Have you ever played Qwirkle? It’s a board game that we love to play at home. There’s lots of strategy and logic involved, and when the tiles are all stretched out at the end of the game, it’s so pretty. It’s approved by MENSA, so when Nate and I play it, I feel like my brain is getting some exercise.
The game is too advanced for Miss H right now, (it says ages 6 and up on the box), but she always eyes the pretty colored tiles and asks to play with them. This week, it occurred to me that Qwirkle tiles offer lots of playful learning opportunities for preschoolers, even if they don’t play the game yet. Since I don’t want to have to buy tons of materials for preschool at home, this game covers tons of bases.
Learning Using Qwirkle
This was my original thought on how to use these tiles. Patterns are a part of our preschool curriculum, but I wasn’t sure how I would teach them. I started out with a super simple pattern- red circle, blue circle, red circle. This introduced the concept of a pattern. Soon I’ll make the patterns more difficult, using different shapes and colors. When she’s ready, she can make her own patterns.
Colors and Rainbow Order
Miss H is good with her colors, but rainbow order is new to us. I arranged the tiles in rainbow order to show her what it looks like. In the directions pamphlet, she found a picture of the tiles set up in that order as well, so she decided to copy it.
Some of the shapes on the square tiles are unconventional. There’s a clover, starburst, and what we’ve deemed to be a ninja star (Miss H calls it a stangburp.) There’s also a diamond, square, and circle that she can identify.
H can also set the tiles up to make larger shapes. When she’s older, I can have her identify how many total squares are in a larger one, which is great for spacial problem solving.
Counting and Skip Counting
These tiles are great for counting, but when Miss H is ready for skip counting, these will be perfect. We can arrange them by 2’s, 3’s, etc., and then count how many we have. (For more on early math skills, read this post.)
The tiles can be sorted by colors and shape. This skill of categorizing is related to identifying patterns.
What’s your favorite family game to play?