I thought this would be the best board to ask this question because what I do not want are self-proclaimed "learning" games and activities that are so often recommended on traditional hs-ing boards, as I have found those to always fall short and be nose-bleed boring. This Fall we're starting with our "kindy" year (we are somewhere between Waldorf and unschooling) and I'm looking to make a kindy basket to kick off our year. We've been Waldorf-inspired for a long time, so we already have a very enriched life (we garden, craft a lot, bake from scratch, etc.), so I want to up the ante for kindy just for fun. We have tinker toys, blocks, tons of art supplies. I definitely want some logic games, as in games where you actually have to think to win. Any suggestions? Also, what are some fun, creative things that you think would work well for kindy level-about 2nd grade--I'm thinking things like Tangrams. I'm mostly interested in books, games, activities that would enrich logic and mathmatical skills, as language arts/imagination/music and art are very alive at our house already. I've generally found that unschoolers are the most creative in this area so that's why I thought I'd ask here. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
Blokus (more for the logic/strategy), Set (pattern recognition)
Any game involving dice, Backgammon works well with small hands and is all about counting.
Dominos (You can get double 12 sets)
You could make racing games by sketching out a path and dividing it into squares, then progress with dice or a spinner. (And all racing games can be cooperative simply by having the goal to be the whole team getting there.) Optionally have stuff like "move forward X space" "move back X spaces"
Rummikub starts out as a math game (have to have 30 points to get on the board) and then becomes a number order game.
For adding and subtracting, Straw is good plus it has a tie-in to the story about the overloaded camel.
I'm sooo looking forward to dd being old enough to play games.
Family Pastime has a number of cooperative games that require different think skills
I can't get the copy function to work or I'd give you links. Pattime Family's Snowstorm has some critical thinking. The Secret Door is a memorization game.
Sum Swamp, by another company, teaches addition and subtraction.
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it. See me at
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Rubik's cubes and wooden or metal logic puzzles are great. At the kindy level, I tend to go for simple stuff like Connect 4 or Pente, but we moved on pretty quickly to more advanced games. My 7-yr old digs chess, chinese checkers, Lord of the Rings, Samurai, Dominion, Settlers of Catan, and Axis and Allies - all very logic and math oriented with a bit of literature and social studies mixed in. There are also some clever games by the makers of Cranium which are kind of education-y but not boring, like Ziggity. We are game fiends.
Lego! For math and patterns, it cannot be beat.
My son is 5 and he actually likes playing monopoly - we bought the star Wars version as he is a HUGE Star Wars fan. In it you trade and count money, buy properties, collect rent, count the dice rolls, etc. All sorts of math and life skills in there.
He also loves doing puzzles, and did I mention building Lego?