Games and fun activities can be a great way to teach your little ones some essential skills that will serve them in all areas of life. If you’re looking to spend some quality time with your children whilst having fun and teaching them valuable lessons without them even noticing, give some of these activities a try.
What skills can your children learn?
Communication, teamwork, building relationships but also focus, dedication, patience or critical thinking are some of the vital skills that children can develop in the early stages of life. It’s important to select activities that are age-appropriate so they will face something challenging but that they can manage and overcome. Activities that are too complex can create a lot of frustration so it’s important to take that into consideration.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a well-known game where kids have to hide and one of the children (or yourself) have to find them. It seems simple enough, but it makes children think and assess their options in order to find the best hiding place. They can develop their spatial awareness as they have to estimate which place will be more visible from different points of view and with experience, they will learn how to improve as they understand the places that are likely to get checked first. It’s a great game for all so if you have kids of different ages they can all take part!
Building Scale Models
Nowadays, you can find many scale models especially thought for children so they present a challenge without being too complex. It’s a great activity for older kids and can teach them patience and dedication as well as the attention to detail. Get them involved and help them as much or as little as they want! Completed models can also be part of the child’s room decoration: cars, planes, boats and even military tanks… there are plenty of choices so you know you’ll find something that your children love.
Patience for Younger Children
If your children are a bit too young for scale models, there are many games that can teach them patience. It’s well-known that our little ones don’t usually like to stay still so games like Green Light Red Light or Sleeping Lions would be great in those cases. Sleeping Lions is a game where children lay down and have to look asleep, as one person walks around (without touching others) and the last child looking asleep despite distractions wins! It’s a fun game that also teaches how to stay focused in a busy environment, so great for the future.
If you’re organising a birthday party or a fun afternoon with your kids and their friends, they are plenty of games that make children work together to achieve a common goal, teaching them teamwork and how to communicate better in order to win. You can even make two teams for a bit of competition! Treasure hunts are perfect for these – with several hints or mini-games that children have to face, they’ll have to think strategically and work together in order to find the treasure at the end. Kids love a treasure hunt, if you’re working with two teams I would suggest having some form of reward for the losing team so that they are not too disappointed – it’s all about having fun after all!
Simon says is a fun game where someone calls for others to perform actions – usually silly ones – as long as ‘Simon says’ is said at the beginning. For those giving the actions, it gives them a sense of leadership and makes them come up with creative actions, for the others it’s a great way to teach them to pay attention to what others say.
So while your children may seem like they’re just playing and having fun, most games actually teach valuable skills. Encourage them to try new things so they can experience a nice variety of activities and they’ll be able to find the one that they prefer as they grow up, developing affinities with logical thinking, creative thinking or else!