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20+ Awesome Games for At Home Learning

Our Favorite Educational Games

Games are one of my favorite ways to learn and reinforce skills with kids. My own kids, especially when younger, wanted to play game after game. Why not play games that aid in education?

For convenience, I have added links to all of commercially-produced games in one location! You can browse for them here:

https://www.amazon.com/shop/momgineer?listId=CEO2PQSKZVSI
Disclaimer: I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you downloads of value and information about educational resources. The link below is an Amazon affiliate link. You can read my full disclosure here.

Print-at-Home games are listed at the end of this post.

https://www.amazon.com/shop/momgineer?listId=CEO2PQSKZVSI

Math Skills

You can turn ANY game that uses dice or spinners for game advancement into a math-centric game by simply adding more dice. If you've ever played Chutes and Ladders, you know the game can go on ...and on. Solve this problem and make it more exciting. Instead of using the spinner, use dice (lots of them). It will take a few tries but eventually your kids will be adding up the numbers on dice faster than you can!

Yahtzee is one of the best games to play with multiple dice. I made a set of scorecards you can use while playing with 10 dice that you are welcome to try out (scroll to end of post for link).

Math Card Games: Rat a Tat Cat, Sleeping Queens, Frog Juice, Zeus on the Loose These are all games for early math learning from Gamewright. They work in addition, rounding, and basic number sense. Fair warning - reading the instructions for some of these the first time can feel overwhelming but the games are really not difficult. I suggest the play and read approach - play a bit as you read the directions, or find a YouTube video that explains the play.

Sumoku or Math Dice (intermediate): For Sumoku, you create a grid much like you would in Qwirkle (see below), but instead of shapes, there are numbers, and each row must sum to a multiple of a specific number. If it sounds complicated, well, it can be. However, it's also a TON of fun if you have math-minded kiddos. Math dice is another one where you will only want to play if your kids won't get frustrated by the math involved.

Equate (advanced learners only): If you have a kid that LOVES math, this is the game for them. If math is a struggle, avoid this game as it's quite a taxing one mentally (even for those who love it!).

24! If you haven't played this game before, it's simple to learn but challenging to master. All you need is a sharp mind and a deck of cards! Find the rules here.
 
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Logic, STEM, and more

Qwirkle and Rummikub are both great for logic and pattern recognition! For Qwirkle, watch a video on how to get started but you are basically looking to match either color or pattern (with no repeats in a given row or column). Completing a set of 6 earns you a Qwirkle for bonus points! Rummikub is another tile game that is even easier to learn, but much more difficult to master. You need to keep a constant eye on the board and awareness of your current tiles.

Or pick one of these: Gravity Maze, Laser Maze, Rush Hour Traffic Jam, Solitaire Chess, Sequence The first four of these games are all ones that can be played independently, from Thinkfun. They have tasks of increasing difficulty and provide solutions for self-checking. Sequence has a variety of options to choose from, so be sure to check out all the options to find an appropriate set for your family.

Advanced Learners: Set. This is a game that can be frustrating for kids who aren't ready, but once they are ready, there is no upper age limit on this game. It's one I truly love playing with my kids! There is also a junior version available! You can also play a version of this game online every day at the New York Times Crossword Puzzle site (just scroll down and select "Set")!

Robot Turtles A great precursor to coding game, this is a fun one to check out with your kids! It's also from Thinkfun.

Valence
and Ion (science): these are for upper elementary and middle school kiddos. If you have kids with an inkling toward Chemistry, these are sure to delight!

https://www.amazon.com/shop/momgineer?listId=CEO2PQSKZVSI

Geography

The Scrambled States of America Game This game helped my kids learn all the names of the states!

Ticket to Ride (multiple versions): This is a very popular game among board game enthusiasts and probably one of the longest games to play on this list. If you love board games, you have to try this one!


Flag Frenzy Kids will gain awareness of different flags wiht this matching game.

Apps to Try: Stack the States and Seterra (also their website is great for practicing geography skills) - check out the App Store or Google Play for these!

Literacy Skills

While traditionalists like myself will enjoy playing games such as Boggle, Scrabble, and Bananagrams, they aren't for everyone. If you do have those games but they aren't quite right for your kids, use the tiles to spell out words together that you find around the house, or create a "crossword" with the tiles, building words together of things they love (sports, food, activities, etc.)!

Engage reluctant writers with Rory's Story Cubes. This is less of a game and more of a story generator.

Practice sight words and more literacy skills with Pair Stare (see below).

https://www.amazon.com/shop/momgineer?listId=CEO2PQSKZVSI

Just for Toddlers and Preschoolers!

Toddlers don't have to miss out on games! Some of my favorite games for little ones are cooperative games like Busytown and Hoot Owl Hoot.

Other games for this age

Pengaloo A game that challenges memory and reinforces color awareness! I love the feel of this game, its wooden piece are very satisfying to play with!

Uno Moo A simple game of matching that is also just so fun to play! This one never gets old.

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Perfect for color learning, memory, and more!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Meredith-Anderson-Momgineer/Category/Games-30529


Print at Home Games

I have created a number of print-at-home learning games for elementary and middle school learners:

Free Games:
Crazy Yahtzy
Pair Stare Sample
Nature Bingo

Other Games:
Pair Stare Games
Alphabet Game

Sight Words Games: Fry Sight Words or Dolch Sight Words
Blends Games
Math Games
Vocabulary Synonyms Game
Greek and Latin Roots Games: Set 1 and Set 2

Money Games
Money Games Bundle
Gnome or Money a silly and punny coin game (No More Money)

Economics
Barter, Trade, Create!

Math and Number Systems
Mayan Number Games
Multiplication War

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Bingo Games in the Math Classroom

BINGO - It's not just for old people


When you think of BINGO, do you think of a room full of senior citizens with their daubers ready to go?

I'm going to let you in a secret.

KIDS.

LOVE.

BINGO.


Whether you are playing for 5 in a row or blackout bingo (complete the whole card), there is just something in the anticipation of whether or not YOUR NUMBER is going to be called next.



Most kids already know how to play this game, and even if they don't, it's so easy you don't need to take a lot of time explaining the rules (unlike a lot of strategy games that come with a tome of rules that make no sense until you have played a few times!).



Practice and Review Math Facts with Bingo

This bingo game is perfect for kids learning their multiplication facts or for review, even up through middle school grades! There is no shame in reviewing the basic multiplication tables, particularly before standardized testing. It solidifies fluency, which allows students to work on the problem solving and not make an avoidable multiplication error when under pressure.


Create Your Own Bingo Math Games

There are a number of websites you can use for personal use to create your own BINGO games. It does get a little tricky when you are creating games for math instead of with words, particularly if you are working with fractions, which can be difficult to format correctly.

Bingo Baker

Print-Bingo Custom Cards Creator (generate multiple times for enough cards)

My Free Bingo Cards

Osric Bingo Generator - Simple but gets the job done!

Purchase Pre-Made Math Games

I have made several math bingo games and am open to requests on making more (just contact me).

All Bingo Games

Or find these popular math bingo games on Teachers pay Teachers

Equivalent Fractions Bingo
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Equivalent-Fractions-Bingo-701230?aref=s2635xts&utm_source=Momgineer%20Blog&utm_campaign=BINGO%20Games%20-%20Equivalent%20Fraction%20Bingo

Mixed Number & Improper Fractions Bingo


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9 Ways to Use Task Cards in the Classroom

Task Cards Can Be Used a Variety of Ways


Task cards have become a staple in the elementary classroom. They are so versatile for reinforcing learning; if you haven't tried them yet, I highly recommend them. They reusable year after year, so after you prep them once you are good to go storing them for the next year.

1. Use Task Cards at Your Centers

This is definitely one of the more obvious ways to use task cards. Prep your task cards on card stock, laminating if desired, and store in pouches or small containers. Provide blank paper for recording or use recording sheets that come with your task card resource. Students can work through the appropriate task cards to reinforce whichever concept you are currently working on.

2. Use Task Cards in Your Interactive Notebooks

This method will require that you print out multiple copies of your task cards, however then students can review them at any time! This is particularly helpful if you have ELA or Math INBs because students can then return to the cards to study for standardized testing. For a more detailed look at using task cards in interactive notebooks, visit this post.

3. Use Task Cards as a Whole Class Activity 

Use a document camera and work through the problems concurrently or together!

4. Use Task Cards to Host a Mini Quiz Bowl

Most task card resources come with a number of task cards. Split your class into teams of 3-4, use a document camera or project one card. Have a team "buzz in" to answer the question and keep score. Winning team gets bragging rights!

5. Use Task Cards to Play Scoot

If you haven't played SCOOT, Jenny has written a great post about it! Check it out here.

6. Use Task Cards for Homework

Assign 1-4 task cards, depending on difficulty and have students complete the cards at home.

7. Use Task Cards as Exit Slips

Do a quick check on student understanding and learning by using task cards as exit slips.

8. Use Task Cards for Early Finishers

Keep a variety of task card sets available, including ones that are at a "challenge" level for your students. If they have finished their work and could use a challenge, this is a great way to provide enrichment. If you are using task cards with QR code answers, these will even be self-checking. Read more about QR codes and task cards.

9. Use Task Cards as Sub Tubs or Sub Plans

You can have a variety of task cards in different subjects saved for a sub. When the inevitable stomach bug or flu rolls through the school (or through your own child's school), your sub plans will be ready to go!


Free Task Card Download

To get you started, this is one of my most popular free downloads! There are 16 task cards to get you started with a fun animal theme! These have been designed for 4th grade but will also work in 5th or as challenge cards in 3rd:


Quick Links to Other Popular Task Card Resources

All Task Cards

Task Cards for 1st Grade
Task Cards for 2nd Grade
Task Cards for 3rd Grade
Task Cards for 4th Grade
Task Cards for 5th Grade

Best Selling Task Cards! This is by far my most popular set of Fractions task cards:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fraction-Task-Cards-Math-Review-for-4th-Grade-821799?aref=o815ctra&utm_source=Momgineer%20Blog&utm_campaign=9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Task%20Cards%20-%204th%20fractions%20set

Yet another topic that seems to be difficult for students to master is equivalent fractions, but you can find those task cards here:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Equivalent-Fractions-Review-and-Test-Prep-Task-Cards-1372924?aref=sfmn88uk&utm_source=Momgineer%20Blog&utm_campaign=9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Task%20Cards%20-%204th%20equiv%20fractions%20set


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5 Ways to Celebrate Before Winter Break that DON'T Include Christmas

5 Ways to Celebrate Before Winter Break that DON'T Include Christmas

While I grew up celebrating Christmas both at home and in school, I also went to a Catholic school where almost everyone was also celebrating Christmas (and kids were there by parental choice). If you have a situation where every one of your students celebrates Christmas, or you are hosting a variety of winter holiday celebrations, then by all means celebrate Christmas...

BUT

if you are looking for ways to celebrate that don't exclude some of your students but are still TONS of fun for all involved, why not try some of these ideas?

Celebrate Solstice Instead with a Sundial Project

Winter solstice is nature's holiday this time of year! I just love celebrating solstice, and look forward to it every year. Why? It signals the end of the short daylight hours and the stretch of increasing daylight hours that I adore!


What better way to celebrate solstice than with SCIENCE (yes, I know I'm a big nerd)!

Here are some websites to get you started:

Scientific American Sundial 
15 Minute Papercraft Sundial
Explorable Sundial

While making a sundial, why not talk about what the solstice is and why we have it? Read a book or watch a video:

Books (Amazon affiliate links, read disclosure here).



The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer
The Return of the Light by Carolyn Edwards
The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson
The Solstice Badger by Robin McFadden
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper
Video
Crash Course Kids: Seasons and the Sun

Curriculum Connection: The solar system!

Celebrate Winter with Snowflakes

Even if you don't live in a region that gets snow, there are still a lot of ways to celebrate with snowflakes! One of my favorite things to do is to craft paper snowflakes but you can also make crystal borax snowflakes too, which are so pretty, especially hanging in a window so the light can catch them.



Curriculum connection: If you are studying symmetry this is the perfect tie-in!

Snowflake Creation Ideas

Get in my Belly!

This is just one way of fostering connection with kids: baking together! Not only can you sneak in measurement math without anyone noticing, you can create something together that you can all enjoy! Not possible due to food allergies? Why not ask for allergy-free recipes from families, or instead pop popcorn (chemical change! volume!).

Set up an exploration station where students can smell and taste small amounts of ingredients, such as salt, sugar, cinnamon, etc.


Working on sequencing? Have students instruct you how to make hot cocoa, s'mores, etc. and then follow their directions. They will talk about it for MONTHS. Watch this video of a dad making sandwiches instructed by his kids.


Curriculum connection: Sequencing, measurement, senses.

Cozy up with a Good Book

Once you have your baked goods, hot cocoa, etc. have a PJ day or "winter campfire" and read to your students. They might not have someone reading to them at home. Even middle schoolers and high schoolers will enjoy being read to (if it's the right book). Leave out those holiday stories and choose a book about kindness.

Picture Books About Kindness
7 Middle Grades Books that Teach Empathy
Books that Teach Empathy (all ages)

 Curriculum connection: literacy, community, character education.


Play Games

If you do choose to have a party, pick games that include all! Playing together is truly one of the greatest ways to form connections with your students. While some families play games at home, not all do and many kids get left out of this wonderful past time. We play a lot of games at home, but it helps that both my kids are close in age and there are a lot of games we all like to play as a family.


Indoor party game ideas from Red Tricycle.

Try pin the nose on the snowman.

Active Games
  • If you are brave, have a snowball fight with cloth snowballs.
  • Play musical chairs (leave out the Christmas music!)
  • Capture the flag.
If you want something the whole class can play without getting too out of hand, try Winter BINGO.
Winter Party Game Idea with NO Christmas Winter BINGO

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Why You Should Take Pictures in STEM Class

 Why You Should Photograph STEM Prototypes

Take photos of the prototypes or of the design process in your STEM classroom. It will make clean up SO much easier, and your students will have a memory of their prototype to share for many years to come. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer

1. They Work HARD on Their STEM Projects

If you have ever tried a STEM challenge with your kids, you know that they are proud of their hard work (and rightly so). Sometimes, though, due to size, construction, or materials, a completed prototype just can't stay assembled. You will no doubt hear, "But I don't want to take it apart/throw it out/recycle it!"


It's best to let your students know ahead of time when their prototype can't stay in the classroom or go home with the student. Some kids just can't handle the disappointment if they aren't informed at the start that their creation won't last forever. Don't worry though, I have a simple and very effective solution! Most kids can be quite easily soothed to know that their creation can live forever in their heads with a simple photograph. I know this won't work 100% of the time, but it really does seem to work just about that.

Reason #1. Preserve their hard work by capturing a photo!

Worth a Thousand Words

While the frustration and disappointment is real, nothing quite captures the moment like a photograph. In this digital world we live in, photographs you can hold are even more special than they used to be, and are sure to please even the most reluctant STEM challenge disassembler.


2. Easy Peasy STEM Photos

You might be thinking that taking photographs sounds nice, but it is just too much effort. Who wants to remember to get out the camera or smartphone, take the photos, and then have them printed? While digital photos can be wonderful, especially if you have a designated STEM photographer for your class website, nothing quite beats a picture that can be displayed proudly at a desk or on a home refrigerator.

Reason #2. Taking photos is EASY! There is really no excuse to not take a photo in this day and age!

STEM Recording Sheet

I have created a STEM recording page/graphic organizer with a section to display photos from an instant camera. Please click the image below if you'd like to download and use it.
Won't you consider subscribing for more freebies like this one?
 

Reverse Engineer or Re-Make

This final reason to take photos in STEM class is one you just have to try out. After projects are complete and photos have been taken, other students can try to recreate the prototype from the notes and photo. While it's not always possible, it sure is fun to try! Students who wish to try and re-make their design another time will have an easier time remembering their prototype by looking at the picture.

Try an Instant Camera

Disclaimer: I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you downloads of value and information about educational resources. The link below is an Amazon affiliate link. You can read my full disclosure here.

Try the Fujifilm Instax
 


or Keep it Digital!

Take photos with a phone, tablet, etc. and then print on 2x3 sticky paper with the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer:

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Christmas STEM and STEAM Activities

Christmas STEM Activities for Kids


Ho, ho, ho! Try out these Christmas STEM activities this holiday season to keep students engaged all the way until holiday break. I have created twelve fun AND differentiated STEM and STEAM activities that range from simple towers to moving conveyors!

Get started with Christmas STEM

Jump right in with peppermint candy and have students create either a tower or a bridge. Don't forget to follow the engineering design process! While you don't need to spend a lot of time on each step, it is important to follow the process. Kids will want to start building right away! One way to avoid this is to hold off on building material distribution until after a design sketch has been completed.



Then move on to a gingerbread house! If you are working with upper elementary or middle school kids, create the house with cardboard and have them add a simple circuit to light up their house.


STEM Strength Challenge - Support the Weight of the Stocking Goodies!

An empty stocking is not that difficult to support, but what about all of the goodies Santa leaves? Students will need to design a counterbalance system to keep the stocking from falling. This is a great activity to practice the testing phase of an engineering design challenge. It's also important to make sure that your testing set-up is safe so that no toes are injured when the stockings inevitably fall!


Do You Hear What I Hear?

Design and create a jingle bell for Christmas! Use metal objects to create a jingling bell.
Once the bell design is complete, change up the challenge by having students create a way to silence the jingle bell.

Help the Elves in the Workshop

Moving gifts around in the workshop is no easy task! Help the elves by designing and creating a conveyor belt! This challenge is perfect for showing how rotational motion can be converted into translational motion.



Find these and more activities in the 12 Christmas STEM Challenges Activity pack! Not only will you find more detailed instructions for the above challenges, but each challenge comes with a colorful poster and engineering design recording page!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Christmas-STEM-Activities-12-Challenges-4241833?utm_source=Momgineer%20Blog&utm_campaign=Christmas%20STEM%20


CONTENTS of the Christmas STEM Resource
  • Suggested Material List
  • STEM Challenge Tips: General tips for any STEM challenge.
  • Teacher Notes: includes terminology and differentiation ideas.
  • Christmas STEM decor
  • Poster and dedicated recording page for each of the 12 main STEM challenges that guide the students through the engineering design process. Some of the challenges have an additional recording page for added difficulty, or to include metric measurements.
  • Challenges
    • Christmas Tree
    • Parachute Gift Drop
    • Workshop Conveyor Belt
    • Snowball Launcher
    • Stocking Holder
    • Candy Structures
    • Reindeer Shelter
    • Jingle Bell
    • Gingerbread House
    • Elf Zip Line
    • Sleigh for Santa
    • Christmas Maze
     
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Christmas STEM and STEAM Activities for Kids - 12 Challenges to Tinker all the Way!