Saturday, January 17, 2015

Matching Games and Visual Learners

With everyone being sick on and off, the kids and I have been very much out of routine.  Sure, we have our meals at fairly regular times and bed time is generally on schedule.   But school...wait a minute.  What is school?  I think I have forgotten.

We have also had some major fallout in the attitude department.  I don't think the kids know how to talk nicely to one another.  When they try it sounds just as rude and mean as whatever tone of voice I tried to correct.  Somehow they will get there...hopefully.  The process, however, is painful and slow.

In an attempt to keep everyone on the same page and tackle the attitudes, I instituted a game day early in the week.  We built puzzles and played games all day long.  We practiced rejoicing with those who rejoice (instead of throwing a fit that your sister got ahead of you in the Ladybug Game).  And I corrected and corrected and corrected.

By Tuesday the kids had picked up on the game thing and were playing by themselves.  Now that the week is over I think we have built the same three puzzles about 5 times each, played the Ladybug game several times, learned Uno and played it a few times, and we have probably played a dozen or more games of Memory.

Well, it's what I knew as Memory growing up.  Now it is called Matching.  Apparently we don't want children to feel bad about their memories, so we put the responsibility on the tiles.   It's not that I didn't remember where the second tile was, it's that the tiles were not matching.

Anyway...back to the point.  If there ever was one, that is.

Hannah started out as the most enthusiastic Memory/Matching player.  She and I played several times while in Montana over the holidays.  Her excitement waned just a tad with each game because I would win.  Like, really win.  As in I would take the last 10-12 matches in one sweep.  Maybe I should have cheated and played dumb.

While she still wants to play most of the time, Abby has taken Hannah's place as the most zealous Memory/Matching player.  At least once a day she traipses downstairs announcing to her siblings, "I'm going to play a game with Mommy!"  Out comes the box, along comes the very long process of maticulously setting out each tile, and then we play.

And I win.  Every time.  But only by a small margin most of the time.

She doesn't seem to mind.  Usually she just laughs the whole time and says funny things like, "Oh, bummah!"

During one of our games, Abby said to me, "My brain is very smart, Mommy.  My brain has eyes in it.  They can see things and remember what they look like even when my real eyes can't see it."

If ever there was a description of a visual learner, that would be it - eyes in the brain to see things even after the image is no longer visible to your real eyes.

This strength in visual learning is a big reason why Abby does very well at the Memory/Matching game.  Some of the kids will see a tile and excitedly shout out, "Oooh!  Oooh!  That one is somewhere [points to about half of the tiles] over there!"

When Abby sees a tile that has a match she knows of, she smiles and says, "I know!  I know!  The other one is right [points to one specific tile] there!"  And she is right about 99% of the time.

For the time being, I am the undefeated Memory/Matching champion.  I have, however, met my match.  Soon, with those eyes in her brain, Abby will be winning.

I'd better be willing to pass on the title.  It is, of course, a game for preschoolers.

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