Learning can some times feel like a chore for preschoolers but that does not have to be the case. Development experts give their options via parenting magazine magazine on what children can learn from the following games. Kids can learn about consequences, decision-making and strategic thinking through games as explored in part one of the series. Here are some of the classic and emerging games for children and adults.
If your child is too young or too impatient for Scrabble, get her started on this take-and-play-anywhere word game that’s great for kids 5 and up.
What it teaches kids: Like Scrabble, this fast-paced game is a reading, writing, spelling, and vocabulary booster.
Where to buy: taobao for RMB 25.
Animal Mastermind Towers
Making and breaking codes appeal to your grade-schooler’s more advanced thinking skills, says Eis. Animal Mastermind Towers is a little-kid-friendlier version of the classic for children 5 to 7.
What it teaches kids: Because your child must remember her opponent’s answers, Animal Mastermind Towers helps boost memory as well as deductive skills (“If the penguin isn’t below the hippo but above the giraffe, maybe the order is giraffe, penguin, hippo, lion!”). Making up a code teaches strategy, a useful skill for helping your child decide how to tackle any situation, in the classroom or on the playground.
Angry Birds Knock on Wood
The smartphone version has been downloaded 350 million times, and if your 5- to 8-year-old is a fan, you might want to lure her offline for this hands-on, cooperative version.
What it teaches kids: Building the structures requires teamwork, which is great for kids learning to work together in small groups. Copying the structure from the cards means your child get practice following directions, recognizing patterns, and perfecting her fine-motor skills.
Available on taobao
By the time your child is in third grade, she’s mastered the basics, so what she needs now are games that teach her patience, persistence, and flexibility, says Shannon Eis, a play and development expert and mom of two.
What it teaches kids: Besides giving kids practice in making change, Monopoly is a fun way to teach such grown-up concepts as saving, budgeting, and financial planning. Plus the random element (“Go directly to jail!”) teaches your child how to adapt to sudden changes.
Where to buy: taobao RMB 33 (this is a four game pack)
Rory’s Story Cubes
Sometimes it’s good to play open-ended games that don’t involve winning. This game has the added benefit of getting your child ready to write more complex stories, says Artemenko. It’s recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger ones can play too.
What it teaches kids: The sketches are abstract enough that your child can interpret them any way she wants, which is great for spurring her imagination. She’ll also learn to create stories with beginning, middles, and endings, turn something abstract into something more concrete, and how to spin an entertaining story.
Where to buy: taobao RMB 60
This game, unlike any other, helps a child visualize a grid as she figures out how to sink her opponent’s ships, explains Eis. You can even play the game with pencil, paper, and graph paper. A two-person game, it’s best for kids 8 and older.
What it teaches kids: It takes a certain amount of cunning to hide all five ships in such a way that make them difficult to find, so logic, planning, and reasoning all come into play here, as do deductive powers, problem-solving, and memory.
Where to buy: taobao RMB 33 (four game pack)
Teachers and child education experts love Scrabble, which is why you’ll find it in every classroom, especially once your child hits third and fourth grades.
What it teaches kids: Not only does Scrabble help your child with reading, vocabulary, and spelling, but it teaches math (she has to keep adding up her points), problem-solving and strategy (she has to plot how to get the biggest bang from a word), and is great for boosting her attention span and long-term memory, which help her test-taking and study skills.
Where to buy: taobao RMB 258 (includes a dictionary)
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons