AGES: 2 – 4 years

FEED THE WOOZLE COOPERATIVE GAME

  • Communication skills
  • Learning to share
  • Motor Skills
  • Counting

Board games, in the right context, can be excellent  educational materials disguised as entertainment. It is a great opportunity to pass time and build social skills with the entire family, with the added benefit of teaching children important life skills while having fun. Board games are designed to be played in groups of two or more, which allows people to comfortably sit down and create the space to talk and interact with each other. A fun game that brings everyone together and is worth considering, is Feed the Woozle. This game, and many others like it, help children develop their communication skills by the simple act of playing. Children get to follow the instructions and have to learn to work together to win the game. The goal for the players is to cooperate in order to be successful, teaching children the wonderful lesson of how to share while developing healthy social skills.    

Playing games such as Feed the Woozle Game aids toddlers develop their motor skills early on. The game fosters simple hand-eye coordination movements such as moving a spoon up and down and forward to feed the Woozle. Also, it is a good way to practice balance and moving their body through space, such as holding a spoon steady to keep the food in its place. Pretending to feed chocolate-covered flies and hairy pickles trains children to eat using utensils in a giggle inducing fashion. This type of play correlates with learning to eat by themselves in the real world and balance the spoon until it reaches their mouths, instead of the floor. Besides, who wouldn’t want to eat flies and hairy pickles?

Another feature of Feed the Woozle Game that applies to many other similar board games is learning and counting numbers. A child practices how to count while feeding the Woozle some snacks. Depending on the number of the rolled dice, the player must put that number of flies and pickles on their spoons. Throughout the game the child is constantly counting the snacks and turns. The repetition of counting in each turn is a good way to establish a good foundation for basic math skills.  Additionally, the game has three levels of difficulty that can be played – once the child has mastered a level they can go up to the next. Making a game more challenging as skills increase is perfect for keeping engagement high, and your child will continue to play and enjoy themselves for years to come.

LEGOS

  • Creativity
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

It is safe to say that Legos have become a cherished part of most people’s childhoods. Beyond being fun to play with, there is a reason behind finding Legos at day-care centers and schools everywhere. It is widely agreed that having visual and tactile aids helps children have a better understanding and learning curve in general. For teachers and parents, Legos and other types of building blocks are very flexible in that they can be used to teach children both inside the classroom as well as playing at home. They have been at the forefront for developmental education for many years. Legos and other types of building blocks ignite the imagination of children to find the solutions through creating structures and new fun worlds.

Legos play can be applied to a wide variety of different subjects such as math, science, grammar, and history. The toy benefits every subject, bringing the lessons from the textbook to the real world. Educators recommend using this type of toys in STEM programs. In math, the Legos can be a fun way to teach adding and subtracting, fractions, geometry, etc. In science, Legos can be used as models for engineering and experiments. In grammar, the different color of the blocks can be useful for children to identify the structure of a sentence’s subject, verb, and predicate. In history lessons, the Legos can be used to reenact important scenes, helping children visualize and engage their imagination on the subject which helps in memory retention. The important thing is to keep your child engaged in the subject with hand-on teaching methods.

Legos are great for team building exercises for kids at an early level. With guided supervision, children can work on a project together. They develop communication skills as they talk amongst each other to come up with ideas to create the final product. Legos reinforce the skills of sharing and communicating with other children or adults, which will help the child when they go to school and start doing group projects and engaging more socially. It further develops their communication and social skills.

Children’s imagination can flourish playing with Legos, or other quality building blocks. The mental skills used to first create the ideas in the mind, deciding where to place the blocks to make their vision real, and how to solve any challenge they encounter while doing it, are some of the skills a child develops while playing with Legos. It stimulates their senses and motor skills as they are envisioning their goal and manipulating the blocks in the real-world building process. This kind of activity is extremely beneficial for children’s learning potential as it’s been proven many times that working with your hands helps acquire and cement cognitive knowledge in an actively learning environment.

THE BENEFITS OF DOMINOES

  • Helps to develop critical thinking skills
  • Bond with families and social groups
  • Reduces stress
  • Improve memory retention

There are many classic board games that can be useful in classroom settings and have been proven to be effective, if unconventional, tools for learning. Games such as Dominoes are great for translating critical thinking and memory exercises into real world settings, with ramifications applied for the decisions made. Children benefit from games like this because they present them with challenges that require creativity and thinking outside the box. Dominoes is a game that requires a high level of strategy and planning in order to win. How the game works, a player analyzes the board to deduct what Domino tiles the other players have left, based on how they played each round. The game forces the player to be constantly guessing their opponents’ tiles and strategizing to block their moves in order to control the board and win the game. This type of skill can later be applied to lessons such as logical reasoning exercises as well as working through mathematical equations.       

In Dominoes, it is vital that the player stays sharp in order to win the game. The concentration and focus required to play well benefit children’s memory retention. Dominoes has twenty-eight tiles to use in different combinations; the player needs to memorize and understand the usefulness of the seven they have in their hand in order to effectively understand their opponents play options. So, when it’s the player’s turn, they have gathered the essential information to anticipate their opponents in order to make strategic moves to control the board, and ultimately win the game. There have been studies that have found that playing Dominoes helps children improve their visual abilities and even assists in the development of photographic memories. The way a child builds their ability to memorize the Dominoes tiles can later be applied to schoolwork for example in learning the periodic table, or in any one of the unlimited applications in the real world. 

Another wonderful benefit of Dominoes is that it can be played anywhere. Dominoes is a game that can be played in any social setting, whether it is a family gathering, or at a party with friends, and can even be used as a fun break between study sessions. You can play in teams of two or individually, which plays into variations of strategy. It is a great tool for children to bond with older family members since there is no age limit either direction for the game.

Dominoes is a great opportunity for a child’s social confidence and skills to blossom. Unlike some other board games, in Dominoes players are encouraged to have fun banter and conversations in between plays. Playing Dominoes creates an environment where players are encouraged to talk amongst each other. People of all ages benefit from this type of healthy competition. The game is a great way to boost endorphins and reduce any stresses of the day. Plus, it is an activity that can involve the entire family where everyone can unwind and just have fun together.

THE GAME OF CONCENTRATION

  • Helps concentration and focus
  • Improve memory retention
  • Refine logic skills
  • Improves visual cognition

Concentration is a classic memory card game that is still widely played all over the world today. The simple nature of this popular game has made it a favorite with young children, but different versions have emerged over the years that also tailor to a variety of different audiences. True to its name, this game will build concentration and focus, as well as memory and recognition.

The game is very straightforward – A deck of cards is laid out facedown and then players take turns flipping them two at a time, in search for matching pairs. Once a player finds two matching cards they get to keep the pair, otherwise they are put back. The player with the most matches at the end wins the game. Cards are often colorful or unique, which is another reason that children are drawn to playing this game.

Concentration is a fantastic tool to help children build focus and memory retention through play. As the game progresses, they will learn to use logic and deductive reasoning to recognize patterns and find matches. Practicing these skills at an age where the brain is rapidly developing improves cognitive function quickly and sets a solid foundation for learning more complicated concepts down the line. Children who play memory games like Concentration are more likely to develop a love and curiosity for learning and will be able to apply these skills in future education.

BINGO

  • Improves listening and short term memory skills
  • Helps improve concentration
  • Improved hand-Eye Coordination
  • Refines Cognitive Abilities

Bingo is a popular game that people play all over the world, often at community centers, senior facilities, and church groups. Research has found that the game has more value than for just passing the time and bonding with others. There are some surprising health benefits you can get from playing this centuries-old game.

According to many studies, playing bingo can improve your brain’s processing speed, alertness, and memory capabilities. Bingo requires players to practice active listening, as well as process that information quickly enough to find their own corresponding numbers and letters —sometimes across multiple cards.

Studies have found that when people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other types of dementia play bingo, their visual perception and cognitive skills become strengthened. Similarly, visually stimulating games can also help aging adults in visual and cognitive development. Bingo can improve memory, orientation, language, and command in senior citizens. It has also been found that seniors who play bingo have increased happiness and social interaction, which also promote mental health.  An active social life can help delay memory loss in again adults.

Children can benefit from bingo, too. Game play in general promotes healthy cognitive development in children of all ages. By introducing bingo in an educational environment, students are more likely to engage with course material. Another way to engage children in bingo is setting them up to make their own bingo cards, promoting creativity and hand-eye coordination.

Overall, bingo has many surprising health benefits for players of all ages. It’s a great way to promote healthy social interaction, cognitive development, and creative expression.

PRETEND AND PLAY CASH REGISTER

  • Number recognition.
  • Fine motor skills.
  • Trading and sharing.
  • Color recognition.
  • Problem solving

Do you remember how hard math was growing up? How can a person buy seven apples but only need three? For children who are starting to learn about the subject, getting a grasp on numbers and math can be intimidating. A good way to get your children on a good path to learning their numbers and starting to solve math problems is to turn it into a game. A great technique to get them to learn in a fun way is to use toys like pretend cash registers. You can start slowly and easily learning the numbers first, and then graduate to doing basic math with simple adding and subtracting and build from there. This greatly benefits the potential for learning because this takes abstract concepts and applies them to actual objects in a non-threatening way to help them better understand numbers and how to use them.

A toy cash register not only introduces children to basic math problems, but also familiarize them with the concept and importance of money, two very important skills they will need in life. Cash register toys are designed to mimic the real thing which can help the children to jump start their imagination. Plus, it is a great opportunity and super fun to pretend to be a customer while your child gets to pretend to be the adult. You can easily create different scenarios where the cash register would be handy such as a grocery store using items in the kitchen or a clothing boutique with items from your closet. Children learn through these scenarios the concepts of trading goods in exchange of cash, as well as how to be polite and thankful of other people. Definitely a great tool to teach concepts of sharing and how to get along with others from the earliest of ages.

Recognizing the numbers on the cash register buttons is a great for intellectual development, and it benefits the child’s motors skills as they push the buttons to record the purchase. Developing hand-eye coordination with the action of grabbing the money from inside the register and pushing the buttons is easy and fun. The colors on the toy money also help differentiate different types of paper money and coins, as well as makes it easier for them learn their colors. Associating a number with a different color benefits them to understand the different values of money, but more importantly, it helps develop advanced cognitive skills that help further math and other skills at a young age.

remember that you are speaking to a parent who has concerns for their children in specific. They have taken the time to seek out options to help their kids be both entertained as well as learn important concepts in a tangential, no pressure, fun way.

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