# Educational games

The time we share with our children is precious because we have very little time and opportunities to be together. Playing educational games is a way to have fun while helping your child learn. Children do not need expensive educational toys to learn. What they need is for their parents to share by teaching them as their best and first teachers.

Here are some suggestions to make learning fun:

Choose the right time, not when your child is tired, hungry or when you are angry.

Play for short periods of time, 5 to 10 minutes is a reasonable time.

Remove distractions, turn off the TV and store the toys.

Congratulate your child with a hug, a smile or a kiss.

Be flexible! Your child may find a new and fun way to learn educational games.

Try some of these educational games with your child:

### Closing his eyes

Ask your child to look at you carefully and then close your eyes. While he has his eyes closed, ask him which shirt color you are wearing. Modify the game by asking questions about the room or a picture. What things does your child remember? Let your child take a turn and it is you who try to remember. This game will help develop children’s memory and in the future will help them with math and learn to read.

### Detective

As you move into the room and make a “must” sound, have your child close their eyes and try to locate it. He should indicate the place where you are and then he will be able to open your eyes. Be sure to take turns with your child. Good ears are good readers.

### Point by point

Draw dotted lines on a piece of paper. Take turns with your child drawing a line between each two points, up and down, right to left, or vice versa in some countries it’s called tomtit. The objective of this game is to make as many squares as possible. When your child closes a square, put the initials of it into this square. When all squares are complete, the person with the most squares wins the game.

### Guess what I’m doing

Mimic or gesture and picture something your child can guess, such as brushing teeth, dialing a phone number, or making a sandwich. Do simple things that are already known to your child. Take turns. Kids enjoy acting and pretending things. They will enjoy watching Mom and Dad doing mimes and gestures and parents will have fun with this game too.

### Sporting Cutlery

While you do the dishes, let your child keep the cutlery. Children enjoy classifying and also like to imitate and help. Show your child where to place spoons, forks and knives. Be sure to congratulate him when he puts them in the right place.

These ideas were taken from different books: “Playing Smart” written by Susan K. Perry, Free Spirit Publishing, and Minneapolis, MN. Prepared by Rebecca Douglas, Extension Educator, And Family Life.