I am sharing 5 Learning Games You’ve Never Heard Of!! What?? OK well you’ve probably never heard of them, but maybe you have. When Christmas came around a few months ago and my parents, sister and in-laws starting asking what the kids wanted I decided to make a list of the things our kids “wanted” and the things our kids “needed.” It took me six years to finally get this Christmas thing. If the grandparents, aunts, uncles and even us were going to spoil our kids why not at least get some things they “need?” Sure I made sure I bought the boring stuff, my kids weren’t very thrilled when they opened up boxes of underwear, socks, long underwear, and books but it was still things they needed vs. wanted. I then found a website called Lakeshore Learning, these “games” are fun but based on learning for kids. Not just games where someone wins, yeah!! No it can never be me who wins or we keep playing until my six year old wins. Some of these games teach kids how navigate their way through the hard times school can bring them. Here are five games that you may want to check out.
This game has become the new centerpiece on our dining room table. Yes you read that correctly. No nice flowered vase, bowl full of delicious fruit or nice smelling candle sits upon our table but this very game. We only eat together as a family a few times a week so when we sit we talk. It’s hard to get the kids to talk about their day some times. This brings a “game” kind of feeling to the table. Literally. Even my three year old will pull one out of the box and ask “Daddy can you read this to me?” We then all take a turn answering the question and then the next person chooses from the box. Sometimes we all get a turn and sometimes the attention can’t be kept that long, but it’s a great conversational starter and it gets them talking about school. If the question reads: “Name something that made you happy at school today.” When it’s me or my husbands turn we replace school with work. Though I don’t go to work each day my daughter still pleasantly asks me these questions which makes me realize that though Mommy doesn’t have a “job” per say, my day still matters to her and maybe just maybe, and that’s a big maybe, she thinks being a Mommy is a job? Hey- I said maybe.
My six year old daughter and I have a blast playing this game. The first time we played I was thrown back at just how many words she can recognize already only being half way through Kindergarten. I was even able to cheat a few times by skipping a few words just so she would win and be able to yell Bingo. Don’t worry I don’t always let her win but she’s a pretty fair kid, she likes us both to win a few times so arranging a few games here and there can’t hurt. If your child knows how to play bingo they will enjoy this game and most kids love pressing the tile dispenser which spits out the tiles needed to match!
This game is a lot like a children’s version of Monopoly. It’s super cute the way they use events and places that kids will understand. For example, ice cream stands, the mall, buying schools supplies, completing chores, loosing a tooth or even learning the consequences of loosing money. The age group on this is 5-11 and I tried playing it with my six year old right after Christmas, unfortunately by the time we passed out the money and set up the bank she had lost interested but I won’t give up, I suggest setting it before your child starts to play so you don’t loose their interest.
This one is one of my absolute favorites. Children will face everyday dilemmas and learn that there are consequences for every choice they make. There are two decks of cards, one is called take a chance. There are two types of cards you may pick depending one what spot you land on. The first one is called “Take A Chance.” There are questions that the child or parent must complete on their own with no choices. The parent decides whether or not the answer is acceptable and the player can move ahead the amount of spaces the card states. The other type of card in this group are statements where the player either moves a head for a good deed done or move back for a not so good deed. For example:
“You lost your temper and pushed your sister.” Move back one space. Or “You and your cousin each want to see a different movie. How do you decide which movie to see?” Good Answer? Yes- Move ahead one space. No- Move back one space.
The other spot you can land on are marked with “?” marks. Questions will include a question with a multiple choice answer where the player must choose the correct letter (there is even an answer guide, trust me you’ll need it, one time my daughter chose the correct answer and this Momma chose the wrong one!) Always read the answer key because it gives a great example of why it’s correct. An example is:
It’s time for a game of kickball! Your friend is always picked last, which hurts his feelings. What should you do?
A. Pick your friend for your team right away. It’s only a game.
B. Nothing. The important this is to win.
C. Suggest that your friend so something else.
I’m really enjoying this game with my kindergartner because kids are faced with so many hard questions each and every day when we aren’t around to help guide them. Why not help to choose the right answer every chance that we get!
I included this one because my three and a half year old son doesn’t sit still for ANYTHING, never mind sitting down to learn anything. This is for ages 3-6 but I just recently discovered during a trip to Toys R Us one day that they have all different kinds from shapes and numbers to learning letters and addition! The set comes with a little puppy or kitten that tells the child if they’ve selected the correct answer or not. The one my son has is called “Getting ready for for preschool.” This set includes, shapes, colors, letters and numbers. Once I was able to explain the directions and go through a couple with him he was able to play on his own for a little while. He still would prefer for me to play with him so that is our special one on one time some days.