Disconnect the Xbox, uninstall the computer game software and close the laptop. You want your child to have fun but learn at the same time, at a fraction of the cost? Play a board game, experts say.
Candy Land, for example, in its 61st year, might be one of the best deals going in early childhood education, using visions of sweet treats to disguise lessons in color recognition and counting. And its colorful cousin Chutes and Ladders has been subtly instilling early math skills since 1943 by exposing kids to the concept of numbers. Both cost about $5 at Toys R Us. Some local teachers tout Uno, introduced in 1971, as a way to teach number and color recognition, sorting skills and strategic thinking. Uno is $7 at Toys R Us.
There are so many benefits to playing board games. For years, they've been known to help children with social interaction, taking turns and learning to follow rules and to win and lose gracefully. But teachers also find ways to use board games to supplement their lesson plans, particularly in preschool and early elementary school.