Have you ever heard the sentence “teamwork makes the dream work”? We usually think of it as a sentence that only applies to adults, but it’s very difficult to expect adults to succeed in working well in teams if as kids they’ve never been encouraged to do so. So… how can we make “the little ones” enjoy and learn at the same time? That’s where family games become our best ally!
Board games can be very beneficial for children and are an excellent way of teaching how to follow rules, how to work in a team and participate actively in an activity. At LAE Kids, we not only use board games at home but in the classroom too as it helps children develop social, physical, cognitive and emotional skills.
“But… what happens if they don’t win?” Should we let them just so they don’t get frustrated? Again the answer is no! As adults, sometimes we feel like overprotecting our kids, without realizing that by allowing them to learn how to deal with frustration and face the fact that you don’t always win, we are giving them and important key to happiness.
“If I buy a board game,it won’t last five minutes before the pieces get lost!”
With board games you can encourage responsibility and be a role model. If you’ve finished playing teach your children that they need to put everything back into the box. It’s about creating habits and getting them to realize that they have to take care of things. Here, at our Spanish school, we teach them that the same way things get messy, the same way they have to clean it. Works for us and works for them!
“We don’t have a board game to play with”
Then create one! There are plenty of games that you can build yourself and this will add an extra component to the activity: creativity. Get your hands dirty, allow your kids to choose whether he wants a red or a green board and make the most of this experience. I can assure you it’ll be something to remember!
Need some ideas? Here you go!
- Card games: If they are very young, you can always get the ones with drawings on them. You can tell them to classify them by colours, shapes or characters or form families, couples, etc. They are a great way of getting kids to follow basic rules and learn how to take care of a deck of cards. When they are a bit older, you can get them to play memory games, rummy, pig or snap. Check out this website if you need specific instructions.
- Tres en raya: This is a typical Spanish game! You can have a real board or create one yourself by using cardboard, paper and creating pieces with plasticine or clay. It’s a very easy game to create and personalize. The game is suitable for 3 year olds and older, as the dynamic is quite simple to follow and learn.
- Boat game: Again, you can use a real board or print one out from the internet. There’s the typical model where you have to associate a letter to a number and find the opponent’s boat. You can also use it to review units, verbs or even geometric figures and colours with the younger ones.
- Bingo: When kids are learning bigger numbers, this is a great way of practicing them with family or friends. Every time someone reads the number that comes out, your child has to recognize it, associate it to the written one and then read it to check if they got the right one.
- Memory game: There are infinite possibilities when it comes to this game. You can play with fairytale characters, shapes, colours or make it more difficult by getting them to associate words to images when they are starting to read, etc. You can easily adapt it to different levels. Check out this link to find free printables on different topics!
- Once upon a time: This game encourages creativity and teaches kids how to tell stories. It’s meant to be for 8 year old and up but it can be played by children as young as three. The most important thing isn’t winning and getting rid of all the cards before the others, but to build a fun and original story among everyone. It has very few rules and it’s simple to follow.
- Jungle speed: This game is brilliant when it comes to developing agility and observation. It’s all about grabbing a totem when two symbols match, before anyone else does… from 2 to 15 players, this game can be easily played by kids 6+ (and I can assure you that as an adult you will have a great time too!) Want to check it out? Here it is!
So… what are you waiting for? LAE Kids has given you plenty of ideas to get started. Do you know any other games? Please share them with us! The more, the better! You can always email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or share them with us in our Facebook page.