Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gotta Have Games!

For the next few weeks I am summarizing the workshops I attended at the Nebraska Christian Home Educators Conference.  If you missed yesterday's post on home organization...click on my blog title and scroll down.

This workshop was presented by Rainbow Resources and was all about playing games with your kids!

I love playing games with our kids!  Have you ever noticed the reaction of your child(ren) when you say hey let's play a game?  My kids are always beyond excited!  If we are having a ho-hum type of day...a game can definetely change the mood of everyone!

Why use games?
  • They can be used to introduce, teach, or review concepts.
  • Increase retention or content.
  • Help develop critical thinking skills.
  • Engage the child in their own learning.
  • Family-together time.
  • Reduces stress
  • Builds social skills
  • and are just FUN!
If you homeschool or if you kids go to a public/private school....play games with them!  You will be guaranteed to have fun!

 My game ideas:

Some are easy drill games between the girls.  We might be focusing on time or money counting and the first person to write/show the answer gets a point.

We might play an easy game of war with cards, Candyland, or Shoots and Ladders.
Twister-- but add questions on the colors.

 You can put a whole bunch of questions on tape...tape them to a beach ball and toss it back and forth.  Where ever the childs hand lands when they catch it...that is their question.

Put questions in Easter eggs and hide them around the house.  The more Easter eggs a child finds their chance at winning is greater!

Make a target on the window with dry erase marker and the bullseye equals 3 points and the outer ring equals less points.  If they answer a question right they get a chance at shooting a nerf gun to earn a point.

Label 3 different buckets with point values.  Each bucket represents easy or hard questions.  If they get the question right they earn a point.

Play an easy game of scrabble.

Mad Libs.  My girls LOVE Mad Libs and it reinforces what verbs, adverbs, nouns etc are.

7ate9.  You can purchase it:  here.   I bought this at the conference and it is a fast pace addition and subtraction game.  We had so much fun playing it yesterday!

Bingo!  My kids love Bingo!  Give them a blank Bingo board and 30-35 choices.  They make their own Bingo card (they will not be using all of the choices).  Then give them random questions.  Can be used for addition, multiplication, or any subject.

Jenga!  Teaches problem solving.  My kids love this game as well!

and Katelyn's reaction after it falls after her turn!

Some fun games that the presenter shared:

Detailed descriptions of these games can be found at http://www.rainbowresource.com/

Dutch Blitz-- this is their most popular selling game of all time.  It is a fast paced sequence game.

Catapult-- I have this on my list when my kids get older.  Everything is included to make a catapult.

Pentomino Puzzles: 365 brain teasers-- using Pentomine pieces you have to try to form different pictures in the book.  The presenter said...it is really, really hard!  So if you are up for a challenge.

Top Trumps-- It is like speed with kids.  I got a few samples packs for attending the workshop and it seems kind of fun.

Simply Suspects--  It is like a twist on the game Clue.

Cart before the horse-- brain teasers

Very Silly Sentences-- use word cards to form fun sentences.

You've Been Sentenced:  Helps build language structure.  I also received a bonus pack of this game.

There are so many other games that she shared with us...but you don't have to go out an buy anything.  Use what you have around your house...and most of all HAVE FUN with your kids!  Build memories!

I will leave you with this last one that we tried out today.  It was shared by another mom in the workshop.  You need three players.  Split a deck of cards in half....just the number cards.

Have the two players with a deck of cards put a card on their forehead...they can not look at the card.  The third player (that was me) adds up the cards and tells them the answer.  Then the person that guesses what their card is wins!
Yep we totally don't brush our hair or get dressed on some days.

So for example if Jocelyn had 7 on her head and Katelyn had 3.  I would say the answer is 10.  They would have to subtract the other persons card as fast as they could to come up with what their card was.  The person who was the fastest got both cards.  The one left without any cards...loses.

So have fun!  When is the last time you played a game with your child?  Do it...neither of you will regret it!


  1. These are all great suggestions and we're THRILLED that you like the You've been Sentenced! word game!

    Susan McNeill
    McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds
    creators of the You've been Sentenced! word game

    1. It sounded like a really fun game. We received a booster pack (not sure of the exact name) so will have to make up our own rules for now.

    2. It's harder to play with only an add-on deck only (doesn't have the full range of words). But, you can go to http://howtoplayyouvebeensentenced.wordpress.com/ for full rules and printable score sheets. ENJOY!