You are in for a treat with this episode, because on Diverse Thinking Different Learning, it is Game Time! Did you know that the board games that might be collecting dust on your shelves could be used to help children? They help all children, but can be very powerful tools for those who learn and think differently. Not only are games fun to play, but they can be used to improve language skills, executive functioning, memory, and numerical skills. Today’s guest lists many of the ways that a simple card game can be “up-leveled” to facilitate learning.
Stephanie Pitts, owner of My Ed Therapist, is known as “The Game Whisperer” and in this episode she shares her experience with games in her practice. With over 200 games in her collection, Stephanie has creative ideas that give a simple game the twists it needs to become something even better – a learning tool. Be sure to also check out the links below and follow her on Instagram to find ways to facilitate learning during your next family game night.
[3:20] – Specifically for kids who learn differently, games are very helpful, but we don’t often use them.
[4:34] – What better way to reach a child than by having fun?
[6:10] – Games can be made to be educational and can target many skills.
[7:03] – For many kids who have already experienced so much failure, winning a game that is educational without them realizing is impactful.
[8:34] – Stephanie says that games are “low investment, high return.”
[9:44] – Some games are specifically designed to target a specific skill, but Stephanie demonstrates how other games can be “up-leveled” and used differently.
[11:15] – Games can also be used as a simple break between difficult tasks.
[13:11] – By using games, you can gather so much information about someone.
[14:38] – Stephanie explains that video games have provided an outlet for students during the pandemic but when it affects behavior, it could be a problem.
[17:20] – As a result of the pandemic, socializing and problem solving have been affected.
[19:02] – Games provide practice for students without the pressure of earning a grade.
[20:20] – Stephanie gives some examples on how games can support reading comprehension and following directions.
[23:00] – As a parent, don’t overthink it. Just simply play the game and have fun.
[24:40] – Some games can even help auditory processing.
[25:08] – Stephanie lists some of her favorite games to target specific skills.
[27:43] – Some games take too long for Stephanie to play with her clients in a session, but she recommends playing them as a family or looking into the junior version.
[28:57] – Stephanie is very active on Instagram where she shares different ways to use games. She is also the co-host of the Learn Smarter podcast.
About Our Guest:
Stephanie Pitts is the owner of My Ed Therapist, an educational therapy group practice in Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, and virtually, nationwide. She works with students one-on-one to help parents get a full picture of what is going on with their children, reading reports, conducting assessments, and creating and attending individualized learning plans and meetings. Known as “The Game Whisperer,” with a collection of over 200 games she uses with her clients, Stephanie expertly weaves fun and play into her work with clients to help them have more fun learning and make better connections between kids, parents, and educators. Stephanie is a Los Angeles native and received her B.A. in Sociology from USC and a Master’s Degree in Education from Pepperdine University. She completed her Certificate in Educational Therapy at CSUN and has been trained as an Academic Coach. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her two dachshunds, traveling, and spending time with friends.
Connect with Stephanie Pitts:
Links and Related Resources:
- The Intersection of Executive Function, ADHD, and Other Learning Differences
- Learn Smarter Podcast featuring Dr. Karen Wilson
Links to Game Specific Episodes of Learn Smarter Podcast:
- Ep 19: Steph’s Top Games and Apps (Reading Series)
- Ep 32: Our Favorite Apps and Games of 2018
- Ep 64: Steph's Favorite Math Apps & Games for Elementary (Math Series)
- Ep 80: Steph's Favorite Middle/High School Math Games (Math Series)
- Ep 139: Social Emotional Games with Tara Eddy (Professionals Series)
- Ep 187: Steph's Favorite Games of 2021
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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.