Monday, August 20, 2012

Three Fun Games For Kids

If you are a parent you know that keeping children with a lot of energy entertained can sometimes be a real challenge. And finding a happy medium between indoor and outdoor activities is an even bigger challenge.
If you are a kid reading this then you too are probably looking for some fun new games to play.
So let's cover some games that might be new to you and that you might want to try.
There are a number of games that can be played with a FlingSock. Just what is a FlingSock? It is a Fun Gripper Bean Bag which is attached to a long tie dye nylon fabric tail which has a handle. There is also a smaller version called a Mini-FlingSock.
FlingSocks are easy to throw and easy to catch.
One game that can be played with the FlingSock is called "Drop The FlingSock". In this game everyone gathers into a large circle and someone from the group is chosen as "it". This person goes around the outside of the circle and tries to drop the FlingSock behind someone in the circle without being tagged. Once dropped he or she walks fast or races around the circle into that person's position without being tagged. If not tagged then the other person becomes "it" and the game continues.
Other games that can be played with FlingSocks are: Fling-et, FlingSock or Beanbag Baseball, FlingSock or Beanbag Tag, Pass The FlingSock, Where's The FlingSock, Jump The FlingStock and FlingSock and Beanbag Toss.
Bean Plates
This is an inexpensive game that is good to help your child learn multiplication. Simply get some small paper plates and some dried beans; pinto beans work well. For example use 3 paper plates and place 2 beans in one plate and 5 beans in the second plate. Then ask the child to place the number of beans that is 2 x 5 in the 3rd plate. This is a fun and visual way for a child to learn multiplication.
Whipped Cream Writing
This game is great for helping your child learn to write. Place a piece of wax paper on a play table and then spread whipped cream on the wax paper. Then let your children write their name, numbers or other words in the whipped cream. And with this game you don't have to worry about them licking their fingers.
These are just three fun games that will not only entertain your children they will help them learn to interact and play with others plus have some good educational pluses as well. We'll cover some more games in another article; so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Digital games are...

Good for learning, developing strategies and skills to solve problems in context and critical thinking.

Autonomous learners.

Motivating for students.

Emotional engagement.

Situated learning, social learning, students become the centre of attention.
As part of European Schoolnet's project 'Digital Games in Schools. A Teacher's Handbook' was published in 2009. The handbook is intended for those teachers interested in introducing digital games in their teaching practice. Therefore, it provides useful information about the benefits of digital games for learning as well as tips on how to use them as educational and motivational resources.

The handbook will be very helpful as an overview of this issue. Nevertheless, if you wish to explore the possibilities of videogames for second/foreign language learning, I recommend you to visit Graham Stanley and Kyle Mawer'blog Digital Play. The blog is really easy to navigate and offers a wide range of activities and lesson plans based on digital games to accomplish different language learning objectives while having fun. 

In the following video, Graham Stanley talks about the ways gamification can be used in the English classroom and shares some ideas for adapting games for language teaching. If you want to have access to the full version, click here.

An interesting educational digital game which will be launched next summer is Wikiduca.  This is the project of two creative Spanish young minds, David Anthony and Anton Popovine, who decided to work on this educational browser-game to help children learn English vocabulary through videogames.

Starting from the idea that children love video games, fantasy worlds and solving mysteries, David and Anton propose exciting quests and minigames for them. As children increase their vocabulary words, they gain more powers and new missions within the game. The key point is "learning by playing".

Wikieduca is basically based on a business freemium model, that is, most of the content will be free except a small part of extras. You can read this news in Spanish.

For further reading:

Other websites where you can find useful digital games for your classes:

Video Games and Education