Educational Games

Best games to help your children learn as they play

Children are blank slates. It is up to us to fill them full of knowledge. They love to learn, and even at an early age, their favorite word is often "Why?" The best way to encourage our children to learn is to combine learning and playing. It will help build your child's desire to learn if the process is a fun one.

A classic fun way for kids to learn and play is to play school. A child likes to pretend. You can even play along. Make your child worksheets or provide workbooks. Use this time to work on age-level-appropriate skills. Show them how to work through the problems they got incorrect. Reward good work with stickers and praise.

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There are many educational products on the market. Children respond better to familiar cartoon characters and bright colors. You can find flashcards, video and computer games and other kid-friendly activities that are based on age and skill level. Let your child help you choose the one that is right for him or her.

Match games are also a fun way for your child to develop memory-building skills. Games like hopscotch and jumping rope are great to help children be more active. Classic board games such as Monopoly and Life teach children about real estate and adult life in a fun, color-coded way.

Help your child to escape into the pages of a book. Read along with him or her and ask questions to make sure your child understands what he or she is reading. Check your local library for possible reading programs that will help boost your child's reading confidence and allow them to interact with other children, too. Reading is a terrific way to research and learn new things.

Teach your children what you know. Take a walk and point out animals and objects. Tell them about colors and senses. If they ask you a question, do the best to give them an honest, accurate answer. If you are going on a trip, let them help you read the map. There are many everyday situations that you can use as teaching situations for children.

Arts and crafts projects are fun for all ages. They help children learn creativity and expression. This is also a great way to boost self-esteem, develop motor skills and encourage artistic talent. Work with your child on a project. Tell him or her how to do it, but let your child put his or her own twist on it. He or she may even enjoy the project to the point that a new hobby is formed.

Offer learning products, but don't push them on a child. If you use education as punishment, children will rebel against learning. Allow them to obtain new skills at their own pace. If they don't understand something, help them out. Use praise and encouragement, and be positive to help your child develop a good educational outlook.

By Strawberry Fields