I am delighted to finally post our little list of children’s games! Some are simple, some funny, some inventive and some just fun. They all show just how innovative mums and dads can be when it comes to entertaining and teaching their kiddies. And, – indeed – how creative children can be when they are deeply involved in play.
Before I go on to show you the games that were shared, I would like to say a big Thank You to all those of you who got involved. I know exactly how precious ‘Me Time’ is when you are a parent, so I really, really appreciate you using some of yours up to share your special games. It has been so lovely to read them all, to get some ideas to try at home, and to have a glimpse into those precious parent-child moments.
Right then, without any further ado, here are your games, in no particular order. I hope you all enjoy reading them! Please vote for your favourite by commenting the number of your favourite game underneath this post, either on my blog page, or my facebook page.
1. What’s Under The Hat?
Age of child: Two Years Old
We take it in turns to put one of our toys under the hat ad see what’s underneath. B’s excitement just before the big reveal is palpable! He also adapted it to “how many of the toys can I fit under it in one go?”
2. Apple Olympics
Age of child: 14 months old
T loves apples and delights in taking them out of the fruit bowl and putting them back in, then sorting the different fruits from the bowl into piles. We played these games for a while, every time we sat down for a meal, as part of the routine. Then, one day, he wanted to take the apples down from the table. He started rolling them around. So I grabbed a large tube, some cushions, a cardboard ramp and a bucket and created ‘The Apple Olympics’! He had enormous fun rolling it up and down the ramp and throwing it into the bucket. Who needs a ball, when you have an apple?!
3. Tupperware Game
Age of child: 11 months old
Pulling Tupperware out of the cupboard and putting it back again. We’ve just baby-proofed the kitchen now that she’s mobile, left one cupboard accessible, and filled it with lots of tubs that fit inside each other. She loves this and plays it for ages. Sometimes just scattering them and sometimes practising putting lids on and off.
4. Giddy Up Galahad
Gidd y up Galahad is a pretend play where A and L force/persuade/trick Daddy (or just catch him unawares) to get down on all fours. Then they climb on his back and shout “Giddy Up Galahad!” (Mike The Knight’s horse) and he takes them for a ride! He says the hardest thing is trying to be aware of balance with two children!
5. Post Box Game
Age of child: 23 months old
This game isn’t very imaginative as it’s shop-bought but it’s E’s favourite at the moment. It would be fairly easy for someone art and crafty to recreate.
4 different coloured post boxes. 16 different envelopes, all the same one side as you can see in the picture, and on the other side 4 each of the colours corresponding to the post boxes. Your child has to post the coloured envelopes into the correct post boxes, hopefully learning about colours at the same time.
Can be played just with one child (as we do) or with several children all taking turns. I tend to put the post boxes in the four corners of our lounge and the envelopes in the middle so she has to get up and walk to a post box each time she picks one up (harsh, I know but it makes the game last much longer).
6. Thank-you Game
Age of child: 11 months
Giving things…this is something that C decided she wanted to do! She likes to sit in her chair and hand me things out of the chair pocket. I say “thank you” and then she takes it back again. I like this because I get to sit back and have a cup of tea! And also we practise saying “thank you” which I keen for her to learn as early as possible.
7. Hide And Seek
Hide and seek they play with daddy, generally hiding wherever he just hid and quite often getting him to help them hide in said spot before telling him he should go away and count and come and find them again!! We just count to ten and say coming ready or not but its good for practising counting by rote learning and it helps with spatial awareness (no daddy isn’t under the policeman’s hat) and the ability to look for things.
8. Where’s The Fireman?
Age of child: 13 months old
Most of our games spring from T’s favourite toy at the time. For a while, his favourite toy of all was his fire engine and little fireman. He also loved his vintage bus (borrowed from grandma and his stacking cups. I went out to eat with friends recently and we brought all of these toys with us. While mummy was chatting, T hid the fireman in the cups and put the bus on top. Then he exclaimed “da!” and I said “where’s the fireman gone?”. He lifted up the bus to reveal his fireman! This game became one of his favourites and we still play it often!
9. Strictly Dancing
We love playing ‘Strictly Dancing’. We taped Strictly on a Saturday night and on Sunday we’d pair up (A and mummy, L and daddy) and try to recreate the dances as we watched them. Our favourites were salsa, American smooth, cha-cha and pasadoble. L and A particularly liked the lifts! Good for music, movement and even number awareness when we fast forward to the judge’s scores!
10. Foam Stickers
My two love to play with the foam stickers you get from Yellow Moon for £2.99 a pack. We have several sets and they sit and they play for ages, just sticking stickers on paper or card. L still needs help with the backing though.
11. Pirate Game
I got a large piece of mount board from an art shop. Cut off a strip and cut that into six pieces, which I cut into octagons. I covered these with coloured plastic gems so that one had all silver, one all yellow, one purple, one red, green and blue. These were my gems. Then I drew a map of the house upstairs and downstairs on the rest of the board. We hid the jewels around the house. We then used colour paper markers to match the jewels colours to say where they were (just like swashbuckle on cbeebies). Then the kids have to find them and bring each one back before the time runs out. The ten second count always seems to start when they have found the last jewel and ends just after they have brought the last one back. We have an old wooden box we use as a treasure chest to keep the jewels in when found.
It does seem a lot of initial work but it is relatively low cost – a few quid for the board, glue and jewels – but it is a very active game and can be played over and over.
The game encourages physical activity and finding skills. It teaches colours and map reading. It can also build teamwork if you have two or more children to play. At the party we had eight kids and they went in pairs to find each jewel, the youngest pair had the easiest hunt. Now my two work together to find them.
It’s a good game even for young ones as you can hunt with them for the jewels you can hide at nap time. Just watch if they are younger than 18 months as you don’t want them to chew the jewels and swallow a smaller gem that was glued on.
That’s the last on this little list. Go ahead and cast your vote (by commenting the number of your favourite game below this post). And thanks again for taking part, lovely people!