Having children isn’t just a simple mechanism of reproduction, at least for humans it isn’t. We have kids not only to pass on our family name, our DNA, and our heritage, but also to satisfy a need and a want to do something worthwhile. And more than that, having kids is fun and rewarding too. Playing with our kids is just fun because we love to hear them laugh and see them smile. Spending time with our kids is one of the best feelings a parent can have.
The problem often arises when we want to play with our children, but we don’t know what to play or what’s age appropriate. We want to spend time with our kids, but how do we do that?
Luckily, children are pretty easily entertained so it’s not all that hard to find something simple to do that will be both fun and maybe even educational too. Here are 10 games you can play with your little children that are low maintenance, don’t require you to buy too many things, and best of all, your children will love them!
10 Easy to Learn Card Games
By “The card game,” we mean any game that can be played by simply picking up a deck of cards, shuffling and dealing. There are many appropriate card games that you can teach your children. Card games really are great because they teach your children how to count and they also teach colors, shapes and order to a certain extent.
There are many different card games that you can teach your toddler that we don’t even know where to start. Some of the choices include War, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Snap, Concentration, and many more.
Concentration, the game where all of the card are face down and you have to match pairs from your memory, is one of the most recommended ones if you are trying to educate your child and further their mental capabilities!
9 Brain Teasers and Puzzles
I guess puzzles aren’t really games per say, but they can be really fun nonetheless, not to mention the fact that they’re some of the best tools to help further your child’s memory, their thought process, and their overall cognitive abilities. Puzzles will make your child think logically and contemplate what they’re doing. Ultimately this will train your child’s brain to work a lot quicker and more efficiently than children who do not do puzzles of any kind.
You don’t have to go out and buy a 1000 piece puzzle, because the pieces are too small and too hard for a 2 or 4 year old child. Just get a simple puzzle or even create your own with pictures of the family. To create your own puzzle you can simply draw something on a sturdy piece of paper or cardboard and then cut it out into puzzle shapes. Your child can even create their own puzzle if they want to!
Picture puzzles aren’t the only kind of puzzles you can do with your child either. You can always try those hands-on puzzles where you have to disconnect one bent and loopy metal rod from another or even those games where you have to get the string from point A to point B with detaching it from the piece of wood. These games can be a little hard or even frustrating for a child, but they will get it eventually, it’s great cognitive training!
8 Any Paper & Pencil Games
These are some of the best games that you could possibly play with your toddler for a number of different reasons. From X’s and O’s to SOS, these games teach your children strategy and cognitive abilities as they will have to outsmart their opponent.
Another reason that these games are great to play with toddlers is because they inspire creativity and they inspire imagination, not to mention it might help develop their artistic skills as well!
think 2 of the easiest and most basic pencil and paper games you can play with your child are either hangman (the letter guessing game) or battleship. Both of these games are great for teaching your children the alphabet as well as numbers too, plus they will let you bond with your little one just that much more.
7 Hide & Seek
We couldn’t in all good conscience make a list of games to play with your toddler if we didn’t include hide and seek. It’s a great game that you can play either inside or outside, it helps children be creative, and it gets them moving around too.
This is a great choice because you literally need nothing except for yourself, your child and some spaces to hide in. It’s also a good choice because it doesn’t matter how many children there are, everybody can play.
This is an easy game that children love to play well beyond the toddler years, and admit it, you like to play it too!
Magician is the next really cool game that you can play with your children; don’t worry because you don’t need to be a David Copperfield or a Chris Angel to play this game. I mean, when your toddler grows up a little bit and begins using their brain a little more, it might be a little harder to fool them with simple magic tricks, but until they’re 5 or 6 years old these tricks will work just fine.
One of the simplest tricks you can do to amuse your child is the cup and coin routine. Just take 3 plastic cups and one coin, put the coin under one cup and have at it. All you have to do is move the cups around the coin, even putting the coin in your lap so none of the cups have the coin in it. Your child will be amazed at the disappearing coin.
You can also pretend to detach your thumb by wrapping the thumb of your left hand in your left palm and sticking your right thumb between your index and middle finger of your right hand. Then place your fists together so the thumb still looks as though it’s in one piece then pull your fists apart and your child will think you’ve pulled your thumb into two!
5 Board Games
Board games aren’t only fun for children and that’s one of the main reasons they’re on this list. Although you love your children, it can get a little boring when you’ve been playing Peek-A-Boo or Hide and Seek. A parent getting bored with children’s games is not mean or rude, it’s just the way it works because adults have different tastes than children do.
That’s why board games are great, because parents can play them and still have some fun. No, Snakes & Ladders or Trouble aren’t quite as fun as Monopoly or Scrabble, but at least it’s not quite as boring as Peek-A-Boo!
The only downside to board games I suppose is that you actually have to spend some money on them.
4 Build a Fort Together
Building a fort with your kids is a great way to encourage their engineering skills and creativity. Your children will love building as big of a fort as they possibly can, so help them plan and build a fort in the largest area you can spare. It can be as simple as using pillows and blankets and other furniture in the house.
Afterward your children would love it if they could play with their toys in the fort and maybe even have lunch or a snack in the fort. This is a great idea for toddlers and young children, especially if they have friends over, it’ll keep them busy for hours. And if you don’t want to build a fort out of your pillows and blankets you can build a fort using popsicle sticks to build a tower, or using playing cards to build a house.
These games are not only pretty fun to play, but they also help a child learn how to use their hands. Building things out of various objects helps build dexterity, it builds creativity, and it can even inspire some competitiveness as well. How high can you build your card tower before it collapses?
Freeze is another really fun and exciting game that you can play with your kids. The great part about this game is that you can have very many children playing at once and you need the exact same amount of resources that you would need for just 1 child.
This is a really fun game because it’s a silly game, and children love to be silly. All you have to do is play some music, a TV show, or even just say go and have the kids dance and jump around. When you say stop or turn the music off, your child has to freeze in whatever position they were in when you stopped the round.
The aim of the game is to remain frozen without moving. Moving during a freeze counts as a loss and the last person to have stayed still throughout all of the rounds is the winner. To make this game even more fun, you can have your kids freeze in certain poses like animal poses or even some yoga poses. Having to strike specific poses will add some difficulty to the game which is great as your child ages!
2 The Paper Bag Game
This is a really fun game to play with your toddler, but it should be noted that it’s not really ideal for a single child. This game works a lot better when you have a larger group of children like a sleepover or a birthday party. In fact, it doesn’t really work with just one child because you need to be able to make teams, ideally teams of 3 or 4 at least.
It’s a neat game to play when you have a group of toddlers to take care of, because not only is it low maintenance and easy to do, but it‘ll also keep the kids occupied for a good amount of time, and that means they’re out of your hair.
All you have to do to prepare and play this game is get 2 paper bags, one for each team, and then fill them with miscellaneous items. The point of the game is to use all of the items in the paper bag and create a skit with them. You have to use all of the items! This isn’t really a competitive game in any way but it’s still a great way to pass some time.
1 Balance Game
Although this is the last game mentioned, it certainly isn’t the least in any way. The balance beam game is a really fun game for kids to play because it really lets them use their creativity and pretend to be some sort of acrobat or gymnast.
All you need to play this game is a floor and some tape. It doesn’t matter what kind of tape you use. You can use masking tape, scotch tape, or duct tape. As long as you have something to create a straight line along the ground you’re good to go.
The game is played by putting one foot in front of the other and walking along the tape just like it was a balance beam or even a tightrope. The people who “fall off” are the losers of the game. Not only is it fun, but it’s actually good training for future gymnasts too!