Game Time!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I love using games as part of our learning fun. Some of my fondest memories of growing up were game nights or summers at our cottage, where there was no TV. We played games and did puzzles; three generations of family playing together, and I loved it. The other night my husband and I played a phonics board game with our son and daughter and I could tell by the cheering and laughter that they were enjoying the friendly competition just as much as I had when I was a kid. Learning together this way makes a big impression on kids. Not only do they gain some valuable skills (math, concentration, problem solving, negotiating, verbal expression, or many others depending on the game) but they also develop self esteem, confidence and a sense of value and belonging. And mom and dad get to have a great time while creating bonds that last for years. Check out this article from Highlights Magazine for a list of family games that can be played anywhere.

Online games have a place in our eclectic learning too. My 6 year old loves to play the Lego games, which teach mapping skills, and strategy, as well as enhance memory among other things. And my 2 year old loves anything Diego. She's become an animal lover and has learned about many endangered species, plus her computer skills (fine motor) amaze me for her age. So, I don't mind them playing games now and then. I think it can add variety and fun to learning. And with technology advancing faster than the speed of light, they are developing skills that will help them keep pace in a high tech world.

A site I like for preschool and kindergarten is Kindersite with links to games, music and stories. Registration is free. Primary games also has some fun stuff. For older kids the History Channel site has some fun games and quizzes. I like to print the quizzes and stash them in the car for long trips or traffic impromptu trivia game helps pass the time. Another great site, iknowthat , lets kids create their own page featuring their favorite games and pictures they make online.

There are more game sites under my favorite links and tons more resources online. I'll continue to add favorites as I come across them so check back often and play!


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