Educational Games for Kids – Dyslexia, Dysgraphia - Help, Support & Resources

Educational Games for Kids


Lady & child writing with chalk

Lady & child writing with chalk

Educational Games for Kids with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, ADHD & other Learning Disabilities.

Playing educational games with kids is one of the best ways to improve their learning disabilities. That’s why, I am a great believer in getting kids to learn through play. When they are playing educational games, they improve core skills, like fine motor skills or gross motor skills.

I have listed lots of educational games below, to help kids with disabilities, like dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia etc., to improve these skills, which are essential for all-round balance and stability.

Educational games are the best way to learn!


Educational Games for Kids

Child playing with Nuts & Bolts

Child playing with Nuts & Bolts

• Bath-time – make words out of foam in the bath. Or use water guns (if your walls are tiled.)

 

• Bubble-wrap – who doesn’t like that popping those?

 

• Card-making – make cards, using peel-off stickers, small ‘eyes’ etc.

 

• Chalk or coloured pens – practice letter formation on a black/whiteboard.

 

• Clothes pegs – can be used to get children to pick up small to medium objects and move them from one place to another. (I think we all have them at home!).

 

• Colouring books – help children stay inside the lines.

 

• Conkers – great game, some schools have banned them in the UK because they are dangerous! Can you believe it, I don’t know how we managed to grow up safely. However, this was another game I never managed to conquer!!

 

• Construction games – I don’t

Mecanno Toy

Mecanno Toy

think there can be anything much better than these, especially Lego & Meccano, for creativity. A basic set isn’t too expensive (and I purchased mine, second hand on Facebook), but you can pick them up anywhere, jumble sales, charity shops, or just put an advert somewhere.

 

• Crocheting – like knitting, this can be complicated when you first start, but you can always find an easy one, to begin with.

 

• Doing up buttons and zips – young children or people with dysgraphia and dyspraxia find these very difficult. One idea is to get about half a yard of material (or an old dress), cut it in two and sew different size buttons on it. Then with the other piece, make some small to medium slits, and the child can play with those. They can start off with the big buttons and gradually work down to the smallest ones. (Or go to the wardrobe and find some clothes with different size buttons on, bit messier though!).

 

• Dot to Dot – I love this, good old-fashioned game, but teaches so many skills, coordination, direction, spatial awareness and more.

 

• Doylies – colouring in old-fashioned ‘doylies’ (for cakes) is another way to improve fine-motor control, just use double-sided tape, so it stays in place and remove it afterwards.

 

• Drawing shapes – i.e. triangles, squares and circles. Many people overlook this activity but believe you me, you will soon know if your child has difficulty with handwriting etc., by simply getting them to draw shapes!

 

• Etch a Sketch – practice

Etch-a-Sketch

Etch-a-Sketch

writing – write, shake it, and it goes away.

 

• Finger painting – I use old wallpaper, you can usually get a roll cheap (or free sometimes).

 

• Five-Jacks – pick up the ‘jacks’ as quick as possible. This is one of the oldest and most popular games in the world and can even be used with pebbles or fruit stones.

 

• Folding paper – get a piece of paper fold it in half, then half again, keep repeating.

 

• French knitting – takes me back to my childhood. Five of us sitting around doing this!

 

• Golf Tees – get some polystyrene (or box), sand & golf tees. Stand the golf tees upright and get the child to use their fingers to put marbles on the tees. When they have mastered this, get them to use a teaspoon, this is much more difficult.

 

• Jigsaw Puzzles – another really old game, that you either love or hate, but like ‘Dot to Dot’, it teaches many skills, coordination, direction, spatial awareness and more, so don’t just overlook them.

 

• Kim’s Game – Put an object like a key in a cotton bag and ask the child to guess what the item is.

 

• Knitting – this is an art in itself and can be quite tricky for any children, never mind children with dyslexia, dyspraxia or similar problems. But, if you can find someone to teach them, it is excellent. Many people teach the child to knit 2” squares, this way, they can be used to make a blanket.

 

• Lego – must be one of the

Lego

Lego

most well-known and educational toys on the planet. They have even made some now with brail on them.

 

• Marbles – great for fine motor skills and (great for counting as well).

 

• Mazes – tracking objects to their ‘homes’, – like tracing a fish back to his fish-bowl, with a pencil (trying not to go outside the lines).

 

Mecanno Toy

Mecanno Toy

• Meccano – another old fashioned and excellent for children’s creativity.

 

• Mosaics – colouring in ‘mosaics’ is an excellent way to improve ‘fine motor’ control; much better than mere colouring. You can get these for the first baby stage, increasing in difficulty and I have even seen them available for adults now. Apparently, it ‘calms you down’.

 

• Nuts & Bolts – get some

Child playing with Nuts & Bolts

Child playing with Nuts & Bolts

different size nuts and bolts and let the child work out how they fit together. I put this suggestion on my Facebook page the other day, and within hours, a parent let me know, they went straight out to the garage to get some. I was very pleased with that.

 

• Paint by Numbers – an excellent way to improve ‘fine motor’ control.

 

• Painting – large shapes, pictures etc.

 

• Painting – small areas.

 

• Paper – tear paper into tiny strips.

 

• Paperclips – link paperclips together to make a chain.

 

• Plasticine – gosh, I don’t know when this was invented, but it must have kept millions of children, worldwide so much pleasure, you can make so many different things, including words.

 

• Pre-formed wooden/plastic letter shapes – children follow with their fingers, and sometimes with their eyes closed. Saying the letters at the same time helps, as does following them with their eyes closed.

 

• Pummelling things – Play-Doh, Plasticine, Blue Tac, Modelling Clay, Therapeutic Clay. Or try making bread from scratch! All excellent for strengthening those little hands and fingers.

 

• Rice – Fill a tub with rice and hide small things in it, let them try to find the items hidden.

 

• Sand/Salt Trays – Practising writing letters in trays. (I use cat litter trays they are very cheap.)

 

• Scissors – oh, are these difficult for children, but by getting the ‘baby’ ones, you can move on as they get the idea. This is a very difficult skill to manage because you have to do two different things with your fingers, move your wrists to the correct position and then, with the other hand, hold the paper – phew! But, just look at those skills they are developing.

 

• Shaving foam – on a tray, in the bath, and practice letter writing.

 

• Shoelaces – gosh, are these difficult! But once again, they teach valuable skills. So, if you want to cheat and buy the ones that you don’t have to tie, (Hickies) fine, but I think it is best to wait until kids have mastered the skill first (if possible) Some people have made them using an old tissue box, good idea, because you can put it on the table).

 

• Skipping – is an excellent way to workout because it is a ‘low-impact’ game and raises your heart rate quickly.

 

• Specially lined paper – using a pencil to trace over letters on specially lined paper. You can also get a specially lined paper, that has one ‘line’ slightly raised.

 

• Spirograph – is excellent for hand control, and the children can make such beautiful pictures.

 

• Squeeze Balls, Squidgie Balls

Squeeze Ball

Squeeze Ball

& Tennis balls – these don’t really need explaining except to say, you can get them in all different strengths, which is why they are mentioned here.

 

• Templates – help to keep the paper in the right place/angle.

 

• Threading – coloured beads or pasta in a particular order on a piece of string.

 

• Threading a needle – (Oh, my gosh, I never managed this!) This skills involved are tremendous.

 

• Tongs – are good for picking up almost any item, big to small.

 

• Tongs – get a tray, bowl and some small things to pick up, like marbles, pasta, sweets rice and using a pair of tongs let the child pick up the items and put in the bowl. You can start with big items, going right down to minute ones – so the child is never failing.

 

• Tracing pictures – This is quite a skill to keep your hands steady while doing this again a hint is to put a bit of double-sided tape on the back, which can be removed afterwards.

 

• Tweezers – are perfect for picking up really small items an excellent way to improve their grasp.

 

• Water-Guns – can be used to write on the pavement a back wall.

 

• Wooden Letters – You can get different types of these, some have sandpaper on the back, others have foam, but whichever ones you have, get the children to use fingers to trace around them. Saying the letter at the same time if possible. This helps the memory to retain the information.

Maria Chivers © 2019

 

Educational Games to help with Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are involved in smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, feet and toes.

There are over 25 muscles in hand and fingers, using the games below, will specifically help with strengthening the hands and wrists, which ultimately help to better handwriting and drawing.


At the moment the list of games is altogether in the ‘Educational Games for Kids’ above.

It will be separated asap into fine & gross motor skills.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

 

 

 

Educational Games to help with Gross Motor Skills

¹Gross motor skills are involved in the movement and coordination of the arms, legs and other core muscles.

Increasing your core stabilising muscles helps to support the trunk of the body. Once the ‘trunk’ (your back) is well supported, you are better able to sit in the correct position. This enables the shoulder to support the arm which, in turn, allows the hand and fingers to be supported correctly.

Many of the suggestions below are either free or cost very little.

¹https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_motor_skill


At the moment the list of games is altogether in the ‘Educational Games for Kids’ above.

It will be separated asap into fine & gross motor skills.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.