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How to Teach Kids Physics with Angry Birds?

Angry Birds

Even if you don’t like games or never played Angry Birds, you probably have seen those red birds somewhere – toy store, candy store, …  I have heard two completely different opinions about Angry Birds from parents.  Some think it is a great educational game.  Some believe kids are wasting time playing Angry Birds.  As you can guess, I am in the first camp.  I think Angry Birds is a great physics game.  If you are interested, here is an article explaining the physics in the game.

Teach Physics with Angry Birds

Does it mean kids will automatically know physics after playing the game?  How parents can help them learn?  For the parents who are in science fields, this might be easy.  How about someone like me – who can hardly remember any physics that was taught in high school?  I found that you really don’t have to know all the physics to help your kids.  All you have to do is to ask the right questions!

I get the question ideas from an article on iLearntechnology.  When my son was playing the game, I would ask if I can play with him.  Before he launches a new shot, I randomly ask questions like:

  • “Do you think the bird will shoot higher if you try to pull it a little lower”?
  • “Do you want to use the big (heavy) bird or the small (lighter) bird this time”?
  • “To hit the last pig there, what is a good angle to launch your shot”?

Neither of you needs to answer those questions.  These questions are to help the child think while playing – he wants to win the game, and you are helping him to achieve HIS goal.  These are the best teaching moments!

How do you know the child learned something?  You know he learned something from better scores in the game.  If he’s doing consistently better, he has learned some physics, even though he is not yet able to articulate the theories.  Hopefully, when he takes physics at school, he will remember all the game strategies he learned from Angry Birds.

To find all the Angry Birds games, visit the App Store

Angry Birds Figures

If you like Angry Birds, you will also like Best Learning Tools for Kids – Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills.

Best Learning Tools for Kids - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
{ 64 comments… add one }
  • Salva

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be exciting to read through articles from other writers and practice something from other sites.

  • Bipin

    Very nice info. I teach my 14 year old son on a website http://www.vivaphysics.com which is also completely interactive and it made a huge difference because he was for the first time enjoying learning physics.
    Way to go!

  • Fascinating & awesome. Shall pass the word around

  • Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of information on your page. Im really impressed by your site. You’ve performed a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

  • I had no idea these are available. I’ll recommend it to my grandson

  • literarylawyer

    Great article! Thanks so much for pointing out that learning opportunities are everywhere. Really enjoyed this!

    • That is right. If we pay attention and stay engaged, we can find a lot great teaching moments like this.

  • Awesome article that points to the advantages of parents who take the time to play games with their kids. It’s similar to opening a book and spending time reading to them.

    • You are so right about this. No matter what the teaching tool we use, parents stay involved is always the key element in our children’s learning successs.

  • I had never thought about it this way. I don’t have children, but I’ll ask that question to my students, if I’ll see them playing this game at the breakes.

    The worst is that there are parents, teacher, generally some adults, who just can’t stand technology, games, etc., are just getting mad on kids because of playing games, reading fantasy books or using phone aplications. I don’t understand, why they are doing this? They can’t fight progress, but they can use it!

    • I am with you. Technology will be here to stay, we have to stay ahead the kids to help them better utilize the technology in a good way!

  • I think you’ve hit on a key part of parents’ interaction with their children when playing games like this … asking questions! I like your questions above, and there’s others such as, “that’s a great shot! How did you know that was the right angle?”. The ‘how did you know’ type questions encourage a response, but as you say – your child doesn’t have to answer it – although I’m sure they’re thinking about it!

    • Love those questions! Thanks for the wonderful suggestions! I agress, we don’t have to force an answer out of them, but I am sure we triggered the thinking in their little head! 🙂

  • I’ll remember this next time some middle-schoolers mention the game! Am also checking out the other ones- thanks!

  • We love the Angry Birds series, so many things to try and learn about. They are also a great distraction during doctor’s visits…

    • Many people think Angry Birds is just a game, but once you get into it, there are so many to learn (or teach) in the game.

  • I knew I had to think harder to make those pigs disappear 😉 lol
    Good angle.

  • This is such a good article. My son loves Angry Birds, but I never thought about it like this. Thanks for the new perspective. 🙂

    • I found it to be a good teaching moment, when you are trying to help them do better in their games.

  • Angry Birds in Space has really cool physics. My 2 year old son loves that game. You have such a wonderful blog and I want to congratulate you on getting your 10k visits in 6 months. I can see why you are successful. I am looking forward to reading more of your work. You have a wonderful day.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I am quite impressed your 2 year old boy is playing Angry Birds. Way to go!

  • jim

    Good stuff! I passed along to the headmaster and teachers at my school. Thanks

    • Thank you! Hope they find it as useful as you did. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks for the refs. I gave you credit.

  • I cited you on my blog for pointing me to the original Angry Bird article. Thanks.

    • Thank you. Glad you find something helpful. Hope to see you again!

  • A very useful blog for anyone who helps children learn!

    • Thanks you! With all the new technologies involving, it is as much a learning experience for educators and parents, as it is for the kids.

  • Sarah Cain

    Very cool idea. Kids loves this app and so many others. It’s great to see a way to get them to stretch their brains as they play. Thanks for the thought!

    • Kids is more focused when they are doing things they enjoy, we should take advantage of the teaching moments.

  • Hey, there are many games which have something useful, something to learn. Angry Birds is one of them, an interesting game of course! Hey now there is another game from Rovio ‘Bad Piggies’

    • Thanks for commenting. The new app is on the top chart already. Did you play with it?

  • seanpierre64

    This is an excellent blog the whole thing. Definitely one to share with parents who have children.

  • I like that idea too! physics and angry birds! come to think of it, sound really logical!

  • I would NEVER have thought of this application for Angry Birds (a game I never took to, thinking that might be because of the physics angle)…thanks for sharing it!

    • I thought of it as a pure game at first, till I played with my son … Never hurt to try something new. 🙂

  • Vivian Sharpe

    Can you give me some information about the new angry birds games. Piggy something? Thanks Vivian

    • Bad Piggies is a fun game. It reached #1 at App store within 3 hours after launch. It is free at Google Play if you have Android. Only $0.99 at App store.

  • Jen

    What a great way to thing about it! In addition to the education aspect, it encourages kid/parent together time!

    • you are right. Showing interest in what they like does bring kids and parents closer. Since I started this blog, my son is more willing to share with me about his games. It used to be a “boy’s thing” in our house. 🙂

  • That article on the physicsof Angry Birds was a sensational link!

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