Family Game Night
Do you have family game nights?
Do you know how much learning can happen when playing games?
Playing games with kids is a great way to reinforce learning. But it does take patience.
Young children may not grasp the game concept right away. Start by giving them an introduction to the game, how a spinner or dice work, the concept of taking turns and following directions etc. Let them play with the pieces and the board to help them familiarize themselves with it.
Be careful that you don't try to move the game along faster by doing the work for them. Let them count or read as these are the concepts the game can help reinforce. A little guidance can help move them along without stealing away the leaning from them.
Don't worry if you don't finish the game. If you force the child to sit and finish when they have clearly had enough the learning fun will no longer be something they want to do.
Be sure to talk about winning and losing. Assure them that losing a game doesn't make them less. Each time they play they can learn things that will help them get better at it. And when you work hard to earn a win it is a great feeling.
Pathways.org has some great tips for helping children navigate the emotions connected to winning and losing. It is important to talk about how a child feels, praise them for doing a good job and everyone should know how to practice graceful winning,
When introducing games to little ones, start small so kids can understand easily and can make it through a game. (for example use 2 dice to move so you move twice as far, start with half of the cards for a memory game so it isn't as overwhelming).
Most importantly keep it fun.
Games can make learning seem like play. Read the blog post about creating hands-on learning for English lessons to learn about this form of fun learning!