If you’re a frequent reader on this blog, you know I’m a big fan of games for learning. On a fairly regular basis, I’ve been talking about different games we’ve used in our schoolwork, and who those games work best for, but it’s never been an organized effort. This series is going to be my effort to help you figure out the best games for school, or as a bunch of homeschoolers have dubbed it: gameschooling. You know to go with funschooling, travelschooling, and movieschooling. All of which I’m going to say are real terms even if my spell check says it isn’t.
(there are affiliate links in here)
Also, hi Future Ticia 2022 here, I’m updating this, and then Future Ticia 2023 stopped in to add a few ideas in here.
BENEFITS OF BOARD GAMES AND STRATEGIES FOR PLAYING
A few months ago I guest-posted over at Upsidedown Homeschooling and wrote about the benefits of using games in school (post that no longer exists). That’s a quick rundown of some reasons to use games in school. So, here is a quick bullet-point idea of what I originally said:
- obviously teaches your kids how to accept losing graciously
- it also teaches how to win graciously
- teaches strategy
- teaches thinking ahead and planning (which is slightly different from strategy)
- can be a fun way to review skills
- some teach cooperation
But, there are a few other things I want you to think about as you’re playing games with your kids:
Should you play to win or let your child win? This is a great post with some good points to think through. I tend to not deliberately play to lose, but I will occasionally let a move go by that I know would cause them to lose. There are also times I play to win completely, mainly when I feel the child has mastered the game to the point where they are playing competitively. Another thing to think about “Does letting your child win affect how they learn the games in school?”
Tracy has some great suggestions for starting a regular game night with your friends. We’ve got one with our small group and we have lots of fun playing all sorts of games together (I miss that regular game night).
STORING BOARD GAMES
If you play games often enough and long enough you get quite a collection, the picture above is only one shelf of our two bookshelves, so it becomes a dilemma. Especially if you get seriously into gameschooling. We store ours on the side, and I’ve noticed they do tend to slip open, and make messes. My imperfect solution is to buy more games and cram more in there……………. There are many philosophies for storing board games.
Update: Future Ticia 2022 no longer stores her games sideways, we’ve picked up a different bookshelf to store the games on, so I don’t need to store them sideways.
But, when you do, I highly recommend giant rubber bands to keep the box closed.
My Mom took all of the games out of the box and stored the small pieces in a toolbox numbered to match the board, they took up significantly less space, but it was also easier to lose pieces.
I’ve discovered buying the jewelry bags they sell at craft stores for selling your homemade necklaces in are perfect for storing most all game pieces and keeping them sorted within your game collection. I also makes it easier to get the games out for playing the game in less time as you’re not digging through a bunch of cards all mixed up, but they are already pre-sorted.
We took all of the small card games and other games like that out of their box and stored them in the photo storage case. It makes them much easier to store and find games since all those small games have different-sized boxes.
Many of the games I’m going to bring up involve holding cards, and I don’t know about your kids, but mine struggle with this from time to time. No Time for Flashcards came up with some great ideas for helping kids hold game cards.
Finally, if you’re looking for my collection of game ideas so far, I highly recommend my Pinterest board, I’ve got over 100 pins and growing related to board games to play with your families. I am also creating gameschooling landing pages through this series so you can find all of our game reviews. This also will let you learn about all sorts of really cool types of games. We’ve discovered we really love certain types of games (worker placement and cooperative, but don’t really like push your luck games).
Posts in this series:
- Day 1: benefits of using games in school, and links of other reasons to play
- Day 2: Active Games/Outdoor Games
- Day 3: Preschool Games
- Day 4: Reading Games
- Day 5: Math Games
- Day 6: Geography Games
- Day 7: History Games
- Day 8: Science Games
- Day 9: Travel Games
- Day 10: Solo or Two Player Games
originally posted April 15, 2013