Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The City of Motherly Love's 1st Guide to Games for Kids: Go from "Bored" to "Board"

Here in the City of Motherly Love (aka Philly suburbs), it is COLD.  Like, wind chill of 2 degrees cold.  Where's my global warming, please?!  I kid, I kid!

But, lots of time inside means finding fun things to do.  We love playing board games.  But, with a five year-old who is still learning what it means to win and lose, we need to games that end in smiles instead of tears.

After much trial and error, here is the City of Motherly Love's first guide to our favorite (and not-so-favorite) games to play on a freezing day!

Green Light - Games that build more on cooperation and learning the ropes instead of winning and losing!

Richard Scarry Busy Town

Everyone works together in this game as they race through Richard Scarry's Busytown in order to get to Picnic Island before the Pig Will and Pig Won't eat all of the food.  Along the way, your child will love helping Goldbug find hidden items.

My First UNO

This is a great starter card game, because the rounds are nice and quick.  Even if your little one doesn't win this time, he or she will know that you can play again easily.  Also, the soul-crushing "Draw Four" card from older kid Uno is not included in this game.  Phew!

Go Fish
"Go Fish" is a fun, easy-to-learn choice.   Plus, like "My First Uno", each game moves quickly.  We are saving Crazy Eights for when he's a little older!  And, to be honest, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PLAY!

You'd be surprised, but classic, old-school BINGO can be so much fun.  I will never forget the first time my son realized that he had one of the called-out numbers on his card.  It was like he won the lottery.  This is GREAT for learning numbers, and you can easily play on teams if your little one needs help spotting finding the spots at first.   
Yellow Light - These options take a little more practice for kids to realize that sometimes it's just not their game.

Trouble Board Game
Pop-o-matic Trouble!  This game is FUN, but it does take some time for kids to understand that when their peg gets sent back to Home Base, it's nothing personal.  We try to play by the rule "Everyone's nice in this game", which means that, if you have the choice between bumping someone and not bumping someone, you always pick the nicer option.
This game is a contemporary way to introduce the concept of Monopoly into the house, and each game moves briskkly (unlike its older sibling).  Kids love getting to use "money" and going to "parties". 

Who doesn't love creating these little bugs?  They're good for building fine motor skills, and they're silly.  But, we've had to change the rules so that it's easier for everyone to start building.  If you play it, you'll see what I mean!
Red Light - Call me kooky, but these classics are just too hard to play with the younger set for various reasons.

Candy Land
If you haven't played Candy Land in a while, you haven't experienced the feeling of holding your breath every time a card is drawn.  Just when you think your child is about to win, they pull the wrong card, and BOOM, it's back to the beginning of the game!

Chutes and Ladders
Same issue here as with Candy Land.... The highs and lows of this game are just too much to take sometimes!

Checkers is an awesome game for older kids, but the rules are too complicated for the early elementary school set.

Plus, here's something adorable to help little hands when playing card games... Haven't tried it, but it got great reviews!

Kids Playing Card Holders
These games are just some of the many options available to pass the time on a frigid day!  What are some of your favorite games???