What’s in a game? Most would say fun and entertainment, but at The Cabbage Patch, we look a little deeper and find opportunities to engage children in important lessons. The trick of educating children while they think they are playing is what makes our Educational Opportunities department so successful.
New in the Educational Opportunities department is Patch Con, a program that makes use of games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon to support math skills and reading comprehension. Community partner Through The Decades has provided wonderful support to the Patch Con Program, and a recent field trip to the gaming store opened The Patch children’s eyes to a world of constructive, positive fun!
Gaming encourages critical thinking, as players anticipate their opponents’ actions and quickly come up with strategies for their own moves. The cards used in role playing games contain a lot of information, and children quickly learn to interpret the text. they are not just learning to read; they are learning reading comprehension.
Math is another key component to the lessons hidden in the games. As players earn “points” or “damage,” they must add and subtract quickly. Not only do they want to keep track of their own score, but they want to keep track of other players’ scores. The games provide a framework for understanding numbers and rankings.
Now that we have worked with Through The Decades to establish such a vibrant gaming program, we are attracting new children to the Educational Opportunities department. At least two Patch members who stuck to recreational programs in the past are now visiting Education regularly. Drawn by Patch Con, they are engaged with the academic environment and interested in new opportunities! We are thankful for the staff at Through The Decades, including owner Alex Spears, Hugh Blaske, Alex Combs, Chase Hammond and Jeremy Zimmer.