Your kids probably think that ‘educational’ and ‘fun’ could never go together in the same sentence, but they can, and it’s our job as parents to show them just how much fun learning can be. Not only will educational games help them succeed at school, but it also gives them something useful and beneficial to do at home rather than spending hours on the phone to their friends or watching TV. What makes a good activity for kids is something that is the perfect mix of education, challenge, and excitement. Here are some great games you can play with your kids at home that will help boost their classroom skills.
This is a game that can be played anywhere, and your kids won’t even realise they’re learning as they play! I Spy is typically a game played on long road trips, but it can also be played in the home, in the garden, at the local shops, or even while browsing at a big supermarket or store! If you’re not familiar with the game, it’s an observation activity that begins with ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’. Give the first letter of the object you can see, and challenge your kids to guess what it is. It’s really fun, but it encourages your kids to take notice of their surroundings, and promotes the importance of attention to detail.
Sing and Act Out Nursery Rhymes
If your kids are starting to learn English in school, one of the easiest games to help them out is to sing nursery rhymes around the house, while using hand gestures to act out certain parts of the songs. Choose easy rhymes that are repetitive, especially those that include animal noises as well as words, which are quicker to pick up. Baa Baa Black Sheep is a great example that ticks all the boxes. It goes like this:
Baa, baa, black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
If you nod your head while singing ‘yes’, and hold your fingers up to indicate the numbers, it will really help your kids make the association between the words and the meanings. It’s easy and fun, and you can play anywhere!
Find out What Floats…and What Doesn’t!
One thing that kids will learn in science class is about the different properties of solids, liquids, and gasses, and how the state affects weight. An easy game to play at home that helps boost knowledge of the sciences is to fill a bowl with water, and line up a number of different household objects (those that you don’t mind getting wet!). Ask your kids to each pick an object that they think will either float or sink. It encourages them to think logically, and the results may also really surprise them! There are so many household objects you could use – ice, chocolate, marbles…the list is endless!
Learning doesn’t have to be boring! It can really be a lot of fun, not just for your kids, but for the whole family. Playing educational games at home can help boost your kids’ performance at school, and help them to associate what they learn in the classroom to real life. Give these games a try, and see if you can come up with some of your own fun games, too.