English lessons can never be overemphasized. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills are needed in every area of life. With the rise of social media, writing skills are still essential. Writing in complete sentences, with no spelling or grammar errors, helps a person’s audience understand the message being communicated.
Students will learn English in school settings, but games played in the home enhance learning. Some of the games discussed below can be easily found at thrift stores. Another option is buying new from a store or online, which is well-worth the money spent because the games are inexpensive, the educational value is excellent, and the compact size is ideal for traveling. The games listed below all have a “fruity” theme. Throw some fruit snacks or a fruit pizza on the table and have a “fruity” game day! (I have personally never tried the attached recipe. I have eaten a similar recipe, and fruit pizza is delicious!)
The Bananagrams company designed this adorable Bananagrams game to fit inside a cloth, banana-shaped bag. The tiles can be used for as many games as your imagination allows! The students can use them to spell their words from their spelling list for the week. A teacher can use the letters and create a friendly competition between teams to see which team can spell a word first. (I used some Scrabble letters this week from a different game when I was teaching a lesson at my church. The students raced to see which team could spell the words first that I announced from the lesson. The students had a blast!) The rules from this game are easy to follow. And there are a variety of ways to play provided on the instruction sheet. Students can follow the rules and play the whole game, or students can shorten the rules and play a 10-15 minute game. The sky is the limit when using these tiles. Spelling and vocabulary are practiced as tiles are manipulated on the table. Dictionaries can be provided to enhance the educational experience.
Appletters is produced by the same company that produced the Bananagrams game. This game comes in a charming apple-shaped bag. Using the tiles, players take turns creating a crossword-style grid in the middle of the playing space. In this game, players add to a shared grid. In the Bananagrams game, players race to make their own grid. Points are earned for the letters used in words. Obviously, longer and more creative words are rewarded more points. Similar to the Bananagram tiles mentioned above, creativity can take these tiles in many different directions. The rules provide a variety of different ways to play. Spelling and vocabulary words can be practiced using the tiles. With both the Bananagrams game and the Appletters game, students can play alone or with a group of other players.
Pairs In Pears
Pairs In Pears, produced by Bananagrams, concentrates on building pairs of words. The tiles have different background patterns, as shown above in the picture. Players try to make pairs of words using matching background patterns for more points. The rule sheet provides different learning activities that can be practiced using the tiles. A three-letter alphabet run can be one way to play with younger children, e.g., BCD, XYZ. Students have the option of either playing alone or with a group of other children.
Word A Melon
Word A Melon, produced by Bananagrams, is a delightful, watermelon-shaped container with “seeds.” The letters resemble “seeds” from the watermelon. The “seeds” fit neatly into the slots of the container. At the beginning of the game, the “seeds” are turned over, hiding the letters. A die comes with the game, and each player, on his/her turn, rolls the die. The goal is to turn over the number of “seeds” represented on the die and to make the longest word possible with the “seeds” that are showing. The letters not used are turned over, once again concealing the letters. Part of the strategy is remembering where the vowels are located in the container. The player who has the most seeds at the end of the game is the winner. The rules are very easy to follow.
Remember to have fun with education. Providing a variety of games that cover different academic skills is a creative way to accomplish educational goals. (Thrifting is an awesome way to buy some of these games. Checking thrift stores consistently and regularly helps build an amazing game closet.) Curriculum is helpful in that goals for the year are created. The curriculum provides learning goals and academic content to be accomplished by the end of a year. Games provide a fun, relaxed avenue to accomplish those goals. Games provide the icing on top of the cake. Sometimes children struggle for various reasons. Providing different ways of learning is ideal, e.g., worksheets, games. The goal is to create happy, life-long learners. Children who become adults who desire to continue learning for life is a win-win! The goal is to raise children who are happy, competent, and confident adults, unafraid of learning new things.
I was compensated for this blog post but the opinions are my own.
Becky Hill lives in Green River, Wyoming, with her husband of 29 years. She has 3 grown children and 2 grand dogs. Becky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ouachita Baptist University, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1990. She earned a Biblical Studies Certificate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1993. Becky began homeschooling two of her children unexpectedly 13 years ago. Despite many challenges along the way, Becky creatively enabled both of her children to succeed. While her homeschooling adventures are over, she loves tutoring children and helping them to conquer subjects with no fear. Her specialty is mathematics. One of her favorite hobbies is creatively incorporating games into tutoring. The goal, she believes, is no tears, no fear, and a competent, confident, and happy child. She has a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page called “The Happy Math Nerd."
A note from ThinkFun
At ThinkFun, we love it when learning and fun collide. It’s why we do what we do. Every game, puzzle and brainteaser we create is aimed at igniting a spark in a young mind. Still curious? Check us out on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram.
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