Games are a fun way to get our hands-on learning and there are many ways to implement them into your educational program. One thing you can do is find games that are meant to be educational but I am not usually willing to drop my money on those as they can be rather pricey. So what I do is either use what games we have or make up my own. If necessary I change the rules or add my own twist to help my daughter who has special needs.
For instance Yahtzee was a good way to learn adding, especially when we were learning our doubles math facts.
Gess does great if she uses the large print Yahtzee score card from BoardGameGeek.
To help with money we made up a game called Can I Buy That?
War is an easy but excellent way to teach greater than and less than. Gess was really slow when she first started playing but now she is pretty quick to grab her cards when she wins!
Crazy 8 is another good game. It took Gess awhile to figure out the three cards she needed to be able play: matching suit, matching number or an eight. To make it easier for her to hold the cards we start with 5 cards instead of 8 and if you can't play you pass instead of continue to draw until you can. When she was younger we took out the face cards too, but now we use them all. The only thing she needs to learn now is how to hold the cards so no one else can see them! She is doing good here, but when she leans down to play a card she will let her other cards show.
We also used cards to make up our own game to help with Counting On skills.
It's pretty easy to find games for math, but they are great for other subjects too. Last Word is a great game to work on language and cognitive skills. We changed the rules so that Gess gets to move if she comes up with any answer before the buzzer. We still can't move unless we actually have the last word before the buzzer goes off.
Why is it Different? is one you can play with stuff you find laying around the house.
I found a really cool resource to help you make your own games. Check out these Free Board Game Templates. They have many different styles. We haven't actually made any yet, but now that Gess is on a board game kick we probably will soon.
Here is Gess playing the real Monopoly game. It's actually been great practice for counting money. I am impressed with how well she is doing though she still needs some help.
You know games don't even have to be "educational" to enhance learning. A 2012 study published in Archives of Neurology reported that people who exercise their brains consistently throughout their lives, by playing games, as well as engaging in continual new learning, live healthier and cognitively smarter lives as they age. So, just sitting around playing any old game will benefit the brain! It also makes family time lots of fun!
Tomorrow is the last day of the Crew Blog Hop and my post will be Hands-on Learning: A Whole Body Experience because sometimes you have to use more than just your hands. You will also want to be sure to see what other members of the Crew Blog Hop are writing about by clicking on the banner below.