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Fun and educational games to help kids learn numbers and letters

Updated on October 14, 2011
Not more flash cards!
Not more flash cards!

Getting kids excited about learning is a challenge every parent faces. Especially a pre-kindergarten child. They are usually more interested in exploring their imagination and creativity through something other than sitting at a table listening to someone repeat, "Now what is this letter?" for the fourth time. It's easy to forget that all they see are random lines on the page. At this stage of life, you could make up your own alphabet and they would believe it.

Since creating your own language and counting system would only be useful if you were the only adult on an island of children, it is best to teach a child the English version most of us use. A common method used to introduce a child to numbers and letters are flash cards. They are used throughout every level of schooling. Flash cards are easy to make, portable, and can contain any information that you want them to.

Since most pre-kindergarten children aren't exactly into sitting still and listening to an adult show them rectangles with random lines drawn on them for any amount of time, it is best to make it somewhat interesting.

Teaching kids requires a endless amount of patience. If you are the one turning over those rectangles of paper, you might get a little bored yourself. One way to keep it fun is to make a game of it. An old favorite, Go Fish, is a good way to do this.

Everyone has played Go Fish at some point in their life. However, you may not have thought of it as an educational tool. The game is simple enough that kids will understand how to play while not catching on that they are learning at the same time. Learning is always more fun and enlightening when you don't actually know you are doing it.

An old deck of cards is a good way to play Go Fish with numbers. Taking out the face cards will avoid confusion. At first, it is not important that everyone hides their cards from each other. We're just trying to teach the kids some numbers, not how to play poker. You could use flash cards instead of playing cards, but that may take a little of the fun out of it.

Using the board game Scrabble is a neat way of teaching letters to kids. Two sets of tiles will be necessary in order to pair all the letters. This means you will need to have Super Scrabble or two individual Scrabble games. Playing with the letter tiles makes it seem like something besides learning is taking place. Add to the fun by awarding treats for each match earned. This time of year candy corn will be a popular option.

Spicing up learning can be difficult. At the same time doing so is extremely important to keep a child interested. Go Fish for numbers and letters is basically an enhanced matching game and is a fun way to help kids break up the monotony of flash cards. Besides, they are going to be using plain old flash cards for the next fifteen years or so. Let them have some fun while they still can.


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