This week, my grandkids have been more in the mood for fun electronics instead of simple crafts. Besides great Wii games for kids (not to mention us boomers and seniors), we've also been enjoying my grandkids' Webkinz stuffed and virtual animals and we've been learning lots too!
I've been doing a lot of "round robin activities" with the grandkids. I'll set one playing on the Wii. Another one on the old computer with two keys missing, but it still works. And the third joins me at the main computer to play some of the fun Webkinz word games. My personal favorite, Quizzy's Word Challenge, is great for fun with phonics as well as a good way to work on how to teach a child to read.
I use three ways to help them learn while playing this game:
- Tell them to look for any short words they recognize and do it all themselves.
- Look for 3 or 4 letter words that spell the way they sound. Tell them the word and help them sound it out and spell it.
- Look for longer words and help them spell them and sound them out and talk about silent letters, letter blends like sh and br, definitions, etc.
This way they are learning and practicing spelling and reading words, having fun with the game while practicing their phonics, and earning Webkinz money which makes them smile HUGE. All of which makes all of us quite happy. 🙂
I have also started working with them on Quizzy's Corner. This is a bunch of educational trivia questions. The categories include science, arithmetic, language, etc. They can choose 5-6 years, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13+, or everyone. For each question, they have to choose from 4 answers. For non-readers, you will definitely have to read it all to them and help them answer the question, or fill it in yourself. Even for those who are reading, it does move a bit quickly, so you will probably have to help some. I was surprised it didn't read the questions and answers to them, but I guess they figure that's what grandparents are for 🙂 ).
It was a fun activity time with each child and a good chance to practice arithmetic world problems and days of the week together. Definitely great ways to learn and practice phonics as well as other subjects. And one grandchild was particularly thrilled showing off one of his Webkinz stuffed animals he had just rediscovered under his bed – his cute tiger snake. (I know, who could think of a snake as cute? A BOY, that's who. 🙂 And i have to admit, Webkinz does make cute stuffed snakes! 🙂 )
How about you? Trying any new educational activities for grandparents and grandchildren while babysitting grandkids? We'd love to hear. 🙂