Spending time together as a family is such an important thing to do, especially in this day and age when family time can be so limited and fractured. It’s a great way for families to connect, to get to know one another and for adults to model good social skills for the kids.
Kids who have a hard time connecting socially benefit from learning how to play games, how to set them up and how to manage winning and losing in a gracious way.
Our family loves to play games whenever we get a chance, and we’re really enjoying them, so I thought it would be a good idea to blog about 5 more family games. Before, I wrote about family games for older kids, these games are aimed at preschool and early elementary school aged children.
Zingo - We got this game on Christmas, and we still play it at least 3 or 4 times a week. This is a Bingo style game. There is a container where the tiles are kept, the dealer pulls it forward and back and reveals two tiles. Whoever calls out the tile first gets it for their board. My kids like to take turns being the dealer, and my 3 year old can manage to get the tiles back in with no adult help. It’s such a great game to increase vocabulary, practice matching, pick up on patterns, and just work on social interactions. There have been many arguments over who said the word first. How do you solve that problem? It’s a good skill to practice with your family before you have your kids play with their friends.
Elefun - One of my dearest friends let me borrow this game after my son played it at her house. My kids love to try to catch the fireflies and they have learned to negotiate taking turns putting in the fireflies. It also keeps them entertained for a long time. It’s adorable!
Don’t Break The Ice - My son loves this game! He enjoys being able to actually use a hammer and hit something. You also have to learn some self control while hitting, because if you knock all the pieces out and the skater falls, you lose! On a couple of occasions, we have played this with cousins, and there are some great lessons there about being patient and waiting your turn.
Clue Jr. - I loved playing Clue with my sister when we were kids! Several years ago, I found Clue Jr and used it when I was working with kids who needed help improving their social skills. The game was pretty easy to set up and was fun to play. They had to pay attention to clues, eliminate suspects and make guesses, just like in regular clue. This was a great game to use with kids to practice social interactions!
Puzzles - I know it’s not a specific game, but my kids love the challenge of putting together a puzzle. You can build up patience and flexibility and problem solving skills. Who will put in the last piece? We really enjoy huge floor puzzles, like this one with all the planets.
Have you played any of these? Try them and let me know how it goes!!