While students require practice in order to master any skill, that practice does not have to be tedious. By incorporating games into your lesson plans, kids have a chance to improve skills and have fun-which fosters a love of learning.
Reading and math readiness skills can be practiced by children ages 3-7 with the following games by Milton Bradley:
- CANDYLAND – Practice color recognition and counting.
- CHUTES AND LADDERS – Practice counting and following directions.
- MEMORY – Builds skill in recalling what is seen (visual memory).
- YAHTZEE (Look for a JUNIOR edition) – Practice matching. (The card game GO FISH also provides matching practice.)
- Various versions of BINGO allow practice with recognition of numbers or colors and shapes.
Build vocabulary and/or grammar skills with the following games for ages 8-adult:
- BOGGLE by Parker Brothers. Timed word searches provide spelling and vocabulary practice.
- PASSWORD by Endless Games. Players use antonyms and synonyms.
- SCRABBLE by Milton Bradley. There are also junior versions of the game. This game sharpens spelling and vocabulary, but also uses math and strategy skills.
To encourage deductive reasoning-an objective in both math and reading comprehension-try any or all of the following:
- BATTLESHIP by Milton Bradley. Ages 7- adult.
- CLUE (Ages 8+) or CLUE JUNIOR by Parker Brothers. Ages 5-8.
- CONCENTRATION by Endless Games increases visual memory and requires deductive reasoning to solve a phrase revealed little-by-little. Ages 10 – adult
- CONNECT 4 by Milton Bradley. Ages 7 – adult
- GUESS WHO by Milton Bradley. Ages 6+.
- MASTERMIND by Pavilion. Ages 8 – adult. There are junior versions. A terrific game for straight-forward deduction.
- OTHELLO by Pressman. Ages 8 – adult.
- RISK by Parker Brothers. Ages 10 – adult. Strategy skills. The playing board reinforces geography.
- 30 SECOND MYSTERIES by University Games. Ages 12 – adult. Solve the mystery using as few clues as possible.
Math games by Parker Brothers:
- PAYDAY Ages 8 – adult. Kids experience budgets and family finances.
- MONOPOLY Ages 8-adult. Buying and selling.
- RACKO Ages 8-adult. Strategy is involved to arrange number cards from lowest to highest.
Most of these games are inexpensive and available at toy stores or toy selections of Walmart, Target, and other big box stores. Check yard sales and Goodwill-type stores for less-expensive, used sets. They not only help your children build important educational skills, but provide an opportunity for fun as a family. The Amazon affiliate links are provided to show examples of the products.