It used to be the case that parents worried if their children spent too much time on the computer, playing video games, as they perceived them as poor alternatives to the social, outdoors fun games for kids that they used to enjoy in their time. With the rise of video games towards the mainstream in the last few years, however, acceptance grew and today we are not going to try to compare the inherent qualities of playing online or playing outside, but rather establish which games are the more appropriate for what situation. There are birthday parties, Christmas and Easter holidays, Thanksgiving with the whole family, and learning time, each with corresponding games that are super fun to play at any occasion. That is to say, just because your hands are on the wii console now and again, that doesn’t necessarily imply cancelling your gym card, fitness membership, running, or summer camping altogether. So here are 4 ideas of cool and fun games for kids, depending on the occasion.
Now, this all depends on how the weather is where you live, but let’s assume you’re going to save the quality outside play time for dry and sunny days – tough luck, Scottish parents – where you will be able to teach your kids any of the classic games you used to play when you were their age. These pretty much includes all the ball sports we all know: some easy table tennis, basketball, volleyball, soccer, you name it! These games benefit from the patience and care of adults. Other outdoor games, however, thrive when they are played among other children, due to the levelled field being among the highlights of the game. Games such as this, all highly active, include hopscotch, hide and seek, jumping rope, tag and any variations of the marbles game.
2. Indoors, analogue
Rainy, cold day and yet you feel like the computer could use a rest? There are so many elementary indoor activities to entertain your children at home during a sleepover on a school day. Board games are great for any kid, boy or girl, as they have been shown to increase brain power and speed. Depending on their age you can either go for some older icebreaker games like Chutes and Ladders, Scrabble, Monopoly and the like, or go for more complex one, such as Clue, Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne (which are great for all ages). If you want to stay dry and warm, yet not miss the opportunity for some physical activity, there is always the really interactive Twister to make the living room come alive, as well as any iteration of games where the children need to dance before coming to a halt when the music stops, such as Musical Chairs or Freeze!
3. Indoors, digital
This is a tricky one, since your children are more likely to find websites full of fun games for kids online than you, out of both sheer determination, as well as different search methods. But maybe you want them to play specific stuff, in which case games like Cartoon Cove Mini Golf, where each round of mini-golf takes place in the world of a different Cartoon Network show, from Dexter’s Laboratory to Powerpuff Girls, also giving the option for a two player show-down. Ice Breaker is another fun Flash game, but having the extra advantage that it relies more on thinking, than dexterity, while the player tries to free a number of frozen Vikings through as little moves as possible.
4. Party Games
The sort of games that you are looking for in a party game is the sort of activity that can keep a lot of kids busy, without giving them the opportunity to get in too much trouble. The above-mentioned Twister can be used for this as well, but other games, specifically designed for large groups can prove even more entertaining. Any list of fun games for kids needs to include “Pin the tail on the donkey”, a timeless classic, as well as “Red light, green light”, “Duck duck goose” and any form of treasure hunt game, all of them having the advantage of being able to accommodate any number of, as well as allowing late-comers to just drop in, without much preamble or needing to start over.