Using Games to Teach: 30+Ideas

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I don’t know about you, but with my kids, sometimes you have to trick them in to learning! The words “school work” send them into convulsions or tears. Homeschooling isn’t always pretty! So, I try to be creative and think of fun games to play! It doesn’t always work but I keep trying. Both of my children are hands on learners. I loved worksheets as a child, I still do! But it doesn’t work well with the way my kids learn.

Here are some ways to liven up your learning at home:

*Practice spelling and math facts with bath crayons (my kids love anything that is messy! But warning, this “game” is pretty obvious and you might still get some groans when you start writing math problems instead of letting them just draw silly pictures). Or if they are really advanced, I saw this great idea for the periodic table (we are so not there yet!)

Image result for periodic table on bath tiles

*Buy a cheap shower curtain and draw a calculator on it. Let them jump to practice math facts!

*Play Guess Who with numbers. Ask questions such as, Is your number higher than 20? Is your number odd? etc. Really, you could make up so many versions with Guess who!

*If you used to watch The Price is Right like I did growing up, play the higher/lower game. Think of a number and set the timer for one minute. Your child starts guessing numbers and you say “higher” or “lower” until they guess or time runs out.

*Muffin Pan toss-place sight words or math problems on slips of paper in a muffin pan. Toss a penny in to one of the holes and read/solve the problem. Remove the card if they answer correctly. If you have more than one child, set up one for each and they can race!

*Make a concentration game with sight words, or letters, or numbers (whatever you are trying to learn!)

*Scavenger hunt- Hide math fact cards or sight words around the house or yard. When they find one, race back to tell you the answer! Whoever finds and answers the most correctly, wins!

*Spoon race- Ask questions, if correct, they race a plastic egg (or small ball, pom pom, etc.) down to a small bowl and drop it in, race back. Whoever fills their bowl first, wins.

*Get sidewalk chalk out and draw letters or numbers on the sidewalk. Jump to the numbers or letters you call out. Or call out a math problem and jump to the answer. Or call out letter sounds and jump to it. SO many ideas!

I should say here, I let my kids play games against each other and yes, one of them loses. I am ok with that. I know some people don’t like that but I figure they have to learn to win and lose nicely at some point! And I usually give a little treat now and then too, chocolate always makes things more enjoyable 🙂

If you don’t have time to create games, there are so many good board games you can buy! Here is a list of our favorites (and so many are also good for dyslexic kids, auditory and visual processing and working memory)!

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Fun with Phonograms

 Sum Swamp (basic arithmetic, memorization)

What’s Gnu? (reading, spelling)

Money Bags Coin Value (money value, basic arithmetic)

Scrabble Jr. and  then Scrabble when ready (reading and spelling, math)

Pizza Fraction Fun (math fractions)

Chess (logic, strategy)

Pop for Sight Words (reading, auditory processing)

Battleship (math, strategy, logic)

card games like War, Uno and Skip-Bo (math, strategy)

Spot It! (visual processing)

Brain Freeze (logic and deduction)

Fish Stix (logic and strategy)

Maze Racers (spatial and motor skills , planning)

Qwirkle (strategy, problem solving, spatial skills)

Zobmondo Tic Tac Woah (advanced tic-tac-toe! strategy)

Close the Box (math and strategy)

Very Silly Sentences (parts of speech and reading made fun!)

Apples to Apples Jr. (reading, vocabulary)

Also check out the Dyslexia Games Series!




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