If your grandkids are spending too much time plugged in, help get them unplugged with games you can play with them. Some of these interactive games even offer learning opportunities, and all will elicit conversations as you play.
A pack of cards can travel anywhere with you, and the possibilities are endless. Young children often enjoy specialized card games like Uno, but a regular deck of cards can also be used for simple games like these:
- Old Maid: Add only one joker to the pack of cards. The joker becomes the “old maid,” and while all others cards are paired up, whoever is left with this card is out of luck.
- War: In war, the cards are evenly and randomly divided between two players and left in stacks face down. The two players then flip up their top cards at the same time – a battle – and the higher card wins, with both cards added to the bottom of the winner’s stack. If both players flip up even cards, there’s a “war,” where each player puts three cards face down, flipping the third. The player who flips the higher card takes all cards involved. The game ends when one player has the entire deck.
Older children can enjoy learning games like rummy, hearts, spades, double solitaire and more.
Word games require no materials at all and can even be played while in the car or out on a walk. Here are a few to try:
- I Spy: For this game, give a vague description of something you can currently see, and the other players have to guess what it could be. For example, “I spy something round,” or “I spy something red.” The players guess until one of them guesses correctly (they may need additional clues if it’s tricky), and then it’s their turn.
- The Question Game: This game can be played a couple of different ways. One involves phrasing every response as a question. The first person to be stumped is out. It can also be played as a way to elicit conversation, where one person asks the other a question (i.e. “If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?”), the second person responds honestly, then that person asks the other a genuine question. This is a great way to have meaningful conversations with older grandchildren.
Other word games include, “I’m going …,” geographic alphabet games and more. The possibilities are endless.
Of course, young children continue to love simple board games and matching games, but many older children – especially those who enjoy strategy games – will also enjoy learning traditional checkers or chess.
If your doctor has cleared you for outdoor physical exercise, also consider a lawn game. Lawn games are a , great way to enjoy fresh air with a grandchild or the entire family.
While it may take a while for video gamers to warm up to the idea of unplugging, most kids will also enjoy interactive card, word and board games – opening them up to a whole new world of fun, friendly and challenging play.