Dear Sibylla Kiddle School Families,
Do you have a favorite board game? Consider that game for a moment. Does it involve math? Language? Strategy? Take a classic game like Yahtzee. It's a simple dice game but it is filled with adding and multiplying. To do well, you need to strategize which category to put your dice rolls into. If playing to win, you are likely engaging in considerable mental math. However you approach the game, you are not simply just rolling dice.
Learning through games can be more engaging for students than traditional learning methods. For example, take some simple language games like Scrabble or Bananagrams. In both games, you are given tiles with letters and you are tasked with creating words. This takes considerable mental manipulation of letters in order to be successful. When compared to traditional spelling practice, what requires more brain power? Spell 'forest'. Or, alternatively, what words can you make with tiles containing the letters in 'forest'? Softer. Frost. Sort. Rose. One task is rote (another forest word), while the second activity involves critical thinking about your knowledge of letters and word formation.
The game you choose to play doesn't really matter. Most games will foster some form of learning and tap critical thinking skills. Traditional board games like Uno, Rummikub, Sorry or Boggle can be great places to start. Once you develop a family passion for board games, you may want to diversify into some more modern games like Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Kingdomino or Azul, many of which come with junior versions for younger children. No matter what you choose, the first rule of any game should be to have fun. So go have some fun – 'highest roll goes first'.