• A Wild Lass

Schedule More Family Time: Board Games for Kids

How many families actually sit down together in the evenings and communicate?


If you’re looking for a way to be closer to your kids and build quality relationships, board games for kids are a great way to cut down on screen time and draw you together. It can also help them wind down before bed time.


Here are some ways to get kids interested and playing with you.




*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.


Why Play Games With Your Kids?


Playing games with your kids means that you all get to spend time together. You’ll have more family time and they will understand how important quality time together away from screens really is.


They’ll gain social experience. They’ll learn sportsmanship and respectful competition.

They’ll learn how to lose and learn from their mistakes to do better the next time.


Also, sometimes playing with toys can be really boring for parents. This is a way to play with and engage your kids without wanting to stab your own eyeballs with a fork. And it’s a much cheaper way to spend a night than going to the movies.


Which Board Games Are Best for Kids?


Most games have an age recommendation the box. You know your children, and you can gauge whether they’re ready for their age range in general or not.


Some board game stores have libraries of games that are already open. You can visit the store and try them out for free before you buy them. Then you’ll know if your kids like it or need to be older to play.


Here are some great games we’ve enjoyed with our kids (ages 2 & 3 at the time of this writing):


  • Trouble

  • Sorry

  • Bingo

  • Matching games

  • Candyland

  • Chutes and Ladders


How To Help Kids Understand Games


Don’t expect them to sit and listen to a long-winded explanation of the rules. You may think they need to understand everything from the beginning, but many people learn by doing. Give your kids a basic overview of the game, and then begin playing.


They’ll ask if they don’t know what to do, and you can help them as you go. Sometimes families benefit from playing a practice round first to help everyone get the hang of the game, before playing a real round.


Simplifying the Rules for Board Games for Kids


Sometimes kids are very interested in playing, but they get bored with a game if it’s too hard. You can help them stay interested longer if you simplify the rules to help them succeed. No one likes to lose.


Give yourself some leeway as you simplify the rules. Try to decide with your partner ahead of time which rules you’ll eliminate or abridge, so that you aren’t frustrated halfway through the game or confusing the kids. If it doesn’t go well, you can always modify the rules again before you play the next time.


One way that you can simplify the rules in Trouble, for example, is to let players begin when they roll any number, instead of requiring them to roll a six as the rules state. This means kids don’t have to wait a long time and watch others play without participating themselves.


Another way to simplify a game that has cards is to keep your hand on the table in front of you. Everyone will be able to see everyone else’s hand, but small children have trouble holding a full hand of cards so this will be less frustrating. They’ll also be able to watch you make choices and learn from watching the way you play.


Try using their favorite small toys in place of game pieces they aren’t attracted to. There are so many ways to be creative with how you change the game. Observe your kids to see what would help them the most.


Parent Patience: Giving Kids A Chance To Try


Grown-ups have a sense of urgency that children haven’t developed yet. We often think they’re disobeying or ignoring, when in reality they are complying--just at a slower pace than we wanted.


The chance to take time and make their own decisions is part of learning a board game, and also part of growing up. Let your kids have the time they need to decide on their next move. Offer to help if they want it, but don’t rush them.


When kids have space and freedom, they often surprise. Watch how they handle themselves when you sit back and stay quiet.


More Together Time


Getting the family together to play board games for kids is a great way to hang out together. It’s also a big learning opportunity for them and a fun way to build relationships.


You can even invite the kids to have friends join you, or invite your friends to come over and play with you.


For more fun ideas about building family relationships or to have Kate teach a workshop on family board games at your next event, contact us at A Wild Lass.


*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

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