Let a Game Connect the Brain for Learning

girlsplayingphotoGames offer more than a break from drill. They can help build a fundamental curriculum of skill development for all beginning readers and writers. It is our belief that they can do this, because games tap into some of the most powerful and universal impulses in our beings: the pursuit of delight, curiosity, playful competition, and the translation of life into story. Teachers and pupils are united as equals in the interest and luck of a game. All are freed from anxiety and boredom as fun leads the way to understanding and understanding leads the way to play.

Stated more scientifically, games stimulate growth in the brain’s communication pathways, thus expanding networks for better thinking, understanding and creativity. These developing pathways, in turn, will quicken the lightning-speed responses that are necessary for fluid reading as well as for math and learning of all sorts.

The use of games in learning should not be confused with any new age denial of the necessity for systematic and rigorous review of material. Most games are actually drills in disguise, practicing the nuts and bolts of skills that must be mastered. For this reason the success of a learning game will always be dependent on careful planning and the selection of a game appropriate to a given group of students or a given individual at a particular time.

These games were originally designed for one student and a parent, teacher aide, or tutor who would be able to offer explanations and help where necessary without affecting the fun and sheer luck in every turn. Most of the games can be adapted for small groups, letting teams of two or three take the place of single players. Additional teaching supports are included with the directions in each game.

Most of the games in this site are free to download print and share, but a few of the original bound and unbound Game Packs  can still be ordered by contacting Game Packs for Learning by email. ekm@gamepacksforlearning.com