Something got me really fired up about board games again this week. I made the realization sometime last year that I should stop buying “educational” board games, and stick with tried and true best sellers. I started looking at traditional favorites in a whole new light, and discovered the multitude of educational opportunities in many of them. We started playing “Mancala” for amazing counting and strategy practice. I used “Operation” for fine motor development. “UNO” is of course great for number recognition. “Mousetrap” is a great science game for exploring force and motion and simple machines. And of course, they are all great for practice with turn taking, playing fairly, working as a group, and being a good winner or loser.
For some reason I got all excited about new games again this week. My kids’ homework for the week is to have a family game night. We had to have an explicit discussion about the type of games I am referring to – interpersonal board games. Not video games. Not the Wii. Not computer games. Not the DS. I am not opposed to these things, but they do not accomplish the goals I have in mind. So I am truly hoping that my children’s families take this homework to heart, and sit down and play together.
I continued my excitement by going to a few Mom 2 Mom sales with my daughter this morning. These are the BEST places to get games! For $20 I came home with 9 – yes NINE! – games. I got some classics, like “Chutes and Ladders” and “Sorry,” but I am most excited about “Scramble.” From what I can tell, this is essentially the same game as “Perfection,” except it is for two players racing each other as well as the timer. For the amazing deal of $ .50 I came home with this great game that requires kids to sort and place small shapes into matching holes before the timer goes off and pops them all up again. This is great for fine motor development, shape recognition, spatial awareness, and of course, fun.
So games. Check ’em out. I can’t wait to show my students what I got!
image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8047705@N02/5463789169