Since receiving Skylanders for the holidays, the boys have been obsessed. This is their first real video game, and we carefully moderate play (no more than a half hour every day or two), but I have been pleasantly surprised the “side effects” of their game play.
1. My Boys Work as a Team
Skylanders Trap Team requires both a remote and a nunchuk for control of the Skylanders. Although my nearly 6yo can handle both controls, my almost 4yo has a bit of trouble. So, the boys play one of two ways. Sometimes my oldest is in charge of moving around while the middle is in charge of jumping and attacking. Or, they play tethered together as a “trap team” and my oldest helps to pull the middle along. Either way, they embrace teamwork instead of fighting together.
2. My Boys Read More
My boys are really into reading about Skylands and the characters. They pour over their resource book for Skylanders Universe, and strategize using the character chart that is included with the Starter Kit.
This is the resource book they love (note that it does not included the Trap Team figures, but it includes previous figures and the history of Skylands):
Edit: Since I originally posted a new book which includes the Trap Team characters has come out.
And the character chart they study:
3. My Boys Follow Complex Story Structure
The Skylanders Trap Team game has a storyline that is rich in complexity. My boys enjoy being a part of the action and listen to the instructions they are given and figure out what they need to do next to continue the action in the “story.” As a parent and literacy expert, I appreciate that the stories are broken into manageable episode-like missions so that the boys can make sense of the information they are given. Throughout the game play, they are forced to make predictions, inferences, and identify appropriate solutions. All of these skills can be tapped upon later as they continue to build their reading skills.