MAKING LEARNING FUN: Merisa Ots works as a tutor in Warwick and she has developed a games kit to help children have fun while learning literacy and numeracy.
MAKING LEARNING FUN: Merisa Ots works as a tutor in Warwick and she has developed a games kit to help children have fun while learning literacy and numeracy. Elyse Wurm

Teacher says games are the way to go to help children learn

AFTER decades working in teaching and tutoring, Merisa Ots's bookshelf was full of worksheets and textbooks.

But during a recent scan of her classroom in Warwick, she realised the section of the bookshelf she used most, that prompted the most smiles and helped build confidence in her students, was the one filled with games.

Noticing a surge in interest from parents wanting to play an active role in their child's learning, she decided to put together her own kit that would help share this knowledge with others.

"There's a lot of children whose general reading, spelling and basic number facts are behind and lower than what is expected for their age,” Mrs Ots said.

"There seems to be a large call for more engagement on a personal level.”

Mrs Ots said games catered to children who learn in different ways and helped consolidate skills they might already know.

"Because they're becoming anxious about their lack of ability in skills, they shut down and if we keep giving them more of the same, their confidence decreases and their chances of learning decreases with that,” she said.

"I'm trying to build confidence and encourage children to see that they can still have fun at their own pace and learn at their own pace.”

Mrs Ots created The Clever Chook kit in eight months and it features games such as noughts and crosses and variations on Connect Four.

Mrs Ots said children could be easily absorbed in computerised apps or programs, whereas games also helped to build essential communication skills.

"A lot of parents automatically go online to try and source other ways to help their children and get snowed under and they can't see their way clear to getting back to the basics,” she said.

The Clever Chook multi-sensory games kit costs $86.90.

For more information about the kit phone Merisa on 0402378713.



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