Over the years, our family played a lot of educational games to help our children learn. Phonics games, math games, geography games, strategy games, you name it, we may have played it!

And our children greatly enjoyed learning through games. Now that our children are adults, when we get together as a family, we still enjoy playing games. Games are great for building family relationships.

There are so many benefits to game-based learning.  And the best part is that the information gained through game-based learning is often remembered longer than information learned through other methods.

If you don’t already include games in your homeschool days, I highly encourage you to incorporate them into your educational plans for your children.

Check out these 12 Benefits of Game-Based Learning

Games strengthen focus and memory skills.

Games can help lengthen a child’s attention span, improving their focusing abilities. Many games require remembering what others have played, which can also help build memory skills. Game playing can also help develop a child’s working memory, which is when the brain holds new information for the short-term to accomplish something. Working memory is an important area to develop, and playing games is a fun way to do it!

Games build motor skills in younger children.

Some board games develop fine-motor skills with hand/eye coordination. More active learning games like Twister help develop gross motor skills.

Games can improve executive functioning skills.

Executive functioning skills help us accomplish tasks from beginning to end. We use executive functioning skills throughout our day as we do chores, plan our day, organize our room or desk, etc. Specifically, kids learn to plan, organize, manage their time, focus, persevere, have self-control, and be flexible while playing games. All these are important skills for daily life!

 

 

Games build socialization skills.

Interacting and getting along with others in a competitive environment are important skills to learn. Games also build the important character qualities of respect and cooperation. Occasional conflicts are inevitable in games, so there may also be an opportunity to work on conflict resolution skills! (A great resource to teach your children good conflict resolution skills is The Young Peacemaker. )

Games provide a hands-on, active learning experience.

Many children learn best if they can actively participate in what they’re learning. Games provide a fun and active way to learn for these types of learners.

Games often give a sense of accomplishment.

As your child strategizes, plans their moves, and ultimately is successful in a game, they feel a sense of accomplishment, which also builds self-confidence. One of the children I tutored in reading was very discouraged about reading when I first started working with him. We used phonics games as part of our tutoring time, and he truly excelled at games! Soon his confidence was built enough that reading became more enjoyable. I believe that playing games was a big part of how he became a better reader. (Along with prayer and study as well.)

Games provide an opportunity to improve analytic and problem-solving skills.

Most games require players to strategize and analyze what the best move will be. These problem-solving skills are essential in real life as your child becomes an adult, and games are a fun way to build these skills.

Games provide an opportunity for cognitive growth.

Having to recall rules, strategize, make decisions, etc. all help with cognitive growth. Each of these tasks help improve language learning, information processing, perceptual skills, and other aspects of brain development. Learning to question, discover, reflect, evaluate, strategize and find solutions will help children’s brains develop well and can lead them to be life-long learners.

Games help teach good sportsmanship (how to lose with grace).

Good sportsmanship is hard to teach, but if you play enough games, and emphasize the importance of being a good loser, you’ll help your child learn to lose well. This skill can transfer over into real life when your child finds themselves in a situation where things don’t go their way. They learn that life may not always allow them to “win”. They also learn the important character quality of honesty and not cheating which we definitely want our children to develop.

 

 

Games help develop self-control.

It’s not easy to wait your turn in the middle of an exciting game, but this is important as you play a game. Self-control is developed as you wait your turn and stay focused until the end of the game.

Subject-focused games teach and reinforce knowledge of that subject.

There are games available for almost every subject you want to teach in your homeschool!  Phonics games, math games, geography games, science games, etc.

Check out all my blog posts on learning games (type in games in the search box) or go to my “Recommended” page to see an extensive list of learning games.

To reinforce learning on specific information, you can also make your own games using some basic formats. Stay tuned, my next post will be on how to make a variety of educational games.

Using games to practice important skills in the various subjects is one of the best ways to reinforce what was learned and retain the information.

Did you know that there are people who consider themselves “Game schoolers”? It’s true! Check it out on Facebook. You too can become a “Game schooler”!

Games help build relationships in your family and make learning more fun!

As your children play games together, they’re building closer relationships with one another. And they’re having fun learning at the same time. It’s a win-win situation!

Games are also a great way to get a reluctant learner engaged. You can incorporate games into your school day and the reluctant learner may not realize it’s part of school. It may even help them find joy in learning again.

 

 

I hope if you haven’t already incorporated games in your daily schedule that I’ve encouraged you to do so! Remember to check out my “Recommended” page to find a list of fun educational and strategy games.

If you have a favorite game that your family enjoys, please share it in the comments below.