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Mar 13

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Using Games in your Homeschool

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One thing I love about homeschooling is the ability to change things up and make a chore into something memorable. Over the years, I have tried out several games, toys and puzzles that have made our school time more fun. Here are some things we have used in our homeschool that have worked for us.

Preschool ideas for Sweetum Peetums – age 3 

  •  ABC puzzle – Here is a similar one on Amazon. I couldn’t find the exact one we own. We put this together and then sing the ABC song with my 3-year-old. I also have used this for letter recognition asking her to hand me the “A” or find an item that starts with the letter “D” and bring it to me, etc.DSCN2167
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Boom story and coconut game – I took a game meant to be used for addition and subtraction practice and made it into a play mat for the story book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. I simply added letter stickers to the coconuts. I made the flannel board by cutting felt and gluing the pieces to a piece of cardboard. I cut out little circles of felt for the coconuts and picked up a pair of dice from the dollar store.DSCN2190

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  • Alpha Spoons – This game is very easy to create. All you need is a set of plastic spoons and a permanent marker. Write the letters of the alphabet on each spoon placing a lowercase letter and uppercase letter on the inner portion of separate spoons. On the back of the spoon write the upper and lower case letter together as shown in the far right of the photo below. You can have the child match the lower and uppercase letters by nesting the spoons together as a match. There are so many things you can do with this game.

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  • Foam Letter and Number puzzles from the dollar stores – We use these as match games using the mats we made and we also just use them as intended. We have gotten lots of use from these.

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Early Elementary Ideas for Archimedes, age 7

  • Castle Logix – a super fun logic game that allows kids to use critical thinking skills to build castles in many different combinations using just a few wooden pieces. Both my boys have loved this game. Here are some examples of the skill levels.
    Easy

    Easy

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    Intermediate

    Challenging

    Challenging

  • File folder money game – Free download here from FileFolderFun.com. This is something I have been using to help my first grader with math money skills. I like to make file folder games, I just have to remember to USE THEM. LOL!

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  • Dr. Seuss activity book – This is not really a game, but we have been reading Dr. Seuss books lately with Archimedes and I found this cool Free Dr. Seuss activity book from Education.com. We are planning to use this next week and have our preschooler join in the fun.

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  • Coconut Addition and Subtraction Game – This game is just a fun way to practice addition and subtraction. You roll the die one at a time and place the results on the tree and on the ground. Add the two amounts together to get the total amounts of coconuts in the tree and on the ground. For example: The first die reads, “two’ so you place two coconuts in the tree. The second die reads, “four” so you place four on the ground. Have the child add them together to get 2+4=6. You can use this for subtraction as well.

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Older Elementary Ideas for Promethius, age 10

  • Geography puzzles –  We like to use this to review the names and locations of contries. We have worked with  the Asia Geopuzzle so far and plan to work with the Europe one next. These are good quality puzzles and are helpful in remembering the shapes of the countries.

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  • Math apps – I look for math fact apps and games to download to my Kindle fire to keep my 10-year-old busy during doctor appointments, while waiting in lines, etc.
  • Chess – I don’t know how to play chess myself, but my husband and son play together and I think it is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and strategy.
  • Checkers – This game has taught my son some of the same skills as chess on a smaller scale.

I hope I have given you some new ideas that can breathe new life into your homeschool. If you would like to read some more great ideas from friends of mine on the Schoolhouse Review Crew, click on the linky tools link below

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Permanent link to this article: http://conversaving.com/2013/03/13/using-games-in-your-homeschool/

4 comments

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  1. Jen

    Great Ideas! I really need to look into those file folder games ;)

    1. Jennifer

      Jen – they are lots of fun!

  2. Lisa McClanahan

    Fun! I loved educational games & toys. My kids remember so much from playing them & they don’t even think they are learning.

    1. Jennifer

      I think the hands-on activities are the ones remembered the most in the end. I remember field trips and those types of things most from my homeschool experience.

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