2017 is a new year with new adventures. How do you plan to make 2017 different? How do you plan to make a difference in your family’s life? What about in your life? Playologist Builder, Karen Hagerty, is recommitting herself to her SimplyFun business in the new year. Below, she shares her goals for her business and her family.
Interested in becoming a SimplyFun Playologist builder? Join us!
SimplyFun Playologist, Karen Hagerty, lives in Waterford, CT with her husband, Drew and three sons, Orrie (11), Caleb (9) and Treyt n (5). After 25 years in Early Childhood Education, and 7 years of being a stay at home mom, becoming a Playologist was a simple choice to make sure their lives are filled with lots of laughter, love, music, and family.
Erase the boredom and spark your child’s interest in learning.
It’s not unusual for a child to either lose their interest or not be interested in learning at all, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ignite that interest.
It’s always the perfect time to start getting your child excited to learn. With the right methods, your child will be eager to absorb knowledge and try out new skills.
The more time you spend igniting a child’s interest now, the easier it’ll be for them to learn as they get older.
Uncover Their Interests
Children of all ages and even adults learn better when the topic is something they’re interested in. For instance, a kid that loves basketball would learn math better if basketball and math were tied together versus just trying to get a child to memorize math concepts via flashcards or a book.
The first step to igniting a passion for learning is to tie education to something the child already loves. If they have a favorite cartoon character, educational games involving the character gets them excited and they’ll have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re learning.
Make Learning Less Obvious
Structured learning is necessary sometimes, but it can also be extremely boring. Interactive or playful learning works much better. For instance, adults attending iPadpalooza didn’t exactly pay attention to dull lectures, but they learned about technology concepts through a fun race filled with playful challenges.
The same approach works for children. For instance, teach them reading skills by playing a game together that involves reading silly jokes off a card or ask them to read you a bedtime story instead of you reading to them.
Sometimes children, especially school-aged children, lose their interest in learning because every mistake seems to lead to lasting consequences or feedback comes too late to make a difference. With free play and games, mistakes don’t matter. Instead, they’re learning opportunities. A child feels safe learning and wants to try again to do better.
As children build confidence through play-based learning, they retain their interest in learning in other ways as well.
Focus On Having Fun
Learning should be fun. Ignite your child’s interest in learning this year by focusing on letting a child learn naturally through games, free play and their natural interests. Don’t try to force the issue. Your child will learn, but they’ll be more interested if they enjoy the process.
Focus, planning, patience and a good pencil grip are important skills that kids build in this colorful, eye-catching game that made the top of the list. The challenge of using a pincher tool to carefully remove the lizards off the Dreaming Dragon is fun that kids want to experience over and over again. This is why Dreaming Dragon has become a favorite in many homes.
Winner of the Parent’s Choice Silver Honor Award.
63 dogs in this game…63! Imagine being a kid and opening a game with over 5 dozen adorable dogs. It’s no wonder why this is number 2. Kids love the challenge of matching and collecting as many “man’s best friends” as possible without getting caught by the dog catcher. In the process they’re learning math, like counting, multiplication and predicting. Oh, and just setting the dogs up is half the fun! This award winning game has become a multi-year best seller.
Be(e) alert! No really, you need to be alert in this award winning game that challenges kids to remember which hive their colorful bee is hiding under. Speaking of the hives, kids love picking them up and sliding them around. They’re pretty much the stars in this game.
“Bee Alert is the most popular game at our house. We have a pretty large game collection, and this has been our favorite ever since we received it. We play it almost daily!” Brittany Clark, Mom, Wife, Busy Life
Kids build quick thinking and acting skills in this fast paced game. It also only makes sense that this game made the list, because fast = fun.
What’s a great way to teach kids early physics concepts? Competition and the challenge to keep something from falling, of course. This also makes for irresistible, hilarious family fun. And this is what makes Kilter a best seller year after year. It’s also the recipient of the prestigious Oppenheim Best Toy Award.
Kids love threading the berries onto their strings. While they’re doing this, they’re learning counting and building fine motor skills. Plus, this game integrates concepts of left to right and give and take. That’s a pretty hefty amount of skills for young learners. No wonder this made the top 10 list.
It’s like Scrabble, but with math. Kids get to build equations and practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. And it’s more than just game play. Check out what this mom did to help her kids with their math homework:
“When my girls were learning Algebra, it wasn’t quite making sense on paper, so we broke out our Sumology game. Being able to manipulate the tiles and move the numbers around brought it to life and allowed them to totally get it. I love Simply Fun, it’s so dual purpose.”
When competition is fierce, kids are more than willing to put their quick thinking math skills into action. That’s what makes this math-focused game a top seller for parents. It’s learning math without realizing you’re learning math.
Kids learn colors, shapes and counting up to 50 in this fun matching game. You’re never too old for Digger’s Garden Match because it’s fun for any age. That’s why parents and families have been drawn to this top seller for years.
Our top ten list rounds out with another fun color and shape matching game. This one, however, adds the element of a fast pace, which kids love. And, there’s no taking turns in this game.
Play is one of the greatest gifts to give children
Have you ever watched children play? There’s a joy on their faces that nothing else can quite match. They’re happy and having fun.
To most people, it might seem like they’re not doing anything important. The truth is, they’re actually learning, even if they’re just pretending they’re space aliens on a faraway planet.
One of the best gifts you could ever give your child is the freedom to explore their imaginations and play. It’s a gift that continues to help them even after they’ve grown into adulthood.
Play’s For More Than Fun
Whether it’s recess with friends or board games with the family, play is always more than just fun. In most cases, kids don’t even realize they’re learning anything at all, which is the point. After all, would you rather learn by playing a fun game or sitting in a classroom?
Dr. Laurel Bongiorno believes parents should never underestimate the power of play. It’s been proven that children develop skills, such as:
All of this happens while a child is laughing and enjoying time with friends and family. The earlier play begins, the more beneficial it is.
Children Stay Focused
When children see something as difficult, they may not be interested. Play is something enjoyable, leaving children open to educational opportunities, both for academic and life skills. The gift of play helps kids learn how to focus. Whether they’re pretending or trying to win a board game, they’re paying attention and absorbing valuable lessons at the same time.
Play-Based Learning Helps Children More
Children used to spend much of their early years, even at school, playing. From blocks and matching games to free play during recess, kids were encouraged to learn naturally. Experts believed a bigger focus on structured academics at an early age, such as 4 and 5, was a better approach.
Taking away play-based learning has been found to actually slow cognitive and emotional development. It may even cause kids to not want to learn at all. Play encourages exploration, teaches social skills and makes children more eager to learn, even in a traditional classroom setting.
Everyone needs more play, including children. It’s through play that children learn lessons and create memories that last a lifetime.
SimplyFun makes giving the gift of play easy. Visit SimplyFun.com.
The holidays are supposed to be one of the best times of the year, but for most people, it’s also one of the most stressful times.
Stress doesn’t have to rule the holiday season. What if laughter, joy and happiness were the season staples? It’s time to add in some fun and play.
You’d be surprised at how your mood changes when the family gathers together without any stress. Setting aside some time to play and laugh transforms a chaotic season into a memorable one.
Reduce The Stress For Everyone
Stress and depression are all too common during the holidays. Part of the problem is because people try to carry the world on their shoulders. With cooking, cleaning, buying gifts and all the other preparations, it’s easy to feel more stress than anything else.
The problem with stress is you miss out on all the good stuff. This can also taint how much fun everyone around you has too. Set aside some time to let all the stress go. A regular game night, even during the holidays, reduces stress not only for you, but for the entire family.
Start A New Holiday Tradition
You probably already have holiday traditions. Why not start a new tradition? Try games to get everyone in the spirit while still having fun. Traditions help bring families together and create lasting memories for parents and children. Not only will the family be excited about food and gifts, but they’ll look forward to special holiday game nights throughout the season.
Make The Holidays Wonderful Again
While the holidays mean different things to different people, the one thing that holds true is the holidays are for bonding and togetherness. It’s easy to get caught up in everything else and forget to stop and enjoy time together. When you’re playing games, you’re getting back to the reason for the season. And that is the entire purpose of the holiday season. You’re spending quality time together that creates lasting memories. Of course, winning doesn’t hurt either.
Make game night a must all year and get back to what’s most important – family.
Find a wide selection of games at SimplyFun.com