Kinect Sports Season Two: Baseball

LQ: 8.2

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Brain grade: 7.8
Fun score: 8.5

Kinect Sports Season Two: Baseball - Educational Game Review image 1
Game Type: ESRB Rating: Everyone Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 6+ Other Requirements: Microsoft Kinect Thinking Skills Used: ,

In Kinect Sports Season Two: Baseball, the player will alternate between pitching and batting. To pitch, the player will use the Kinect to make a realistic throwing motion. Balls can either be thrown straight or curved, with their speed depending on the player’s force. When it comes time to bat, the player positions his hands as if he is really holding a bat, swinging to hit back the ball. If the player connects, the ball will be launched in the air, and the player will get to run the bases. Running the bases boils down to running in place, and a slide is possible if the player sticks out his front foot. Just like in real baseball, if the player strikes out three times or his ball is caught on the fly, he will be out. After three outs, the player will switch from batting to pitching, or vice versa. The game ends after the set number of innings are completed. This game is recommended for kids ages 6 and up because there is no violence, and only basic math is needed to tally scores.


This game if good for kids who need help with:

Self-Control

Managing our actions, feelings and behaviors.

Since Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball is a motion controlled game, the player will need to carefully control his movements and reactions when batting. Hitting the ball is all about proper timing, so swinging too early or too late could spell strike. In order to be successful, the player will need to wait briefly to discern what type of pitch is being used, swinging to connect at the right moment. Hitting a hard and straight ball is different from hitting a slow and curved one, so the player will need to refrain from swinging impulsively, and scout the pitch properly.

Flexibility

Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

In Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball the player will need be able to react to multiple pitches. The timing to hit a ball thrown down the middle is quite different than one thrown with a curve, so the player will need quickly adapt his batting style for each specific pitch. Also, the player will need to use multiple types of pitches when throwing to the opponent. This way, the opponent will become confused, and therefore more likely to strike out. The key to scoring outs in Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball is to try every pitch and find the types that trouble the opponent, and using those more often.

Use this PlayTogether guide to learn how you can help your child turn Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball 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 Control and Flexibility thinking skills work, and why they are important for success in school and at home.

Set Gameplay Goals

Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball can be experienced as both a single, and multiplayer game, so the best way to play with your child is to play competitively where one player will pitch and the other will bat. Because Kinect Sports Season Two: Baseball lets players enjoy the action simultaneously, both players can work together to meet the gameplay goals listed below.

Gameplay Goals:

  • Score a homerun.
  • Score three points in one inning.
  • Strike an opponent out.
  • Get an out by making a catch.
  • Slide to safety. This can be done by sticking your foot out.
  • Finish at least three full games.

Stop and Reflect

After you have played at least three games of Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball, take a minute to pause the game and talk with your child about how the game is exercising your Self-Control and Flexibility skills.

  • Share your ideas on how good Flexibility skills helped you avoid playing too rigidly. How did you quickly adapt to different kinds of pitches and strikeout players at bat?
  • Relate this to times in school when quick thinking and reactions are helpful, like raising your hand first to answer a question or moving quickly through a surprise pop quiz.
  • How can using more than one pitching and batting strategy help you widen the margin between scores? Discuss with your child some real world examples when using multiple strategies or approaches to a problem is helpful.
  • Describe how you used your Self-Control skills to avoid acting impulsive and make steady motions while playing.
  • Relate this to real life by naming everyday activities that require careful motor skills and control over your actions. For example, peeling an apple, hammering a nail or using scissors.

Our Make it Work activities are designed to transform your child’s gameplay into 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 our Self Control and Flexibility pages, and 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 feelings and behaviors, control our emotions, and prevent ourselves from making a mistake.
  • Flexibility is the thinking skill that helps us adapt to new situations, learn from mistakes, and adjust our strategies in order to deal with different challenges.

Self-Control Activity

Teach counting strategies to delay actions. For example, encourage your child to count to 5 or 10 before acting on an impulse or answering questions. Offer a reward as an incentive for practicing this strategy at home and in school. Talk out loud about your own self-control strategies. For example, say things like “I’d really like to eat now, but I want to go exercise, and eating will make it more difficult for me to exercise," or “let me think about that for a minute before I answer you.” Work with your child to develop her own set of verbal self-instructions to encourage momentary delays or reflections. Examples include saying “one, one thousand, two, one thousand," or spelling a reminder word slowly, such as WAIT or STOP.

Flexibility Activity

Learning by trial and error is a key component of video gaming and a necessary skill for all of your child’s academic pursuits. Children are often more reluctant to learn the directions and expectations of a task by making mistakes and trying out something new in real-world situations, than they would be while playing a game. Learning how to cook a favorite meal, learning a musical instrument, or taking a new route to school are all valuable examples of ways to practice applying trial and error learning in appropriate situations. Make sure to talk about these efforts and experiences in light of the positive and negative aspects of the process.

Kinect Sports: Baseball & ADHD

It is often said that hyperactivity and impulsivity impede children with ADHD from succeeding in activities that require attention to detail. The need for constant stimulation can sometimes stand in the way of success. Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball,actively works to create an exciting, stimulating game environment, where children can experience physical fun, while practicing important learning skills like self-control and flexibility.

How to Use Kinect Sports: Baseball for Children With ADHD:

  • By nature, baseball is a sport that requires close attention to detail, as the game is driven by nuance and the necessity to demonstrate self-control. Children with ADHD must harness the urge to try to hit home runs in each at-bat, as well as limit the amount of fastballs they throw while pitching. Though the appeal of striking an opponent out with a fastball may be difficult to overcome, children must employ the necessary self-control to throw a different pitch – maybe a changeup out of the strike zone. Baseball is a slow moving game, and attempting to speed gameplay along, will only hurt the chances for children to succeed.
  • Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball requires children with ADHD to “read and react.” When batting, children must read the spin, speed, and location of the pitched ball, exercising their flexibility skills, or ability to adapt to an ever changing game environment. Because the margin error for is so small, children who are batting must acknowledge the importance of modifying their swing to new types of pitches. For example, children must react more quickly to a fastball than a curveball. However, if the pitcher throws a fastball low and outside, they must resist the urge to swing immediately, as is will usually result in a ground out.
  • Baseball is a game of adjustments. Successful baseball players are often adept flexible thinkers. They are constantly making modifications and improvements to their gameplay. The same reliance on adjustments exists in Kinect Sports Season 2: Baseball. Children with ADHD who are pitching, must evaluate the batter, as well as the game situation, before delivering a pitch. Children pitching to batters in the middle of the order, should mix up the types of pitches they throw, and attempt to get those batters to swing at pitches outside the strike zone. Batters lower in the order can are generally considered easier outs, allowing children to throw more fastballs. This way, the pitcher maintains stamina and can continue throwing for more innings. Children with ADHD need to demonstrate this type of flexible thinking when taking the mound, or they will soon find themselves in a jam.
  • Studies show that physical exercise affects brain chemistry in a positive way, especially for children with ADHD. Exercise mandates the use of sequencing, prioritizing and sustaining attention, sub skills that are important for children with ADHD to master. Physical exercise increases the amount of dopamine and serotonin that enters the brain, chemicals that work to reinforce and strengthen attention levels.

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