Thursday, January 23, 2014

5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials: Games

No matter what curriculum you use in your homeschool, you can always supplement with games.  No matter how you schedule your day or your week, you can always find time for games.  No matter what homeschooling method you follow, or what your child's learning style, you can find games that are suitable.  Games offer a fun break from the usual, they teach rules, they encourage cooperative play and taking turns.  Most games require some use of critical thinking and logic skills.  Reading instructions, keeping score or being the banker, many components of games are educational, even if the game is not "marketed" as an educational game.  Games are a big part of the hands-on, manipulative based homeschooling essentials I discussed yesterday, and that is why they are essential to my homeschool.

We haven't really covered coordinates and graphing in math, but I don't think we will need to worry about that after a few rounds of this game.

This is an excellent math game all around with the addition, multiplication, and probability. 

We've actually only played Jr. versions with the kids so far, but this is yet another game for math, money and economics. 

Shut The Box
This is a great dice game, and I like how it demonstrates that many equations can equal the same sum.

Math Dice Jr.
I like this game because you can do addition or subtraction and it's very easy to adapt for different playing levels!

Card Games
There are a lot of skills you can cover with a deck of cards.  Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Old Maid and War are a few of the popular games that come to mind, but this free eBook Acing Math:  One Deck at a Time has a lot of games for teaching specific topics.

This is an "older" game, but we like adding different/unique games like this and UpWords that we find at goodwill to our repertoire.  Other ideas for language games:
What's Gnu?

This game encourages logical and sequential thinking as you determine the order of your clues.  You have to learn how to put language into actions or otherwise recognizable pantomiming.  You have to think like your teammates, in order to give them clues they can actually guess.  A lot of fun and critical thinking goes into the guessing too!

I think this one covers a lot of the same skills as Charades, but taps into the artistic side too.  These games are often fast-paced, so you have to be quick-thinking too.

After you master dominoes, spice it up a bit!

This game is popular for a reason.  It's an exercise for the mind.  We actually reviewed Chess House last year, and I found the DVD absolutely perfect for us as beginners.

Not nearly as intense as chess, but still fun!

Guess Who?
This game is great for a few quick rounds of deductive reasoning with younger kiddos.

Preschool Games
Most of these games help young children learn basic board game rules, but the games are short and simple.  Skills covered usually include counting, matching, shapes or colors.
Candy Land
Topsy Turtle
High Ho Cherry-O
Chutes and Ladders
Connect 4 (all ages, but easy enough to start in preschool!)
Hungry, Hungry, Hippo (see our version)
Any traditional game in a Jr. version - they will be simplified for easier and quicker play!

What are your favorite games?  We are ALWAYS looking for fun recommendations.

If you've missed any of the previous posts in this series:

5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Flexibility
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Books
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Manipulatives
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Games
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  The Community

Now I'm going to share with you 9 other bloggers who are also sharing their Homeschooling Essentials, so be sure to check them out before heading back to the main post.

Erica @ Be The One

Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story

Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings

Christine @ Our Homeschool Reviews

Michelle @ Delightful Learning

Sharon @ Life with the Tribe

Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio

Melanie @ FinchNWren 

Heather @ Principled Academy 

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  1. We love the game Cooties! Both of the boys get a kick out of it and we can usually get some math accomplished as well between the dice and counting and matching the legs and other parts :) Great post!

  2. This is just fabulous! I see not only fun, but educational value in your selections! We need to play games more often!

    1. Thanks--we don't play them as much as we'd like, just because the 4 year old likes to make up his own rules as we go, but I'm trying to get him focused! ;-)

  3. I love games. One of our favorites is Twister -- I even made a scaled-down mat so the people with shorter arms and legs could reach the sides. :)

  4. That is awesome! We've actually never played twister, but I know my kids would love it!

  5. Great list - I host a monthly family game night link up on the first week of the month. I would love it if you linked this post to it!