Are you looking for ideas to make your learning more exciting? Would you like to bring book lessons to life for your hands-on learner? Have you ever wished you could test your child’s knowledge without actually testing them? Do you sometimes struggle with a reluctant learner? These are many of the reasons I support math games for middle school, as well as using games in other subjects). Games are an awesome tool for teaching and reviewing.
Games can cost a pretty penny these days, but they don’t have to. Creating your own games allows you to save money, sure, but it does something else too; creating and playing games with your child is one of the best ways to reinforce learning and assess their level of understanding without giving them a test.
Here are three of our favorite, back-to-basics games that you can create with items you probably already have and just a few minutes of time.
Bingo is a fun game that appeals to all ages.
To create a Bingo game you first need to write review questions on index cards or slips of paper. Make game cards by dividing a few pieces of paper into 25 squares and write “free” in the middle square. Randomly write the answers to the review questions in the other blocks. Use pennies or small toys as game markers so you can reuse the cards.
We’ve used Bingo to review everything from math to contractions to geography.
Family Fun Time Box
My daughters and I created the Family Fun Time Box game many years ago, when they were still into family game night. We enjoy the game with our second generation of kids now, but every once in a while the teens join in the fun. This is a great game because it’s open-ended and can go as far as your imagination will let you.
You only need two things to play – index cards and a box to keep them in. Feel free to use a timer to make this game more challenging, but it’s not necessary.
Each card should have a question or command written on it. Be sure to ask the kids for their suggestions!
The cards can be used for practical review like “Name all of the states that start with the word New” and “What is 4 times 7?” or (and here’s where it gets fun!) you can get silly by asking “Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?” and “Who has the best mother in the whole wide world?”
Cool Math Game – Egg Carton Math
Taking only a few minutes to create, egg carton math is a great way to review those pesky math facts.
To create this game you need a clean egg carton, a marker, and small objects such as pennies or chocolate chips.
How you proceed depends on what you’re studying. Currently we’re working on mental addition of three numbers so we’ll use that as an example.
In each section of the egg carton I write a number. My child drops in three small objects, closes the egg carton and shakes. He then opens the carton, sees what numbers the objects landed on, and adds them together!
In our house you get to keep the pennies if you answer correctly, which is all the motivation my six year old needs!
What games do you play to reinforce learning in your house?
Meg Grooms is the blogger behind Homeschool Gameschool. A veteran homeschooler of 13 years, Meg and her husband Jason are raising 5 kids who range in age from 6-17. She and Jason also run a small company aimed to get kids out of the house and into science, you can find them at KidQuest Adventures.