With the new school year fast approaching, as a teacher you might be looking for new teaching methods or activities your children can take part in. Or, maybe you’re a parent and want to buy something for your kids that they can play at home that also gets them in the mood to learn again before the new school term starts?
Whatever your situation, did you know that there are plenty of back to school board games and puzzles that you can incorporate into both the classroom and home learning environment?
Now, we know what you’re thinking…how can playing games benefit kids in school? Well, what many people don’t realise is that board games and puzzles have lots of benefits for young children with their education and learning development. Plus, with so much reliance on digital devices in classrooms and the home these days, it can be great to have a detox from electronic computers and tablets and opt for a traditional board game instead.
If you’re stuck on which back to school games you want to play with your children, we’ve put together a handy guide on which games are the best, and why they’re great for learning.
Let’s dive in!
Why use board games as a learning tool?
As we mentioned above, many parents and teachers don’t realise that board games and puzzles can actually give children an educational opportunity that acts as a supplement to their learning. In traditional classroom environments, the main learning tools have always been books and a reliance on the teacher themself. However, in modern learning methods, playing games and completing puzzles can have beneficial results on a young child’s education and development.
When a child plays a board game, there’s no pressure on them. During play, you won’t be assessing them on the outcome or giving them a score for their success in the game. Straightaway, this makes board games much more attractive to learners, compared with a traditional classroom environment.
Plus, a game or puzzle doesn’t have to specifically state that it’s educational to have an impact. Any good board game can help boost any of the following skills in younger children:
- Memory formation
- Logic & reasoning
- Speed processing
- Critical thinking
- Spatial reasoning
Games and puzzles are such a great vehicle for learning because we all want to play games - whether you’re a child or an adult. We’d all rather play a game than take a test or study, and children are no different too.
Back to school games that you can include in your classroom
Board games and puzzles don’t just need to be reserved as a treat for the last day of school! Instead, you should try to incorporate them in your classroom and home learning environment as much as possible! Before you start the new term, why not purchase one of the following back to school games for your children?
Three Frogs More is a simple but educational game for young children, making it ideal if you teach a reception class or Year 1. In this tile-laying game, players score points by making lines of three or more frogs of the same colour.
Not only does it promote classroom fun, but Thee Frogs More improves maths skills and encourages colour recognition and matching, helping to support creative and cognitive development in children.
In our Rockpool Game, children are tasked with collecting the most shells and cleaning up rubbish from the beach before the tide comes in.
It teaches younger players to be strategic about how and when to shout as they can only use each of their team cards once, helping to improve their communication and logic skills. It’s also educational in teaching children about the impact of littering on beaches, as well as the destructive effect of plastic waste in our oceans!
Looking for a game that can improve your class’ mental arithmetic? Then Chicken Out is a great game to purchase if you want a game with a focus on maths. In Chicken Out, players must take turns to play cards from their hand with the aim of reaching 21.
The game also throws in the added twist along the way if your children encounter one of the 10 cheeky foxes. These fox cards are hidden among the flock and will either help or hinder the player’s chances of winning. This makes the game ideal for children who need help improving their counting skills!
In the Superhero City/Sweet Dreams memory game, players test their memory by matching the pairs of 36 tiles which include superhero characters. Board games like these can help to develop short-term and long-term skills in children, including their creative and cognitive development.
The more they play, the more skilled they get and remembering what worked well and what didn’t, helping to build on previous experiences. These memory skills are vital in helping to improve their memory, which can then be applied in other areas of the classroom and life, as they grow up.
Looking for a game that can teach your class a thing or two about history? Our Rebel Girls Card Game can do just that! This empowering card game is all about informing and promoting the lives of some of the most incredible women from throughout history, including Helen Keller, Ada Lovelace and Queen Boudicca!
Children can build an extraordinary team of leaders, pioneers, warriors, creators and champions in this unique set-collecting card game, all whilst celebrating inspiring women from throughout history. It also encourages them to be bold, work hard and remember to be proud of everything they have achieved.
Back to school games and puzzles from Gibsons
At Gibsons, we produce games and puzzles that entertain and educate children of all different ages. If you’re interested in planning some back to school games during classroom time, then roll the dice and take a look through our award-winning board games and puzzles. You can view the collection here.Got a question about one of our games or puzzles? Feel free to get in touch, a member of our team will be more than happy to help you.