The Importance of Family Games
Family games are important because they reconnect the family. We are living in a time where it’s no longer unusual for children to have their own TV’s or computers. With Smart-TV’s and video streaming services, families no longer have to watch the same programmes at the same time, they don’t even need to be in the same room. Gathering the family together to play a variety of family games once a week can really help to connect everyone.
Playing a family game can help to develop social-emotional learning. Children are more likely to talk about their thoughts and feelings when their minds are focusing on something else. The moments between turns, between hands of cards, and between games are perfect for sharing casual and even non-casual conversation.
Games can teach children important life skills including patience, following directions, taking turns and being nice, even when they lose. Having regular family game time can give children the chance to practice these essential skills.
Fun Family Games
We have a lot of games that range from ages 2 all the way up to 14 that are perfect for the whole family. There’s something that will appeal to everyone from the youngest to the oldest. Children won’t even realise they are learning as they develop core skills through engaging game play. If you get the chance, take your family game outside and play it on the grass, garden table, or during a picnic at the park. These fun family games are perfect for playing indoors and outdoors!
A game of steady hands and quick reflexes! Hooplastack™ is an easy-to-play game that encourages fine motor skills and strategic thinking as players pile the wooden pieces high, then try to snatch the bottom piece with the hoop!
How to play:
- Remove the assortment of wooden pieces from the pole and stack them on a table
- The first player places the wooden hoop over the tower and rests it on the table
- They quickly yank the hoop, aiming to snatch out the bottom piece
- If the stack remains upright the play passes to the right, if the stack falls the player is out of the game
- The last player remaining wins!
It’s the squishy, squashy, sculpting party game! This fast-paced sculpting battle combines the creativity of Playfoam® with engaging imaginative play. Playfoam never dries out so this game can be played time and time again! Simply get into two teams and battle it out to mould the Playfoam into a specified model!
How to play:
- Place the category cards face down in the play area
- Decide which team will go first
- A player from that team takes a category card and rolls the numbered die to determine which challenge they need to complete
- That player must use the Playfoam to complete their challenge before the timer runs out
- Can their team mates successfully guess what it is?
- The first team to successfully guess 25 challenges wins!
Sculptapalooza™ includes sculpting challenges such as:
- “Straight up Sculpt” – simply create the specified model
- “Put it on your Face” – mould the Playfoam onto your face to bring your creation to life
- “Just close your Eyes” – master your creation with your eyes closed
- “Playfoam Props” – incorporate props into your masterpiece
- “Sculptor’s Choice” – build anything in your imagination for your team mates to guess
A read and rescue race! This colourful game is designed to prepare children for the year 1 Phonics Screening Check by helping them recognise nonsense words. Fly your saucer and use the Super Suction feature to collect the astronaut and alien cards. Astronaut cards show real words and Alien cards show nonsense words (words that are made up but phonetically plausible).
How to play:
- The youngest player goes first and uses their spaceship to collect a card of their choice, pressing it down onto the card to seal the suction base
- Keeping the spaceship in place, the player turns it over to reveal a word on the reverse of the card
- If pronounced correctly, they get to keep it. If incorrect, the card gets placed back in play
- Play continues to the left
- The first player to collect three astronauts and three aliens wins!
Meet Hugo the Hippo and his friend Gary the bird! Feed Hugo and try to guess which piece he’s eaten before pressing Gary, to see if they’re right. This munchy memory game is easy to play, and develops memory skills as players keep an eye out for which munchie Hugo eats.
How to play:
- Players select eight munches and place one in each slot of Hugo’s mouth
- Any remaining should be placed on Hugo’s green grass
- Players memorise what munchies are in Hugo’s mouth before it closes
- When he opens it again players need to guess what has been eaten
- Press Gary and see which munchie pops out – who guessed correctly?
- The first player to guess correctly three times is the winner
A fast-paced, engaging way to reinforce times tables with the whole family! Children can learn essential multiplication skills with these colour-coded, friendly flies. Choose a times table before laying out the flies, then race to swat the correct answer first! Game play covers the 2-12 times tables.
How to play:
- An adult calls out a question for the times table being practised
- Players race to swat the fly showing the correct answer
- The first player to swat the correct fly takes it and turns it over
- If it reveals:
- Fly spray – lose the fly and place it out of play
- Stuck in the jam – keep the card but miss the next round of play
- Friendly fly – keep the card and be the only player in play for the next round. If this player is unable to answer the next question correctly or answers incorrectly, the round is opened out to the remaining players to attempt
- Continue calling questions and racing to swat flies until all flies are collected
- The player to collect the most flies is the winner
The forest friends are hungry and need help! Help squirrel fill his stump with coloured acorns to win the game!
How to play:
- Pass the squirrel spinner to the youngest player and let him or her spin.
- If the wheel stops on a colour, use the squirrel squeezer to grab a matching acorn and place it in the matching hole in your log. If that hole is already full, skip your turn.
- Once you’ve made your move, pass the squirrel squeezer to the player on your left – it’s their turn now.
- Be the first to fill up your log with acorns and you win the game!
Playing is as easy as 1-2-3! My First Games have been designed specifically to develop important skills through game play. Encourage a variety of early childhood skills with this easy-to-play, 3-step hide & seek style game! Early learners use their observation skills to win the game! Encourage players to talk about what they’re doing and where they are hiding the cats to develop their vocabulary skills.
How to play:
- Select a player to be the hider and another to be the seeker
- The hider rolls the dice to determine where to hide the cat. If you’re a seeker, take a good look, this could be your first clue!
- Do this for each of the three cats
- When hiding the cats always have a tail on show as a hint to the seeker
- Once all cats are hidden, the seeker can start searching
Take a look at the activity guide for more fun ways to play Tail Trails!
A learn-to-code board game! Code & Go® Mouse Mania is a way to introduce coding and inspire primary children in STEM. This engaging game follows the same screen-free concept as our award-winning Code & Go Robot Mouse. It provides a basic introduction to early coding concepts such as step coding and logic and encourages problem solving skills, but most importantly, it’s fun to play!
How to play:
- Each player selects a mouse and places it in its coloured corner of the game board
- Give each player a Super Mouse card
- Players take turns rolling the die and selecting that number of coding cards
- Encourage players to lay out their coding cards in a sequence to map their mouse’s path. The path should take them closer to the cheese!
- Players then move their mouse according to the steps in that sequence
- If a mouse lands on some cheese, that player takes it
- Players clear their cards after each sequence ready for their next go
- Play continues until all cheese wedges have been collected
- The player who collects the most cheese is the winner
- Enhance the game play with:
- Maze walls – roll these on the die and place a wall anywhere you want on the game board to block your opposition
- Warp zone spots – instantly jump to another warp zone spot in one move if it will benefit you
- Super mouse – Can be used only once in a game! Use this card to jump over a maze wall
The most important part about playing games with the family on a regular basis is the good memories and positive feelings that are associated with them. Providing a place for children to let loose and have fun is so important, and is the perfect environment for talking about feelings.
Get together for some fun family games and share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!