Summer learning should be all about fun. It is vacation, after all! While “summer slide” is the trending word of the decade and none of us want to be accused of letting our kids succumb to it, I strongly believe in giving my child the same type of summer vacation I had as a kid. I never did worksheets and honestly, I didn’t go back to school forgetting everything I learned! Life offers plenty of opportunities for learning and reinforcing concepts learned in school.
One great way to help your kids retain knowledge and build new skills is by playing games with them. Marbles the Brain Store sent me two great games that not only reinforce the skills you want your kids to know, but also help you bond as a family and have an incredibly fun time doing it! Be forewarned, though, one of these games is incredibly addictive!
Summer Vacation Brain Games
Jacob and I can’t stop playing Tugie, the super simple yet super addictive Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner. The game takes seconds to learn. Stack the colorful pieces on the sturdy metal rod, roll the dice, then start tugging. If you pull your piece successfully, put it back on top. Be super careful, though, because if you pull out any other pieces aside from yours, you have to keep them. The first person to pull 6 extra pieces loses. Watch out for the Tugie symbol, you’ll need to pull TWO pieces below the grey piece…at the same time!
Like I said, super simple to play, yet not so easy to master! Each game takes just a few minutes. Jacob and I played for an hour, over and over. It’s incredibly fun. It’s also great for helping develop fine motor coordination, something that Jacob has issues with in school. Just over the course of that hour I saw his skills improve. During the first game, he pulled too many pieces on every turn. By the last game, he rarely pulled more than his own piece.
We also received a newcomer to Marbles The Brain Store, Parents’ Choice “Fun Stuff” Award Winner Sock Puppet Charades. It’s a brand new spin on the oldest party game around. While this one is better for larger families or groups, it’s still fun with just two people if you’re just playing for fun. The game comes with:
- two sock puppets
- one 60-second sand timer
- a bag of props (one blue cloth, a circular piece, a large square, a small square, a glass piece, a dowel, a small spool, and a yellow pipe cleaner)
- one score pad
- 200 Charades cards