Games! Games! Games!
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Studies have shown that students who played games as part of their regular curriculum were significantly more engaged, and outperformed their peers on both factual knowledge and depth of knowledge. Learning games happen often in the classroom but let's bring the learning games home. Children learn best when they're having fun. Here are eight fun ideas to keep your kiddos engaged during distance learning or anytime you want to bring learning fun to the house. Put away that paper/pencil activity and let's get engaged!
The "Four Corners" activity is a fun activity that takes very little preparation. Before doing the activity, you will want to create four signs, each with a different response on it, depending on what you want to practice with your child. Post each response sign in one of the four corners in a room of your home. Then pose a question to your child.
For example, let's say you want your child to practice identifying short vowel sounds. I would create 4 signs, each with a different vowel and hang them around the living room. Then I would say a word for them to identify the vowel sound, like "bat". Instead of them just telling me it's a short a word, they would go to the corner that has the sign with "Short A" on it.
Children will love the challenge of seeing how many they can get right and you can use this activity for any subject matter and to practice with any age. Below are some Four Corner ideas I have used with my own children.
short vowels multiplication sight words geography
long vowels division parts of speech historical figures
number recognition subtraction text features historical events
letter recognition addition fractions definitions
All you need is a fly swatter and some flashcards. This is especially fun to practice sight words with younger kids. Tape the words to a wall or lay the words around the floor (if you don't want to put tape on the walls). Call out a sight word and your child has to smack the card with the swatter. Thwack!
real world Monopoly
This idea came from one of my parent colleagues after we all had to transition to distance learning. She used the monopoly money from the game and applied the Monopoly game idea to real life. She gave her children "jobs" (household chores) and they got paid in Monopoly money. They have to deposit their "money" into the pretend Bank of Parents and keep track of their "accounts". Their children can use their "money" to pay for snack items and entertainment (tv time, tablet time, etc). The kids love it and are preparing for real world skills that they will use when they get older.
I hope some of these ideas help amp up the learning energy while at home. Add a timer or keep score during the learning games to keep them motivated. Anything can be turned into a game, so let the games begin!