For many families, summertime is game time. Playing cards and board games offers a double bonus. Not only are they a wonderful way to bond with one another, they are a great way to sneak in reading and math skills practice. This summer, our go-to game is Scattergories. Now that some of our grandkids are getting older, they can really participate fully. In addition to the fun factor, this game requires critical thinking skills, categorizing, and writing. Lots of bang for your buck here. Ditching the video games and engaging in some old favorites like Monopoly, Uno, Scrabble, Balderdash or Boggle positively impact the reading skills of older kids. Without even knowing it, youngsters will be practicing their critical thinking, developing their thinking stamina, synthesizing information, using verbal and non-verbal skills, determining importance, categorizing and learning new vocabulary. What’s more, when various generations participate, kids are building relationships and everyone benefits from the learning and sharing that occur.
Don’t discount the importance of reading directions. When you play a new game, let the readers in the group wade through the directions and then explain how it works to the others. If they need help, show them how to “chunk” the text. Simply read each step, then stop and make sure it’s clear before proceeding to the next step. Kids will never guess that your teaching them an essential strategy for comprehending challenging text.
Dust off some of those old games or scour Amazon and invest in some new ones, but whatever you do, make sure to you bolster literacy skills and provide lots of family fun by including some favorite games.
Are you playing games this summer? Please share some of your favorites with us. Look for my next post which will highlight enjoyable and educational games for the younger set.