We are back in the swing of things now that the holidays are over. I’ve mentioned this before, but I am thankful for the warmer weather we’ve had for January. Getting some outdoor playtime helps balance our day between lessons and unstructured free time. One thing we are enjoying lately no matter the weather is what is called “gameschooling.”
Many board games are educational in purpose and use, and we are finding some that we especially like to play. The company Learning Resources puts out a lot of educational board games, and I try and grab one here and there for birthdays, Christmas, or for a special treat. In the picture above is the game “Money Bags,” which teaches kids how to count and redistribute money. It is math in action. Speaking of math, “Sum Swamp” is another math board game that we enjoy. It teaches addition, subtraction, and odd versus even numbers. Also, the girls are learning chess with a fun, easy to follow game called “No Stress Chess.” Before they play an actual game of chess, time is spent on learning the pieces and how they move around the board so that players can begin to develop strategies. It’s a lot of fun, and as the name states- no stress! Mental Blox is a critical thinking game that is not as much of a favorite yet, but it may grow on us. If anything, the girls like to play with the different blocks and build their own patterns.
There are other ways we “gameschool.” We enjoy Monopoly Jr., Dominoes, Uno, Banagrams, Life Jr., Connect Four, and even Candyland. Not only do the kids learn about subjects, strategies, and critical thinking, but they also learn cooperation, and how to win or lose with maturity. I personally love board games, so even though this season requires a lot of patience, I am banking on a day when my kids will outwit me with these games. They already are with some of them. Analise earned more money with money bags this morning, so she won that game and beamed with pride. 🙂
If you are looking for something indoors to do this winter, might I suggest a little gameschooling. The worksheets can wait- they will be completed. Sometimes playing is learning. As Maria Montessori said, “Play is the work of the child.” I wholeheartedly agree!