Monday, March 9, 2009


Even before home schooling I have always loved using games as learning tools!!! I love how kids think they are just playing and really they are getting so much more out of it than meets the eye! Adam LOVES games, I think we own every game Target sells and then some. I really should clean out our "game closet" because not all of the games are as great as they looked. When Adam was 4, I was so excited that he could play Uno. This was like a "big kid" game and to tell you the truth, though I loved Hi-Ho Cherry-O, I was a little burned out of it. Adam became obsessed with Uno!! We played it a hundred times a day (maybe a slight exaggeration). But we would have to buy a new deck every 6 months or so, because the cards would get so worn (I told you we played a lot!) Then he moved onto Trouble and I really loved how I saw him being able to move 2,or 4 more spaces without even counting it out, and figuring out in his head how many more spaces he needed to get Mom out! We also started noticing this kid is extremely lucky, we don't let him win, we don't let him cheat and 9 times out of 10 he wins!!! We are so taking him to Las Vegas when he turns 21!
I came across this really neat game (pictured above) "the Storybook game". It is only $4.99 at Target (at my Target it was on the end cap with the Uno cards :) ) so, you can't beat the price and it can really be a great tool for speech. In a nutshell the object of the game is you have a deck of cards with different pictures of objects and characters and the word for it underneath (good for reading too) Players take turns making up a story using the cards. The player who is able to remember the most cards, in order, as used in a story wins. Adam loves making up stories, and they can get pretty silly. But, I've also noticed he is getting better with his stories, he is getting more descriptive and having a lot of fun doing it! Also a good memory tool, though Adam's memory is amazing, mine however, not so great so, it is also good for me!!!

Another game that has just recently become Adam's new obsession is Yahtzee. While reading "Teaching Math to People with Down Syndrome and other Hands-On Learners" (totally recommend this book) they suggested this game. When Adam was 7 my Mom gave him this game for his birthday. I remembered playing that game as a child and how much fun it was, and how grown up I felt when I finally got to play it. I remembered playing it with Dylon and how much he liked it, sadly I thought Adam will probably never be able to "get" this game, much to complicated. I smiled and said "thank you, Adam you'll love this game" and after everyone left I put it in the "game closet" and never opened it. I don't really think Adam would have been ready yet, but I should have tried. Shame on me for thinking Adam couldn't play Yahtzee!! I am embarrassed for admitting thinking this, because I'm always telling people you can't put limitations... people with down syndrome can doing anything if given a can't put them in a box...yadda yadda!!!! And I did the exact thing I can't stand. Thankfully, after reading how this game is a great tool once you've gotten some math skills, I got his never opened before game out and you know what, we are so going to Las Vegas when he is 21 (okay, I have never even been there, we are not gamblers but hmmmm we might start)!!!!!!!! Adam totally gets it!! It is a great math game. And my son has gotten triple Yahtzee not once but 2 times!!! In my entire life I have only ever gotten double Yahtzee. So, note to self: practice what you preach, there are no limits!!!

Tell me your kids favorite games, especially learning ones!!! (although I guess they are all probably learning ones)


Beverly said...

Adam is so cool! I will have to look for that Story game at Target. I too buy anything and everything in that store for Noah. LOL Thanks for sharing your good tips!

Jenny said...

How fun! I love Target too!

Abby's favorite game is bingo. We have sight words and alphabet bingo games. She also likes to make up her own silly games.

Lori said...

I am also going to be looking for that Storybook game, that sounds like it is awesome! It certainly is encouraging to see how well Adam can do with all these things! My Gess is 7 now, maybe I should be getting out Yahtzee more often! I haven't really found any good learning games but have been interested in getting Gess to play some games so this was a great help. Thanks!

Lovin Mama said...

Yahtzee is my favorite game! I love it. When my girls were smaller we just played the top of the card. Now they can play the whole thing, but don't love it as much as I do. Mancala is a good math game. My middle dd beats me most of the time.