I am thrilled to feature the following guest post written by Amy, a missionary and homeschooling mom of 3 who uses games to enhance her curriculum. Amy is the fantastic mom behind the Missional Mama blog which I encourage you to check out – and you can follow her tweets here!
Here Amy shares the many benefits of game play:
It all started with Rush Hour Junior!
Another family, who was years ahead of us in the homeschooling endeavor, mentioned that Rush Hour was their family favorite. We were convinced to give it a try.
My oldest was around six at that time and he would spend hours setting up the cars just so and working his way toward the conclusion of the puzzle. It was mind work and he enjoyed every minute of it. Once the levels were completed, he moved on to Rush Hour leaving Junior behind for the siblings.
After this experience, we found ourselves drawn to the ThinkFun displays at educational stores to see what else could help us along in our learning. ThinkFun games are highly motivational and enjoyable for our multi-aged homeschooling classroom not to mention useful towards our educational goals. Here are a few reasons we like ThinkFun…
- Critical Thinking Skills – Forget the workbooks, my children enjoy the hands on mental and visual skills required by ThinkFun. It does not even feel like learning!
- Competition with Yourself – Because most of the games we have are one player, they can work towards harder cards and skills trying to exceed themselves.
- Math – Many of these games sneak in Mathematical Skills. Try the Math Dice game which promotes mental math, for example.
- Creative Thinking Skills – We found that ThinkFun can be enjoyed “outside the box” for those children who are wired that way. My oldest likes creating new patterns and sometimes new games with ThinkFun products.
- Working Together – The older kids enjoy sitting with the younger ones occasionally and showing them how a game works. They become the teachers and learners.
- Playing Together – It is just fun!
We keep our ThinkFun games in our homeschooling basket to be pulled out during learning time, down time, or when we need a break. It also has been used as part of the curriculum when we are working on a skill such as mental math. So whether you use the games for homeschooling, quiet time, or family game night, you cannot help but have fun while learning along the way.