Games to Play with Children at Home

Playing games with your children at home offers numerous benefits.  First and foremost, it creates a strong bond and strengthens the parent-child relationship.  It provides an opportunity for quality time together, fostering communication and understanding. Games stimulate cognitive development by enhancing problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and strategic planning.  They promote creativity and imagination, allowing children to explore new ideas and concepts in a fun and engaging way.  Games also teach important life skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship, and resilience. Moreover, playing games at home provides a safe and controlled environment for children to learn and grow, while creating lasting memories and joyful experiences for the whole family.

Age 4 and up:

  • Hoot Owl Hoot! (cooperation)
  • Jenga (fine motor skills)
  • Jigsaw puzzles (patience and patterns)
  • Memory (memory)
  • Race to the Treasure (cooperation and planning)
  • Twister (balance)

Age 5 and up:

  • Charades (non-verbal communication and acting)
  • Don’t Say It! (verbal communication)
  • Hangman (vocabulary and spelling)
  • Parcheesi and Sorry (counting and probability)
  • Pick-Up Sticks (fine motor skills)
  • Pictionary (non-verbal communication and art)

Age 6 and up:

  • Connect 4 (patterns and offense /defense)
  • Checkers (patterns and offense/defense)
  • Uno and simple card games (probability)

Age 7 and up:

  • Battleship (probability and patterns)
  • Mancala, a “count and capture” game popular in Africa and Asia (patterns and anticipating response)
  • Stratego (deduction, memory and offense/defense)

Age 8 and up:

  • Apples to Apples Junior (word association and vocabulary)
  • Chess (anticipating response and offense/defense)
  • Sequence (patterns and probability)

Age 9 and up:

  • Backgammon (probability)
  • Careers (careers)
  • Clue (deductive logic)
  • Rummikub (patterns, especially if you play off others, like in Scrabble)
  • Scrabble and Boggle (spelling)
  • This Game is Bonkers! (patterns)
  • Yahtzee (probability)

Age 10 and up:

  • Hearts (probability)
  • Mastermind (patterns and deductive reasoning)
  • Risk (probability and deal making)

By Gregg Chapman, Registered Psychologist

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