Here are some of our kids favorite games!
Recommended Games for Young Children (ages 2-8ish)
My children (who are 4 and 5 years old) LOVE playing games. I remember being a child and playing games with family and friends. It was (for the most part) an enjoyable time for everyone. *I say the “most part” because we have all been at a family/friends game night that went south…like boards-flying-cuss-words-spewing….south. That’s normal right?
However, when everyone was on their best behavior game night was a hit! Snacks, soda, laughter and the most important element was learning how to be a graceful loser and winner.
Playing a game with a child is the quickest and easiest way to learn how they cope under pressure and how they handle the emotional highs-and-lows that come with playing games (i.e. life).
Use game time as a way to not only have fun but also teach coping skills and model good sportsmanship. How a child reacts to you when they play a game is a snapshot into how they interact with others in the world when you aren’t around monitoring their behaviors.
Enough said…here are some of the games we really enjoy playing at our house.
(All these games are on Amazon…HOWEVER, check with your local toy store if you have one…let’s help support small businesses!)
A fun game similar too Bingo. The slider which holds the “clues” is sensory stimulating (smooth glide feel and bumps on the top feel good on the hands) and helps with fine motor control. I added a rule at our house to help with impulse control. You have to “speak clearly” the word/image that you have on your card that matches the clue when it pops up. If you blurt out a word that you don’t have or snatch a clue that your don’t have…you have to return a clue from off your board.
I couldn’t find the exact same game on Amazon…(we got it from our local toy store…yeah!). However, I’m sure your child will love the Thomas version of this game. It’s a fun and always challenging game of pre-planning and mental manipulation. Kids who enjoy mazes will love this ever-changing maze to capture each token!
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
This is a fun puzzle/logic game. You have a little book which tells you where to place the house and trees on a small plastic game board. You are provided several different pre-formed “path options” that you can move around the board. The goal is to help Little Red to make it to the house. It’s a fun logic game that children are able to do by themselves or with an adult. I would advise doing it together with your child the first few times. When you’re solving the problem talk out loud so the child can hear the “steps” you’re taking to figure it out…
HOOT OWL HOOT
My youngest LOVES this game…because we all “hoo hoot” as the owls fly over their friends. This is a cooperative game…which means the ENTIRE FAMILY play against the “odds” of drawing certain cards. You have to work as a team, talk out loud about strategies and of course “hoo hoot” as the owls fly over one another. Everyone wins or loses together as a team. Great for playing with children who are highly competitive and/or struggle to play a game for fear of losing…it’s all about the team.
RACE TO THE TREASURE
This is another cooperative game…meaning everyone wins! You work as a team to create paths to collect the gold before the mean old ogre gets the treasure. Cooperative games cultivate shared decision making, creative problem solving and develops a sense of community in a non-stress environment.
What a fun way to practice increasing visual spacial and fine motor skills. Two teams are presented a picture of different blox in a certain order. The team must create the 2D picture with their 3D blox.
Get ready to put on your silly hat/voice/and potentially dance moves. This game is full of silly “requests” the individual and/or group must perform to move toward the end. This game helps build confidence, creativity and adaptability. My children often play this game by themselves (my son reads the cards to my daughter).
CODE AND GO MOUSE MANIA
This is an excellent game for children to learn about coding and how to think like a computer. I.e. logical and orderly…:). You use critical thinking skills to pick and choose your “direction token” which you use to help your mouse collect as many wedges of cheese as you can.
My son’s all-time favorite game. You roll the dice and have to solve + and – problems to see how many spaces you move toward the goal. Simple and fun.
QUADRILLA MARBLE RUN by HAPE
If you have a little architect or builder in your house you will LOVE this marble set. You can buy other sets to add to it if you want. A book is provided with specific runs to build or you can create your own. Keeps both my children occupied for hours! They are currently aged 4 and 5.