Guest Post – 6 Games That Will Grow Your Child’s Mind

There is always a lot of discussion about what kids learn from their schooling, however what many people don’t realize is that there is great educational value in playing games, as many of them teach skills that are useful throughout life. Today we’re looking at six games that have educational aspects above and beyond just being fun.

 

Chess

chess

It’s never too early to teach a child chess as many of the world’s best players started learning the game at three or four. Chess teaches a child to think systematically and logically, as well as teaching them to plan ahead. If the child is particularly young, it’s important that they have access to a chunky set with pieces that they can hold easily.

 

Memory games

 

There are many games to train the memory, such as those that a family might play in the car to alleviate boredom. They often take the form of making a list. For example, one player might say “I went to the shop and I bought an apple.” Then the child has to remember the first item and add one, so they might say “I went to the shop and I bought an apple and a banana.” Including an alphabetical element can make it easier to remember the order.

 

I-spy

 

Because it is very easy for all ages to understand, this is one of the best ways to help a child learn how to recognise the ‘onset’ sound in words. As well as helping with phonemic awareness and learning the alphabet, this can also improve their powers of observation and help them to appreciate the importance of taking turns.

 

Pool

 

Far from being a sign of a misspent youth, this game teaches co-ordination, patience and strategy. They have to think of ways to prevent their opponents from potting balls, as well as trying to pot their own, without rushing into a shot that might give the other player too many chances. Being able to predict the likely angles involved when hitting a ball off the cushions of the pool table is quite a useful mathematical skill. Although more expensive that the other items on this list a table like this one won’t break the bank and will last the kids for many years.

 

Card games

 

There are a vast number of card games that can improve essential skills in young people. For example, rummy teaches strategy and patience, whilst games such as snap improve reactions and observation. Even a simple game of pairs – sometimes known as Pelmanism – is an excellent tool for sharpening the memory. Additionally, most games, apart from the solo versions of patience, teach important lessons about taking turns and fair play.

 

Soccer

 

Not just football, but any team sport, such as hockey, baseball or netball, can be very useful for the message that they give, regarding the importance of working together to achieve a goal: sometimes literally. They also require a certain amount of strategy, whilst the training involves discipline and helps a child to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

So, whether you find deals on DeMarini softball bats or deals on footballs, you will eventually be teaching the importance of working together.

 

The beauty of learning through play is that the child isn’t even aware that they are doing anything other than having a good time. The most suitable games to play are the ones that the child enjoys the most, as there is something to be gained from every activity that encourages someone to interact with others or to focus on a target or task. Playing is learning and, wherever possible, learning should feel like playing.

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Comments

  1. Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families says:

    This is a great list. Soccer is a great sport to play and I enjoyed it very much when I was introduced to it at the age of 12. I started playing late because I really wasn’t aware of the sport and neither were my parents. I played for several years until I had my daughter. A few years ago, I returned to the sport that I loved because it was a great way to get exercise and meet new friends. I had to give it up about three years ago because of my health issues. Soccer is a great team sport and it high paced. You have to think about what you are going to do so that your team can score a goal or defend one. Thank you for sharing this great list of things for kids to do.

  2. Kristina L says:

    I-spy, my youngest son started playing these games very young, I would sit him on my lap and we would play and play! Now he will notice any little thing out of place. He is 10 now!

  3. Cynthia Brooks says:

    I really like the idea that games boost brain power. I think sometimes we forget that games with logic can be fun and brain inducing instead of regular school methods.

  4. I am quite fascinated that soccer helps to sharpen mind… Interesting!

  5. Susan Smith says:

    One of the first games I played with my children was a memory game with cards with picture on them. They matched the pictures. It was before they learned to read.

  6. Chess really helps in your brain to tick.

  7. Georgia Beckman says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with this. I think a child can learn so much through play. They’re not bored, sitting, complaining; they’re having a great time & learning at the same time.

  8. Cara Daymude says:

    I loved the I spy books when I was little even use to have a signed Eye spy book and then of coarse there’s Where’s Waldo can’t forget Waldo.

  9. Christian Alejandro says:

    Chess is perfect! It works for all ages and everyone is learning.