July 20, 2024

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Science It Works

Mrs. Brinker’s favorite snow day games that are also educational

Games teach children how to take turns, how to win gracefully, and learn how to lose gracefully, as well.

GREENWOOD, Ind. — Stuck inside because of a snow day? 13News Education Expert Jennifer Brinker shared some games that are fun and also educational.

Mrs. Brinker said playing games in itself is a learning opportunity. Kids from a very young age learn how to take turns, learn how to win gracefully, and learn how to lose gracefully, as well. Don’t always let your kid win the game. There are important lessons they learn from losing from time to time. More than anything though, it is a great opportunity for bonding time. 

She listed a handful of games on 13Sunrise that can teach at the same time kids play them.

Sometimes we need them to have a game by themselves and something like Simon is a great solo game and works on building short-term memory skills. 

I am a really big fan of games that involve planning and strategy but pull in other content areas, too. This game, Ticket to Ride, is wonderful. There are versions from Europe and the United States. Players get color cards and train cars and have to complete routes across the map.  Not only do your kids have to plan out their strategy for how to complete the routes, they are also learning geography at the same time.  Make sure you have a couple hours set aside to play this one though because it takes a while.

I have a great game that is wonderful for teaching story-tell skills and creativity. This game is called Wing It. You can play as many or as few rounds as you like and you each get 3 resources and a problem. You take turns making up a story about how you would solve the problem presented using your resources. A judge each round picks the winner. Again, we can play as many or as few rounds as you like. 

I would also recommend a good old fashioned game of Scattergories. I know you might not think that your child is ready for this game yet, but you can always alter it so that it works. In Scattegories, for example, you can either shorten the list or extend the time limit or both. 

For a game like Battleship that allows two players and is a game that teaches kids strategy and to use coordinate planes. You can pair up with your child to help teach those skills. The idea is to help teach them along the way and have fun. Make sure that it is fun or they won’t be learning or enjoying themselves. Keep it positive!