Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Teaching Preschool Color and Shapes with Family Games

My kids just can't get enough of playing games with Mom and Dad--can yours?

Sometimes we all take a break in the middle of the day and play a game together. Most of the time, I just make sure we play games so that we all have fun together. I can get so caught up in things that I'll go from one task to the next and forget to have a little fun.

Today, after several pleas from my kids, I got out the Uno cards. Today I would be playing with six-year-old Ryan and three-year-old Maegan. In the past, Maegan would sit on my lap and help me with my cards; but today, she wanted to be her "own team".

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"Yep," she answered and put down a yellow card on top of the pile.

Round and round we went, with Maegan putting down the correct color on her turn all by herself. Then finally a turn came that she didn't have the right color.

"Do you have a card," I asked, pointing to the large symbol in the middle of the card, "that has a circle like this one?"

While I still had my finger next to the symbol, she went through each card, one a time. She carefully checked to see if she had a "match" - and when she found one, she put it down on top of the pile.

The game was a great success--especially since she won the first round!

"That's one point for the team 'My Little Pony' (as she had named her team)," I congratulated her. She beamed with pride. She had won and she had done it all by herself.

As I sat there admiring her accomplishment, I realized how easy it is to miss opportunities like this that are educational in nature. This game taught her taking turns, sorting, colors, and shapes.

It's always a great asset as a home school parent to have one more way to help our kids learn and practice what they've been learning. So, "Uno away"!!

Laura Bankston

P.S. Don't forget how well games can teach our children basic things such as shapes and colors. And, don't underestimate your child's ability to participate. Uno can be an appropriate game for family play - even for a preschooler.

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