As a homeschool parent, I am always on the lookout for toys and games that provide opportunities for my kids to keep learning! I think all teachers and parents want to figure out ways our kids will enjoy learning! Isn’t it exciting when you find toys or games that you kids enjoy, and that give them the opportunity to use skills that they have been learning in school. I find that often my kids learn just as much from time spent “playing” with certain things as they do sitting down during our homeschool time.
It’s important that we give our kids opportunity to learn in a variety of ways! Yes they need instruction, and to be taught, but they also need ways to learn and explore some things through play. Over the past few years I have found several toys that my kids love and “play” with regularly, that also keep them learning!
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I recently found a great buy on a complete Snap Circuits set at a thrift store! I had been looking at this on Amazon.com for ages, almost buying it, then changing my mind, not sure if my boys were ready for it or if they would really play with it. As soon as I saw it, I snatched this up from the thrift store and I am so glad I did! My kids have had so much fun learning about electricity. They get to
play and snap the pieces together and build all kinds of different electrical projects. Also, they are learning that they have to make a complete circuit, and how electricity flows and powers light bulbs, fans, music, etc.
My only regret about this snap circuits set, was that I didn’t just go ahead and purchase sooner when I had first heard about it! My boys love it and have learned so much by getting to actually play (safely, I might add) with electricity!
My oldest son received the Thames and Kosmos Kids First Physics Lab for Christmas this past year. He loves it and so do I. It comes with everything you need to build over 20 different physics projects. It also gives clear explanations and instructions for each project and how it works. The project booklet uses language that elementary age kids will understand. However, it also provides the formulas and physics vocabulary for the projects.
One of the recent projects my 7 year old did was built a trebuchet. It was awesome to see him have fun building the trebuchet, and launch things. But it didn’t stop there. He also learned about levers, force, and counterweights. The project book took it a step further and talked about the history of the trebuchet and how it was used in the past! There are so many cool projects that your kids will love (like and elevator, a tight-rope walker, a crane). They can build them over and over again. It has been an awesome toy, and an amazing tool for introducing physics to my kids!
Ok, so what kid doesn’t love Pokémon right now! Boys and Girls, young kids, teens, even college students love Pokémon! At our house we love the video games, the tv shows, Pokémon Go, and most of all we love Pokémon cards. My 5 and 7 year old boys’ favorite thing to do right now is to play the Pokémon trading card game. What I love is that they are learning the entire time they play the game. First of all, they are reading. You have to read the cards to know what they do. (Each Pokemon has 1-3 moves that does damage or other effects to the Pokémon it is attacking.) If you don’t read your Pokémon’s moves or other item or supporter cards you use, you can’t play the game.
Secondly, they have to do math to play the game. Each Pokémon has a certain number of HP (Hit Points). Also each Pokémon’s attacks do certain amounts of damage. It is so awesome to see my 5 year old figuring out that if his Pokemon has 120 HP and has 60 damage counters on it, he can only take 60 more damage before he’s knocked out. Both my boys are adding and subtracting and problem solving with ease in this game! Practicing these skills in this game has also transferred to their math school work as well. They are so confident in math and I know a lot of it has to do with the practice they get from playing the Pokémon trading card game.
It is awesome to see their excitement when they open a pack of new cards and them immediately start to read what each Pokémon can do. Then they start thinking of what kind of deck it would work good in and how much damage it can do. This is one hobby that I am very glad we have invested time and money in for our kids!
This classic Board game is one of our favorites! It is so much fun to play, and your kids won’t realize that they are learning and practicing a math concept every time they play. There is no better way to teach coordinates, and coordinate planes than a good game of battleship. If you don’t have this board game yet go ahead and add it to your kids birthday or christmas list for this year! You can have fun playing a game with your kids and teach them about coordinates at the same time!
5. Guess Who?
Guess Who is another classic board game that is awesome for your kids. This is the perfect game to work on logical thinking, problem solving, and language development. Your kids will have fun with the funny people and trying to “trick” you, and you can enjoy that you get a perfect opportunity to teach your kids to ask proper questions to get information. They learn to use logic and eliminate possibilities to come to a logical guess. They are laying a foundation for Language arts and Mathematic skills by learning to problem solve and play this game correctly. It is the perfect game to add to your family’s collection!
Now, just tell your kids it’s time to play!
Kids are naturally curious and eager to learn! I see my kids learn and grow through play just as much as I do through our school time each day. All we need to give them is the opportunities! Whether your kids are homeschool or go to public school make sure you give your kids time to play so that they will break out some of these amazing toys and games and keep learning! Sit down and play games with your kids and use the opportunities to teach them more! (It may mean you need to learn a new game yourself! If I learned how to play the Pokémon trading card game, you can too!) Give them time to learn and explore with toys like the snap circuits or physics kits. Your kids will learn so much and develop interests that will help them in the future!
Do your kids have a favorite toy or game that they play that also continues to teach? I would love more ideas to add to my kids birthday and Christmas lists this year!! Comment below and tell me some of your favorite learning toys!
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