Learning does not have to stop during the summer months. Below are some educational games you can play with your kids while on vacation that encourage learning in an entertaining manner so that they will return to school ready to learn.
This fun game is a zipped-up banana full of letter tiles similar to what you see in Scrabble. Kids build their own words from the tiles for points. The game can be played in larger teams or with just one or two people. It’s a great pastime for camping, sleepovers or even on the road (as long as you have a lap desk).
Beach Obstacle Course
If you are planning a vacation by the beach, consider setting up an obstacle course composed of sand dunes, ditches and “creeks" that you create with nothing more than a shovel and a bucket. Create your own creeks by digging out a crevice and pouring in water from the ocean. Challenge kids to jump over them and follow the road you dug with your shovel. For extra fun, bury a hidden treasure under the sand and leave clues or write them on small slips of paper like a treasure hunt. Make sure and remember where you bury it!
This classic road game takes some of the boredom out of long road trips. Remember that things go by fast when traveling, so you might want to include a dose of the “ABC" game which requires that players locate signs along the way that start with each letter of the alphabet. These great time consumers help pass the miles faster.
Create your own shopping games by challenging kids to find the best bargain on their souvenir list or seeing who can save the most money by the end of the trip. This encourages conscious spending and saving and teaches kids the value of a dollar.
This fun paper-based game can be played anytime and it keeps people laughing for hours. It is also educational because players must name words with specific parts of speech. You can purchase these at bookstores in the educational or children’s section and have kids take them along on vacation.
This original game makes cleaning up more fun. When the hotel or sleeping quarters are overly cluttered, challenge kids to clean up and organize as fast as they can. Offer a money award for the child who cleans up first and puts everything back in proper order. This is a great way to instill organizational skills and the importance of keeping things in order, even when away from home.
This is a card version of the popular Monopoly game that teaches money and negotiating skills. Unlike the board game, you can play this card game version on the road without the fear of losing small pieces off the board.
Be Creative and Have Fun
You can play these non-virtual games with your kids while on vacation or any time you want. Some teach specific language or reading skills while others are just a fun way to relax and pass the time together. Use your imagination to find more ways to play with your kids that will increase their thinking power while helping make the summer vacation more enjoyable.
- Image Source: Bananagrams – flickr.com/Aaron Coe