First things first, I don’t enjoy games. I think it’s because I’m too impatient … I don’t like the time involved in reading through all the rules, nor do I like it when a game drags on and never ends (I’ve been known to lose on purpose just so a game would end!).
My daughter, who is almost 11 years old now, has a mild interest in games. And since this interest is mild, I only feel mildly like a bad mother for not engaging her more in them.
However, my four-year-old son seems to have developed a very strong interest in games. He wants to play and learn new games all the time. In fact, he was feeling so game-deprived, that he added “a game” on his Christmas list this year. Needless to say, I feel obliged to at least play some games with him.
So, in the interest of helping any other parents like myself who would rather pluck their eye lashes out one by one than play a long family board game, I thought I would share three games which both my son and I find to be fun.
To sum up then, these three games are:
- Easy to learn and teach
- Game length is less than 20 minutes
- Can start to play as young as 3 or 4 years old
- Does not require more than 2 players
- Fun to play!
#1. Go Fish! card game
A classic game with easy rules. Doesn’t take long to play, teaches colours and counting up to the number four. I like the version below created by Imperial Kids because the long, thin shape makes it much easier to hold a number of them in small hands. Plus, the plastic case means that the cards don’t end up getting all buckled and damaged over time. You can pick this up for less than $10 locally in Ottawa at Tag Along Toys or buy it on amazon.ca.
#2: Pengaloo game
This is a modified version of a traditional memory card game — but much easier for younger children (and their parents!). If you’ve watched the movie Happy Feet with your preschooler, he/she will love the idea of the penguins protecting their eggs. Speaking of penguins …. this game is so beautifully made, with the cute little penguins made from wood. This game can is a fun way to help with memory, colours, and counting skills. This game can also be found locally at Tag Along Toys for $30 or you can pick it up online for $20.
#3. Hungry Hippos
I’m not gonna lie; I bought this game purely for my own selfish nostalgia. I loved this game as a kid and simply could not resist getting it for my son. It’s noisy, the balls are easy to lose, and the hippos have to all be removed from the game board in order for everything to fit back in the box again. Plus, it’s not exactly cheap and the only real learning you can incorporate is some counting. But, hey it sure is fun! He likes it as much as I used to. I’ve seen this game at my local Chapters/Indigo stores, or you can get the original Hasbro edition like mine online for $40.
Would I find any of these games in your house? Any more games to add to this list that meet my strict criteria above?