Play Your Way Through Learning

 Preschoolers: Willy’s Wiggly Web promotes eye-hand coordination while children cut a spider’s web to free bugs. Stone Soup (www.peaceablekingdom.com) promotes memory and cooperation. Lacing Left to Right (www.therapyshoppe.com) for children aged 3 and older offers a plethora of fine motor and directional skills. Highly recommended!

 

 Math Skills: For younger children, games that build simple math skills include the classic Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land. Yahtzee and Math Bingo are perfect for using multiplication facts and reinforcing addition skills. A new game for children aged 8 and up is Rodeo Rummy a counting dice game that teaches how to play Rummy and requires additional skills to tally up the score.

 Language Arts: A fun, new, award-winning game is You’ve Been Sentenced! (www.mcneilldesigns.com). Build zany sentences that are grammatically correct and make sense or you will be “sentenced.” Bull’s Eye (www.dnafamilygames.com), for ages 8 and up, works on language and math together. Classic words games are Boggle, Scrabble, and Alphabet Bingo.

 Critical Thinking Skills and Problem Solving: Games in this category include Stratego, Blokus, and a current favorite of many, Settlers of Catan, for ages 8 and up, which enhances probability calculations, negotiation, planning, and risk. Two new games on the market for younger children aged 5 and up for reasoning and logic are Meta-Forms (www.foxmind.com) and Race to the Treasure (www.peaceablekingdom.com). In these games, players strategize, cooperate, and build the path to reach the treasure together.

 Creativity: This is the other half of problem-solving skills that encourages a child to find solutions by thinking outside of the box. Creativity is critical in business, communications, and entrepreneurship. Pitch It! (www.pitchitgame.com) is for ages 13 and up, although our 10-year-old loved it! This is my hands-down favorite game, in which kids must create a product, slogan, and logo to pitch to an unusual people group, such as marketing barbeque grills to opera singers. Morphology (www.morphologygames.com) for ages 8 and up is a hands-on building game in which each player must get his teammate to guess a word or action by “building it” with the materials given.

 Social Studies and Science: History can be enhanced with 1812-The Invasion of Canada (www.academy-games.com) for ages 10 and up. Learn facts about the war while setting up your battle pieces and strategize to win the game. Travel around the globe with Reading Nook’s (www.thereadingnook.com) 10 Days in Africa strategy game. Animal lovers will like Fauna (www.foxmind.com) for ages 8 and up; it teaches animal facts and geography. Economics can be learned through the classic games Monopoly and Life, as players learn to save, spend, and invest money.

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