I read this post today at Floortime Lite Mama and I was intrigued to watch the TED video from Aimee Mullins. I do not have time to share my thoughts today but I really wanted to share her talk because I felt it was really great.
After watching Temple Grandin and reading this particular article and a few books, this past holiday we decided to work on turn taking and game skills. Temple shared how it helped her a lot learning turn taking and with David being SO into games, we felt that we should use the knowledge that David had gained about learning and games. He LOVES games, me not so much. It depends on the game. David is all about the strategy and I am all about reading the rules.
David likes to take hours playing games, doing role-playing games and those with deep story lines or other games like Risk.
Me, I like straight forward, tell me what to do, let’s play the game and then I feel satisfied that we finished it. I don’t care who wins. I have programmed myself not to, otherwise I get obsessive about winning. There is a whole history behind games and my dad’s side of the family that I will not go in to, but it caused me to not want to play games as an adult. Let’s just say the obsessive winning thing is genetic. Ariel is like that, if she doesn’t win, it is the end of the world. She is getting better. Joshua just loves playing, he doesn’t care if he wins or looses he just loves to play much like David.
Daniel, however, has not had a lot of interest.
He has played games off and on but it has been very hard to keep his attention most of the time. In the past few months we have seen a change in this. There were several games that we focused on to help with certain skills we felt we all needed to work on. David has done a ton of research on how games are great learning tools. He can go on for hours, days, years about board games, role-playing games, internet games, chess….whatever game, he can talk about it and share how it can be used as a learning tool. His mind automatically does this, when he sees a game, he will say that it can be used for math, reason, strategy, language, storytelling, and many other things.
I look at a game and I see rules that must be followed.
I do not share that special interest but I do learn a lot and have had my mind opened to interesting ways of teaching through David’s special interest. All of that to say he talked me into using games. He will send me game information and tell me how it may be good for school and I decide which ones I could use best for school and learning skills. It sounds like it may not be too fun but actually, I have observed the kids learning faster by adding games into our curriculum.
All of the games are learning tools without anyone feeling like it is.
I need particular games to play with the kids because I do not like role-playing games. David will play games with them like Heroscape and he modifies the game or they will make up game rules together. I do not enjoy playing The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, (he has all three) like they do. Daniel and I sit out and do our own thing, it seems he doesn’t much get into them either. However, sometimes he does join them. We finally chose several games that we have gotten over a course of time, while they have gone on sale over throughout the past year until now. There have been several different skills that we have been working on. They are as follows:
- Turn Taking
- Learning Make Believe/ Descriptive Story Telling
- Learning Rules/Following Them
- Having Fun
- Communication Skills
- Social Skills
- Motor Skills
- Completing Tasks
So far we are seeing some big improvements with all of the kids.
I am pleased with my ability to be able to do the list above as well. Playing games has improved Daniel’s communication with Ariel and Joshua. He is starting to tell them clearly what he is thinking or wants a lot of the time, instead of using me as a mediator. I have seen this improve much more rapidly since we started focusing on doing games together. There are several things I have seen a lot of improvement on. I really like to watch them enjoy themselves as they learn. We not only use board games but interactive internet games as well. We have a huge lot of software from graphic drawing to ancient history. The internet as well has many free resources for games.
We are a multi-sensory learning family, since that comes naturally to me and the kids just absorb, it works well.
Since we started to really focus on the story telling and trying to act out our stories, Daniel has recently asked for a doctor set. He has actually been connecting with David quite a bit. David has a tackle box with his “doctor” stuff in it and Daniel asked for his own so he could “be like Daddy”. Since this was the first time he has ever asked or connected like that we got him a set.
We also got Ariel her vet kit that she has been wanting since before Christmas.
Joshua wanted Lego’s, what else is there in the world? It has proven to be a great buy, Ariel and Daniel have been playing off and on with their sets. They will lay out blankets on the floor and set up an animal hospital and people hospital. Joshua is their assistant, which means getting every stuffed animal and doll in the house, so they can be taken care of. I don’t know if this will help others but I thought I would share how games have helped us.
Here are some pictures and I will give links for people to check out if they feel like it.
Here are some reads about board game learning and a few about video game learning if you are interested.
And now for the game links I have pictured! I have other links of games we have that I do not have pictured as well. (I do not make any money off of these links, I just use them because they normally have good photos and descriptions.)
Think Fun Blocks All of the sets can be found on this link along with more similar games.
Here are some games we have that I do not have pictured, they are either upstairs with David or in the other closet.
Upwords This game has helped Daniel and Ariel be able to create words from other words.
Jenga They use the Jenga blocks as regular blocks as well. They get pretty creative with them.
We have a lot more, David and I actually played a lot of games before the kids were born. (I do pretty well with limited people playing, I felt comfortable with David and was able to have fun.) I have used them for a while with trying to do therapy but it didn’t actually resonate with me until I read the article that Temple wrote and connected what David had been telling me about his research. So there you have it, I guess I will say David was right maybe I should have listened to him in the first place. :- )