Get Students Smiling with Games
March 16, 2022
Sometimes you just need to help kids smile.
I’ve been mulling over this statement quite a lot in the recent days. I don’t want to be grim, but I think it’s safe to say that we are all living through dangerous and difficult times. While COVID does appear to be receding, the pandemic is not completely over. We have yet to reckon with the full extent of its impact. On top of this, we must also contend with political polarization, war in Europe, and a future witch only grows more uncertain.
Just thinking about it all can be exhausting. It’s one of the reasons why I highly encourage educators to stop and take care of themselves throughout the week. At the same time, we must also think of our students. They are living through these turbulent events as well and may not have the social-emotional knowledge to navigate them effectively. So why not hit pause and help them smile?
Learn through Play!
Gaming is a fun and effective way to build up student curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. It can serve its purpose by giving students the space to breathe and process their emotions while still fostering a growth mindset. Why not give your students (and yourself) a break this week and try out one of these educational activities?
- Fact or Funny: You’ve heard of March Madness? Fact or Funny teaches students with a little Marsh Madness! Join Marcia the Marshmallow as she sparks student curiosity, gets them laughing, and leads them to investigate the world’s wonders…from bear pilots to levitating slinkies to Pepsi’s incredible navy. Curious? Your students will be, too! Follow the link and get started with the topic of your choice.
- Cork Boats: Present students with an engineering design challenge: make a boat that can float on water out of corks and other household materials! Kids love experimenting to see what sinks and what floats. And aside from being fun, this kind of hands-on exploration is great practice in the scientific inquiry, not to mention a cool introduction to physics.
- Tandem Stories: Tandem stories are the perfect way to exercise student collaboration and creativity while also strengthening writing and language. First, break students into pairs. Next, give them a character and a setting. Finally, have them take turns writing a short story and watch the craziness unfold!
- Santorini: Santorini is a game that’s a bit like chess but with a visual-spatial twist! Players must build towers in order to reach victory but must also be aware of their surroundings and their opponents. Santorini is a fun game which encourages players to think critically, move creatively, and reflect on their past actions!
If you enjoyed these activities, be sure to check out the newest Timely Topic: Games, Games, Games! Explore three thrilling games that students can play to build their vocabulary, spatial awareness, and communication skills. There may still be rough roads ahead but giving your students the opportunity to learn through play can make a real difference. So break out the games and have some fun!