Gameology is the best way to get through the winter blues and break through the “February Wall.” What is Gameology?
It is the art of learning through games. It is an art I have spent many years perfecting! Yes, I admit it. I am a game-a-holic! And I am proud to say through my example my daughter is a game-a-holic too! When our family started a new unit, we played a game to introduce the topic. When we needed help remembering information, we played a game. When we were overwhelmed and overworked, we played games. When I needed a break (or the kids needed a break), we played games. While in the car, we played games. While on vacation, we played games. While waiting at the doctor’s office, we played games. When math facts were killing us, we played games. When biology and chemistry terms baffled us, we played games. During election season, we played games. During the world series season, we played games. Before and after historical field trips, we played games. I think you get the picture. Any time I could use game time as an excuse to put the books away, I did!
Did you know it takes 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain UNLESS it is done through play? If a person is learning through play or games, then it only takes 10-20 repetitions! So you see, science backs me up too! Playing is our brain’s favorite way to learn. Playing games is a great way to learn, review and reinforce concepts, skills, and facts. It is scientifically proven! There is so little time and so many games to play!
At our special weekend for homeschooling moms in March, we will be sharing how to travel around the world through books, games, field trips, and family vacations. In our morning session, “Passport to Learning,” we will focus on our all-time favorite games we used throughout the years to learn about geography, cultures, and countries around the world. Since we have so many favorite games and so little time in our morning session, I wanted to share some of our favorite math, science, history, grammar, writing, and art games with you in this post!
TURN MATH TEARS INTO TRIUMPHS
Let’s get one thing straight before we start: Not all students will memorize their math facts! While this act comes easily to many, it is downright impossible for some. So don’t beat yourself up (or your child) if he still can’t recall quickly and correctly the answer to 6 x 8 ! However, you can play card, dice, and board games to help teach, review and reinforce those pesky math facts and down-right mind-blowing algebraic concepts.
Addition & Multiplication Fact Card Games: Check out our “12 Days of Christmas” article. We explain 12 different card and dice games you can play. Also, my Math FUNdamentals: Using Games to Teach Math book is out of print, but we are working on a 2nd edition and hope to publish with Amazon in 2021. All of the games listed below can be played with the whole family. Each game can also be adapted for younger players or for advanced students.
- Quick Pix Multiplication– Fast-paced multiplication fact recall game
- Quick Pix Math– Same game but with addition facts
- Sequence Dice Game– best addition and strategy game on the market!
- Over and Out Card Game– super fun game of adding, subtracting, mental math and doubling
- Farkle– hilarious game with lots of adding
- Shut the Box– adding, subtracting, and simple order of operations
- Uncle Wiggly Game: game of counting and place value! Don’t forget to read the tales of Uncle Wiggly!
- 24 Card Came– adding, subtracting, and multiplication fun
- Zeus on the Loose– Don’t let the name full you! It is math game with a mythology twist!
- Totally Tut- Again, don’t let the name full you! It is math operations game with an Egyptian pyramid theme.
- Sushi Go! Super fun party game with lots of math addition in the scoring
- Absolute Zero Card Game– great for older kids
- Equate -math verison of Scrabble
- Pizza Fraction Fun Game– Don’t forget to have fun learning fractions too!
- ANY Board Game with dice! Kids are adding every time they roll and move! Our favorite is Parchessi!
- ANY -Opoly Game! Kids are learning about all kinds of topics while practicing their money skills! Our family favorite is Dog-opoly!
*** Don’t forget logic is a big part of mathematical thinking! Add these “must have”
strategy and logic games to your math playtime: Chess, Clue, Guess Who, Battleship, Mastermind, Logic Links, Set, & Ticket to Ride
SEEK SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
Where to begin?? There are so many scientific fields to investigate! See our “Textbook and Stress-Free Science” article for some of the best science games out there. In the list below, I share a few new ones on the market and some old classics not mentioned in the science article.
- Treking the National Parks: Great way to learn about our national parks and the animals that live in them.
- Amazing Animal Trivia Game: mix between memory and trivia
- Guess in 10: animal card version of 20 questions
- Qurious Space: fast-paced space trivia game
- The Invention Game– hilarious guessing game about real patents that were never mass- produced
- Totally Gross: Game of Science– be prepared for some silly science shenanigans!
- Rock On! Geology Game of Rocks & Minerals: bingo-type game to learn rock cycle
BECOME A HISTORIAN
Since we will share our favorite geography games at our special weekend for homeschooling moms in March, this list will focus more on history games you can play. Shhhh! Don’t tell your kids they are doing school work! These games are so fun and jam-packed with information, you may never want to use a history book again!
- The Constitution Quest Game: learn about the 3 branches of government
- Hail to the Chief: learn about the electoral college and presidential trivia
- Monopoly America Special Edition: take a trip down American memory lane. Even the pieces are patriotic
- Our America Board Game: tons of trivia facts
- Oregon Trail Game: They finally created a card game from the classic computer simulation!
- Made for Trade: great for colonial history (and economics)
- Castle Keep: Medieval strategy
- Medieval Alliance: beautiful board and playing cards
- Medieval Memory Game: learn about important persons and structures
- Senet: classic Egyptian game, a little bit of math and a lot of Egyptian fun
- Ancient History Go Fish Game: learn about important persons and ancient structures
- Feilong: The China Game– awesome way to learn about ancient China
- Any Professor Noggins Games!
In our article, “The Perfect Writing Curriculum,” we shared some of our favorite word games to help build vocabulary and a love of language. Click here to read it. There are also the classic spelling games like Scrabble, Boggle and Mad Libs that should be on every homeschooling shelf! The list below is full of grammar and writing games. These games are so addictive, I bet the whole family will want to spend all day playing them!
- Tall Tales Story Telling Board Game: create and spin a tall tale while playing!
- Once Upon A Time: cooperative family game of writing fairytales
- Create A Story Board Game: Draw character, setting, and conflict cards to create the best (or craziest) story
- The Plays the Thing: Super fun game to learn about Shakespeare and three of his
plays. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare needed to play!
- Apples to Apples: Did you know this family favorite is full of adjectives and nouns!
- Read My List: quick thinking, fast-paced game to build vocabulary
- Balderdash! Hilarious game of vocabulary and definitions! (Did you know Dr. Seuss, Shakespeare, and Roald Dahl make up hundreds of words now used in the English language?
MUSIC AND ART GAMES:
- Lord of Chords: Wow! Expensive but beautifully done. Full of music puns and clever way to learn simple and complex music theory.
- Art History Games: Go Fish for Art Renaissance Card Game, Impressionist Artists Go Fish, Van Gogh and Friends Go Fish Card Game, & American Ditto Art Game
Coming in a future post, “Soul Food,” we will share some of our favorite Bible games too!
So that, my friend, is Gameology in a nut-shell! We hope your family will love playing these games as much as we did!
**If you would like to learn more about using games, literature, and fieldtrips to teach geography, history (and just about everything else), join us at our 3rd annual special weekend for homeschooling moms on March 27th and 28th. In our morning session, “Passport to Learning,” we will share tons of ideas of how to incorporate traveling, games, and literature into your homeschooling!
For more information, click HERE.
To register, click HERE.