Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

games for the younger set

Games have snuck into our family and homeschooling from the beginning. First unintentionally, and then, bowing to the inevitable, intentionally. In one way or another all games are educational. Some teach math concepts, some logic, some language concepts. All give opportunities to practice turn taking, good sportsmanship, and other social graces.

When the kids were little (2-4yo) we started out with stuff like "Hi-Ho Cherrio", "Chutes and Ladders", and "Candy Land". Just a year or two (4+yo) after that we moved onto "Uno" and "Set" that are enjoyable at any age. I found Boggle Jr. and Mastermind at local thrift shops. Boggle Jr. doesn't get used as intended, but who cares? We enjoyed Mastermind until we figured out the algorithm to always win.

This last year we've found some games that the whole family (ages 5-90) can play together and enjoy. (As opposed to "Candyland", which makes my eyeballs bleed. Shudder.) So, if you're looking for games for the very youngest that are actually enjoyable for you too, here are some to try.

Qwirkle Use shapes and colors on foam blocks to form a "qwirkle", a line of six blocks that has all the same or all different of a given aspect. (similar to Set)

The Yoga Garden Game This is a cooperative game that uses/teaches simple yoga positions and also gives players the opportunity to make up their own. It's pretty fun to see what positions the kids make up. Of course, then you have to do the pose - given how flexible kids are this can be challenging, and amusing. :-D

Apples to Apples Jr. This uses storybook knowledge (as opposed to the pop culture knowledge of the original) to make funny associations.

Blokus - uses colored tiles to pave areas. We vary the rules to allow the youngest to play.

Pitch Car The basics of physics and patience are learned with this game.

Hey! That's my fish! All out favorite here. Deceptively simple to learn and play, devious strategies can be invented to win.

Buzz Word Jr. This is one I was surprised to find my kids like. They get very.... creative. :-)

The aMAZEing Labyrinth Your opponents change the maze on each turn as you try to find your way through to locate an object. It's a fun and different game every time.

Hullabaloo (borderline, can only play a couple of rounds before the eyeball thing)

What are some of your favorite family games?


Sue VanHattum said...

I like Blink and my son likes Trouble. We both like Blokus.

April said...

I've never played Blink or Trouble. Yea, New games to try!

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