Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Game On!

Last month, I attended the NAG Spring Conference. As anyone who goes to conferences can tell you, shopping at the vendor booths is one of the best parts!

I always look forward to seeing what new things Connie has at CR Toys. Not only does she display her items, she does workshops for teachers. After attending one of her sessions, I ran to her booth and bought You've Been Sentenced, Word Pirates, Camouflage. and Knockout/Muggins.

There are many benefits of playing games. Social play teaches students how to share and take turns, how to communicate, and how to behave in groups and on teams. Games can reduce stress and help students gain confidence in their abilities. Physical movement helps keep children focused and engaged. Games allow students to apply the skills they have learned in different situations.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that challenging your brain with mentally stimulating leisure activities (including board games or cards, doing crossword puzzles, reading, writing, and playing musical instruments) is great for your mind. In fact, seniors who participated in such activities about once a week for a 20-year period reduced the risk of dementia by 7 percent. Those who engaged in these activities more often reduced their risk even more--by 63 percent.

So, come on teachers! Game ON!

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