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Making Learning Fun for Young Children

As a parent I look to educate my children as much as possible at home.  I think most parents conscious of the level of teaching in schools will be aware that the quality of teaching in many schools is substandard.  I know quite a few parents at my school that have had their children assessed to see what level they are at and have found they are at a lower level than the national average a big shock to all they told.  The key to educating young children at home is making learning fun and starting from as soon as possible to start laying the foundations for early education on which you can further build.  For any of you that have tried you will have discovered that teaching children isn’t always an easy task.  If you can teach children how to spell words, count, calculate etc. without making it feel like hard work then it can help to inspire them to use the tools you provide them with to self-educate without realising it whilst equally importantly having fun.

Simple tools can help to make this simple and I found a wonderfully large range of products over at Orchard Toys to help me in my mission with my daughters and am thinking ahead as I also plan to use their products to help Mr Squishy with his early learning.  At the moment I’m on basics with him.  At the tender age of 1.5years old he has recently learnt to show me where his nose, mouth and eyes are, how cute!!!!

I selected 3 of the items from this great site to tell you all about and help me to demonstrate how learning can be made fun.

Match and Spell

DSC02714Simple enough to play, you select a board have the letters facing up and then match the letters to make the word.  Alternatively place the letters facing down so they cannot be seen and learn to spell the word phonetically.

This game can be played in various ways which allows for it to be used by a wide age group.  I would say that the age range is from around 3 years (depending on the child) where children appear keen to learn this can help to encourage them to begin to form short, simple words in a fun way.  It’s great to inspire a little competition amongst children as not only does it encourage them to engage their brain and process information faster it also helps to teach them about winning and losing.  A bit of healthy competition amongst children is a good thing and I take full advantage of this in weekly meet ups with another mother when we teach our daughters the weekly spellings from school.  We made it harder by playing with the letters facing downwards and the board upwards and had to take it in turns to pick a letter until we had formed the word correctly, perfect for testing their memory.  This is a great game for little ones and is far better than them sitting in front of the tv or some other form of screen which seems to be happening more and more in this day and age.  I am fully supportive of encouraging children to play educational games as well as those that help them to build on their social skills.

This game is great to help children recognize letters initially and then progress onto spelling simple 3 and 4 letter words.  You can make your own game of recognizing letters at the very beginning before children are ready to form words and once these have been learnt you can follow the instructions to play as the game as it was intended.  This is perfect for those that are early readers to help increase their vocabulary.  The individual letters can be used to train children to recognize letters as well as to encourage phonetic pronunciation of each as well as words when they progress.  Once letters have been learnt you can then test children’s ability to put the letters in alphabetical order too!

DSC02718Slug in a Jug

DSC02695The aim of the game is to collect as many rhyming cards as possible.  There are three ways to play which all involve matching the cards players have with a matching rhyming card.

DSC02709The games test the child’s understanding of rhyming words and helps promote their observational skills as they must identify rhyming pairs from the cards present.  Words that rhyme are colour coded to help children with identification.  The game also helps to increase vocabulary, can be used to help in phonetic pronunciation of words, encourages a lot of discussion and is great fun.  The girls loved playing and once we finished we then tried to add other rhyming words to fit with those already in the game.  The girls found the game that used sentences using the rhyming words hilarious and we took it in turns to say our sentance no matter how ridiculous which had the girls in fits of laughter.  Again the age suitability depends on the child but it would be suitable from age 4 or 4.5 plus.

Magic Cauldron Game

DSC02720The aim to fill your cauldron with magical ingredients first.  Whereas the other two games previously mentioned covered English skills this one covers basic maths including simple addition, subtraction and multiplication.  The game cards have a sum on one side and a ghost on the other.  Players simply answer the question then touch the ghost for a few seconds after which the answer will magically appear.  If they have given the correct answer then you can collect a spell ingredient with that number on it. My 7 year old loved this game so much that she wanted to take it to school on toy day just before we broke up for Easter.  This is a great way to teach children the basics in maths.  Repetition of the maths questions help to reinforce it in the children’s mind and of course it’s fun.  Children also get to work on their observation skills and interaction with others.  This would be best suited for ages 4.5 plus.

DSC02724These games are all great for educating children and you don’t need to just follow the game instructions given, you can create your own games too.  It’s simple enough to do and can be adapted to your child’s ability.  All the games have eye catching brightly coloured thick pieces with clear numbers and letters that are a good size for early learners and look extremely durable, very handy as they are for children.

Like the look of all the games I have mentioned here?  What to win them all?

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This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. What some awesome sounding games – I have to admit I have some fond memories of game playing as a child. x

  2. I used to play loads of games when I was younger to try and make teaching fun. Some great games there x

    1. They are really nice games for little ones.

  3. Great post. I try to make learning fun for my kids.

    1. It can help to add tools such as these into the process so that it is not just up to you to come up with ideas.

  4. These seem like such great educational games, I try to make my daughters home learning as fun as possible. It can get boring and quite stressful for them and us if it isn’t xx

    1. They are great fun the girls loved playing them.

  5. These do look like a lot of fun. They’re perfect for sharpening those math and language skills.

  6. Looks like a great game. I agree, learning should be made fun – it’s not all rote and rota like it used to be.

  7. Now these do sound like fun and I like the sneaky part of it being educational too x

  8. This is such a great post and I loved seeing the happy faces of the girls. My dad was always so good at making me games and ideas to improve my learning. And thanks to my dear dad, I’m still in love with learning. I’m on constant look for something more to learn. I wish I could be a student my entire life! 🙂

  9. I agree sometimes I think that home learning is better than schools. I have had a good education for the most part although my social experience in schools was not so great!

    1. I know where you’re coming from Ana, I had a hard time as I was bullied at school.

  10. I love playing games with my children, we often play top trumps which is fantasic for learning.

    1. Games are a great way to educate children without them knowing it, it makes it sooooo much easier.

  11. This looks like such a fun and educational game! Always good to make learning fun for our kids x

  12. I Love Orchard toys for learning and for fun! We have one of there first jigsaws 😀

    1. Their products are really good, my girls love them.

  13. I love educational games, and these look really great.

    1. They are very handy for helping little ones. The best part is for them it’s fun and not work.

  14. i loved games like this as a child. it definitely made learning a lot more fun

    1. They have a really good range on the site, I was impressed!

  15. It’s really important that educational games are fun too, it seems like the games you chose here totally fit the bill! They look like classic games that you can use time and time again 🙂 x

    1. They are great, the girls even play with them when their friends come over.

  16. This is way better than phones. Children should stay familiar with this kind of learning.

    1. It’s so much better than sitting them infront of a screen and gets them interacting with others.

  17. what a brilliant game!

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