How to Choose Fun Educational Games for the HolidaysDecember 3rd, 2018
Watch Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET on the news. She shares how to choose fun educational games and activities to keep your kids engaged and learning over the holidays.
3 things parents should look for when choosing fun educational games for their kids to keep them engaged?
Think about the skills you would like to enhance… Reading? Comprehension? Vocabulary? Writing? Math? Spelling?
Can you play the game over a number of years? Will this be a game your kids will enjoy for years to come?
Is this a game where kids have a choice or is everything chance? Kids are more engaged when they can make choices.
What educational fun games does Bonnie Terry recommend?
Keep in mind, different games focus on different learning skills.
- The Sentence Zone
1st Grade to Adult. The Sentence Zone is a sentence building game where you get points for building sentences. Nouns are blue and verbs are red. Every part of speech is color-coded and worth a different amount of points. With younger kids, work on just building a simple sentence, and with older kids, you can build complex sentences. It is much easier to understand the English language when you are able to visualize the parts of speech with colors. The Sentence Zone improves 18 areas of learning including writing skills and grammar skills.
- The Comprehension Zone
2nd Grade to High School. Learn about the planets (2nd-3rd grade deck) and various historical biographies (4th-6th grade and 7th-12th grade decks). Here, each player takes a turn reading a short passage and then answers questions (the main idea and details) about what they read. You can also work on listening comprehension by having a reader or the next person playing read the card while the current player listens and then tries to answer questions about what they heard. Cards are self-correcting. The Comprehension Zone improves 18 areas of learning including reading and writing skills.
2nd Grade to Adult. This is a great card game where you make words with the cards that you are dealt. This is a great vocabulary and word building game that can be a bit less daunting to play than Scrabble. Quiddler improves 10 areas of learning including spelling skills.
- Apples to Apples Junior
5th Grade to Adult. Improves 13 areas of learning including vocabulary and comparison skills.
3rd Grade to Adult. Carcassone is a great strategy game that improves 18 areas of learning and executive function and working memory skills.
- Settlers of Catan
3rd Grade to Adult. This is a family favorite of ours and it has become quite popular across the world. There are even tournaments that play this game. This is a game where you collect resources (wood, brick, wool, ore, and wheat), trade with your friends and build roads and settlements. The rules can seem a little complex at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is a blast! Settlers of Catan is a strategy game that improves 18 areas of learning and executive function and working memory skills. For younger kids, try Catan Junior for kids 6 to 10 years old.
5th Grade to Adult. This game is great to work on your visual perception skills. There are cards with different colors, shadings, shapes and the number of shapes. You try to make ‘sets’ of three cards where each feature is either the same or completely different. There are no turns in this game. Everyone tries to make sets of cards at the same time.
- Rummy Cube
3rd Grade to Adult. This is one of my favorites to play with the family. It is similar to Rummy the card game where you make sets of the same number or runs of the same color, but you play with tiles. Rummy Cube improves 15 areas of learning as well as math skills.
- Math Maze
3rd Grade to Adult. Improves 9 areas of learning including math calculations.
3rd Grade to Adult. Improves 13 areas of learning including math calculations.
Don’t forget to download your FREE fun educational games.