We love to play games as a family. They are not only fun, but educational also. We’ve played games with all six of our children from the time they were very little and just barely able to play Candyland, Chute’s and Ladders, and Hi Ho Cherry-O. Don’t forget Go Fish, Slap Jack and War.
Here are a few of the games we currently have. These are on top of a cabinet in our schoolroom. Hours and hours of fun represented in this picture.
Here are a few more inside the cabinet. Bible Trivia is an awesome Bible game! And I do believe Scattergories is my favorite game of all time. We also have a couple of geography board games, those are fun, too.
The game I want to focus on today, though, is Scrabble. Scrabble is a great family game. It’s competitive, entertaining, and educational all at the same time. We had a Scrabble, Junior game when some of our kids were younger. I didn’t care for it, though.
I didn’t find it to be as fun and educational as the regular game. You can start your kids playing Scrabble as soon as they can spell a few words. For most that would be in the first to second grade range. An easy way to get them started is to make a rule that everyone playing, including the adults, can only use three letter words. That puts everyone on the same playing field.
Another way we play that helps the kids is to play with dictionaries in hand. I don’t consider looking in the dictionary for a word to use cheating for kids. I don’t mean just looking up the correct spelling of a word, but the child actually looking for a word they can make with the letters they have. The only thing I tell them is that they need to be looking for a word while the other players are having their turns. So the game isn’t held up for ten minutes while one kid finds a word. The game would never get over that way, and I would most likely lose my mind. lol
You can let them use any dictionary you have in the house, but a Scrabble dictionary is a great investment. It’s also helpful if you have a couple of dictionaries on the table, instead of everyone sharing one. It helps to keep the game moving. So while the family is having fun playing a game together, the kids are learning spelling and dictionary skills.
You can take any game that you like to play and modify it to be played with younger kids. You don’t have to follow every rule exactly. Make up your own house rules.
Like using a dictionary to look up words. Or adjust the Yahztee game so you skip some of the harder to get groups. In Monopoly, pass out all the real estate cards first, following the shorter game instructions, then let the kids have fun buying and trading from each other. Let them take turns being the banker. Let them count all the money without correcting them. If one of them catches another making a mistake, have them recount. If not, just keep playing. Once they realize they might be getting ripped off by a sibling, their counting will dramatically improve. lol
The family playing and learning together is more important than the game rules. Have fun as a family and the learning will follow.