What is it about games that get parents so excited? As I looked back over the past two years of podcasts, by far the most successful episodes have dealt with how to build relationships with your children through games. I was actually a little surprised. We have posted some great information on learning styles and teaching techniques, but to my surprise those have only had marginal interest compared to the interest in the games we have posted. So, here are some more games that you will enjoy and your children will enjoy even more.
5 Ridiculous Games That You Must Play This Weekend
“Play can be the long-sought bridge back to that deep emotional bond between parent and child. Play, with all its exuberance and delighted togetherness, can ease the stress of parenting. Playful Parenting is a way to enter a child’s world, on the child’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence, and connection.”
–Lawrence Cohen, Playful Parenting*
Blanket Fort and Role Play
There are some excellent memories building the old blanket forts in the basement. Don’t you remember the attacks from neighboring villages and how only your bravery saved the people of your fort? Of course you don’t remember those times—at least you don’t think about them very often. Otherwise you would have already thought about doing this with your children. Instead, if you are like me, you just get frustrated with your children when they make a mess in the basement as you realize that your children will never clean it up like they say they will.
I mentioned a really cool way you can use newspapers to change up the designs of your forts. Here is a link to the instructions. This looks like tons of fun and I plan on doing this on Saturday. Can’t wait. I will post some photos here when we are done.
All you need is a piece of paper for each person in the game. You can play this game with as many people as you have–which makes it a great party game for kids ages 8-12. Each person gets their own paper and writes down a question that starts with “Why…” It can be anything. Why are penguins short? Why are school busses yellow? It doesn’t matter. In fact, the more random and silly the question, the more fun the game becomes.
Next, fold the paper down to cover the question and pass the paper to the person on your left. On your new paper write a statement that starts with “Because…”
When everyone is finished writing their “because” statements collect all of the papers and read the question with the random and disconnected answers. Watch how quickly you will be laughing out loud. Your children will be laughing even harder than you and as you do, watch your relationship grow. This is a great game for the car.
Do you have any children that like running a camera or giving orders? This is the perfect game for them. You are going to need to come up with some new products to introduce to the market. The more ridiculous your product, the more fun you will have as you make your own commercials trying to market and sell your new products. You will need to come up with what the product does and why people will want to purchase it. Of course, you will need a creative name for the product. If you need some help you can consider the examples from Ariel and her squirrely seagull friend, Scuttle. Do you remember what a DINGLEHOPPER is? How about a SNARFBLAT?
Once you have your product and a good description of what it will do for the world, now you get ready to film a commercial for the product. You will want a tripod so that the video is steady. Let your children run the show. Let them come up with as much of the idea for how to shoot the commercial as they can. Give them help writing the script and the acting. It will be a blast and your family will love watching your commercials.
If you need some help organizing your commercials, here is a little brainstorming activity for you and the children. Commercial Brainstorm Activity
This game is great in the summer outside or even in the garage. You need to string a rope across the garage and hang a sheet over the rope. Then use some yellow masking tape on the floor to create 8 squares on each side of the sheet. Place your children in some of the squares on each side of the sheet. You need at least one on each side. Use a tennis ball or sandbag or even a little pillow to throw the ball back and forth as the missiles.
You can shake this game up a little and let your children “earn” additional missiles by answering math questions or spelling words from their vocab lists.
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