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This Teaching Trick Gets Kids Excited About Learning

Turn helping your kids with their homework into a fun activity for both of you.

This Teaching Trick Gets Kids Excited About Learning

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Do tears often accompany your attempts to help your child with their homework? Are those tears sometimes yours?

Teachers deserve all the accolades because getting kids to get excited about learning is tough. But there are ways to make it fun for both of you. Before you pull out a pencil and notebook for some old-fashioned lessons, consider gamification. A handy way to make learning as engaging as a video game, it means incorporating points, rewards and challenges.

What is gamification in learning, and how does it work?

In short, it means incorporating game mechanics into educational activities to make kids want to learn. These elements can include points, rewards, challenges and competition. And it gets better: when presented in a fun way, kids are more likely to remember what they've learned.

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How can parents make at-home learning more fun?

Turn educational activities into games or play games that have educational benefits. Here are some ideas:

Educational Board Games

For kids 3 to 6

Candy Land is a classic for a reason. Kids identify colors and count as they navigate a whimsical landscape filled with delicious treats. Perfect for the youngest learners, it fosters a love for board games and early mathematical concepts.

Count Your Chickens is a game where players join forces to rescue adorable chicks. Beyond the fun theme, the game is a playful introduction to counting, encouraging teamwork and collaboration.

For kids 7 to 12

Math Bingo is a board game where players solve math problems to mark off numbers on their bingo cards. You can create your own cards or download them online for free.

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Scrabble, the classic word game isn't just for grown-ups or spelling bee champs. Focus less on triple-letter scores and more on helping kids form simple words. Or buy Scrabble Junior.

Similar to Scrabble, Banagrams is about building words. This fast-paced word game helps kids expand their vocabularies while encouraging strategic thinking.

Catan is a great game for middle schoolers and up. It involves strategy, resource management and decision-making. It teaches leadership and problem-solving and can even be effective for learning probability in math.

family sitting and playing a video game together iStock

Online Learning Apps and Websites

  • Kahoot! is an interactive quiz platform that turns learning into a game, promoting engagement and knowledge retention.
  • Getting kids excited about math can be hard. In Prodigy kids solve math problems to defeat enemies and make their way through a fantasy world.
  • You may have used Duolingo to brush up on your French or Spanish and it's just as much fun for kids. The app now also offers math and music courses.

Homemade Learning Games

  • Scavenger hunts are great ways to easily gamify learning. Send kids hunting in their own backyards for science specimens or have them search the house numbers on your street for some simple math.
  • Create a star chart and add a star or sticker every time your kiddo finishes a learning task. That could be finishing their homework or reading a chapter of a book.
  • Have your kids help you design achievement badges for different accomplishments. Plan rewards to go along with each badge.

For parents seeking to integrate gamification into their children's learning at home, many possibilities exist—from classic board games to innovative apps and scavenger hunts. Tailoring gamification to specific age groups ensures that the learning experience remains effective and enjoyable.

Author:

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Julie Diamond is the founder and CEO of Diamond Teachers Group (DTG), an online tutoring company comprised of certified teachers who tutor. She’s been running DTG since 2011.

Julie's job is to connect with families who want one-on-one tutoring, write blogs to help parents support their kids' learning at home, and talk to principals and teachers to help students in school settings. She's also been representing Autism Ontario as a SEAC rep for the Toronto District School Board since 2019.

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