GAME DAY! Yes, game day, as in a day where you play games all over the place, the whole day, back-to-back! I’m not talking about just your typical games either, but games or activities you may have on-hand but didn’t think to include into your curriculum or daily lesson plans from time to time.
For instance, listed below are toys, games and activities we’ve had or used since we (parents/teachers) were children but only used as “games” back in the day, and that have now become staple LANGUAGE ARTS supplements for daily homeschool lessons on days that we just aren’t feeling the sit-and-write motion:
It’s the classic version of the “stacking letter tiles” game, which we currently use from my vintage collection of “bored” games years ago. We ended up with two actual board games (an old and new) so we have double the amount of letter tiles, making building longer, stronger words possible. This works wonders with younger children, aiding them in creating rhyming words by simply stacking a new letter on top of an old letter to create a whole new word.
One of our latest discoveries for skill building in our spelling and grammar arena. It’s a neat letter tiles game where you race against your opponents to be the first to use all of your letter tiles. According to their site, it is indeed a “fast and frantic” game where “players race against each other to build crossword grids.” The cool unschooling idea about this game is that “it requires no pencil, paper, or board!” And it comes in the coolest collectible banana-shaped pouch for traveling, too.
Remember this vintage classroom game, when the teacher would be the “mother” and the students were the “kids,” and each student was asked individually to “take one step forward,” and if the student took his step forward without remembering to first ask, “Mother, may I?” he was forced to go all the way back to the beginning? Well, if you don’t remember, try looking it up and including it in your school day. The language arts twist is that each student is asked to spell one of her “words to learn” from her spelling lessons. If she spells it correctly, then “Mother” extends a chosen command for her to advance forward. The student that makes it into Mommy’s arms first wins!
Our child LOVES being in and around water, so it was automatic that we would get him foam letters to practicing spelling during his bath tub and shower sessions. Foam alphabet are made to stick to tile when wet, and they really work! Enhancing grammar and language arts is always fun when water is involved. (Speaking of water fun, check out more “Water Breaks” activities here.)
There are several word app games that we enjoy individually and together, and they are a great way to build spelling and vocabulary skills. They may be considered games, but on days like these, they serve as enrichment activities. Games we have and use are: Wordscapes (app), Coffee Time (XBox crossword puzzle game), Words with Friends (app), Word Scamble with Friends (now called Boggle) (app), WordWhizzle (app), and many more.
Remember, there are lots and lots of activity books at your local dollar store that can sometimes serve as written “school work” for language art on days that you feel like easing off of the typical school work and school routine. Creativity is rewarding.
What are some language arts games or activities that you and your family have used in your homeschool? What games have you made up along the way that have worked wonders in helping your children retain language information? Please leave your comments and thoughts in the comments section below.
-Deidra L. Tolliver
Photos inside post provided by Deidra L. Tolliver.
This article was originally published on ArtEase123.com being used on Homeschooling in Memphis with permission.
Deidra L. Tolliver is a regular contributor for Homeschooling in Memphis blog. Before graduating summa cum laude from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree concentrating in Graphic Design, Deidra studied, tutored, and taught art lessons at her church, high school, and college. Since college, she has served as graphic artist at local firms, retired in 2005 to become a homeschool educator, met many homeschool supporters who encouraged her to share her passion for art & education with others, and now works on her family’s blog, “ArtEase123.com” in which she and her family share many ideas on how to incorporate both art and education into just about any item, project, subject, or activity.