experience. Still, there are some games at arcades designed for adults. If your parenting style mostly leaves your kids to their own devices when browsing media and games, arcades are a great way for you to practice distinguishing media appropriate for different age groups. Which arcade games market themselves for adults or teens, and which are arcade games for kids? If you have trouble telling the difference, feel free to ask the arcade staff.

Kids arcades are also a fun place to learn to bond with your children over games. Play some games together and get to know what types of games your kids love the most! If you have experience with arcades, showing your children the games you have the most fun with might be an opportunity for them to experience new genres and activities. You can also take this opportunity to practice establishing boundaries. Set clear expectations about time limits, healthy competition, and taking breaks before arriving at the kid’s arcade. When it comes time for you to take a break or leave, communicate it as clearly as possible.

Good Easy Arcade Games for Beginners

All sorts of simple arcade games are suitable for kids. Air hockey is a great example. This fast-paced two-player game encourages friendly competition and teaches kids to quicken their reflexes and try to predict angles and momentum. It’s a table-based game suitable for all ages. Plenty of adults get just as competitive and enjoy facing each other down across the table! If you’re looking for a game to play against your children, start with this one. Skee-ball is a good choice if you want to help your child play or watch them enjoying themselves in a casual setting instead of competing. You roll the ball towards the ramp to land in a series of rings and holes. The closer you are to the center or the corners, the higher the points. This game teaches children precision and accuracy, as well as improving these skills in a sequence.

Digital games have their joys as well. Pacman is a perennial arcade classic that almost every adult has heard of, if not played! This game hasn’t aged a day since it was introduced in arcades across the globe. It’s great for kids to challenge themselves to strategize and learn to adapt on the fly. Tetris is a similar retro favorite that still receives attention in competitive scenes, but is simple to learn and enjoy. While it may not be everyone’s first choice in easy arcade games, it is great for children. Tetris has no final goal, it will only end when the blocks stack to the top of the screen. This game design makes it a safe outlet for children to learn emotional regulation around failure, and how to pick themselves back up to try again.

kids arcade

A Family Sports Complex for All Ages

If you’re located in Chicagoland, and you want to introduce your kids to the joy of a family arcade experience, come to Wintrust Sports Complex in Bedford Park. Our multi-purpose sports and programming facility includes an extensive arcade available for casual visits or party rentals. Gaming birthday party packages include laser tag and either a private room or restaurant area reservation with pizza and snacks! Even if you’re not coming to Wintrust for a party, Bedford Park is home to an array of local establishments, all accessible from the Orange Line train station. Visit us today to start making family memories filled with excitement.

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