Who knew charades could be educational?
Big Little Things does it right
What does play look like to you? Do you think back to the times your family would gather around a carrom board every Sunday, with specks of talcum powder sprinkled on the ground? You could be playing with your dog and her favourite chew stick. Or going for an ultra-competitive trivia night after a long day of work. We all play, albeit differently. It’s an engaging community experience that can transcend language barriers, backgrounds, and social media followers. There’s joy and power in play, and increasingly, educators and specialists have come out in support of using different forms of play to help kids learn.
No one, especially kids, plays with the intention to learn something new. But that’s the best part, at least from a parent’s perspective. It’s the academic equivalent of sneaking extra veggies into their meals. You can use educational games, like the card games created by Big Little Things, to make learning interactive and to change things up. We know what you’re thinking: aren’t educational toys and games dreadfully boring? But Big Little Things does it brilliantly, using illustrated cards in vivid colours to capture the attention of your little one.
Studies show that the use of cards as visual aids or flashcards for teaching kids can enhance their language skills, exercise their creativity and storytelling, and improve memory and sequential learning.
Paediatrician Dr Supriya Kushwah explains that by the age of three, the brain development of children is eighty to ninety per cent complete. These first three years are the ideal time to engage in such card games as they learn a lot quicker and retain the lessons for years to come.
Dr Preeti, of A to Z For Mums, explains that the best cards to pick are ones that connect the game to your children’s reality. Think images and items which your child can connect to or find in their surroundings, such as Big Little Things’ Scavenger Hunt card game. Each card displays clearly illustrated attributes of everyday objects. The fun is then in making mental connections. Your kids can run around the house trying to find an object that matches the card. The Big Little Things team explains that these activities sharpen “their ability to focus, to visually perceive, to remember and most importantly to think creatively.” For example, one card says ‘Smelly’ so they need to find something around them that they think is smelly. Another says ‘Something you love’ so they can pick pretty much anything their little hearts desire.
Another one we love from their collection has to be the Little Performers card game. Ideal for kids above the age of three, they take turns enacting what is depicted in text and through a visual on the card and you have to guess what they’re acting out. Kind of like charades. The cues are divided into four categories: emotions, animals, actions and objects. You can make teams and have them guess each other’s cues, or you can enact the action and have the kids try to guess. Honestly, with a game this fun, we’re OK playing fast and loose with the rules.
Light and portable, you can take these games anywhere. Learning something new doesn’t need to feel like sitting in a hot classroom with no electricity in the middle of summer. Big Little Things has tapped into the potential of learning through play. Your mini-me is going to fall in love with whichever game they can get their hands on.
View their entire collection of games here.