Friday, August 10, 2007

Using Games for School

I've recently blogged that we play a lot of games here at our home and how I consider that 'school' because so much learning takes place while playing games. Not only do they learn the obvious things such as numbers, counting, states, time, ect., but just as importantly is that the kids are learning how to work together, patience while waiting their turn, dealing with losing (as well as being a humble winner), working out problems with others, and so much more.

Elaine asked me the other day about the games we play so I thought I'd blog about a few so everyone can get a glimpse at just what fun learning is out there! And just to let you know, our budget doesn't allow us to buy a whole lot of board games new. We have collected 99% of our games from yard sales and as gifts from Mamaw at Christmas! (When she asks what the kids want, sometimes I tell her what *I* want them to want! LOL!)

One of the very best games I have found is Presto Change-O. In this game players move around the board and either collect money for doing certain jobs and chores or they spend money at places like a museum or the movies. You can only keep a certain number of coins and bills in your hand at one time and when you receive more you have to exchange them for something else. For example, you can only have two dimes. If you wind up with three you have to 'change' them at the bank for a quarter and a nickle. Two nickles must be exchanged for a dime. Five pennies? Nope, you have to exchange them for a nickle. The same is true for the bills you have. When you receive money or pay money (depending on the spaces you land on) you may or may not have to 'make change' with the money you have. If you land somewhere that tells you to pay $1.50 and all you have is a $5 bill, then you have to give the $5 and count back the change you get.

This is the BEST math game I can recommend to any parent! How many times have you been at the store or a restaraunt where the cashier was a teenager who couldn't count back your change? What a sad sight. With years of playing this game I'm hoping counting money back will just be second nature to our kids.

Another game we play is Telling Time Bingo. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. The 'caller' picks a tile and calls out the time on it (uses :00, :15, :30, and :45 times) and the players check to see if they have that time. If so, they cover it up. Even our youngest enjoys playing this one. What a wonderful way to teach time. It's a lot easier than when I tried to teach our oldest, which was BEFORE we had this game. She's even commented to me that she wishes we would have had this when she was younger. There's no reason to make learning hard when you can use games like this!

Another game we enjoy playing is the Scrambled States of America game. The kids love this book, so when we saw the game we just had to get it. I'm so glad we did because it's worth every penny. Here is the description from Amazon...

The whimsical, mad-dashing, geography game. Quick! Find a state that ends with the letter A. Now find one that borders Tennessee. Have fun learning about the United States in this madcap game of observation and quick reflexes. Collect cards by matching states to a Scramble card. Or "Go the Distance" and find a state's closest neighbor. Whoever scrambles to match and collect the most state cards wins. Playing time is about 20 minutes. For 2 to 4 players. Ages 8 and up. Contains: 50 State Cards, 50 Scramble Cards, 4 U.S. Maps, and rules of play.

Another game we recently picked up at a yard sale is Sequence. I had never heard of this game, but it is a lot of fun and we all love playing it, even dad. And! The very first time we played it our 5 year old won!

This is just a few of the many games we play. Here are some pictures of our game/movie closet. If you see any you'd like to know more about, just let me know!

1 comment:

Marsha said...

That Presto ChangeO sounds great! I'll have to look into that.

Speaking of Sequence, I picked up a travel edition at Target for about $3. And a fancy Michael Graves (or someone like that) edition Scrabble game for $5.

I have also found some great deals on games at stores like Marshall's, TJMaxx and Ross. They frequently have games like Spelling Bee Bingo and various math, sequence or vocabulary puzzles. FUN!