Apparently, I had played Chutes & Ladders one time too many last month (side note- great game the first 697 times you play it) and decided that my game rotation needed a few new ones in the collection. The vast majority of my games are thrifted. You can find AWESOME, barely used games at Goodwill or other thrift stores. However, I wasn’t feeling particularly patient so Amazon was my friend.
I would say that I am pretty particular about the games I buy. I find that a lot of games nowadays have a definite “gross factor” to them (cruise down the Target game aisle and you will get what I am talking about). While many kids naturally love this style, I prefer more timeless options. Here are some different factors that might draw me to a game:
- An opportunity to use specific sounds or language concepts
- A winning / losing component to teach good sportsmanship
- A “surprise” element (translation- kids get really excited for it and therefor want to play it over and over again)
- Fine motor (small muscle movements such as grasping small objects) component
- Good quality – Usually (but not always) this means going for the brand name version or a wooden version.
- Versatility with the ages I can play it with.
So here is what I landed on:
Why I love it: This game has a ton of “s” sounds (spin, squirrel, steal, sneak, etc.). It also has a set of squirrel-shaped tongs that kids love to manipulate (fine motor FTW). This is one of my favorite games for targeting good sportsmanship as you can go from winning to the end of the line in one spin. There have been many a tears while playing this game, but kids love it so much that I can get them to try again!!
2. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel (book)
Why I love it: Ok, I am cheating because this isn’t a game, but it is great to pair with the game to target vocabulary or sounds before playing. You can work on counting, colors, and asking “where” questions. It has little flaps to lift up which I find keeps kiddos engaged with it longer. I threw this one in the “cart” on impulse (Amazon always does that to me) and am very pleased with it.
Why I love it: This is a very simple game but is fun for a wide range of kids. You pull out the spaghetti pieces and try to keep the yeti from falling into the bowl. You have a fine motor component and it’s quick to play. Kids dig it and it’s less than $10! This would be a great birthday present.
Why I love it: So I am late to the party on this one and have been eyeing it for quite some time. There are a few different versions of this game, but everyone I know reported that this one was the best. The anticipation of the pirate jumping out of the barrel keeps kids interested. I like to work on a skill between turns. Perhaps you could pair it with speech homework at home!
That’s all I got for now. I am happy to report that this impulse Amazon purchase left me with no regrets. I will try to snap a few pictures of these games in action!
Do you play games with your child? Any favorites?