Has your child ever pushed back when it comes to school or homework? My oldest daughter has always been a “workbook kid”. She absolutely loved worksheets and printables. We definitely do a ton of hands-on projects, but when it came to core subjects, like math and reading, she was completely content working in a book…until a few months ago. A daily battle began. She no longer wanted to sit at the table and breeze through concepts on paper. I gave her a few days off, but her resistance continued. I decided that I needed to reach her another way, so I decided to start Gameschooling.
Gameschooling is where you basically teach your child through playing games. What I love about homeschooling is that I can change our curriculum whenever necessary to meet the needs of my children! I sat down and made a list of topics that were age and skill-appropriate for my daughters, and then set out to find games that covered those subjects.
At their ages, a heavy focus is placed on numbers, counting, addition/subtraction, telling time, handling money, letter sounds, sight words and reading. Today I’m going to share a few of our favorite games that teach these concepts!
Sum Swamp™ Addition & Subtraction Game
Sum Swamp was one of the first math games I found that was appropriate and fun for both of my daughters (aged 4 & 6). Many games were either too advanced for my 4-year-old or too easy (and “boring”) for my 6-year-old. I was having a hard time finding something they could play together.
This game is fun, engaging, and competitive – even adults will enjoy it. It easily teaches addition and subtraction, which is something my 4-year-old had never been exposed to prior to this game. You can play a round in 10-15 minutes and there isn’t any complicated setup.
I Sea 10™ Math Game
I Sea 10! is another quick game we like to use to practice addition. The point of the game is to spot numbers that add up to 10. It can be 2 or more number groups and you race to make a number combination first. When you spot a combination, yell out I Sea 10! and the winner keeps the tiles. Watch out for sharks! If you flip one over, they will take your collected tiles along with them back into the box.
Money Bags™ Coin Value Game
We love Money Bags for practicing money concepts. It is a little more advanced because you have to add up the coins to make the correct money amount, so I will team up with my 4-year-old to play against my 6-year-old. I love how realistic the money is and it’s one of the only games I could find to teach this topic. It’s a really fun way to practice math and making change!
POP for Sight Words™ Game
I really love the “POP” game line and was excited to grab POP for Sight Words. Let’s be honest, sight word practice can be really boring. The problem is, you can’t just skip it if you don’t feel like doing it. Sight words are necessary for reading. I play this game with my 6-year-old and it has made this subject a lot more enjoyable.
You pull popcorn out of the box and race to read the sight word. Obviously, a parent would win, so I give her about 5 seconds to “beat me” otherwise I answer. You try to collect the most popcorn. If you pick a card with POP! on it, you have to put all your popcorn back in the box. We also let her try to race through the popcorn on her own, making a pile that she knows and a pile that she doesn’t.
Snap It Up!® Phonics & Reading Game
Another game that we love playing together is Snap It Up! To make it easier for my 4-year-old, I read out the ending sound for the word family and we race to see if we have a card that would make a real word. The winner takes the card and a new word family card is displayed. The racing element and competition turn another mundane subject into a really fun game.
Even though we homeschool, Gameschooling can be used with any child or family! It’s a great way to practice subjects from school or work on areas your child might be struggling to grasp. This has been a wonderful teaching option for our family, and it’s so successful that we’ve completely ditched workbooks for the remainder of this year. I highly recommend trying out this method of learning with your little ones.