I know I have OFTEN talked about how I love using play in learning. I love toys, games, puzzles, etc. that actually facilitate learning as well. In fact, many of them do or you can find a way to encourage learning in the process! I think my “theme” continues – kids learn best when they’re having fun!
In my Educational Planet review I had reviewed a puzzle that helps with learning letters and letter sounds. Not only were they learning letters and letter sounds, they were also learning strategy and practicing motor skills by putting the pieces together! Even just picture puzzles are great for critical thinking and fine motor skills! I think sometimes we forget that we can use just about anything to get their little “motors running.”
There are so many different toys and games now that also facilitate learning from the alphabet, music, numbers, problem solving, etc. I particularly look for toys and games that either have built in educational value or those that I know I can come up with a way to add educational value. These kind of activities are great for those days where desk work just isn’t going well and they need more of a hands-on, fun way to learn. It’s also great that you can use toys and games ANY time and anywhere! Again, having young kids, I find games like Hungry Hippos, Memory games, Hi Ho Cherry-O (which apparently isn’t just cherries anymore! Who knew?), and any board games to be a good choice for us. Hungry Hippos is just fun and we get to practice our counting at the end. Memory games are great to encourage critical thinking. Hi Ho Cherry-O is another great game for counting. Board games offer a variety of learning opportunities depending on the game. Games where you roll a dice and move obviously encourages counting! Plus these type of games in general teach important life skills like: turn taking, following rules, winning and losing (a hard one when they’re young, but very important nonetheless!), counting, words and definitions that may be new, different motor skills (some fine motor like holding and moving game pieces or some large motor like dancing or jumping), problem solving (and sometimes solving conflicts as kids can often disagree!) and whatever else you make of it. Again, I really think you have to look for the opportunities and capitalize on them! Have fun! 🙂
Toys, Games, and Puzzles is Day 3 of the 5 Days of Teaching Creatively Blog Hop!
Don’t forget to enter the AMAZING 5 Days of Teaching Creatively giveaway! 3 winners and $1000 worth of prizes!!
Be sure to check out the Blog Hop below for other great ideas with Toys, Games, and Puzzles!