Monday, May 1, 2006

Fun Learning Games

I've been brainstorming some fun learning games I can play with my children.  Not board games, but other types of games.

I started with two a friend of mine, Emmaus, plays with her children.  I remember she plays a game with encyclopedias.  For my purposes, I'll call it Encyclopedia Surprise.  Every reading child grabs an encyclopedia and opens it to a random place.  Then they take turns reading aloud what they opened up to.  Trivia, and reading skills, I guess. 

She also plays games with her globe.  I can't recall how she plays her globe games, but I thought of two versions for my family to try.  The first would be Spin the Globe.  We'd spin the globe, close our eyes and point at a spot.  Then we'd get out our atlas or the encyclopedia and read about that country (or ocean).  Just fun random geography.

The other game I thought of was kind of based on the Bible Sword Drills I played in Sunday School.  I'd name a country and have the children race to find it on the globe, our wall maps, or atlases.  Just to get acquainted with where countries and continents are in a fun way.

I also thought of a different encyclopedia game, but it would take some planning on my part.  Encyclopedia Hunt ... a scavenger hunt of sorts.  I'd give each child a fact to locate.  It might be the population of a country, or the latin name of a certain species of animal, or some other small detail.  Then the children would have to get the right book of the encyclopedia, look up the topic and locate the fact for me.  A fun (hopefully) way to practice reading and research skills. 

I mentioned Bible Sword Drills.  Did anyone else play those in Sunday School.  Everyone has to have a Bible.  The teacher calls out a Bible verse, then when she says go, the children race to find it.  The person who finds it first stands up (and usually yells out) and gets to read it aloud. For younger children, you can just do the books of the Bibles, then chapters of books as they get a little older.   I loved Bible Sword Drills when I was in elementary school.  It helps motivate them to memorize the order of the books of the Bible, too. 

We also have some quiz cards that an Aunt gave them for Christmas.  Just random quiz cards of trivia questions.  I think you can buy these in topical groups or more randome ones.  I've seen them at Walmart sold as a car game.  We haven't used them yet, but we should.

What fun learning games do you play with your children?  I'd love some other ideas to add to my list!!

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