Ask any teacher the best way to keep students engaged with the material, and they are likely to say “Make it fun!”
Games are a truly effective teaching tool, and thanks to technology, there are now countless ways to help kids learn to count, spell and read, to name a few.
Some games are more than just educational, but have the power to keep children healthy as well. That’s the goal behind a new video game being developed by the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center and Dr. Elizabeth McQuaid.
“Food Allergy Adventure” is an interactive app geared toward children ages 8 to 12. It not only teaches kids about food allergies (specifically peanut, tree nut, milk and egg allergies), but also gives them skills to help avoid allergic reactions.
The overall goal is to provide a tool that allergists and parents alike can use to help children better understand and manage food allergies.
“Food Allergy Adventure” Reinforces the Education Provided in Doctors’ Offices
The game is not intended to replace medical advice from your child’s pediatrician or allergist, but to help reinforce topics and increase the likelihood that kids will remember what to do in certain situations.
Children not only learn while having fun, but by repetition as well. A one-time run-down of dos and don’ts at the doctor’s office is certainly not enough to drive the message home for kids—or their parents!
That’s what makes an educational food allergy game such an appealing idea. Now, kids with food allergies and their families can learn all about cross contamination, choosing appropriate foods and identifying signs of an allergic reaction, all while playing a computer game. The game puts kids in potential real-life scenarios to help them practice what to do to keep safe and avoid allergens.
“Food Allergy Adventure” is currently undergoing testing and trials before being released. Based on feedback from families, the game has been expanded from its original version to include exercises in reading labels, bringing allergen-free food to events, and even dealing with bullies or peer pressure. These life lessons go well beyond what a nurse or doctor has time to explain in person, and is far more entertaining than an educational pamphlet.
The game is currently compatible for Android devices and iPads. Its effectiveness is still being tested and compared to educational services provided at doctor’s offices. But the game is already showing tremendous promise for promoting confidence in managing food allergies.
While you wait for this comprehensive game to be released, you can browse the game section of MKFA to find fun, educational resources.