Fun Board Games for Kids

There are many fun board games for kids other than Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. You may not find them in your mainline department or toy stores. You most likely have to go to specialty game stores or look online. That little bit of extra effort though will reward you and your children (or grandchildren) with hours of enjoyment playing some really fun board games.

Looping Louie (also known as Bobbin’ Bumblebee and Barn Buzzin’ Goofy – same games, different themes) is a dexterity board game with lots of action. English editions call him Loopin’ Louie, for short.

A battery-powered tower rotates a boom with a small plastic airplane. When the plane spins around to you home area, you try to flip it out of the way using a level at your home base to protect your chicken chips from being stolen by Louie.

Château Roquefort is a fun board game that invites players to explore a castle with their mouse tokens. The mice are looking for cheese scattered about the corridors. Players spend action points to move their mice and pieces of the board to reveal or hide the pieces of cheese and trap doors in the floor.

Children will need to think about the effects of their moves before making them. They will also need to plan how to spend their action points wisely so they don’t run out before they accomplish all they wanted to do on a given turn. Many will enjoy the trap door effect when mice fall through the floor. Some may even like this site gag so much that they drop their own mice through a trap just for the giggles.

Animal Upon Animal is another dexterity board game that involves stacking wooden animals of various shapes and sizes (and colors). Think “Jenga” for kids. A steady hand is needed to stack these animals one upon another in a somewhat pyramid-shaped structure. If the animals tumble to the table on your turn, you must take back two of them to your own pile.

A special die is rolled to determine the placement of pieces and who gets to place them. Rules can be adjusted to suit the ages and abilities of the players. For example, instead of keeping only two animals after a crash, you could rule that the tumble-causer must keep up to five.

Gulo Gulo is yet another fun board game that requires dexterity. This one may actually favor the young one who have smaller fingers.

As you advance your Gulo character along the randomly-setup track, you must pick an egg (of the required color) out of the bowl. If removing the egg causes the alarm stick to fall out of the bowl (or if unwanted eggs drop out), your Gulo must go backwards.

Your goal is to reach the end of the track to rescue a baby Gulo found there. Bright colors, cute Gulos, saving the baby, and a very real chance at beating adults make this a fun board game for kids.

The Kids of Carcassonne is similar to the original Carcassonne in that the main mechanics include placing random tiles and setting meeples on top of them. Unlike the original, however, the sides of the tiles always match in this fun board game for kids.

The goal is to place all of your pawns, knowns as meeples, on the appropriate tiles before any of the other players. This makes for a shorter and simpler game than the original Carcassonne, which children may find too long and complicated or dull.

There is still some strategy required in this board game, though that too is more basic than what is found in any of the Carcassonne versions intended more for adults.

Pros and Cons of Playing Online Games

A lot of the youth are inclined to playing online play-offs now. Not only the young but the elders are also equally fascinated by the online games. The sole reason behind this is that the gaming system has undergone massive changes from the earlier days, say, 10 years back. Earlier the games had to be installed in one’s PC and then one could have played. Now, a person can buy gift cards if he or she wants to play a particular game. However, playing online games have advantages as well as disadvantages.

The advantages of online gaming are as follows-

• Online play-offs offer trial versions. This allows the users to buy the games only if they like it in the trial period. This also allows the ease to buy a play-off from the ease of their home without running to the stores.

• In online games, the users get exclusive content for the games they are playing. This is the reason why many people choose them.

• Another exciting aspect of online gaming is that they allow communication. The players can interact with their friends and family while they are playing. This is simply a great thing for thy game lovers. The good side of this is that it enhances skills of team building. This will develop memory and lateral thinking in you while adding strategic elements in the game.

• Through online playing, you will be able to analyze your playing skills in comparison to others. You will know your position in the play-off and will be able to compete with others.

The disadvantages are-

System updates – when the user wants to play online or download a play-off they want to play they might have to face with a system update that might delay the game. The person has to wait for the process to complete and restart the PC, phone or tablet, whatever he or she is using.

Server issues or glitches – Viruses in games are also called Glitches. This causes it to run irregularly or slow down suddenly. These are common in all types of games, but more in online games. Also, the server issues can make it more frustrating for the gamers.

Piracy – Piracy and copywriting the games is another bad point that can make a scandal and even shut down the games.

The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

How has the use of technology impacted teaching and learning in the PK-16 classroom?When is comes to behaviorism technology has made it even easier. It used to be just like Pavlov’s dog, when the student does something right they get praised verbally or with a good grade versus a treat or a scratch behind the ear. Shaping behavior is important and we need to ensure there is a baseline. Technology almost guarantees that specific learning will take place as the objectives are determined by the teacher. Teachers can set specific goals and the students will know what they need to do to get there. Benjamin Bloom first came up with the idea that the student will succeed in learning the task if they are given a specific time to do it. Technology allows for you to more easily chunk lessons into specific times. Students will perform better, especially when they succeed and get the praise of the teacher. Although the stimulus is provided by the teacher, it will do no good if the students do not receive it equally. (Snowman & Biehler, 2003)
Other ways computers assist is that they offer the ability for repetition and feedback to the student. Teachers can also incorporate the appropriate enforcer’s to the lesson whether it is text, video or audio. The student does the task right they can get a smiley face , text telling them they are “Correct” or audio saying “Good Job!”. (Parkay & Stanford 2004)Social Learning is learning occurs when students learn from each other whether it be through modeling, imitation or observing within the social context. How can you do that with technology? Normally the students work on their own computer, but you can have them do a group project. When students do a project together they will observe how other groups are proceeding and imitate them if it is working well. The teacher usually also models what they are requiring the students to accomplish. Even when working individually the students will assist each other as one knows more than another.There are cognitive factors in social learning as well as behaviorism. There is a clear line between learning by observation and student imitation. The cognitive process maintains that the attention of the student is the critical factor in the learning process. The expectations and consequences that are reinforced will bring about similar future behavior. (Ornstien & Lasley 2000)
Cognitive learning is learning that occurs when a learner process information. This is similar to behaviorism but the student has more input to accomplish how they reach the planned outcome. The teacher can model a project but the student may have other information that will aid them in accomplishing the outcome. An example would be how I instructed my students how to set up an Excel spreadsheet. I had them set up a basic spreadsheet showing how much their parents spent on them in a month. This was relevant to the students and caught their interest. They went beyond the initial project and had boarders, colors, etc. on their spreadsheets. The students who did this were praised aloud and the other students wanted to know what they did and how. This tied in the social learning as well as the behaviorism theory (Didn’t even realize it at the time).When is comes to designing and developing lessons to incorporate technology the constructionist have the nod. Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab stated,”Constructionism holds that children learn best when they are in the active role of the designer and constructor.” When the student is actively involved they have the buy-in to the success of the project or assignment. The students will be more apt to complete and learn more from it when they have some ownership. The students in turn will share their new found information when doing the assignment with the other students allowing for the constructionist learning. This form of teaching eliminates the grade and goes more with a go, no go process. Teachers assess the students by the completion of the assignment or lack of completion. This is better because of students being able to play a greater role in the process and assessing their own progress.We teach ourselves how to learn. This is the constructivism theory on how we learn. With technology this couldn’t be truer. Most students have a basic understanding of the computer. They can download songs, play games and set up Myspace web page. What they can not do is build a spreadsheet or power point presentation. The teacher will give them a basic understanding but the students will learn from trial and error and construct their own learning.History of the computer use in the classroom started off slow. Saloman and Globerson (1987) suggested that underachievement in schools is because of the lower expectations on the part of the teachers, parents, and society. That was because the teachers themselves really hadn’t been exposed to the marvels of what a computer and the associated software could do for them. The Commodore 64, Apple II along with the Macintosh began their strong emergence in the early 80′s. Software programmers had a vision about the computer and how it could be used in the classroom. They developed software that teachers could use along with their instruction. Apple began teaching the teachers and Macintosh soon followed suit. This was the beginning of incorporating the use of computers in the classroom. (Jonassen 2000)Using computers in the classroom allows for all the learning theories to come to fruition. A computer allows for the cognitive process to bloom and brings about the social learning as well. When a student is given an assignment or project on the computer they will strive to complete it. The different things they learn they will share with other students especially if they think it is the bomb, cool or whack. On the flip side it can inhibit learning if the student is completely computer illiterate as frustration sets in as they cannot proceed as well as others. The computer also allows the teacher to develop lessons for all the multiple intelligences.With the advances computers and programs are taking on a daily basis, it is allowing for more interaction in the classroom(s). It is even allowing students from different schools to interact. Technology also allows for time to be better utilized, the outcomes of the objectives to be more easily determined and goals easy to implement and automate.