Beat the Summertime Blues with Educational Games

Close-up of a girl and a boy playing game with their grandparents Model Release: Yes Property Release: NAYour kids may be set to squander their whole summer playing shoot-‘em-up video games, but you would rather they spend their time in academic pursuits.  Somewhere between their love of games and your desire for educational activities is a happy medium; educational games.  While the astute child may realize what you’re up to (giving them homework on their summer break), they shouldn’t retaliate too much if the activities are fun and interesting (especially if you’re willing to take the time to play along).

One option is board games.  Math, science, geography, vocabulary, and pretty much any other subject can be taught (or practiced) with games that involve flash cards or bingo boards.  You can often create them yourself, but to save time, try ordering from websites that sell pre-made packs or allow you to custom-order for your child.  You can also opt for popular games like Apples to Apples, which teaches vocabulary and word association, or Monopoly, which involves counting and currency.  Many well-known games offer special editions just for kids.

Another avenue to consider is computer gaming.  We all remember classics like The Oregon Trail (history) and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? (geography), and both have recently joined the 21st century.  Not only have they received modern updates for the computer, they are also available (along with gems like Scrabble and Monopoly) for cell phones and/or other wireless devices.  Beyond that, there are tons of websites that cater to kids on the hunt for academic games.  Funbrain is a good choice as it allows users to select games based on subject or grade level, as well as offering blogs for kids of different ages.  You can also find interesting fare on sites devoted to kids like PBS Kids, Discovery Kids, and even NASA.

And don’t forget to utilize your iDevice of choice.  The iTunes store offers dozens of educational games for every conceivable subject and age group, although you will have to do some serious sifting to find what you want.  But if it keeps your child preoccupied during long car trips (not to mention engaging their mind) it will be well worth a little leg work.  And they’re sure to appreciate more games for their handheld devices.

However you decide to tackle your child’s ongoing academia during the long summer months, the real challenge will be to find something that is not only educational, but fun.  With so many resources at your disposal, you are sure to find the games that work for your children and provide a way for you to help them continue learning.  In the long run, the effort you put in now will show definite results in the fall, when they return to school prepared to take on the next grade level.

Patrick is an avid Bingo Player and he enjoys playing fun and educational games. You can visit his site Printable Bingo Cards.

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