When I was a child my parents introduced me to a lot of games and unbeknownst to me I was learning while playing them. There are many learning games kids enjoy and can cover a wide array of different subjects. Today I will discuss of a few of these areas and the different benefits that can be achieved.
I was exposed to Boggle very early on and it was one of my favorite games to play with my family. We had the Junior version for me and then had the regular version as well. Boggle helped me not only learn how to spell, but how to search them out in a creative fashion. This was definitely one of those games that really helped increase my vocabulary as well.
My Dad used to write down a word on the top of a piece of paper and then ask me to make up as many words as I could using just the letters from that word or phrase. I always enjoyed the challenge of trying to find as many as I possibly could. Sometimes we would even compete against each other to see who could come up with the most.
These are just a couple of examples here, but any word game you can get your child to play will benefit them greatly. From learning to spell & read, increased vocabulary, & to creatively solve problems.
There are two different paths you can take here. First are games that are specifically math related and teach math skills directly. Second are games that can teach math indirectly. Here I will focus on the indirect games.
Many toddler level games start your children off by just counting spaces that they need to move their piece. This is the most basic indirect route, but that repetition is extremely valuable to young minds. Patience as a parent here is needed, as it can take a little bit to get this foundation in place.
Once your children have a good foundation, you can start adding in new things. One of my children’s favorite games is Sorry. This is a good game to continue to build upon the space counting foundation, as well as adding in new aspects. They will have to learn to judge which piece to move or switch and why. Simple strategies also begin to develop here such as moving backwards to get to the safety area and when to bring pieces out of the starting area.
What It Boils Down Too…
What it all comes down to is that virtually every game you play with your kids will be teaching them something. The big key here is that they do not need to know that. Play the games and have fun like they are meant to be. The kids will enjoy it a lot more then if you are pushing it on them as a learning tool.
Just keep building from game to game. Build a foundation using simple games and keep stepping the games up adding in a new mechanic each time. The teaching aspect is up to you and not the kids. Just make sure that for the kids it is about the game.
As always, please ask any questions you may have in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any other tips or ideas please feel free to share them as well.
James W D