Let’s get real: the pandemic has given our kids more of a reason to complain about boredom than we ever could have imagined. I know that, personally, I have embraced screen time with a newfound love and devotion I swore against pre-kids and pre-pandemic. However, online schooling, isolation, and the onset of cold weather have made me find a new appreciation for family bonding without screens.
Some of my favorite family memories were sitting around the fireplace playing cards with my mom and brother (sometimes fighting over the Monopoly board). Now that my kids are a little older (3 and 4), my husband and I have found so much joy in introducing them to the classics like Let’s Go Fishing to giant Jenga.
Games are not only a great bonding tool, but also can help your tot develop valuable skills like boosting language, attention span, hand-eye coordination, and early learning of colors and shapes. I know keeping up with school and daily learning has been especially difficult, and using board games has become a valuable tool in teaching my children. They’ve helped take some of the weight away from traditional learning—and having to come up with a million different educational activities off of Pinterest.
Here are a few of our favorite games that are great for young kids:
This adorable matching game will not only help your child work on their short-term memory, but will introduce them to diverse faces from around the world. I love playing memory games like this with my sons, to not only work on their development, but to work keep my brain active.
This handmade gift box includes six different games/activities that are great for building hand-eye coordination. We make a game out of each activity by setting a timer for one minute, and whoever completes each activity first, wins! Note this game does have small parts and possible choking hazards.
This game is recommended for children age 4 and up, but both my kdis can play this easily with some adult help. My older kiddo loves pushing the button until the sheep's bubbles pop, and we always end up in a fit of giggles. And a mom-tip: if you run out of bubbles, you can refill the little bottle they give you with dish soap and water as many times as you want.