Thursday, December 1, 2011

How Trivia Affects Children's Learning

Playing trivia games can positively impact your child's learning in several ways. Games like Trivial Pursuit, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? and even media trivia like Scene It can provide incentive for learning and help develop learning and memory skills. These games are made to test your knowledge, not hone your learning, but they do so, nonetheless.

Quick Thinking Skill

children playing Many trivia games, such as Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit, have time limits for answers. Once the question is asked, the child has to come up with an answer in the allotted time. This can help them develop their quick thinking skills. It might seem like knowing your facts is enough, but recalling them quickly can come in handy in school and later in the work place. Debate teams, math clubs, student council, medical jobs, political jobs and much more require thinking on your feet. Children who develop these skills early in life will not have to struggle as much later.

Learning Facts by Default

Whether a child knows the answers to trivia questions while playing or not, he or she will learn something. They can learn while other players take their turns and they can learn by hearing the answers to questions to which they do not know the answers. If they play the games enough, they will memorize facts, but they will almost certainly recall some of the answers in the future.

Incentive to Learn

Regardless if a person is a child or an adult, there often needs to be an incentive to do just about anything. Even if it is an altruistic incentive, such as helping someone in need, an incentive is necessary. This is doubly so for learning because the rewards are not always immediately obvious to children. Trivia games make learning and recalling what you have learned fun. Children get to compete and sometimes win prizes when they play trivia. The competitive and fun nature of these games will make children want to play them more than they would want to use a learning technique such as flashcards to memorize facts.

Enhancing Memory and Recall

One of the most important things about learning is remembering. Accessing all of the information children store in their minds can be difficult. They are distracted by other things, bored by the topic or simply do not soak up the information. Trivia games give them a reason to do this. It helps them practice recalling facts so they get better and better at it. It helps them remember facts because they see it as a priority to win the game or win next time. Memory can be a practiced skill and trivia games help children practice the skill without them knowing they are doing something that children typically find boring.

The only way that playing trivia games will impact your child's learning is to play them with your child. Help them start to enjoy the games by asking each other trivia questions in the car while on long drives. Find children's trivia games with funny or gross out questions that kids will love. Play often and it will become second nature for your child to think fast and access memories.

John Fisher has been playing Trivia Pursuit for several years. You could say he is addicted to trivia questions. No one will compete against him in music trivia, because he can't be beaten.

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