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How is your summer going? Are your children keeping busy?
With younger and younger children turning to texting, social media, and video games to fill up their free time, it seems that there is not a lot of meaningful social interaction going on these days. Even when children are not using technology, they're often participating in a multitude of organized activities.
I don't know about you, but I think there's a lot to be said for a good old game of cards, checkers, or tag to fill up our children's time. Not only are such games fun, but all ages of people can play them together. Playing games is a great way for families, friends, and generations of people to interact in meaningful ways. So, have everyone put away those cell phones, blackberries, iPods, televisions, and computers and get ready for some old-fashioned fun!
There are so many indoor and outdoor games that bring people of all ages together. I used to play the card game Casino with my grandmother constantly. I loved it, but I haven't played it in so long that I forgot how to play!
That's why I was so happy to find it in a fantastic book called Great Big Book of Children's Games: Over 450 Indoor and Outdoor Games for Kids, by Debra Wise. I LOVE this book! It has so many wonderful games, old and new, which will have people of all ages laughing and learning together.
Here is a summary of the contents of this comprehensive resource:
1. Introduction - Find out why playing games is so important for childhood development. This book is "a collection of more than 300 games and 150 variations especially selected for children between the ages of 3 and 14." The best part is that most of the games can be played with items you already have in your home. You don't have to spend a lot of money to keep your family busy!
2. The Pre-Game Show - Explains different ways of choosing who goes first or how to create teams.
3. Card Games - There is something for everyone here - not just children! While younger children will enjoy Go Fish, Old Maid, Concentration, Slap Jack, or War, older children will enjoy Hearts, Casino, or variations of Rummy. These are just a few of the card games mentioned here. All you need is a deck of cards, and you'll be ready to go!
4. Mind Games - Who knew there were so many word association, memory, acting, and guessing games! These activities are great for road trips or family get togethers.
5. Word Games -Who knew there were so many variations of word games? What a great way to enhance all levels of literacy, while having fun at the same time? Like the mind games, many of these games can be played in the car.
6. Pencil-and-Paper Games - From Tic-Tac-Toe to Magic Square to games I've never heard of, it's amazing what you can do with limited supplies!
7. Tabletop Games - Besides a sturdy table, you will need a variety of materials, such as dice, dominoes, a checkerboard (who knew how many variations of this game there are), counters (like buttons or coins), toothpicks, poker chips, etc... for these games. There are even some sports related games here!
8. Sidewalk and Blacktop Games - Variations of Hopscotch and Jump Rope, as well as Marbles, Jacks, Skully, coin games, and more!
9. Hunt and Hide-and-Seek Games - Children of all ages will be delighted by some creative variations of the traditional hide and seek.
10. Races and Relays - Groups of children will have a ball with these games. These outdoor activities are perfect for family reunions, parties, and large get togethers! Small groups of children will enjoy them as well...
11.Tag and Chase Games - Do you remember the many variations of tag? It makes me sad that my own children don't know what Freeze Tag is! These games will get your children thinking and moving at the same time.
12. Ball Games - Balls of different shapes and sizes inspire so many different games!
13. Strength and Wrestling Games - These games can be a lot of fun, but do require adult supervision.
14. Party Games - Do you remember the good old days when birthday parties were done at home? You'll find games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Musical Chairs, and a lot more here!
15. Water Games - Warm weather, water (in some cases, a pool), and adult supervision required here...
16. Road Games - More great games for road trips, in addition to the mind and word games referred to above.
17. Index of Games by Name, Number of Players, and Age - Wow! How easy it is to find a great game specifically suited to your needs.
Do you see what I mean? There's certainly something for everyone here! Please keep in mind that there are more games for the 6 - 14 age range, although there certainly are plenty for the 3 - 5 age range as well.
I think you'll find that the only problem you'll have is deciding which game to play first! You might have your children go through the book, and each of them can pick a few games they'd like to try. They can take turns picking what they want to try. I certainly can't wait to get started!
Children learn from all kinds of games. There is so much they can learn from the social interaction alone. So, the next time your children say they have nothing to do, all you have to do is take a look at this book! It's also a great way to have fun with your family without spending a lot of money.
You can find some other posts about games at the Book Chook blog and at these previous posts:
Please note that the Great Big Book of Children's Games and many other products can now be found at the new Moms Inspire Learning Amazon store! You can access it through the link on the sidebar of this blog, or by clicking here. You should know that I do receive a very small commission for any purchases you make through this customized store. For more information, please view my disclosure policy. Your support is greatly appreciated!
So, what are some of your favorite indoor and outdoor games?