Parents playing video game with their daughter.


Don’t Fight Fortnite, Use It

Expand your child’s summer activities using popular video games

By now, unless you’re a total Fortnite noob, nub, or newbie (as newcomers to the wildly-popular video game are called by gamers), most parents know about the first-person shooter game that takes up so much of our children’s collective attention. With even more time spent in front of monitors during the summer, getting kids off the couch, away from their consoles and into more productive activities can be more challenging than ever.

“Kids learn through play. They can learn through video games as well, but the addictive nature of some video games presents a particular challenge,” says Senior Program Manager Bevone Ritche, M.S., of The Children’s Trust. “It’s best if you can balance (video game play) with other activities and control some of its less positive attributes.”

Instead of fighting with our children to get off of Fortnite, however, parents would do well to use the game to get their children’s creative, analytic and physical juices flowing. Here are 5 ways to use Fortnite and other video games to get your kids thinking or doing something more productive. 

Use Fornite Dances to Foster Real Rhythm. You’ve no doubt seen your child do the “Floss,” “Best Mates” or “Take the L” dances among others from video games. Take advantage to organize Fortnite dance parties and watch your children sweat as they try to perfect the moves. 

Bored of Video Games, Try Board Games. A family game night using board games is already a staple for many families, so Monopoly: Fortnite Edition and other video game-editions of board games are usually an easy sell and a good chance for fun quality time. 

Showing the Right Kind of Skin. For the uninitiated, a “skin” in Fortnite is basically a persona or outfit worn by a player. Chances are you’ve already had your child ask you to purchase multiple “skins” and could be seeing the charges pile up. Redirect that fascination to the visual arts by asking your child to draw or paint their favorite skins or characters from other video games and watch them use their talents to create instead of destroy. 

Fortnite Adventures as Party Themes. It’s just a matter of time before your kid is invited to a Fortnite-themed party, if he or she hasn’t already. But instead of having them slump on a couch en masse, try a water gun or Nerf Blaster activity outdoors with teams and strategy based on the video game. 

Building Upon Fortnite. An underappreciated aspect of video games like Fortnite and Minecraft is the interest it fosters in building structures. How about getting them to build similar (albeit smaller) structures in real life? A quick trip to the hardware store or even using what’s in the shed and you can have them spending hours on end sharpening their carpentry skills instead of their aim.