Games are fun teaching tool - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Games are fun teaching tool

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Posted: Monday, January 8, 2007 2:36 am | Updated: 7:39 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Did you promise to spend more quality time with your kids this year? If so, one way is to hold a Family Game Night, which also can teach kids valuable lessons about math, critical thinking and sportsmanship.

While Scrabble fosters literacy skills, games like Monopoly teach about cash flow and trade.

And most board games teach and reinforce important skills such as following directions, cooperation, taking turns and teamwork, according to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension’s Web site.

In last month’s Harris Elementary School newsletter, principal Becky Henderson suggested playing Chutes and Ladders with children as a way to connect and communicate. As less competitive games, Chutes and Ladders and Candyland are good choices for children who get anxious about losing, said the newsletter from Harris, a Gilbert Unified School District school in Mesa.

Shalee and Rex Christensen of Gilbert spend family time playing both board and card games with their five children.

“My 5-year-old loves Memory... we like that one a lot and it teaches her memory skills,” Shalee Christensen said. “And all the games teach the kids life skills, like you can’t win every time, you take your wins and your losses.”

Christensen also likes Scattergories because it encourages quick thinking and helps her younger children with the alphabet. But their favorite game is the Disney Scene It Family Trivia Game, which is a combination of a DVD and board game.

Educational skills taught by games

Yahtzee: math skills, such as counting, totaling and record-keeping. Scrabble: vocabulary and spelling skills Sorry: counting, colors and strategy Clue: memory, deductive reasoning, counting and record-keeping

Monopoly and The Game of Life: problem-solving, strategy, negotiation and money skills Jenga: eye-hand coordination, observation and concentration Payday: math and money management skills

Source: Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

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