I was recently reminded to slow down a bit and enjoy some learning games with my youngest. She’s in first grade and sometimes gets left behind in the game department because her siblings are all teenagers. So if you’re wanting to add some educational games into your homeschool (hint: these make great Christmas gifts!), then here’s a list for you. Plus be sure to grab the MadLib FREEBIE at the end.
Educational Benefits of Games
Why should you incorporate games into your homeschool? Sometimes we can see games as an accessory to “real learning,” or treat games as “fluff.” But research has shown otherwise.
There are tons of benefits to playing games, but here are just a few:
- Engagement & active learning
- Reinforcement of skills taught
- Brain workout & increase of mental cognition
- Less stressful than doing the same content on a worksheet
- Promotes attention to detail
- Helpful for kids struggling with learning difficulties
- Hidden practice – it’s so fun, kids won’t even realize they’re learning!
If you’re convinced to start adding some games into your homeschool, then here are a few that our family has enjoyed.
Math & Logic Games
Rush Hour is an excellent one-player game. Kids can slowly increase the level of difficulty and getting your car out of the traffic jam provides a satisfying end to the logic puzzle.
Skip Bo is a classic card game that is perfect for your youngest kids who are still getting a sense for numbers. You can also repurpose the cards to play games like Go Fish to learn the 10 facts. This is a game my daughter absolutely loved and we got the idea from Addition Facts That Stick. This book is another must-have if you want to incorporate games into your math program.
Our kids love strategy games, and here are our favorite picks from the last few years. They make excellent gifts!
Ticket to Ride comes in multiple versions and kids really pick up on geography as they play this game. Your kids will visually and kinesthetically interact with the geography of India, the Nordic Countries, France, Germany, Africa, India, or the United States with this board game that’s fun for the whole family.
Pandemic is a win because it’s a cooperative game where everyone is on the same team! So if your kids need practice working together, you’ll love Pandemic.
Settlers of Catan is just plain fun as you build a civilization by trading resources. This game also has multiple options like Cities & Knights, Seafarers, Settlers of America, Explorers and Pirates and more!
I remember finding lots of word games at the thrift store when we first started homeschooling – games like Boggle & magnetic letters. Pulling them out was a great way to rein in my kids’ attention and interest in practicing phonics, spelling, or other language skills.
Here’s a few classics to have in your arsenal.
MadLibs are awesome! How else can you get kids to practice grammar, and especially parts of speech, in such a fun and hilarious format. They also make great stocking stuffers and can be found in just about any theme.
You can grab a FREEBIE MadLib at 4onemore.com in the members-only resource library. You’ll find ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas MadLib plus dozens of other homeschool resources.
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.
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