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Educational Games & Toys for Learning at Home

Our family's favorite educational games and toys for learning at home. Catch it all over on KaraLayne.com!

As I was writing today’s post I got to thinking about our leap into home educating and the joy it has brought us. Can you believe it has been two and a half years already? I will forever say that it was the most unexpected blessing for us. I have connected with so many of you who have made a change in this area. Along with those families who have made the jump recently due to current situations and wanting to have better control. So today I wanted to share our favorite educational games and toys for learning at home.

It’s funny how different you look at things in your everyday life. Grocery shopping isn’t just shopping anymore. It’s a chance to teach. Weighing produce, keeping a total to stay on budget, even counting correct change at checkout. The dinner table conversations have turned from “what we did today” to discussing something they learned in history more in-depth. Or about sharing with Dad the science experiment they did that day. Car rides are about listening to little ones sound the words out on signs and intentionally helping them get it right. This type of intentionality has also applied to the games and toys we shop for.

Don’t get me wrong – we still enjoy regular, laid-back entertainment. But we have actually come to discover the joy we all feel in games and entertainment geared towards learning. And I think it has a lot to do with our cubs’ education taking a complete 180. Before in public school, it was about grades and cramming for tests, projects, and a lot of stress. We never saw it for what it was because it was all we knew. Now? My goodness, how life has changed!

Our family's favorite educational games and toys for learning at home and that help in our homeschooling. Catch it all over on KaraLayne.com!

I have found that finding ways and collecting tools that allow my younger cubs to play while learning helps them to catch on to new concepts quicker. With this, I have also seen them retain information more than they did before. Again, because we aren’t pounding facts and information into their brains with the goal of a good test score. The focus is more on solidifying their grasp of a concept. What follows is their brain’s incredible ability to remember facts because they had fun doing it. It’s wild to watch as their parent and something I never knew I was missing out on.

What I love most though is how much these educational games and toys bring our children together. While a lot of them are geared toward the younger cubs, it’s amazing watching one of my teenagers sit and play Bananagrams with Owen or Blair. Or watch them all put together a world map and make it a game of who can place the most countries in their correct spot. And for game nights, their first pick is usually Scrabble and I just sit back and give them a sly smile. I’m still not even sure if some in our group have picked up on what is really happening when they play – wink! 

Okay, so having a larger collection of tools like this has also helped in keeping younger ones busy for me to give attention to another cub who is working through their studies. I mean, there are five of them, and only one of me – you know a mom could use every tool in her arsenal!

Our family's favorite educational games and toys for learning at home and that help in our homeschooling. Catch it all over on KaraLayne.com!

 

Over on my Amazon affiliate page, I have gathered all of our family’s favorite games and toys that we love using for learning at home in the “home education” list on my page. If I had to pick my top favorites…

  1. This one was a Christmas gift for Brooks just this past December and we have fallen in love with Osmo. It works with an iPad and we got him the starter kit. He has really enjoyed it! It incorporates a screen and technology which as parents we all know makes their eyes go big, but it is such a fun approach to helping him learn his letters, creating shapes, and storytelling. 
  2. Such a basic one, but Scrabble really is a must-have. If little ones are hesitant about being able to do it themselves, we simply create teams and pair a younger cub with an older one. Ooh! And Scattegories! If you haven’t yet added Scattegories to your family’s game collection, it’s the best. Our family goes crazy over Scattegories and those turn into such wild and hilarious nights!
  3. Even extremely simple toys like this one have been a huge help to me. I will completely disassemble it and Brooks loves going through the number puzzle pieces, stacking the rings in matching colors, and calling out the shapes while I quiz another cub on their spelling words. It’s a true win for both of us!
  4. I have also loved incorporating toys for different learning concepts. Instead of being given a worksheet, we use something tangible and it really helps them see things visually and grasp concepts so much quicker. We have loved having this money set on hand for learning the different coins and bills and also how to count and give correct change. I don’t like how much our society relies on technology and my kids know that we don’t take the easy option for something as basic as giving correct change. And even something as simple as these counting cubes. Allowing them to physically stack the number we are counting to or take time for pattern play has been awesome for them.
  5. The last one I will point out is this world puzzle we got. I searched and searched because I wanted the puzzle pieces to be the actual shape of the country so they can recognize things visually when it comes to geography. So many country and world puzzles don’t do this. This one also comes with flags for each country to add to the puzzle so between that and each country being its own piece it keeps everyone busy for a while. It’s been awesome at helping all of us learn the world map!

Our family's favorite educational games and toys for learning at home and that help in our homeschooling. Catch it all over on KaraLayne.com!

Have I babbled on long enough about educational games and toys?! I promise it’s only because we have had so much fun learning at home and building up our collection of tools. And I hope this helps you find a few that you love and can enjoy in your home!

Are there some that I am totally missing out on? Please share your favorites below so I can discover them too!

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Want to dive into more?

To find out more about the curriculum we use, you can find out more right here.

To get a peek behind the scenes, how I homeschool our five cubs while running a business, and to get my free daily printable planner, head here.

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