Gameschooling for all
Someone forgot to tell this hellish cold I’ve got that even though Halloween is still a week away, Halloween events start before the 31st.
Not only do I feel tons of mom-guilt for having missed several festivals and trunk-or-treats already (including the one at the YMCA which my gal Friday would have loved), but I haven’t even been able to get her costume together yet. And I put it off so long that she managed to delete my own entire costume I’d been assembling in my Amazon cart.
We may just be going as a bunch of hot messes this year… In other words no costumes at all.
T is for Trick-or-Treating
So since my real-life zombie costume has me stuck at home, we need some workarounds that we can do at home. Enter trick-or-treat games. Play with actual candy or not, but these games are all about getting treats and learning some skills at the same time.
A classic that encourages very close attention! Kids will have to watch closely so they can get the piece of candy under the winning cup.
A similar game is the “guess which hand it’s in” game which doesn’t appear to have a name. That one is less about watching the motions and more about noticing subtle differences, such as which fist is bigger, and inferring what that means about the piece of candy.
The goal is for them to win enough to want to keep playing without getting frustrated, but not to win every time. If they win every time then they’ve already mastered that skill level! Adjust the difficulty as necessary.
- More cups means more difficult
- Speed up or slow down as needed
- Use three similar but different cups (such as same size but different colors) for very young kids
Mancala (but with candy)
Mancala is basically all about collecting treats (or really, seeds, which are just treats that haven’t sprouted yet) so it fits perfectly with the theme. Switch your pieces for candy corn, smarties, or jelly beans, or if you’re into that whole sanitary thing just count up how many pieces of candy each player needs at the end.
Mancala teaches strategy, but if your kids are too young for the nuance, they can still work on the counting skills!
If you don’t have a mancala board, an empty egg carton or any similar container with two rows of wells is perfect.
Check out the Spruce if you need to brush up on your mancala skills.
A good one for after Halloween, when they’ve got a wide assortment of candy to choose from.
The goal here is to develop the senses, and learn how to identify things without relying on sight.
- Sort out the candy by type. This can be a game itself!
- Either limit yourself to a few types of candy which are identical (rolls of smarties, bags of M&Ms, bite-sized Snickers, etc…) or identify pieces that will feel identical (adding in bags of skittles and bite-sized 3 Musketeers)
- Set aside one of each type. Put the rest in a paper bag or a plastic pumpkin.
- From the candy you set aside, ask your kid to pull out a specific type. If it’s a match, it’s theirs!
You can make this one a little harder by adding in some things that feel similar, but not identical. Like some pieces of fun-size candy.
Or don’t keep any candy set aside, so they have to remember what each piece looks and feels like without a guide.
Let me know if you tried today’s post. What does your family like to do for gameschool? Hit me up in the comments or on Discord!