Nothing enthralls more than family game time for little minds. Summer activities for kids at home includes a lot of creative play, board games and some more physical fun. Its the pleasure, joy and challenge of being together and taking on one another that helps stimulate the earliest seeds of strategy, logic and sportsmanship. Summer is not just outdoors, there are ample activities at home indoors that can help in enriching young minds and helping in their cognitive and behavioral development. As a parent and moreover board game fanatic, at age well past good figures of 30’s, i am more crazy than my little one while on our routine jingo, bounce off or chutes n ladders.
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Board games help in retention, cognitive skills and moreover its far better than screen time. Being a montessori believer, i have tried and emulated few interesting concepts in the way we plan our day, our study and toys, our work circles during summers and even practicle life exercises. Tangible games as i would like them to be addressed, are different than the Xbox’s, Nintendo’s or playstation’s. Not that i won't appreciate them, but i find board games more family involving and interesting with no harm on eyes or activities.
List of Board Games in Summer Activities for Kids at Home, based on my own preference and fondness:
Some how Jenga holds great memories from my Grad school when team-skills were being instilled in us. As a child and as a parent i enjoy Jenga not just for the balance and tricks but even as planks. I just can't resist the idea of towering and building up the Jenga as wonderful structures.
Jenna is a game of grit and with focussed on improving manual dexterity, hand eye coordination, strategy and precision in removing jenga. The tower should not topple while removing and the last person to remove without knocking down gets to be the winner. As competitive as it sounds, its fun for any age group, and we started playing with our little one when she was 3 years old.
2- Chutes n ladders:
This board game stays the most played game ever in my childhood (even now) My little one just loves the idea of spinning the arrow so much that her refusal to classic snakes and ladders is justified fairly. Almost no skills other than patience is required for the game. Its a fulfilled game that calls for 2-4 players.
A more advanced version of classic rummy with playing cards. Drawing of tiles one by one to form sets consisting of groups or runs makes you win. It is power packed and fulfilled for its fast drawings and limited chances. Just get rid of all tiles by forming sets. For 2-4 players and 106 tiles to begin with.
4- Connect 4:
Connect 4 is more of logic and timing. It is a 2 player game and it starts exciting kids as early as at age 4. With 42 coins , disc having 7 column and 6 row matrix, drop your color coin down and make 4 horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines straight in your color. In more elaborate terms its a zero-sum game; ones advantage is the others disadvantage
5- Scrabble or Boggle( for younger kids):
Boggle is my personal choice for its confinement into 4 letter words. As a parent to a 4.5 year old our current liking of Boggle. Make meaningful 4 letter words by using the bobble slam cards. Its easy, its fun and its enriching to learn new new words. Just get rid of all the cards to win the game, but make meaningful words from a dictionary.
Anyway, chess makes me nostalgic. For the days our game would stay on with my dad. We would start a new chess game and play a few hours each night, the game not finishing until good few days. It needs a lot of strategy and tactics to master the game. A two player game with 64 cubes in 8 by 8 matrix. Each player gets 16 pieces of black or white color. A through mind game improving strategic planning
A fulfilled family game with lots of variants. We began Dominos at age less than a year for my little one teaching colors first, then by age 15 months as a balance game constructing lines of vertical standing dominos and finally before beginning with the actual game it helped in counting number of dots. The most useful board game concept that grows with child and aspects offered.
Vintage classic and legendary simple racing board game which can be played as early as age 2 and the very glamorous candies make it a more eye catchy board game. It does teach simple counting just like chutes and ladders. And since minimal skills are required its the earliest game for a child.
A mind based board game, with tiles having colored shapes on each. 108 wooden blocks having 6 colors and 6 shapes. Just keep marching attributes and building further to get rid of your blocks first and win. It is fun for all ages.
With some economic strategies and negotiation skills this game is interesting and fun. Buying, trading, selling, developing and in the meanwhile proceeding through the game. Learn how taxation and trade works. It gives a basic understanding of finance and economics. Build houses, buy hotels and even become bankrupt, this game is thoroughly competitive and instills the love of economics in kids.
The above compilation on “List of Board Games in Summer Activities for Kids at Home” is based on my own experience as a serial game player myself, mother of a little board game fanatic and strong believer in Montessori methods of early childhood development.
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By Minu Manisha
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