How Video Games Can Help Kids Stay in Touch With Friends Over the Summer

A child wearing a gaming headset sitting in a gaming chair in front of a computer screen playing summer video games.

Summer. It’s a time for splashing in the pool, family vacations, and a well-deserved break from school. But it’s also a time when kids might miss their school friends. So, how can we help our kids stay in touch over the summer months? Enter summer video games.

Video games for kids have evolved beyond mere entertainment. They provide a fun, safe, and interactive platform for children to connect with their peers. This virtual arena is perfect for maintaining friendships over the summer, effectively bridging the physical distance that can sometimes leave kids feeling isolated.

The Role of Video Games as a Social Tool

Online multiplayer games have grown in importance in our increasingly digital world. Social video games are an essential tool for keeping kids connected over the summer, bridging physical distances, and facilitating social interaction. Studies indicate that video games have numerous benefits for children, such as enhanced communication skills, teamwork, and empathy.

Video games—especially those offering multiplayer options—create shared experiences that extend far beyond the screen’s boundaries. These games aren’t simply about scoring points or defeating enemies; they’re about teamwork, collaboration, and shared victories. These shared experiences can form the basis for conversations, inside jokes, and a sense of camaraderie that can strengthen friendships.

For instance, in an action-packed game, a triumphant boss battle can become a shared victory, a cherished memory that friends can look back on and discuss. In creative games like “Minecraft,” friends can work together on virtual projects, mirroring real-life collaboration. These experiences can foster deep connections and create a sense of belonging that extends to their real-world interactions.

Moreover, video games can facilitate communication skills among players. Online multiplayer games often require strategizing, which demands players to talk, listen, and make collective decisions. Such interactions can promote effective communication skills and teamwork.

Furthermore, online games also provide a space for kids to express themselves freely. They can choose their in-game avatars and character skins, helping them express their personality and creativity. In this way, video games can be a medium for self-expression and identity exploration, which are crucial aspects of social development.

It’s also worth noting that these social benefits of video games extend to all players, not just the outgoing or sporty ones. Kids who might be shy or introverted in person often find it easier to open up and make friends in an online environment. This aspect makes video games an inclusive social tool, breaking down barriers and fostering friendships among diverse groups of kids.

Choosing the Best Video Games for Summer

When selecting the best video games for summer, look for games that encourage collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity. Certain games provide rich, immersive experiences perfect for online playdates. These games stand out as some of the best multiplayer games for kids:

  1. Minecraft: A creative sandbox game that promotes creativity and collaboration.
  2. Roblox: Offers countless user-created games within, encouraging social interaction.
  3. Among Us: A party game that emphasizes communication and teamwork.

Educational Video Games for Summer

Why not let learning continue even during the summer? There are plenty of educational video games for summer that blend entertainment and education. Video games have been shown to help with learning, fostering critical thinking, strategic planning, and hand-eye coordination. Here are a few recommended educational video games:

  1. Prodigy: An engaging math game that adapts to the child’s individual skill level.
  2. Lightbot: A puzzle game that introduces basic coding concepts.
  3. Scribblenauts: Encourages vocabulary expansion and problem-solving.

Parents: Key Players in Online Gaming

While video games can be a great tool for connection, it’s important to remember that not all online environments are safe for children. Parents should be aware of the games their children are playing, the content of those games, and who they’re interacting with. This is especially important during the summer when kids may have more unsupervised screen time. Ensuring that games are age-appropriate and setting boundaries for gameplay can help create a fun, safe summer gaming experience.

Wrapping It Up

As technology continues to advance, so too do the ways we socialize. Video games offer kids a way to stay connected over the summer in a fun, engaging, and often educational way. As you plan your child’s summer activities, remember that connecting with others through video games can offer more benefits than you might expect.

Video games are more than just play—they’re about connection, interaction, and staying socially engaged, even when school’s out. Embrace the power of gaming as a tool for social interaction, learning, and fun. By integrating video games into your child’s summer, you can help ensure they stay in touch and maintain their friendships throughout these sun-filled months.

At AbleGamers, our mission is to create opportunities that enable play in order to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. We know that video games can be the perfect gateway to community participation, lifelong friendships, and unforgettable shared experiences. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure these experiences are developed with accessibility as a priority and inclusion as the goal.

We are working every day to make sure people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else for positive experiences through play. With our nearly two decades as pioneers in inclusive play, thousands of hours working with people with disabilities, and leading developers and engineers, we create opportunities for players to find inclusive places to play and connect with family and friends. Learn more about what we do here, or help continue our crucial work by making a monetary donation or purchasing something from our shop!