Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Importance of Play in Education

Do you remember what you learned in elementary school? For most of us, that was a long time ago and we probably don’t remember much. But we often remember those fun events where we learned and played at the same time. Barbara Mehler is the media specialist at Bedford Hills Elementary School in Lynchburg VA and she came up with a very creative way to engage the kids at her school. She created a Think-ets Competition, based on the Think-ets game by Think-a-lot Toys.

She realized that there were lots of events where kids who excelled in sports got support and recognition for their talents but there weren’t events for kids who were great thinkers. So, she created a Think-ets Competition at which students played the classic game, “What’s Missing?” in pairs. The winner of each pair would advance to the next round--and if they were smart enough, they would reach the finals. The winner of the finals would win a free Think-ets game.

As she said, “We based the competition around the memory game, “What’s Missing?” because what we have been doing in the library for the last month is exercising your brain without watching television or being in front of a computer. I have gotten a lot of different kinds of games for our school but none of them have taken off like Think-ets. They think it’s just the most marvelous thing. I cannot express the excitement and enthusiasm that this game has created among our students. Now isn’t that cool?

When kids get engaged in something they love, they often “take it to heart.” The simple game of Think-ets has been such a game for this elementary school. Any other elementary school want to take up the challenge? Send us your story and we'll send you a free game.

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