Playing games is a fantastic way to educate, connect, and have fun with your child. We often think educational opportunities solely exist within the boundaries of books, worksheets, and flash cards. But let’s not underestimate the power of games….
Games foster valuable social and academic skills like taking turns, following directions, respect for rules, team cooperation, strategy, and really just having a good time playing and connecting with others.
As kids play board games, they are learning how to manage their competitive side, master new skills, and are also picking up important life lessons – persistence being just one of those. Persistence is key because you never know when the game will turn and be in your favor…or not. How many times have you played Candy Land and been so close to the end of the trail only to draw that piece of candy that sends you straight back to the starting point (happens every time!)? All of this aside, the most important thing we emphasize when playing games in our home is that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose but if you enjoyed yourself and had fun.
There are games for every age and interest group. What we play in our home depends on whether or not everyone will be joining in – this includes our three year old who is really working hard on just not knocking everything over as he maneuvers around a board game – or if it will be more of a one-on-one game with just our second grader.
Here are some of our favorite board and card games that we go to time and time again:
Game basics: Color-coded card game where the first person to get rid of his/her cards wins.
We love this classic card game! I often have an Uno deck in my bag and carry it around with me as it’s a fun one to play while out and about waiting around.
FIVE CROWNS JUNIOR
Game basics: A rummy-style game where you do your best to match all of the cards in your hand either by number or color.
This is a great introduction to card games and one our whole family loves to play together.
Game basics: Get all of your pegs all around the board first. Other players can send your pegs back to start by landing in the same space as you.
Our second grader loves, loves, loves this game! He gets such a kick every time he gets to knock us out of our spot and send us back to the start. Our three year old also loves the “pop-o-matic” die roller.
Game basics: Two player game where the first person to get four discs in a row wins.
We play Connect Four a lot when we don’t have a ton of time to play as it goes pretty quickly. We always have a good laugh when someone overlooks an obvious connection because they’re so knee deep into a bigger strategy – a good reminder to slow down and always pay attention!