As a teacher, parents are always asking what they can be doing at home to help support their child’s academic growth. My answer is always, “play games.” A child learns a handful of valuable skills while playing games with an adult. Below is a small list of some of my favorite kids games. Remember this doesn’t just apply to preschool age children. Games and time with you will be important for your child’s entire upbringing and these kids games will give them a solid foundation.
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Basic skills a child learns from playing games are;
1. taking turns
2. encouraging each other
3. winning and losing gracefully
4. how to handle disappointment
Here are a few added skills that can be learned from these kids games.
Memory– obviously this game is great for memory. Your child will also learn to look for details, categorize and organize based on images, look for similarities and differences, use logical reasoning, and fine motor skills.
Charades– this is great for imaginative play. Your child will learn to be spontaneous, share ideas without words, be in front of an audience, and be creative.
Chutes and ladders– I always recommend this game for math practice at home. Your child will learn one to one correspondence when counting from one space to the other, how to add from a number, the idea of less and greater as they go from low numbers to high or high numbers to low, and familiarity with numbers 1-100.
Hi Ho Cherry O– another great game for math practice. This game will give children a basic understanding of addition and subtraction, help them see different ways to add to a given number (in this case, 10), count from 1-10, and one to one correspondence.
Go fish– you can play with pictures, numbers, or even sight words if your child is ready. There are really countless ways to play go fish. The learning possibilities are endless!
Puzzles– such a great activity for any age. Not only do children (and adults) learn problem solving skills, similarities and differences, comparing and contrasting, but it is also a great way to teach children how to stay focused on a task for an extended period of time. Puzzles also take perseverance. They help children push through frustrations and feel accomplished.
Hide and seek– this is just fun for the whole family! Especially when kids are young and totally don’t get the concept. But also, it teaches children patience. Waiting to be found can seem like and eternity to a little one. I also love that my children have to practice being quiet. What’s better than teaching kids to be patient and quiet!
I encourage you to try one or more of these games frequently with your kids. They will love them, learn from them, and the quality time together will be priceless. Remember, you are your child’s first teacher and so much of what you do at home will have lasting impact on their education.
If you give a game a try, please take a quick photo and share it on our Facebook page.
We would love to see them and it will only encourage other families to do the same.