education internet learning

Good Video Games Power Up Life Skills

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A lot has changed in the world of video games since the first video console in 1972. Despite the criticisms of its effects on players the industry continued to evolve and grow. Aside from arcades and consoles, you can now play free video games online. Not just that, people also realized that playing these games can also be beneficial in developing skills for both kids and adults.

Video Games and Life Skills

Games whether virtual or in real life are often used as learning tools by educators or coaches. Perhaps more now that a lot of real-life activities like shopping, banking, meetings, etc. have their virtual counterparts already. Video games may have been primarily developed for fun and leisure but there are also studies on the positive effect of video games on one’s life skills. For one, the level of concentration and neurotransmitter surges that occur while playing helps in strengthening neural circuits. It is also believed that playing video games has a positive effect on developing higher-level thinking skills.

Areas of Development That can be Powered Up with Video Games

There are loads of video games out there that can help kids and even adults develop skills. You’ve got VR games, console games, and online games that help boost problem-solving, spatial, math, reading, and planning skills. In recent years multi-player games have also become popular and useful in developing the interpersonal skills of players.

Problem-solving, logic, and spatial skills. Puzzle, mazes, and pattern games are great for developing problem-solving and logic skills. These games challenge your ability to navigate and clear obstacles to achieve your goals. In doing so, players can analyze options and use logic to determine the best possible approach. There are several fantastic coding games available that may teach children to code without them even realizing it. The Code Panda is one such example. In this game, you help the Panda get to the Bamboo by using arrows to plot a clear route to it. Through Code Panda, children may explore coding while also learning the fundamental concepts.

code panda video gamescoding video games

Both adults and children have experienced extreme stress as a result of COVID-19. However, there are methods for overcoming COVID-19 anxiety. One example is coding. Coding can help children in learning coping skills throughout these uncertain times while their developing minds are particularly vulnerable.

Hand-eye coordination and fine motor coordination. Action, virtual sports, and shooting games whether online, VR, or console are great for developing hand-eye and fine motor coordination. Virtual sports games in VR and Wii allow you to mimic real-life movements so you also get a bit of physical workout from it. Minecraft and Medal of Honor are also great for developing both hand-eye and fine motor-coordination.

Planning, management, and Logistics. Simulation games are great for preparing kids for their future careers. Some games are very basic involving simple profit and loss scenarios like the Real Estate Tycoon. Property prices fluctuate in this game. Profiting from the arbitrage of buying low and selling high is the main objective.

real estate video gamesreal estate video games for kids

Such games educate children not only about money but also about the need of starting early with investments. By introducing children to the fundamentals of investing, you expose them to how businesses operate, how to grow money, and hopefully, how to choose investments wisely. Other games are more complex and would require planning and management and logistics. Examples of these are time management games with farms, restaurants, salons, or real estate themes.

Interpersonal Skills, Cooperation, and teamwork. There are multi-player video games that allow players to interact and work with each other. This can help develop interpersonal skills in kids as well as socially awkward individuals. Ideally, these games are played among friends or people within the same social circle. In any case, safety precautions must always be considered when engaging in multiplayer games. The classic game of Dungeons and Dragons has a multiplayer video game version too. Other popular role-play games that foster teamwork and cooperation are Mobile Legends, Clash of Clans, and Rise of Kingdoms.

Control Measures to Avoid the Adverse Effects of Video Games

Keep tabs on your game time. One of the negative criticisms of video games is that they can be addictive and people get hooked for hours. While this is true in some cases it is not so in the majority of cases. Striking a balance between real-life activities and video games is the key to enjoying the benefits gained from playing. An hour a day is reasonable as long as it doesn’t replace a more productive activity in real life. Nowadays it’s easy to keep track of time spent on games by checking your usage stats.

Choose games wisely. Not all video games have positive effects on kids and individuals. There have been games criticized for being too violent or promoting violence. To make sure that you’re getting only the good in your video games choose them wisely. This doesn’t mean that your games will be boring there are plenty of games with positive content that are fun, challenging, and exciting. Check the descriptive labeling and explore the games yourself before allowing kids to play with them. Parents who would like some guidance in choosing suitable video games for kids can check ESRB game ratings and similar websites.

Practice online safety at all times. There is always a potential threat from hackers online even in games. As such its important to be aware of dangers and practice online safety at all times.

business management

Dealing with Disputes – 5 Effective Tips For Handling Conflict in the Workplace

Conflict in the Workplace – Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

No workplaces are exempt from conflict. Employees may encounter problems with their employers, managers, co-workers, clients, and other stakeholders in the business.

Knowing how to handle conflict in the workplace is essential when you’re a business owner, especially when inaction can lead to resignations, productivity loss, and even legal action. If you don’t believe your conflict resolution skills are as fine-tuned as they could be, it’s time to act. Learn about some of the best ways to handle conflict in the workplace below.

Get Legal Advice

Sometimes, a conflict in the workplace can be so severe that you aren’t sure how you’ll be able to bring it to a successful resolution. In that case, it might be worth speaking to a business lawyer. Experienced business lawyers specialize in conflict, commercial matters, and defamation while providing general employment advice.

They can listen to the problems you’ve been facing, identify the potential ramifications, and help you put steps in place to resolve your conflict as peacefully as possible.

Identify the Conflict Source

When you’re a business owner or manager, you might not spend much time on the frontline with your employees, so it’s often easy to miss conflicts happening right underneath your nose.

When an issue comes to your attention, speak to everyone involved to find its source and learn the opinions of everyone involved. This investigative approach ensures you have all the facts to solve problems and make informed decisions.

Listen and Provide Space to Talk

Depending on the severity of the conflict in the workplace your employees are experiencing, you might see the value in bringing all parties into a neutral and private location to let everyone air their views and opinions about what happened.

Your job in this situation is to listen, provide a positive and assertive environment, and give everyone the same amount of time to talk. Promote openness, honesty, and problem-solving, and you can help everyone work together in harmony once more.

conflict in the workplace

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Prevent Conflict in the Workplace

If you find yourself putting out one figurative fire after another, it might be time to think about why conflicts are breaking out in the first place. Are job descriptions not detailed enough? Are you not the leader you thought you were?

Pay attention to the cause of most conflicts, and see if you can take care of the root cause to prevent more problems in the future.

Develop Solutions

The best way to manage conflict in the workplace is, of course, by developing solutions to the issues leading to those conflicts. If you can do this the first time they arise, all the better. As you’ve already taken the time to sit down with your team to find out what the problems are, you can now devise ways to ensure all employees are happy to move forward conflict-free.

Your solution might involve redefining job descriptions to define the role of some employees better or requesting that some employees change how they react or respond to certain situations. You might even need to take drastic steps, such as disciplinary action for repeat offenders.

If you haven’t felt confident throughout the conflict resolution process, you might even identify the need for leadership training to improve your conflict management skills.

You may be an experienced leader, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know how to approach every conflict in the workplace that arises. However, if you follow the steps above, you should be able to address current conflicts plaguing your workplace and prevent further problems in the future.


Smart Money Management: 3 Budget and Credit Tips for Everyone

Money Management Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels

You do not have to be among the world’s richest to learn about and practice money management. You actually have to be smarter about handling your personal finances if you are only earning enough for your day-to-day expenses. It is important to make sure that you are spending your money wisely and that you are protected against financial setbacks.

The median annual income in the US in 2020 was around $65,000, with 50% of the population being classified as middle-class. The global median annual income hovers around $23,000. No doubt, world events such as the COVID pandemic and the Russian attack on Ukraine have adversely affected the incomes and purchasing power of people all over the world. So, what do you have to do to survive these financially challenging times? How can you ensure your financial health and security?

Here are some easy everyday tips on how to be smart in money management:

1. Your Personal Finance Inventory

Take stock of your current financial situation. Make an inventory of your financial assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe). How much do you have in terms of cash and property? How much debt do you owe in loans like credit cards, cash advance from the website, and even in loans extended to you by family members or friends? List everything down with assets in one column and liabilities in another column.

Remember that your house and your car are not entirely assets if you are still paying for them. Put down the amounts you owe in your mortgage and car loans in the liabilities column. Note also that some of what you own are not ‘liquid.’ And so, even if you list them down in the assets column, these are not readily negotiable as cash to spend on your expenses or pay for what you owe.

Ideally, you should have more assets than liabilities. If it’s not, you’re not alone. There are a lot of people who are deep in debt. Your challenge is not to drown in debt and get your head above the water so to speak. And that’s why you have to be thorough and honest in doing your personal finance inventory. Listing everything down will allow you to get organized so you can devise a good strategy to get out of debt and then eventually boost your financial health.

smart money management

Smart Money Management Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

2. Your Budget

Know how much your cash inflow is and what you have to spend. This essentially shows you where your money should go as it comes in. You have to be realistic and wise about your budget. The expert money management tip is actually to save before you spend.  This way, you get to build your fund for your financial future.

For many people, there’s more to spend than their cash inflow. As bad as this situation is, this is not a reason to abandon budgeting. A budget is still necessary even in you have more credit card and cash advance loans to pay for. Being faithful to your budget will actually increase your chances of paying off your loans sooner rather than later.

A good budget for the cash-strapped requires that you only spend on what you absolutely need. For those with more debt, prioritizing payments is essential. If you can, find a way to consolidate your debt and work out a repayment scheme that matches your cash flow. Another option is to find ways to increase your cash flow or income. The goal is to eventually have more of your income to save.

3. Your Safety Nets

Emergency financial needs are a reality. Nobody wants to be caught unprepared for these needs, but it happens. It’s actually a good thing that there are instruments like a cash advance from the website loans that can give you quick and affordable financial help. These short-term loans are good solutions to your emergency needs when you do not have a financial safety net already set up.

Once you are clear of all debt, your next goal would be to set up your own financial safety nets. Look at products like life and health insurance, retirement funds, annuities, and other instruments that guarantee the availability of funds when you need them. Check out financial planning tools to find out what kind of protection you need according to your own financial profile, personality, and goals.

Be smart in money management for a secure future. Everyone needs to know how to manage their finances well and maintain their financial health. This is the only way to truly enjoy life to the fullest. No matter how much money you make, if you do not practice smart money management, everything could get wiped out in a dire financial setback. If you are deep in debt now, being smart about managing the money that you are earning now can actually eventually lead you to financial freedom.


3 Best Ways to Equip Kids with Food Business Skills

Food Business Skills for Kids – Photo by Karly Gomez on Unsplash

Equipping kids with life skills is one of the best legacies parents can leave for their kids. The more life skills they develop the more tools they will have for building a bright future. With meal preparation and money management being two practical life skills for kids, the concept of having a food business isn’t far behind. As such, it will be a good idea to expose kids to culinary and entrepreneurial activities at a young age. There are plenty of ways to do this and here are some ideas that you can start with.

Practice with Pretend Play

When it is a bit too early to put up capital and start a real business, pretend play is your best option. The terms of your pretend play are of course dependent on the age and skill of your child. Go with whatever is on hand to set up your pretend food business. It could be food toys or real food ranging from biscuits plated and served by your child to baked or cooked dishes prepared by your child. There are online culinary resources that you and your child can explore together for simple and easy-to-cook food for your business. Remember to go through all the steps, in very simple terms, with your little one. Also, let your child’s imagination run free and respect his ideas. It is his food business after all.

Simulate Strategy through online games

Tech-savvy kids might be more interested in online cooking games. There are plenty of options when it comes to these games, from hotdog stands and snack stations to cafes and full-service restaurants. Most of these games are free to play and easy to learn. There are timed games that challenge your child’s reaction time in ‘serving’ the customers and making sure that they get their orders in a jiff. There are also games that give kids a more in-depth look at what goes on in a food business. The Pizza Cafe for instance is a fun game that kids can enjoy as they learn the quirks of a culinary business. The Coffee Shop Game is also a fun game that includes variables like the weather, pricing, and recipe in the game challenge. Thereby teaching kids how to adapt and adjust to changing business environments.

coffee game shopcoffee game shop for kidsfood business skills for kids

Go and Get Real with it

For kids who are a bit older and have already learned some simple skills (i.e. counting, baking, cooking, etc.), you can already venture into kiddie-sized biz. Have a planning session and talk about what to sell, what supplies you need, how to set up your store physically, etc. Given that this is the real thing and will now involve real money for investment it can be easy for parents to get carried away with planning and running the business. Never forget that this is your child’s food business and your role is that of a mere consultant. Make your child take ‘ownership’ of the food business by giving him the reins. You’d be surprised at what you can learn from kids running a business. Here are some kiddie food business ideas that have been tried and tested.

Lemonade Stand. A favorite among young kids since it does not require any culinary skills at all and is easy to set up.

No-Bake Desserts. Homemade Blueberry cheesecake, Graham Balls, and other no-bake desserts are great for kids who already know how to measure and mix ingredients.

Cookies, Brownies, and other Baked Goodies. If your child can already handle the oven, baked goodies are great options for a kiddie food business. Take it from the girl scouts.

Equipping kids with the skills they need for a food business takes time. The earlier you start exposing them to activities that hone these skills the better. Time spent honing these skills will not be put to waste even if they don’t end up pursuing a food business as adults. Culinary skills are always handy for daily nutrition. There are also practical benefits in exposing kids to entrepreneurship.


Helpful Everyday Math Tools for Every Aspect of Life

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Like it or not Math is one of the constants in our life. Our everyday activities are riddled with it from cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. Most of the time we are barely aware of these Math encounters but some Math in daily life can prove to be challenging. This is why we need to hone our math skills and equip ourselves with tools that’ll make it easy to deal with everyday math throughout our lives. Here are some of the challenging bits of everyday math that can be made easy with the help of some tools.

Everyday Math for School

Math is taught as early as pre-school in the form of colors, shapes, sizes, and patterns. It would then progress to numbers, operations, problem-solving, and higher-level analysis as the child gets older. Some kids can breeze through these stages while some may struggle. Aside from worksheets and drills provided by teachers and tutors, games can also be fun and effective tools for learning math. Math games can help kids with their learning by engaging them in problem-solving activities to achieve a goal. Since these games can be played over and over again, kids can explore different strategies to achieve their goals. Games can be played alone or with a group. Thus with these games, the child’s creativity, confidence, and social skills can be boosted while building their math skills.

There are plenty of Math games and tools that can help kids with their everyday math in School. For preschoolers and kids, some examples are board games for counting, Uno for color and number recognition, and Connect 4 for patterns and strategies. For higher-level math problems, there are a lot of online video tutorials that are both entertaining and educational. Another interesting tool is the Microsoft Math Solver which offers a step-by-step solution for Pre-Algebra to calculus level problems. There are also available resources that can help those with dyscalculia cope with their math challenges.

everyday math tool

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Everyday Math for Health

Physical fitness is essential in taking care of our health. Two basic components are proper diet and exercise. This means doing a bit of math for calculating your nutritional intake as well as energy spent or fat burned on physical activities. The nice thing about our current technology is that you don’t have to do mental math or its paper and pencil equivalent to care for your health. There are health apps that can help calculate your way to fitness. All you have to do is input your food and liquid intake, wear your fitness tracker, and monitor your progress. You can also have your meals prepared by a fitness chef so you don’t have to calculate the nutrition value of your ingredients during meal preparation and meal portions throughout the day.

Everyday Math for Personal Finance

Budget management is essential to one’s financial success. This is why it’s important to teach kids about saving and spending at an early age. This could be done by involving the kids in grocery shopping with a set budget. In this manner, kids can have a concrete application of math concepts and somehow instill the value of spending wisely. As adults, the area of personal finance extends to far more than everyday expenses. Long-term plans like home and car ownership, career or business plans, and retirement come into play once you start your own family. You could use a wide array of Mathematical tools for these needs. This could range from the good old calculator to worksheets on your computer. But right now the simplest and easiest tool that you could use for everyday math is an online calculator. With these tools, all you have to do is input the required data and you’ll get the figures you need.

There is no escaping math in our everyday life. It’s there when you wake up to check the time, pick clothes that fit, eat,  travel, and work. But admit it or not, doing Math every day isn’t that bad. It can even be enjoyable sometimes. In any case, when Math challenges seem too great, remember that there are Math tools right at your fingertips.