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The Power of Play

An essential strategy for learning

Article by Kathy Slemp

Photography by Kathy Slemp

Originally published in Tulsa Lifestyle

Play builds the foundation for a lifetime of learning. According to LegoFoundation.com “children learn best through play. It's how they learn to understand the world and deal with life’s challenges. It helps develop important life skills, from reading, writing and numeracy through to problem-solving, resilience, testing ideas and interacting with others. Play also brings families together, giving parents and children the chance to learn, grow and have fun together.”

“In play, children develop a lasting disposition to learn.”—ChildrensMuseums.org. Playing games with rules allow children to explain, question and negotiate the rules. Playing with adults offers a child more mature and varied forms of play.

We stopped by Tulsa Toy Depot at 101st and Sheridan and asked which games were popular for learning and family fun.

Panda’s Picnic in the Park, 2+  

Kids practice colors and shapes, turn-taking, gross and fine-motor skills and vocabulary as they play. 

Geometric Fishes Magnetic Fishing Game, 3+

Development of imagination, spatial thinking, fine motor skills, geometric shapes.

Zingo! Word Builder, K-2

Improves reading skills, enhances letter sounds, phonics skills, spelling, word recognition and logic. Builds vocabulary and teaches spelling patterns.

The Storymatic Kids, 5+

Ideal for early writers and readers, parents who need some fresh bedtime stories, and teachers who want to nurture creativity.

Five Crowns Card Game, 8+

Family fun! An addictive rummy-style card game that provides great interaction for kids and adults!

Slapzi, 8+

Family fun! This game is all about speed. Develops dexterity, quick thinking and interaction.  

The Scrambled States of America™ Game - Deluxe Edition, 8+

The whimsical, mad-dashing geography game that reinforces geography, hand-eye coordination and visual discrimination.

Cat Stax & Dog Pile, 10+

The purrrrfect logic or tail wagging game! Encourages spatial reasoning, logic, critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity. Multiple levels of difficulty. 

Storymatic Synapsis, 10+

Ready for a challenge? A conversational, improvisational way to create stories. Helps with sentence structure, figurative language, conversational skills, sequential thinking, memory recall, and fosters imagination and empathy.

Storymatic Rememory, 13+

Family fun! Rememory helps you access stories you already have— your memories and is a great tool for developing characters and exploring backstory. The perfect family reunion game or to use for interviewing family members.

Puppets, 5+

Family fun! Stimulates imagination, creativity and emotional development, improves motor skills, teaches etiquette, boosts confidence in speaking and reading skills, and increases group participation.

Additional resources for learning through play CenterForParentingEducation.org, EducationWorld.comExchangeFamilyCenter.org, IXL.com

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