Are you searching for ways to help your kiddos celebrate Grandparents’ Day with their far-away grandparents? By playing learning games with their grandparents over video chat apps like Zoom or Apple’s FaceTime, they can have loads of fun with their grandparents while learning some important life skills and academic skills.
Come with us as we explore how games help children learn and how grandparents can play a big role in children’s education. We’ll also share how to get the most out of screen time with kids and talk about nine fun learning games to play on Kinoo.
Do Games Help Children Learn?
Until kids head to school, most of their learning is done through play. Play may include games, make-believe, and exploring the world around them.
Kids’ cognitive skills can improve through game playing. Cognitive skills include memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. These skills are super important for more academic learning.
While cognitive skills are crucial in school, non-cognitive skills are just as necessary. These skills include communication and social skills. Patience, discipline, and learning how to work together as a team can all be learned through game playing.
Does Involving Family Help Kids Learn?
There’s so much more to learning than simply memorizing the facts. There’s a large emotional piece to learning as well. Kids who feel supported by their families are often more ready to learn. Family engagement may improve academic performance and social skills and reduce behavior issues in school.
How Can Kids Learn the Most on Video Calls?
Families don’t always live in the same zip code, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in the lives of their favorite little ones. Video calls via FaceTime or Skype have increasingly become a way for families to connect, especially with kids. In fact, it has even been shown that kids who are read to through video calls experience the same benefits as those who were read to in person.
However, video calls through iOS apps like FaceTime can make it difficult for kids to stay engaged with the calls. Often, they're running off and distracted, leaving the grownups sitting on a video call staring at the crown molding on the ceiling.
That said, video calls can be amazing when done right. When you talk and play through Kinoo, you get to have meaningful conversations with little ones while engaging in super fun games for all ages. Kinoo Connect was developed by experts in education, technology, and child development in order to bring families together.
Fun FaceTime Game Ideas To Try
When kids are on FaceTime with friends or family, there are countless fun things to do together. In addition to the games we listed below (some of which are only on Kinoo), have your kids try these on their next FaceTime call with a loved one:
9 Learning Games for Kids To Play Over Kinoo Connect
Kinoo offers a variety of learning games and activities perfect for supporting kids’ budding education. Since we understand how important it is for kids to feel supported by their families, we offer open-ended conversation starters to help support the connection between kids and older loved ones.
Here are the nine best games and activities your little learner can enjoy with their adult loved ones to help support their developing brains. Kinoo is incredibly versatile, allowing the adult to customize certain activities directly to what kids are learning in school. From card games to board games, we make playing virtual games with long-distance loved ones a breeze.
Parents, if your kids are learning something specific in school or are struggling with a concept, share this information with the caller beforehand. They may be able to slide in some learning opportunities into the call without your child even realizing it!
1. Sock Match
Emergent math skills begin to develop while children are quite young. Matching, classification, arranging objects, and patterning are all early math skills that are important for toddlers and early elementary skills.
These skills are the building blocks for more complex math skills learned throughout all of school. Not only do these skills help children learn math concepts, but they also help little ones make sense of the world around them.
Sock Match is an entertaining activity where kids and their grownups can practice classifying, matching, and sorting socks. With research-based, age-appropriate levels, the grownup can pick the best level for the kiddo on the call. When kids can play the best games at their level, they're less likely to become bored because it's too easy or discouraged if it’s too hard.
2. Doggie Dots
Is your little math whiz working on their number recognition? Doggie Dots is a fun way to practice numbers, connecting the name of the number to how it's written and the importance of keeping numbers in the correct order.
While playing Doggie Dots, your mini-mathematician will connect the numbers with a straight line, starting from the lowest number and moving to the next consecutive number. Once they have connected each number, they’ll be delighted when the picture comes to life!
Not only are numbers used in Doggie Dots, but there are also puzzles that use letters instead of numbers. This is a great opportunity for little ones to practice their letter recognition.
3. Gratitude Cards
Gratitude is an important skill that’s not learned by a simple lesson in school. Gratitude is taught over time, often by children watching the adults in their lives foster gratitude.
Gratitude is more than simply saying thank you. It’s thought the experience of gratitude includes four separate entities: what we notice, how we think, how we feel, and what we do when we’re grateful.
One way to help kids learn more about gratitude is by asking questions surrounding the topic. In Activity Explorer, your little one can practice showing their gratitude through Gratitude Cards.
While creating a gratitude card, the grownup can ask pointed questions that help the child focus on how they notice, think, and feel about the things they're grateful for.
4. Cookie Maker
Math and reading are more than problems on a worksheet or textbook. There are so many basic tasks in life that require a basic understanding of math, reading, and problem-solving. Cooking and baking are perfect examples of this. When you’re following a recipe, reading and math are imperative.
In the Cookie Maker activity, your little baker, with the help of their grownup loved one, can work to bake the most delicious virtual cookies. Your little one can use the Kinoo Wand to measure and whisk ingredients to make the cookie dough before popping the cookies into the oven.
5. Pizza Party
At Kinoo, we love it when thinkers of all ages get creative in the Activity Explorer. Pizza Party is one activity that can be used for learning in so many ways. First, let your little pizza chef get creative in making a delicious pizza. They can make a dessert pizza or a savory pizza — the sky's the limit.
Once they’re finished with the creation process, your growing chef can play exciting learning activities with their favorite relative. They can practice sight words using the whipped cream and play a game of tic tac toe with pizza toppings to practice strategy. For the kids learning fractions, pizzas are an awesome way to reinforce this concept.
6. Monster Match
Learning isn’t only about school subjects. It’s also important for kids to learn social and emotional skills. Kids can understand their big emotions by labeling them with words and talking about them. Reading books and playing games demonstrating various feelings is a great way to dive into these critical conversations.
Monster Match is an awesome example of how to include emotions in a silly way to help kids learn names for different emotions. Your little one and a grownup can work together to match the monsters to their matching buddy. Once they're matched, their frowns will turn upside down!
This simple game is enjoyable for people of all ages!
7. Jigsaw Puzzles
Game nights can include more than board or word games. Today, we’re bringing puzzles to your iPhone or tablet.
Jigsaws have been a favorite pastime for families for hundreds of years — the ideal party game for a quiet night in. With the luxury of technology, kids can now enjoy spending time with family members over a Kinoo call while working together to solve a puzzle. Once the puzzle is solved, everyone can watch in wonder as the puzzle comes to life.
Puzzles offer more than an enjoyable pastime. When kids work to solve a jigsaw puzzle, they gain spatial skills. These skills include understanding the size and shape of an object — or puzzle piece — and how those objects fit together. Spatial skills are needed to read maps, pack a backpack, or build a tower out of blocks.
Playing an interactive game of charades is a super fun way to get kids up and moving. This family-favorite game is a delightful way to practice non-verbal skills and go on a scavenger hunt for the right answer.
Charades can also reinforce emotional skills by including emotions in the mystery words. Reading skills are practiced as well, as the little reader reads their word.
Kinoo has taken this iconic, simple game and put our own twist on it. First, the grownup can select the appropriate difficulty level for your little actor. When everyone is ready to play, a word will pop up on the actor's screen. Then, acting skills are put to the test to see if their partner can guess the word.
Is your little one practicing their spelling and reading skills? Snowman — also known as hangman — is a super versatile game perfect for interactive video calls. If your kiddo is interested in playing this game, tap on Painting in Activity Explorer and get started.
To play Snowman, one person writes dash lines for each letter in a secret word. Then, the second player begins guessing letters that may be in the word. If they get a letter correct, the first player writes the letter on the corresponding dash mark. If the guesser gets it wrong, then part of the snowman is drawn.
There are nine opportunities to guess incorrectly — three circles for the body, two arms, one pair of eyes, one carrot nose, one mouth, and one hat. If the complete snowman is drawn, the player who chose the word wins. If the word is guessed before the snowman is finished, the guesser wins!
This is especially the perfect game for when families are bonding while far apart.
Games are fantastic resources to help reinforce important skills kids are learning at school and at home. Playing games can promote social, emotional, and academic learning. By integrating learning games into a family video call, kids practice what they're learning and build strong bonds with their loved ones, promoting better academic performance.
Kinoo Connect has brought fun to virtual family time. Through the nine great games and activities that we explored, your little one will be able to connect with their grandparents while supporting important life and academic skills.