Most people experience learning through formal education— under a teacher’s guidance, in a classroom. Learning is motivated by the sole purpose of academic performance. But learning is so much more than school. We learn from every little thing we see, experience, and do. It is possible to learn all the time. Learning through games is the least expected but the most effective way you can bring joy into education.
No child really wants to ‘study’. And if we’re being honest, studying was never our favorite activity either, growing up. Parents are always trying to persuade their children to focus on their education and study so they can grow into knowledgeable and industrious adults. There isn’t a child who hasn’t, at least once, been reprimanded by their parents to study. But what can they do, there are simply so many more interesting things to do! And studying is boring!
Learning is not limited to what a child learns at school. Children learn a little with everything they experience, every interaction they make. No child wants to study, but every child loves to play. What better way to learn than through something you love the most.
Parents and educators can easily enable the child to learn important lessons through fun and games. Allow children to learn comfortably without letting their education feel like a burden or a big task. Teaching a child through games and fun activities makes them used to learning through non-academic activities. Soon they will find a lesson everywhere! They will begin to love learning.
Language Learning through games
When we think of games, we often forget the many word games that exist all over the world. Word games are the best way to reinforce language learning in a way that is both, engaging and challenging. There are word games that test vocabulary, semantics, and even phonetics!
Crosswords are a classic word game that tests vocabulary and also the knowledge of word meanings. Puzzles, like Find the word, are a favorite all around the world because of their likeness with a treasure hunt. The excitement of finding the clues and solving the puzzles brings joy to the activity of challenging language skills. And word games are not limited to written puzzles. Verbal games like Shiritori make a fun exercise in any social setting, while also testing memory and vocabulary!
Brain development through games
Playing games and recreation has been a part of human society for many millennia. Every game uses specific skills and puts you to the test as you compete with other players, or even yourself. Historically, games have been designed with the intention to exercise the brain. There are games for nearly every skill you can think of! Here’s some examples:
Mathematics: Dice games require numbers and mathematics. Snakes and ladders, Ludo, etc are a few dice games played all over the world.
Planning and strategy: Chess is a classic strategy game everyone knows about. For young children, fun games can also be made up with rules to challenge strategy skills and puzzle the brain.
Memory: Many memory games exist all over the world. Find The Pair, Sequence games, and even card games like Three-card monte are all games that help in practicing memory skills.
Cultures around the world also have many games that may not be played globally. These games are no less important than the ones mentioned above. Traditional games are also designed to challenge the player’s wit and intellect. In addition to their cognitive benefits, these games are also a symbol of their culture. These games are one of the many conduits that keep cultures alive. They also serve as a strong connection of the individual with their culture. Playing games from one’s heritage helps to form a strong bond with their culture.
Steering away from the current topic of small-range sedentary games, let’s delve a little onto the more active games we know of. Children love to play games like Cops-and-Robbers, Hide and Seek, etc. They love to make up new games with their friends and run around. Children who are exposed to sports often develop a fondness for playing organised team or solo games. These games are as beneficial for a child’s development as any game that exercises their brain.
Children can immerse themselves when they play a heavily physical game. This immersive experience helps them experience deep learning through games. Children naturally exercise several physical skills and the use of their senses while playing these games. But that is not all. They can also learn important skills like planning and strategy, applied mathematics, even build strong communication skills through physical games. Team sports help develop strong social skills and allow experiential learning of the more subtle skills a person develops in their life.
Riddles and Jokes
Learning through games doesn’t just mean planned activities and rule-bound games. It is possible to learn even through verbal interactions and daily social interactions. A child’s learning can be extended beyond school and even their learning at home by making riddles and puzzles a regular part of their life. Riddles challenge their critical thinking and comprehension skills and help them exercise their intellect outside the context of their education. A child who is used to analyzing and critically approaching problems will naturally develop their problem-solving skills. An affinity for riddles and puzzles also fosters a love for learning and develops their curiosity. The child begins to view the entire world as a fun-filled environment with little puzzles everywhere. Their desire to solve this puzzle will lead them to make many discoveries and learn much more on their own!
Learning with alphaTUB
alphaTUB is centered around the very idea of fun. Learning through games is easily possible with the alphaTUB tool and the vibrant TUB Cards. The alphaTUB is a screenless pegboard designed to accommodate endless learning. The analogous design of the alphaTUB allows the user the freedom to use the tool in any way they please. This means the freedom to play in countless creative ways. The TUB Cards are decks of flashcards that can also be used in any way the user wishes. It is also possible to create and print your own TUB Cards using the mobile application. alphaTUB hopes that every child can love learning and learn while having fun.