Thursday, December 1, 2011

Learnin' Games!

Ever since I made that Candyland Sight Words game from Pinterest, I have been on the hunt for other board games to make. I wanted to figure out a clever spin on Chutes and Ladders, but it turns out that doesn't really exist (at least not that I could find).

With Paprika having all last week off school, and Winter Break coming up, I wanted to figure out some other fun, educational board games to try. I scoured the internet (okay, mostly just Amazon) and found some really cute games. I thought I'd buy them for the girls for Christmas, but who can wait that long? Plus, with Mr. M off work this month, this is a rare opportunity for us all to play together. So, I dove in and bought a few...

(And in case anyone's wondering, I didn't get paid to write this and I bought these games myself! Although, if people want to send me free stuff, I am not opposed. Ha!)


The first one I bought is Sum Swamp! It's a Math Game- basically, it helps kids with Addition and Subtraction. Paprika does not like Math, but LOVES this game. Already she is really improving with her mental addition and subtraction after just a few times playing it. A definite recommend. (But if you buy it, make sure to keep your two year old away from it or else half the pieces might get lost before the second day of ownership...I'm just sayin'!)



Paprika was having a hard time figuring out fractions and the difference between one half, one third, one fourth, etc. I realized that what she needed were some pizzas (or pies) cut up for her to visualize it better. But I didn't feel like buying a gazillion pizzas, so I thankfully stumbled across this game called The Pizza Fraction Game instead. It was a hit (even with 2 year old Ginger!)

It actually has a bunch of games you can play with the pieces, so it's the kind of game that can grow with your child. Right now we're still working on halfs through one sixths...but it can go all the way up to more complex fractions.

money bags

The third game I bought I haven't actually opened yet (will probably save it for Christmas, since we are still playing the other games a lot). It's called Money Bags and helps kids learn about money (the difference between dimes, quarters, pennies, nickels, how to make change, etc.) We hardly ever handle real money I think that's why it's been harder for Paprika to grasp the different coin values. Hopefully this will help. I'll keep you updated!

pop for sight words

Finally, I am considering buying this game called POP for Sight Words to help Paprika with her sight words recognition. It looks kinda simple, but gets really good reviews. I am not quite sure what the point of it is, but to a five year old it is probably fun, right? I might have to add it to the Christmas wish list.

Have you tried out any of these games? What did you think? :-)


Sheila said...

How great that there are so many resources and ways to help kids learn. I'm thrilled that you take the time to share this on your blog! Yes, please do get the pop words.

Encouraging your child to teach or explain directions to you is a great way to assess their comprehension and skill at a task.

You have no idea how many kids don't fully read, listen to or understand directions. Mastering this makes a huge difference in everything they do.

You are such a wonderful Mama!

ferfischer said...

Fun! My husband is a huge board game geek, and he has quite a large collection of really, really cool games for the kids - they are starting to get really into it! If I ever get my act together I can put a post together on it - he finds most of these games at thrift stores (it's a hobby for him) but he knows what he's looking for. If you want some ideas sooner than I get around to a post, let me know - i will have him suggest some and you can keep an eye out for them. They're not ones you can buy at Target!

Kim said...

Brennan loves games so he is getting a lot from Santa this year. I was happy to see your post about these new games:) I think they will be better for Brennan in another year or so. Brennan doesn't have the popcorn word game, but his teacher send home a new popcorn word every week and he loves them! I don't have any suggestions to add to your list of games, but I am happy to know the ones you found are good:)

Anonymous said...

If you look online there are also lots of games that you can play with a deck of cards that help with math. You may already know this but I wanted to pass it on in case you didn't.

outbackyak2 said...

We use a local store called Beyond the Blackboard for great ideas on educational games and toys. There's also Lots of times you can take what you see and adapt it to something you're using. Try 'critical thinking' type of activities, including analogies. I bet your girls will love 'em!

You do understand that these concepts she's grasping are well beyond 1st grade material, right? You've posted about using this year to find a good school setting that fits for her. I hope you're including cognitive testing, and considering gifted education environments? My daughters are both twice-exceptional, and bright, sensitive girls can have a very hard time in a classroom if the school and teachers don't understand what's going on. They also struggle socially, and need the opportunity to interact with some kids who think like they do. Otherwise they end up feeling like an oddball, and try to hide the differences. We tried our public school gifted program, and opted out after two years because they couldn't nurture her challenges and support her strengths. We found a smaller school with an amazing special ed department, and my daughter now gets to take all advanced courses with amazing support.

Congratulations on the fabulous job you do with your girls!