Works for Me Wednesday – The Value of Educational Games

Congratulations to me!  For only the second time in over two years of blogging, I am actually posting a Works for Me Wednesday Post on a Wednesday. Yay!

I have been perusing some of the homeschool Christmas Catalogs I’ve recently received in the mail.  Some of these resources have wonderful selections of educational games, toys, music, etc.  I thought a post about the value of educational games might be beneficial for all.

What is the value of educational games in your homeschool?  I’ll tell you what, games are a Godsend for me.  Sometimes they learn so much more when they are already "having fun" anyway. 

We taught our children chess at a very young age.  They were playing their Dad in chess at four and five years old and our younger boys will learn the same way.  Now, my children beat me at chess regularly. 

What are they learning by playing chess?  Strategy, thinking/planning ahead to the next step and how to study their opponent.  There are probably other things they learn from playing chess, but you get the idea.

Some of the games I am running across in these catalogs are getting me very excited about different subjects.  I have always been artistically inclined and have wanted very much to pass that on to my children.  I have bought books about art, books of art, art postcards, you name it.  But here’s something that makes me want to call Rainbow Resource Center NOW to order it:

Where Art Thou?

"Thirty-six American paintings are detailed in this game of art appreciation. The simple games included are easy to learn and easy to play: concentration, bingo, art trivia, and mix-and-match. Games have multi levels of play and are for 2 or more players. Painting details are taken from 11 well-known American art museums. The thick game cards are 2.25” square and in full color. A poster-size sheet lists details of the original paintings. "

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Where+Art+Thou%3F+Game/040066/1225331540-1315392

I REALLY want this game!  But, no, I am not calling right now.  Don’t worry.

Another subject close to my heart is farming.  Here is a game for 3-7 year olds that looks like a lot of fun!  (And I don’t think you have to be in that age range to enjoy it.)

Harvest Time

"Hurry, hurry! Winter’s coming! With your family or friends have a great time trying to harvest your field and help the neighbors (other players) harvest theirs before winter comes. Up to four players roll the die, determining whether they may harvest an item from the garden, hinder the progress of winter, or hasten the arrival of winter."

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Harvest+Time+Game/010124/1225331540-1315392

Here’s one we already have and I really love to play myself.  Logic & problem solving, and fun, too, yay!

Rush Hour

"Traffic jams have been called a great many things – inconveniences, frustrations, and major aggravations, just to name a few. How about fun? Yes, fun! In this new thinking skills puzzle, your goal is to move all the other vehicles from the congested formation to get yours home free. 40 different puzzle cards are included, along with a multitude of little brightly-colored cars and trucks in a sturdy gray street-like base. This game was the winner of awards from several groups in 1997, including Parents Magazine, Parent’s Choice, and Mensa. Four skill levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert – make it more enjoyable for everyone, regardless of age. Now everyone can know the joy of bumper-to-bumper traffic, while trying your sequential thinking skills – not your patience!"

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Rush+Hour+Traffic+Jam+Puzzle/005108/1225331540-1315392

Here’s something that has been around for a very long time, but I had never had any experience with them.  I got some for my older children at the beginning of the year and just gave them to them the other day.  Daughter has completed hers already.  Guess I’ll have to buy more.  These teach basic English principles like the difference between nouns, verbs and adjectives while your child creates a very silly story.  Hint: Adult versions available, too!

Mad Libs Junior

http://www.rainbowresource.com/search.php?sid=1225331540-1315392

Rainbow Resource Center is not the only place you can purchase these items.  But it is a very convenient place to shop, as they have everything a homeschool family could imagine and free shipping for orders that exceed $150 or more.  I usually order most of my homeschool stuff from them in the spring of the previous year for our coming school year.  That way, it is not difficult to make the minimum order for free shipping.  And then I might order a few things from one other vendor, Keepers of the Faith, depending on our needs.  I don’t spend more than $500 per year TOTAL to homeschool my three "school aged" children.  And that includes some really fun extra stuff.  I am not skimping when it comes to our home school.

Next Wednesday I will talk about the value of Music in education.

Blessings!

Kris

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