“School’s Out for Summer”

I was never an Alice Cooper fan, but I think both students and teachers alike relate to this song  as they celebrate the end of another school year.  Once the celebration is over, and the thrill of being able to sleep in late has worn off, what then?  Summer is a great time for students to apply all they have learned during the school year, and discover their interests, in order to be motivated for the year to come.  Fortunately I live in a community that offers a variety of educational summer camps at a reasonable cost, but summer camps usually only last a week.  What about the rest of the summer?  I suggest you play games.  When parents play games with their children, it provides an opportunity for parents to discuss topics like fairness, good sportsmanship, cooperation, taking turns, manners, how to deal with loss and failure without frustration or winning with humility.  We are a card playing family and at most family gatherings, a deck of cards usually comes out.  But if you are not card players, there are many games that reinforce mathematical skills necessary to be successful when school starts.  Some of my favorites for reinforcing mental math are Yahtzee, Dix Mille, and dominoes.  Games that help with visual spatialization are Set and Blockus.  Games that reinforce logic and reasoning are Mastermind, Battleship, Parcheesi, Sudoku and a new game that a student recently introduced me to, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, my new favorite game.  Each round lasts 5-10 minutes, you can play as few or as many rounds as you like, and it is fun for all ages and grade levels.  So the next time you hear the words, “I am so bored” this summer, go look through your games and as a family, play and enjoy!

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