Lessons and books are not the only way for kids to learn. In fact, experts say that play is one of the best ways kids learn important skills like collaboration and problem solving. 

According to Vijeet Pandey of the Times of India, early childhood research shows that kids “learn best through active, sensorial exploration and engagement,” and that gamified learning (learning that incorporates games) is a great way for them to learn these skills at home or in the classroom. 

“Some ideas for integrating this method include using board games, puzzles, bingo, crosswords, outdoor games, role play, puppetry, music and movement and creative activities, integrating different disciplines for example art and math or music and language to ensure that learning is engaging and gamified,” writes Pandey. \

Even video games, long considered bad for kids, are a great way for kids to learn, according to Ana Lorena Fabrega, a former teacher who helped develop a school focused on the impactful benefits of play. “Video games teach kids how to collaborate and organize in extremely large groups,” she told Wired.com

Gaming is also a great way for kids to learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Video games designed to teach STEM introduce students to coding, design, critical thinking, and creative storytelling techniques, while letting them have lots of fun in the process. 

Want to gamify your classrooms? Celebrate Games Day- December 20

If you are an educator who wants to get kids interested in STEM, today, December 20 — “Games Day” — is the perfect time to get started! Check out these fun STEM games designed to engage students in engineering – from inventing and coding to environmental and electrical engineering.