When children play games, it is not only a leisurely activity but also a chance for learning and development to occur. Games foster intellectual development along with physical, social and emotional development. Games can also teach children that learning can be fun, and they can keep them interested in learning.
Putting puzzles together can be a simple yet extremely effective game to help development. Puzzles involve problem-solving skills, matching, picture recognition and focus. If two or more children are working on a puzzle together, they learn how to socialise, take turns and work together for a common goal.
Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek is a great game that gets children to be physically active. It helps them get rid of pent-up energy and also helps children learn how to socialise, work together and take turns. Hide and Seek is a great game for the winter months as it can give children something to do indoors that encourages them to run around and be active.
Matching games include a number of cards with pictures on them. There are two of each picture. The cards are to be shuffled and placed picture side down. Children take turns turning a card face and then trying to remember where the other picture is that matches the exposed card. This game stimulates memory as well as social skills. It can even help with vocabulary. To make memory games more fun you can have children make their own picture cards to use for the game, bolstering their creativity in the process.
Bingo is a great game for children's development. Not only does it help children learn to focus and concentrate, but it helps teach them numbers and letters. There are a number of children's Bingo games available in stores as well that are for children who aren't quite old enough to recognise the letters and larger numbers in Bingo. These games focus on simple pictures and letters.