Games – Fun AND Educational

Many of us have games at home that can be both fun and educational.

Games can:

  • work on turn-taking skills
  • teach and practice new vocabulary
  • practice good sportsmanship
  • help decide on rules and discuss why rules are important
  • encourage conversations about what’s happening in the game
  • lead to discussions about the pros and cons of decisions
  • give children the opportunity to teach others how to play
  • promote family time and strengthen bonds
  • make lasting memories

Here are a few common games that you might have at home and some of the skills they can help teach and practice. Most games can be made easier for younger children and more challenging for those who need it.

Uno

  • counting
  • matching colors, numbers, and symbols
  • vocabulary – skip, draw (as in “pick up”), reverse, same, different
  • directions – left, right, clockwise and counterclockwise
  • if keeping score – addition and subtraction practice
  • Challenge – try Addition Uno (or Multiplication Uno). Assign number values to the special cards (Wild, Skip, Draw 2, etc.). Before you can lay a card down, you must add (or multiply depending on which you are playing) and give the correct answer. If you are correct, you can lay the card down. If you are incorrect, you must keep your card and draw a card.

Monopoly

  • counting in a variety of situations (how many spaces to move by counting the number on the dice, one-to-one correspondence when moving the game piece around the board, etc.)
  • adding and subtracting money
  • calculating percentages
  • paying rent
  • paying unexpected bills (from the Chance and Community Chest cards)
  • What does it mean to mortgage property?
  • negotiating skills
  • What’s a good value when selling or trading properties?

Solitaire

  • can play it with a regular deck of cards
  • there are many ways to play (look online)
  • parents can model how to play and coach the child through it
  • once the rules are mastered, kids can play independently and always have a competitor

What games to you like to play with your kids at home?