Saturday, November 19, 2011

why I love Pokemon

I'm sure I've mentioned a time or two that Julianna loves Pokemon.  We humored her for a while and thought it was a silly phase that would pass.  It's actually come to be something she's loved for over a year now and here's why I've come to love it too.

  • We've long since credited her desire to read to the PokePark Wii game she's played for the last year and a half.  When the dialog boxes pop up on the screen she got tired of asking us to read them to her and she eventually started trying to read them herself.  At first she would follow along as we read.  Now she breezes through the game on her own, rarely prompting us for some help with a difficult word.
  • You should see the sorting this kid does with those Pokemon cards.  One day she'll have them sorted by type (rock type, electric type, fire type, etc) and the next day they'll be sorted by HP (health points).
  • She doesn't even really know how to battle with these cards, but she does now how to trade.  We've gone to several events at the library where they host a Pokemon Club and have all the kids come and trade cards or battle with them.  Julianna really enjoys going and doesn't notice that most of the kids there are older than her and almost all are boys.  She also enjoys trading cards with my cousin's son whenever we get together with them.  It's given her a great deal of things to talk about with other kids and I certainly think she's learning social skills through conversation and negotiation over Pokemon cards.
  • She's memorizing.  The wealth of knowledge about Pokemon that she has stored in her brain is amazing.  I know I've mentioned that she made a Pokemon Database.  She's five.  And she's made a database.  Whenever we go to any kind of family event Julianna wants to make a "Pokemon Quiz" where she comes up with multiple choice questions and drills our family members.  Sure it's a little annoying to always be discussing something most of us know nothing about, but my family humors her and then she entertains us with facts about Pokemon.
  • Pokemon has encouraged her to take responsibility for her toys.  Ever since baby brother was born she has been learning the importance of keeping her stuff put away.  This has been extremely important with regards to her cards because they get bent and torn easily.  It has taken a long time, but I finally think she is to the point where she takes personal responsibility for her Pokemon cards and the majority of the time she doesn't leave them lying around.  She has even been known to share a card or two or three with Joshua.
  • Pokemon has sharpened her math skills.  Not only does she add and subtract all the time when she has one Pokemon attack the other and take away it's HPs but she also is learning to multiply because some of the cards say that do two times the damage and we keeps going over with her what that means.  She has a long way to go before she knows the whole multiplication table, but again, she's five and she can already quickly tell you that 7 times 2 is 14 all thanks to Pokemon.
  • Julianna was introduced to ABC order a week or so ago and she quickly decided to alphabetize her Pokemon cards.  At first she had them in groups of As, Bs, Cs, and so on (see sorting above), but then Jonathan showed her how to fully alphabetize by looking at the second letter and then the third, etc.  In less than an hour she had done the whole set of Pokemon cards in full alphabetical order by herself and she has over 100 cards.
  • This one would definitely apply for any toy that your child collects, but another reason I love Pokemon is that it has taught Julianna money management skills.  She knows exactly how much a pack of trading cards costs and she calculates how much she has left to save before she can get another pack.  
  • Also, although I hate to admit it, Pokemon has been a great "tool" for bribing encouraging good behavior.  "Jules, if you'll help me carry the groceries in I'll see if we can't go look at Pokemon cards at Target later" or "Jules, if you don't quit talking back you're going to lose your Pokemon cards for 24 hours."  The power of Pikachu is no joke.

So I guess the bottom line is, I don't love Pokemon.  I do love that my child is learning.  Who cares that her entire Christmas list is covered with Pokemon this and that? I certainly don't.

Questions of the day:

-If you have kids what do/did they collect?
-What did you collect when you were little?

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