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Family Game Night: Tips and Games for Kids by Age

New and used board games and card games are wonderful learning tools to reinforce many areas of curriculum while children are having fun. Games can be divided into many categories depending on their objectives and methods of play. For older students games that offer scenarios are often the most entertaining, while younger children enjoy games that are fast paced and interactive.

Different games can help youngsters work on skills in areas such as fine motor, critical thinking, math and reading as well as peer relations. Playing games can foster relationships between parents and children during their formative years, hence a push for the reintroduction of “Family Game Night” by Hasbro.

How to start a family games night

There are many easy ways to start a family games night, or for homeschoolers, a homeschool games day. Here are some easy tips:

  • Set aside a block of time which remains the same from week to week.
  • If the children are many different ages, split the group by age. Alternatively, play one simpler game for the youngsters and then one more advanced game pairing younger children with older ones or parents.
  • There should be an understood list of game day/night rules including rules on good sportsmanship and helping others.
  • Families should also plan to start game day/night early enough to avoid cranky kids or the need to stop before games are finished. Try setting a time limit for longer games such as Monopoly.
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Games for children ages three to six years

There are many recommendations when it comes to games for a young skill set. In particular, these games are bright, fast paced and often take no more than a few minutes to play a single round. Some games recommended by Hasbro are:

  • Candyland
  • Luckyducks
  • Elefun
  • Whac-A-Mole
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Games for children ages six to eight years

Children in the six to eight year old range are capable of understanding more complex rules and are often interested in games which are more challenging than those for the three to six year old category, according to Hasbro. This age group enjoys physically active games as well as games with simple scenarios. Some games recommended for this age group are:

  • Twister
  • Battleships
  • Cosmic Catch
  • Operation
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Games for children 8 years and over

Though children at the young end of this age group may need some help or coaching from mom or dad or an older child, most of them are capable and willing to play games rated 8-adult. Children in this category are beginning to feel comfortable with their knowledge and their abilities and are eager to show off their many talents. The competitive nature of children become evident in this age range, and therefore games often incorporate a sense of competition. Some games recommended for this age group are:

  • Monopoly
  • Life
  • Clue
  • Sorry
  • Scrabble
  • Pictionary
  • Taboo
  • Trivial Pursuit
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Overall the most important part of any family game night or homeschool game day is to have fun. Remember children do not have to be sitting at the kitchen table eight hours a day working in workbooks and studying lectures in order to learn. Learning can be fun!
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