Creative games for little minds.
Why play games?
Games are a perfect vehicle for reinforcing reading and math skills, and they nurture social skills, motor skills, and the executive function. Motivation and repetition are natural when children enjoy a game.
When you make your own games you can really “hone in” on specific objectives and the needs of your students. Take a look at these sites for blank game templates where you can insert your own skills. Letters, words, math facts…look at your standards and think, “How can I turn this into a game?”
*You won’t believe all the great free downloads on this site!
One of K.J.'s favorite activities in first grade was designing his own game. The teacher gave them a blank game pattern that they glued to a file folder. The children got to make up rules, penalties, markers, etc. That's a powerful opportunity for a kid! Wouldn't it also be a fun activity with a partner or small group?
How about asking parents to donate used or new games? Adapt the games for skills and standards. For example, one teacher said she took 4 old Candy Land games and wrote letters on the cards and board at the beginning of the year, then numerals, words, and math facts. Children never want to do a worksheet again, but a game is a “sneaky” way to get them to repeat key skills.