Although many children’s toys seem geared toward technology nowadays, there is still a place for traditional games. Playing with word games, for example, can be fun for all ages and comes with a range of educational and developmental advantages.
Why are word games good for children?
A lot of children don’t like feeling that they are being made to learn outside the school environment. As soon as they get the idea that their parents are trying to teach them something, they switch off. One of the biggest benefits of word games and toys is that they are designed to be fun. Their educational advantages may, therefore, not be that obvious to the child.
However, if children are playing word games then they will be learning at the same time, even if they don’t realise it. As far as they are concerned, they are simply sitting down with their parents, siblings or friends and playing a fun game or with a fun toy. Word games can specifically help with their:
- Understanding of language and its structure
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Here are a few educational game ideas which can be fun for all ages:
Popular educational word games:
Although new games and toys come along all the time, there are some old favourites and traditional games that remain popular. These include:
- Flash cards/word puzzle games
Many children will play with flash cards and word puzzle games as their introduction to playing with words. A simple puzzle game that matches a picture with its name, for example, can be a lot of fun for young children and is an easy way of introducing them to the written language.
Scrabble is perhaps the most famous traditional word game. Available in both junior and standard editions this can be a fantastic way of getting a child to enjoy learning about words and language whilst having fun.
Many children find that Boggle can help them develop their word recognition and building skills. The aim here is to find as many words as possible from the Boggle cube and to score more points by creating longer words.
- Rummikub Word
The aim of this game is to be the person that creates the longest words to win most points. Based on a simple concept, this game is a lot of fun for all the family.
This word game is kind of like a portable crossword that can be played anywhere by any age and ability. Here, players use their letters to build words, changing them as they go to get rid of their letters.
Bear in mind that word games may come with age recommendations. Some games may be too complex for younger children and others may be too easy for older ones so this may be worth considering before buying any games.
If you are looking for more inspiration, check out my previous post on the best educational board games for kids.
What about online word games?
Word games can also be played online, often for free at a variety of sites. Children may also enjoy this an option as well as playing traditional board games. Again, the fun factor of the actual gameplay here may well hide the fact that they are learning at the same time!
Puzzle books are also great for children too, filled with word searches, crosswords and more they can be taken with you everywhere and are great for car journeys and for taking to restaurants to amuse the children while waiting for their meals.
You can also consider using math games and toys in a similar way to boost their child’s numeracy skills.
Clare is a Mummy to 2 whirlwinds – Emmy & Harry. She is a Former Nanny of 14 years prior to having her own children. In a bid to keep sane she started blogging over at www.emmysmummy.com where she shares life’s adventures and misadventures, reviews, competitions and also where she writes her very popular blog series “Top Tips from a former Nanny”.
If life wasn’t crazy and busy enough she also blogs over at www.thismummysalwayswrite.com where she is trying to move away a little from sharing too much of the children’s lives and write for herself again. You can also find her over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.