The family that plays games together definitely has more fun!
Below are games that are quick, easy, not too many rules, and best of all they bridge the gap between my youngest to my oldest. Every family is different, but the games below have worked for us!
Top Games for our Crew
*Affiliate Links below*
Spot It Junior Edition is a quick game that encourages looking for objects. (If you have older kids you can stretch to the Regular Spot It. It may not seem like a good game for little ones to participate, but you can start with more cards at the beginning and give them a lead.) Marbles: This game has been around awhile. Last Christmas we purchased this game. It has been a standard game that the kids enjoy playing. The ages listed on one of the marble games was 3 – 15 years. Make sure you have no little ones that would swallow the marbles. Tiddly Winks: This is a challenging flicking game. It can challenge their hand-eye coordination as well. Another vintage game that is making a comeback. Busy Airport: The beauty of this game is movement. Kids literally fly their airplanes to different areas of the room. Hullaballoo: Great for the child who needs to move and needs a fast paced game!
- Hullabaloo was created especially for kids aged 4 to 6, and reinforces quick thinking, problem solving, and creativity, and gives kids lots of chances to shine
- Games average only 1 to 2 minutes–perfect for young attention spans–but kids always want to play again and again! No reading necessary to play, either!
Build a Robot : Combines puzzle making, counting, tools, machines, space, and games. The robot twist helps to make it more appealing to the boys. Mancala: Simple game with stones or glass flattened marbles (You can even make this game – http://www.timeforkids.com/news/make-your-own- mancala-board/76371 ) Connect Four: This game is closely connected to tic tac toe. I would start with that game and move into this game. Your older child could be challenged to get 2 connect fours vs. 1 for the younger child. Sequence for Kids: There are animal and letter (more academic) versions. Using pictures children strategize ways that they can make a sequence. You only have 3 cards at a time and there are two options for all of the plays. Its a simple game that even younger kids could play. This might be your first game to play as a family! Quick Pix. If a child can handle a card without destroying it, he can play the Quick Pix series of games even though the recommended age is 7. Even though there are words on the Geography and Animal games, the pictures suffice, but great to play with mom and/or dad. Animals version great when a child begins to realize there are “types” of animals; Geography great when child first learns that there are continents and countries. Inexpensive, quick, interesting for parents.
Card Holder Set Are your children new to holding cards in their hands? This is perfect for them to use until their hands get a little bigger. These are fun to use as stocking stuffers. This product will allow your little ones to handle cards – well worth it!
No Stress Chess This is a wonderful way for young and old alike to learn all of the moves of the chess pieces. Players choose a card and play that piece. As your chess skills improve, you can play with more cards. If you have an advanced player, this game will level the playing field. This is a good game for ages 4 and up.
Monopoly Junior This is a new addition to our game collection. Monopoly Junior is perfect for the banker who can counts 1’s (1 million dollar bills) The game ends when someone can’t pay their debt. (What a concept!) I would highly recommend this simpler form of Monopoly.
* Some of the games above list 6 as the minimum recommended age, but you can easily adapt them for 4 and 5 year olds.
One key to success for the little ones and big ones alike: pick games that are short and decisive. Games that involve reading or too much strategy can cause tears and frustration for the younger siblings trying to keep up. To kick off a game, we play it together. Then I make sure my children understand the game. Then I leave it in a place that they can easily reach. When I see their interest waning, I remove the game from their sight and attempt to bring it out 6 months later. Many times the game seems like a brand new game.
You may wonder what is the point of games? Just for fun? Learning? Time together? Working through conflict? All of the above! The games are what you make them. If you, the parent or adult get involved, kids will be much more interested and more likely to continue playing together long after you step away.
Go for it! The family that plays together definitely has more fun!