Best Learning Games to Play with Your Child

asian family playing a board game

Some kids thrive with traditional learning. They enjoy writing in journals, completing math workbooks, and reading independently. Yet others find these tasks tedious and laborious. Lucky for them, there are many great games to play that make learning exciting and engaging, while still building key academic skills. Try the ideas below for loads of laughter and learning.

Bananagrams

Bananagrams is an engaging game that both kids (ages 7 and up) and adults enjoy playing, and it helps strengthen reading and spelling skills. A series of letter tiles are contained in a banana-shaped bag and players compete against one another to use up their tiles by creating crosswords with their letters. When a player has a letter she wants to get rid of, she exclaims “dump”, returns the letter to the main pile, and takes three new ones. Once a player has used all of her letters in her crossword grid, she shouts “peel!” and all the other players must pick another letter tile. Get ready for hours of fun with this game!

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Sump Swamp

Sump Swamp is a great game for building basic addition and subtraction skills. Kids will learn their math facts without even realizing it!  ‎With this board game, players progress through a “swamp” by rolling dice and answering addition and subtraction problems. It’s helpful to land on the Crocodile Short Cut for a quicker route, and players try to avoid the Endless Loop, which can set them back on their journey through the “swamp.”‎ Kids will achieve automaticity with their math facts in no time!

Zingo Sight Words

When children read, they will inevitably come across words that are not decoadable, meaning they can’t use their phonics skills to sound them out. These types of words, called sight words, simply need to be memorized or recognized visually, and Zingo Sight Words is a great game for exposing kids in grade prek-2 to sight words they will need to learn, while still having lots of fun. ‎ Zingo is played like the popular game Bingo, where each player is given a card containing nine squares, each with a different sight word. The “announcer” pulls a sight word tile from the dispencer and reads it aloud. The first player to claim he has that sight word on his card gets the tile, and the first one to complete their card with nine tiles wins!

What Happens Next? Picture Sequencing Game

Learning to properly sequence events in a story is an important foundational reading skill. ‎What Happens Next? helps build this critical skill for kids ages 3 and up in puzzle format. To play, children must put together fourteen sets of  three piece puzzles in proper order to correctly complete the sequence.  To develop vocabulary, speech, and story telling skills, encourage your child to explain what happened in the story once she completes the sequence. For older kids, encourage them to write down the events of the story in sequential order using proper capitalization and punctuation to help develop important writing skills.

Rory’s Story Cubes

Many kids struggle with writing, and some downright dread practicing this skill. Help make writing fun and engaging for your child by playing with Rory’s Story Cubes. This game comes with nice dice cubes, with each cube containing six images. Players role all nine cubes and create a story containing all of the images rolled, starting with “Once upon a time…” Kids can play alone or in groups; if played in a group setting, it’s fun to vote on the best story once each player has completed their turn. Let the fun, creativity, laughter, and good times roll!

Learning does not need to be boring or tedious. Enjoy special time with your child while building key academic skills with these games. He won’t even know he’s learning!

Dr. Emily Levy is the founder of EBL Coaching, a local tutoring program that specializes in one-on-one home and on-site instruction for students in grades pre-K-12. She is also the author of the workbook series Strategies for Study Success and Flags and Stars. To learn more about Emily Levy and EBL Coaching, visit eblcoaching.com!

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Sylvan Learning Center

<p>We know how hard you're working to help get your child's skills and grades up. If you aren't seeing a difference, turn to Sylvan. They can help you get beyond the symptoms and find out what's really going on. Sylvan offers support in reading, writing, math, and SAT Prep. Their assessments pinpoint exactly where to focus to make the biggest difference and their teachers are experts in today's teaching methods. They can guide your child through his or her own learning plan, so you see a change quickly. You aren't in this alone! Sylvan is here for you. Call them today.</p> <p>Your Child Is Unique. With Sylvan, You’ll Get Personalized Tutoring to Match. </p> <p>If you’re like most Sylvan families, you don’t believe that education should be “one size fits all.” You want learning to be personalized to your child’s talents and needs.</p> <p>At Sylvan, it is.</p> <p>You’ll find the right program for exactly where your child is in the educational journey — whether you want help catching up, honing skills, taking on advanced classes or getting ready for big college dreams.</p> <p>At Sylvan Learning of Mineola, they’re focused on building academic confidence, igniting intellectual curiosity, and inspiring a love for learning – all of which make a big impact in school and in life.  This school year, you don’t have to go it alone. Getting tutoring support from Sylvan’s education experts can help immensely! Think: Less pressure on you, less frustration at home and more success in school! Their caring teachers are experts at encouraging and motivating kids to learn, grow and flourish. They’ll help your child not only grasp tough concepts, but also improve self-esteem and spark a desire and eagerness to learn. </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px; caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px; caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;"> </span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px; caret-color: #222222; color: #222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt;"> </span></strong></p>

LREI

<p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; color: #000000;" data-sheets-value="{" data-sheets-userformat="{">At LREI we understand that students learn best when they are engaged. That’s why our 14-year progressive program is rooted in a fundamental love of learning and a connection to the real world. Our teachers, experts in their fields, encourage children to use their curiosity, compassion and imagination to think deeply and to participate in finding solutions to real problems.</span></p>

Long Island Speech

<p>At Long Island Speech, we recognize the value of every person and are guided by our commitment to excellence. We believe that everyone has the right to better communication in order to improve their quality of life. Our mission is to provide exemplary speech/language and feeding services for each of our patients by our highly qualified clinicians, making a positive difference in the lives of our patients so that they may achieve their highest potential. Through the commitment of our staff, we can maintain a quality of presence and tradition of caring; which are hallmarks for Long Island Speech. Our vision is to be the absolute best speech therapy service provider throughout both Nassau and Suffolk counties. We aspire to be the provider of choice in our industry. We have 9 affiliated offices across Long Island, all participating with most major health insurance companies. We also offer evening and weekend hours. Call 844-5-SPEECH to schedule your first appointment.</p>