Family Games and Fun

Family Games and Fun

By Brenda Hyde

Whether it's too cold to go outside or too hot to move around much there are plenty of family activities to do indoors. Some are just plain fun and some slip in a little bit of learning.

Scrabble: Every family should have a basic Scrabble game. If the kids are just a little too young and need help divide the family into teams so each child has an adult partner. They still have their own letter tiles but they help each other and the scores are under their team name. Always make the kids look up a word in the dictionary if they want to know how to spell it! This is a big learning tool. Play by the rules too and don't make exceptions other than the team idea. This also teaches kids how to follow directions and to work within boundaries. We have a blast when we play even with the rules and I've noticed our kids taking more of an interest in words and the dictionary this year at 9 and 10 years old.

Sorry: A classic game of strategy that doesn't take too long to play, and involves reasoning and learning to take set-backs since part of the game is "bumping" players back to start. It also helps develop logic as they decide who to bump to get closer to their "home". A good game for ages 7 and up or so.

Bowling: You can bowl with ages 3 and up, possibly younger with help. Ask for bumpers on the kid's lane and none on the adults. If you haven't bowled before with kids you are really missing out. Go during the day...the earlier the better. You can rent the kids shoes or they can bowl in their socks. Very young kids will need the adult to bring the ball down to the beginning of the lane so they can "push" the ball. You'd be surprised how far it will go with the bumpers on. Two games is just about right for 3 and up. The toddlers might get a little restless near the end, but with drinks and snacks between games it will help them make it through both games. Have the kids wear comfortable clothing and pants that won't drag so they don't trip. A 6 to 8 lb. bowling ball is good for most kids. Be sure to teach them good sportsmanship and how to wait for the person to bowl in the next lane before taking their turn. If you don't get electronic scoring you can also slip in a math lesson while you are at it!

I Spy: How many times have moms heard "I spy with my little eye"? Probably too many to count! But it's the perfect game for teaching toddlers colors and helping kids learn to observe the things around them. Plus it can be played anywhere and at anytime without game boards!

Jacks: An old fashioned game that you can pick up at the dollar store. It teaches dexterity and coordination, plus it can occupy kids of all ages for a long time!

Family Game Resources

Spilsbury Puzzles and Games


Compoz-A-Puzzle jigsaw puzzles

About the Author

Brenda Hyde is a Mom of three, a freelance writer and editor of Old Fashioned Living. For more family ideas and recipes subscribe to one of our free newsletters; descriptions here.


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