Kinect Sports: Boxing

LQ: 7.6


Brain grade: 6.7
Fun score: 8.5

Kinect Sports: Boxing - Educational Game Review image 1
Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 7+ Other Requirements: Kinect sensor Thinking Skills Used: , ,

In Kinect Sports: Boxing the players stands in front of the Kinect sensor and move their body around to attack, dodge and block. Throwing punches is done simply by tossing punches, and to block, players raise their hands up in front of their face. While players cannot move freely around the ring, they are able to dodge punches by “bobbing and weaving,” or leaning side to side. As a boxing game, this title revolves around violence, but it cartoonish in nature and features no blood or otherwise inappropriate content. Due to these considerations, Kinect Sports: Boxing is recommended to players ages age 7 and older.

This Game is Good for Kids Who Need Help With:


Managing her feelings, actions and behaviors.

This game is good for kids who need help with Self Control, as honing one's skills in the game takes time. In order to develop her skills, the player needs to remain calm and motivated, taking her time to learn the basics. Furthermore, in order to excel, she must master blocking and dodging, and exhibit response inhibition in order to avoid rushing in and attacking without caution. One great gameplay mechanic that really showcases the game's Self-Control skills is the Power Bar. The Power Bar becomes charged after a player has blocked three of her opponents punches. After charged, the player will get a chance to throw a punch that will stun the opponent, leaving an opening for a big attack.


Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

With the variety of punches that can be thrown in the game, it is important for the player to be flexible and mix up her attacks with jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. The jab is a great way to open up opponents for bigger attacks. The hook can be devastating, especially when the player holds the punch for a second before throwing it, adding extra power to the attack. The final punch, the uppercut, is a deceptive punch that can start low and end high. If an opponent is blocking his mid-section, throwing an uppercut can make him feel protected right before the player lands a big hook. Knowing which punches to throw at the right time is important for success. If the player can utilize all three punches to keep the opponent off balance, they will be harder to predict, and thus harder to defend against.


Maintaining attention and effort during tasks and seeing them through to completion.

Players need to pay close attention to the position of their opponent at all times, as maneuvering around blocks is key to dealing damage. By focusing on low attacks while their opponent blocks high — or vice versa — they can connect a series of punches in combination. Players that fail to focus closely on the position and movements of their opponents will also have a hard time avoiding hits, as foreseeing incoming attacks is key to blocking and dodging.

Physical exercise that involves complex body movement and keen coordination such as boxing also has benefits for improving focusing skills, and research shows that vigorous physical activity can also help boost attention and concentration for up  to 4 hours after exercise.

Use this Play Together guide to learn how you can help your child turn Kinect Sports: Boxing play time into a positive learning and relationship-building experience. To learn more about why playing games with your children is so important, check out our Science of Play page.

Talk Before You Play

Take a minute to talk with your child about how the Self-ControlFlexibility and Focus thinking skills work, and why they are important for success in school and at home.

Set Gameplay Goals

Kinect Sports: Boxing is a fun game that you can play with your child. Jump into the second player slot and go head-to-head with your child for a few rounds of boxing fun. While your at it, see if you and your child can accomplish some of these gameplay goals.

Gameplay Goals:

  • Win your first boxing match to unlock the "And the Winner is..." achievement.
  • Come back to win after being knocked down 4 times to grab the "Comeback Kid," achievement.
  • Survive being stunned without allowing a single blow to hit you to earn the "Stunning Recovery," achievement.
  • Bonus: Win a boxing match in champion difficulty to earn the "Tornado Gardens Champion," achievement.

Stop and Reflect

After your child has played 3-5 matches in Kinect Sports: Boxing, stop and take some time to reflect on the thinking skills utilized by the game.

  • Discuss with your child how utilizing Self-Control can help you balance offense and defense, not rushing in to attack wildly,taking the time to block and dodge, and mixing up your attacks.
  • Illustrate how having patience and control also helps at school. For example, rather than blurting out answers in class, students pause to raise their hand before answering. Rather than rush through math work, students should take the time to ensure they thoroughly grasp all the applied concepts. If not, they could easily be stumped by more complicated equations down the road.
  • Describe how using a variety of punches can improve a player's chance of success in Kinect Sports: Boxing. How does being flexible help you react fast to punches, and vary your attacks?
  • Brainstorm with your child other ways that variety benefits us in our daily lives. For example, learning new things at school, trying new foods at home, or participating in new sports can help us to discover things we might not have otherwise known we enjoy.

Our Make it Real activites are designed to transform your child’s gameplay to real-world improvements in thinking and academic skills. If you’re just getting started with LearningWorks for Kids, we suggest you try them all to find which are the best for you and your child.

Introduce the Thinking Skills

Read over the pages for Self-ControlFlexibility and Focus. Then take some time to introduce these thinking skills to your child.

Explain that:

  • Self-Control is the thinking skill that helps us manage our feeling and behaviors, control our emotions and stop ourselves before we make a mistake.
  • Flexibility is the thinking skill that helps us adapt to new situations, learn from mistakes and change what we are doing in order to deal with different challenges.
  • Focus is the thinking skill that helps us maintain our attention and effort, start tasks and keep working on something without getting distracted.

Self-Control Activity

Help your child to identify stressful situations ahead of time in preparation for coping with difficult situations in the future. Having a script to follow might assist in managing emotions. Help your child to understand that it is common to experience frustration or failure in many situations. The ball doesn’t swish through the net every time you take a shot and nobody hits a home run every time they step up to bat. Just as it would be unrealistic to expect that you'll get every job you applied for or to “ace” every test you've ever taken. Talk with your child about the regular and routine disappointments that occur in life and how “understanding and accepting” these disappointments can result in happiness rather than frustration.

Flexibility Activity

Use nontraditional art projects to practice a variety of approaches to using the same materials. Your construction supplies could include a range of collected cardboard, string, jelly beans, paste, clay, and pipe cleaners, just to name a few. The building plans could include a specific project (making a house or shelter), an abstract object (shapes and colors), or an organized design that requires using materials in a certain order. Talk about how these various ways of making something require different skills, and compare the results.

Focus Activity

Focus at the beginning of a task. Show your child how getting yourself ready to start something and then maintaining that focus lends itself to efficiency. Model focus by verbally describing how you want to begin a task. For instance, you could model the steps you take before going to work in the morning by saying, “I need my car keys, cell phone, wallet, briefcase, and lunch.” Your child may develop his own set of verbalizations about checking that he has his backpack, homework, lunch, and gym clothes before leaving for school in the morning.

Kinect Sports: Boxing & ADHD

Kinect-Sports-Boxing-Multiplayer-Referee-WinnerActive games can have numerous benefits for children with ADHD. Firstly, physical exercise that involves complex body movement and keen coordination like that found in Kinect Sports Boxing requires good concentration and Focus. Players will likely not do too well at first, requiring them to practice and exert a level of commitment in order to become good at the game. Furthermore, research shows that vigorous physical activity can also help boost attention for up  to 4 hours after exercise.

How to Use Kinect Sports: Boxing for Kids with ADHD

  • Use the game to model goal-directed persistence. At first, your child likely won't be too good at the game. This is because a degree of practice is required in order to internalize the game controls and learn how to react to the action. Setting simple goals to strive for, like "winning three matches in a row" gives your child something doable to aim for, and will let him see the payoffs of his practice sooner than later.
  • Use gameplay before homework. Exercising before starting an academic task will help your child reap the cognitive boost to Focus afforded by physical activity. Studies have show that the brain benefits of working out last up to four hours, so try to schedule playtime right before study time.
  • Play together. Join in the fun to keep things competitive and ensure your child is playing actively to maximize the brain benefits of exercise.

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