Whether it is choosing a game to purchase or one to make, basically the same ingredients are involved.
There are two prime parts of a game:
- The SKILL being taught, drilled or reviewed. Is it exactly what the child needs? Meeting the need is often easier with a home-made game, as rarely has a purchased game been created with your child at this point in his educational develpment in mind.
- The FORMAT or method of play. While some children prefer active outdoor type games, others would rather play a strategy filled board game or an exciting fast-paced dice game. With the large variety of game formats available, it is easy to find a few each child will especially like.
Other things to consider:
- The COST involved. While it could cost as much as $25 or more to purchase a pretty boxed game to drill the US states and capitals, this same amount could be used for materials to make several games drilling this same skill. By having several different games that drill the same material, it is often possible to play for an extended period of time which means quicker mastery. When a child tires of one method of play, another game can be selected, however, the same skill is still being worked on.
- The TIME involved to make games. Often this is the biggest reason offered for not making games. However, if the children participate in the making of the game, learning is already beginning. Older children may be encouraged to write questions and answers on cards as a unit is being studied, thus learning and making the review game at the same time. Children are also eager to play games they have helped to create.