Finally my kids have reached an age where they can play games. ANY kind of game really that doesn’t involve me hiding and them never finding me. Or them hiding and me realising they’re just standing in the middle of the lounge with their eyes closed.
Any kind of game that ISN’T on a screen.
FINALLY I can crack out the classic board games I loved as a child.
When you first start introducing board games to kids, it can take them a while to pick up the rules, so patience is needed when teaching them. You’ll probably have to repeat yourself a million times, but trust me, it will be worth it. It’s a good idea to dedicate a night of the week to playing your favourite games. That way you can concentrate on learning the games together and building up your skills (and your competitiveness…)
Here are the Games Night guidelines we follow at our place:
- No electronics (phones, tablets, TV, etc)
- Everyone has a go, and if necessary we all help each other
- Have fun
- Try not to fight (this is a hard one with young kids)
Now whether you decide to have a games night, or just pull out the game to help change it up a bit at home, here are our three favourite (and probably the most classic) board games.
We LOVE Operation in our house as it is simple to understand and provides lots of fun for the kids. We all giggle and laugh when the buzzer goes off, and reassure each other that it’s okay if we don’t get it the first time. I’m not going to lie though – the kids do fight a bit about how to play it, but that’s an age thing. The game is aimed at children 6+, so technically my kids are a little young, but they still enjoy it!
Operation is about extracting organs from a body without touching the edges of the body – if you touch the edges it makes a buzzing sound and it’s the next person’s turn. Operation is such a classic and it’s so good for exercising kids’ fine motor skills and patience.
TIP: Keep the pieces in a snap-lock bag rather than just add back to the box loosely. I have found my kids randomly opening the box just to make the buzzing sound, and the pieces can get lost if not in a secure place.
With Twister you spin the wheel and put your hand/foot on the corresponding colour/spot that the marker lands on. You keep doing this until you fall down. Again, the game is aimed at children 6+, so technically my kids are a little young but it’s such a good one for learning their colours and keeping their balance that we enjoy it at this age.
TIP: It’s a little harder for the smaller kids to reach some of the colours/spots, but it’s all about having fun so don’t stress too much about that!
Connect 4 is super simple – each person takes a turn with their colour chip, and drop it into the chosen slot. The first person to line up four chips in a row (of their colour) wins! It’s that simple!
Ronan (3) always wants to just line all of the colours up, whereas Chloe (5) understands completely that she has to connect four in a row. For this reason, until Ronan is a bit bigger, I’m the go-to second player for a game of Connect 4. It’s a nice way to spend a little one-on-one quiet time with the kids.
These games are great for the WHOLE family!
Have your kids started playing board games yet? What do you play?