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Admit it. You have probably spent some amount of time telling your kids to put down their electronics and join the real world. You also probably spent your childhood playing similar games. Don’t lie. Playstation, Super Nintendo, Sega, Atari, and Nintendo Gameboy were how you passed the time on long road trips or how you spent your lazy weekend mornings. You didn’t even have to be a gamer to enjoy the occasional duck hunting expedition or haunted mansion adventure. Are you looking for a new way to spend time as a family but feel like you are having to pry your kids away from their beloved video games? Here are 9 reasons to join in on the fun and play Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a family.
What Is The Nintendo Switch Thingy?
If you didn’t already have one, the Nintendo Switch was probably at the top of your kid’s (or significant other’s) Christmas wish list this year. The hot game system from Nintendo sold out quickly and people starting reserving them months in advance. The Nintendo Switch is the transformer of the video game world. It can be played on your TV at home, tabletop, or handheld for on-the-go. The Joy-Con controllers and other exciting accessories like fishing poles, Joy-Con wheels, and wristbands make this game system one that anyone of any age can enjoy. Play on your own, online with other people, or share your Joy-Con controllers with your family and friends.
What Is All The Hype With Animal Crossing?
If you haven’t been living under a rock (or stone) you have probably noticed all the adorable little animals gracing the displays in electronic stores and departments. You have possibly seen Animal Crossing: New Horizons swag such as shirts, blankets, stuffed animals, and maybe even tattoos. Yes, the obsession is real (and so are the tattoos). So what makes people go bananas over Animal Crossing and how can it be great for your family? Here is what we found:
1. Bonding Through The Use Of Kids’ Beloved Technology
If your kids are like ours, wild horses couldn’t drag them away from their electronics. Looking around it is easy to see why kids are comfortable with technology. Kids are surrounded by computers, smartphones, tablets, apps, websites, toys, and the list of technology gadgets goes on and on. They utilize technology at home, at school, and everywhere in between. In all honesty, they see everyone else glued to their devices too.
So the question is: How do you utilize technology to build and strengthen relationships? The answer is: If you can’t fight em’, join em’. Believe it or not, kids often love when you step into their world that is filled with their interests and hobbies. Video games are the same. They are usually stoked to show you their gaming skills and secrets. Animal Crossing creates a world where your family can come together on an island and work together to make your island unique, exciting, and something to look forward to as a family.
2. Teaches Kids About Fiscal Responsibility
It is never too young to start teaching your children about saving, responsible spending, and loan payments. These lessons also do not need to be a boring economics course or foreign concepts that are unrelatable to today’s world. Truth be told, it has been a minute since someone has whipped out their checkbook in a checkout line. Teaching fiscal responsibility should be relatable to today’s world with debit/credit cards, Apple pay, CashApp, Venmo, automatic withdrawals, and the gazillion apps that so easily withdraw and pay money from your bank account. Since money is as easy to spend as a punch of a button or facial recognition, the responsibility of spending is at its highest.
The same concepts lie within Animal Crossing. Players can earn “bells” by fishing, cleaning the island, and other tasks, and spend their “bells” on items to decorate their home or island with the simple push of a button. Even better, they can make a payment on their home loan. Sound familiar?
3. Promotes Kindness And Generosity
Mom, you are gonna LOVE this part. Notes that your kids create are located on the bulletin board and gifts are stored in houses on Animal Crossing instead of in your “real” house, where these homemade treasures seem to multiply faster than rabbits. Everybody loves a gift. Yes Yes.
Read More: Fun And Safe Game Websites For Kids
4. Kids Can Learn About Maintaining A Clean And Healthy Environment
Hold off on ordering the compost bin in order to teach your kids about being environmentally friendly. Animal Crossing provides a great way to introduce environmental awareness. Players can spend their time weeding, watering, repurposing, and planting trees. Not only does it beautify and maintain the island, but you can cash in some of the weeds, branches, and shells for some cheddar. Don’t be surprised if the kids are more interested in keeping the island picked up rather than their room. Who can blame them? Nook’s Cranny pays much better (in bells) than mom and dad.
5. Teaches Kids About The Environment And Animals
No worries if your children are not outdoorsy. Even if you have not raised an angler, they are sure to feel the exhilarating rush of reeling in a new fish. If they have a virtual green thumb, that’s perfect! Be sure they are equipped with a shovel and watering can and task them with beautifying the island. They will love the opportunity to create gorgeous gardens and learn about the many species of plants and animals that pop up from time to time. There are a couple of wise characters that will jump at every opportunity to tell you all about the critters on your Animal Crossing island.
Boosting your child’s literacy is as easy, and pain-free, as baking vegetables into their favorite meals. Animal Crossing requires players to read directions, storylines, challenges, and dialogue in order to be successful and uncover the next surprise. Everyone will be having so much fun accomplishing tasks and earning “bells” that they won’t even notice that they have read the entire time. And words like Ophthalmosaurus to boot.
Expect everyone to get a little more hyped at the dinner table when Animal Crossing takes over your conversations. Your family will find themselves scoping out plots to build houses, shops, bridges, and other creative designs to make the island one that everyone can enjoy. A gym for dad, a mermaid room for sister, a beach oasis for mom (with a coconut drink), a game room for brother, and so many other unique ideas that everyone can contribute to and enjoy. The more you work together, the more you can build and afford to furnish. Want to keep Animal Crossing virtual? Drop each other messages on the message board about tentative plans or supplies that are needed. Go, team!
8. Celebrate Each Others Wins
Animal Crossing: New Horizons does a great job of letting players celebrate milestones. Whether it’s opening a new building, learning a DIY project, or just sharing good news with each other, you can pop party poppers from Nook’s Cranny and catch a photo of the occasion. Your family may find themselves jumping for joy over each other’s presents, houses, or Nook’s Cranny loot. Everyone’s unique style will be reflected in their accommodations and you will not be able to resist being excited about one another’s successes.
9. Teaches Patience And Perseverance
Rome was not built in a day and neither will your Animal Crossing island be. Houses take time to pay off and you have to work, or fish, to pay it off. Gathering enough supplies to complete DIY projects doesn’t happen overnight and may require a trip or two to another island. Be patient. Much like real life, hard work will pay off.
Tips and Tricks
Not an Animal Crossing pro just yet? There are plenty of tips and tricks to help you get started. In case you were wondering, you can escape the wrath of the bees and money does indeed grow on trees (at least in Animal Crossing). Once you have your bearings straight, jump aboard a flight with Orville and Wilbur at Dodo Airlines (insert history lesson here) and visit other islands. For other game secrets, Game Rant has some great tips and tricks. You won’t be a newb for long.
Knowing what you know now, how could anyone resist the opportunity to have a little fun, creative time with the fam. Animal Crossing: New Horizons does just that. The only hard part is figuring out how to juggle your real-life and your Animal Crossing life. After all, you can’t let the kids show you up.
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