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I admit it.
We’re a bunch of gamers.
We don’t all like the same types of games,
but we all play them.
Sometimes it requires compromise.
Some days we love a complicated, long strategy game.
Other days we want something quick and easy to play.
But, there’s always games!
Is it surprising we like to play game to learn?
Consider using games during your Morning Time.
Yes, you can even play with teens.
Yes, even in high school.
Pro tip: high schoolers are the best game players!
Math Learning Games
Simple math games can help your students to practice math facts, mental math, and mathematical thinking.
Try a short game or two during Morning Time.
- Sumuko– a math tile game where you build a number crossword based on a number rolled with a die at the beginning.
- Corners– a card game involving multiples of 5 and it comes with variations.
- Math Dice Junior– roll the target die and roll the other dice to see who can get closest to the target using simple math operations.
- Math Dice– same as junior, you roll the dice and use operations to get to the target number
- Math Dice Exponents– the target number rolled in this game encourages the use of exponents and other advanced math.
- Set– a game of visual perception. The idea is to place nine cards on the table and try to make sets of three, but all of the attributes of the shapes must match to make a set.
Language Learning Games
Word games are easy to implement
during Morning Time
or any time.
do some word finding.
- Quiddler– a word forming game played with cards with some unique rules. Plays quickly and you can play multiple rounds.
- Spill & Spell– the classic from the 1970s! Cubes with letters that you spill and form crosswords with.
- Mad Libs– even my teens enjoy a good Mad Lib. I recently purchased a big anniversary volume and we had some fun with it.
- Bananagrams– some of my kids have become ruthless at this game. It also travels well as long as you have a surface to play on. Race to build individual crosswords with the letter tiles.
- Boggle– we played this a lot when our kids were old enough to spell and wanted to play. It’s also a great visual discrimination game to find as many words as possible.
- Word a Round– round cards with letters spaced out at various widths depending on the ring you are reading. You have to figure out where the word begins to name it correctly and keep the card.
- Scattergories– this category word naming game is a party classic and fabulous for word finding skills
- Catch Phrase– fast pace hot potato type game where you name clues for a person to guess the phrase on the machine.
- Code Names– a new favorite here and it’s an intellectual game. You must form clues to name as many words as possible at once in order to be the first to have all the words that belong to your team named first.
- Story Time Dice Story Bundle – we love story dice! You can tell stories orally and with plot twists using Story Time Dice. There are many variations to this game and we have all sorts of story dice!
History & Geography Learning Games
History and Geography lend themselves well to games.
What better way to remember events and places than to play with them?
Here are a few ideas:
- Timeline American History– can you identify where events belong in association with other events? That’s how Timeline works. There are many themes including American History.
- Countries of the World– Trivia game from Professor Noggin focusing on countries around the world.
- Scrambled States– Have you ever read the book The Scrambled States of America? It’s a long time family favorite and the matching U.S. Geography game is just as fun while learning U.S. Geography.
- Ticket to Ride– I admit this one is not a short, portable game, but it is a fantastic geography game based on completing routes from cities to cities. There are many versions of this game focusing on various continents and countries around the world. Pictured is the Africa version which is an expansion.
Science Learning Games
A short science game is a fun way to review material
and solidify concepts.
- Timeline Inventions– place inventions in the order they happened
- Timeline Discoveries– sequence discoveries over time
- Earth Science– Professor Noggin trivia card game, there are many science themed Professor Noggin games. Be sure to look for something to match your studies.
Critical Thinking Games
Do you teach logic and critical thinking?
Many games offer a chance to practice these skills.
Sometimes it is overt
and sometimes it is a subtle part of the game play.
Mastering strategy during any game
is critical thinking.
- 20 Questions– guess the animal, vegetable, mineral using clues numbering to 20
- Mind Trap– classic story logic puzzles, a whole big box full
- Love Letter– send a letter to the princess or yourself out of the game. This is a keep track of the cards the other players have and strategize to be the last person remaining.
- Coup– find out who the assassin is in this minimal card game for groups
- The Resistance– this game only has a few components and can be lots of fun. Find out who the rebels are in your midst.
- Spot It– more a visual discrimination game and there are variants for game play
More about Morning Time
Morning Time is a way to connect with your whole family before they farm out to their own responsibilities for the day.
It is also a time to come back together during your day.
It may look different for your family depending on how old your kids are.
But, no matter how old my kids are, we make the effort
- Morning Time with Teens Podcast– If you prefer to listen, then enjoy this podcast on the topic of having a Morning Time with Your Teens. Yes- even with games!
- How to Include Teens in Your Morning Time– If you prefer to read over listening, then click on and see how we do our Morning Time. This post is full of resources to use with your teens in Morning Time.
- Fostering Collaboration with a Morning Meeting Time– We’ve called our Morning Time all sorts of things over the years, but my favorite is Morning Meeting and whatever it’s called the idea is the same. Plan time to come together even as your students grow!
- A Handbook for Morning Time– lots of content ideas for a simple Morning Time by Cindy Rollins
- Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects that Matter the Most– a morning basket book from Pam Barnhill.
More Fun with Games
Looking for other game experiences?
Here are a few ideas for incorporating games
into all kinds of learning.
- Geography Quest Game Edition– We love Geography Quests! How about some geography games? These make great choices for Morning Time as well.
- 100 Family Games for Kids of All Ages– a list of 100 games broken down into categories and ages. You don’t want to miss this big list!
- Adventures with Games– have you tried doing an Adventure Box with your kids? This one describes a game themed Adventure Box and it includes games our oldest made that are pretty elaborate.
What kinds of activities do you include in your Morning Time?
Do you play games?
Have you tried putting Morning Time and games together?
Tell us your family’s favorite short game!
What do you like about it?
Here’s to many happy connections through games!by