Make It a Game!


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What’s the quickest, easiest way to add some sizzle to your homeschool? Make it a game! Just about anything can be turned it to a game. Here are some of our favorites:

Memory/Concentration

This is one of the easiest ways to turn learning into a game. All you need is a package of index cards, or blank flash cards available at teacher supply stores, and your imagination. Make two sets of cards, shuffle, place face down on the table and let the games begin. What can you put on the two sets of cards?

* math facts/answers
* two sets of facts with the same answer
* numbers/number words
* fractions/decimals
* fractions/drawing representing the fraction
* CVC or sight words/pictures representing the words
* historical figure’s name or picture/facts about that person
* planets/facts about the planet
* vocabulary or spelling words/definition
* anything you can imagine!

Bingo Cards

Anything with which you can play memory, you can also play bingo. You can make your own bingo cards using the “table” feature of your word processing program or you can use the templates found here. We like to use bingo for CVC/sight word practice, using the words, themselves, as the call cards

Board Games

You can turn a variety of board games into educational fun for school. Simply have your child answer a question before moving his playing piece. For example, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Cootie Bug, etc. make great reading practice. Once the child rolls the die, he must read the word (or even spell the word, give a definition, answer a math fact) before she moves the number rolled.

Checker boards can be covered with math facts to be answered when landing on a space — or words to be read, defined, given a synonym/antonym/homonym, etc.

Scrabble is great for practicing spelling and practicing CVC words. Even if you don’t use the board, the tiles are great! They can even be used for a young child learning the alphabet…just be careful with the small pieces.

Word Finds/Crosswords

These are great for studying spelling or vocabulary words. You can make your own here.

Traditional Pen/Paper Games

Hangman is great for practicing spelling words. Tic-tac-toe can be used for reading and math games — write a word/math problem in each square that must be read/answered before placing an X or an O in that spot.

Finally, Games to Make is a great site that my younger kids and I have really enjoyed. It contains many printable games for reading practice.

I’m sure that there are many, many more variations of games that can be created with a little imagination. Kids can even create their own game boards. Once you start turning learning into a game, you’ll never look at a board game with missing pieces found at a yard sale as junk again! If you’ve got a great idea for a game, be sure to share it in the comments section.

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