Most people like games and competing. They like to win and do well. This is why the use of games in education is a great idea. A young child won’t see that they are doing math or spelling – what they will see is that they are winning the game. The concepts you are trying to teach them will sink through without them even knowing.
Take a game like Snakes and Ladders. It is great for teaching a child about arithmetic. They roll the dice and advance a certain amount of squares. If they land on a ladder and move up you can ask them how many squares they just skipped. Likewise if they are on a snake and drop down, you can ask them how many squares they just lost.
Another game which is great for math is bingo. It is really useful for them to identifying numbers. One child chooses the numbers and has to call them out; the others than have to search their card to see if they have that number. Studies revealed that kids who liked to play bingo showed a greater aptitude for math than those who didn’t. Now with the advent of online bingo, you don’t even have to play it the old fashioned way.
It just doesn’t have to be bingo games which helps them with math. It can be a game like backgammon or even Connect 4. A game which is great for deductive reasoning is Mastermind. This is the game where a player has to choose four colored pieces from a possible six and place them in a row. The other player than has to guess both the colors and the order. They are told if they have one in the right place or the right color but not in the right place except they aren’t told which. They then have to work it out.
In terms of something like spelling, a game such as Scrabble is obviously beneficial. It teaches them to try and come up with words. Their brain has to make order from the random letters they have on their rack. Again studies have revealed that children who like to play games such as Scrabble have a far superior vocabulary.
And that is the great thing about all of these games – that it is making these children think. It is putting their knowledge to a practical use. They aren’t thinking of it in terms of that because they are just focusing on the game. It is a way to freshen up the classroom and bring enthusiasm and excitement to learning.
Interesting it also helps people at the other end of the age spectrum. It has been proved that elderly people playing games and keeping their brains active is a great way for staving off something like dementia which can be a horribly debilitating disease. The brain is needs to be constantly working and by playing something such as Scrabble or a card game they are doing this.
By Seth Peters
Seth Peters is a well known journalist that writes for many newspapers and Internet sites. He is known for his recent articles on the the webs top bingo sites. Seth has recently taken a break from writing news articles to focus one something fun, free online bingo games.