Sometimes parents and teachers have a tendency to split kids’ time into play and learning. But there’s no reason they can’t do both at the same time. So many of the ways that children play help them to learn and develop at the same time. They could be stretching their imagination with make believe or improving their counting with a board game. There are lots of games you can play with your kids to stimulate their minds and to keep you entertained too. From puzzles to word games, try these fun activities to enjoy with your children and help them learn without them knowing.
Playing games involving words with your children doesn’t just help their vocabulary and language skills. It can also encourage them to be creative and imaginative. There are also lots of word games that are excellent for playing wherever you are, whether it’s in the car, waiting at a bus stop or in your living room. You can play games that strengthen their memory, such as taking in turns listing all the things you’ve packed for your vacation. Simple games like I-spy help with learning the alphabet, while you can also use word games to make up stories. You can play classic games like Scrabble too, or try puzzles such as word searches and crosswords.
Math can be super boring for many children. It can be fun, but school lessons don’t always make it so. If they’re tired of learning their times tables, some number games might be a better approach to numeracy skills. You can try board games that involve money, such as Monopoly, or even set up a grocery store to practice addition and subtraction. Card games can also be a fun way to practice numbers, from Go Fish to Blackjack. They might like number puzzles too, such as Sudoku, but they’re often better for older children.
Jigsaw puzzles are excellent for improving spatial awareness and dexterity. They also help to develop children’s cognitive skills. Most kids start off with simple puzzles in big wooden blocks, but they can work on more complicated ones as they get older. Jigsaws are great to work on as a family, especially when you start working on deviously challenging puzzles. If your children are bored on standard puzzles, try a 3D one or a more complicated concept. If you view the Stave Puzzles on their website, you can see smart designs, like puzzles with pieces that fit in more than one place. Give yourself and your kids a challenge by choosing more difficult jigsaws that will take longer to complete.
Education isn’t all about words and numbers. Music can help children develop lots of skills, from creativity to empathy. If you’re a family that doesn’t mind a bit of noise now and then, musical games can be incredibly stimulating. Try singing songs with actions, putting together a band or even creating your own instruments out of what you can find in the house.
Learning doesn’t have to be boring, and playing can be intellectually stimulating. Encourage your kids to use their brains by joining in with these fun games.
Photo Credit: Kei Noguchi