It’s often hard to find family games that will be fun, interesting and challenging to all of the kids in the family. Single moms search the aisles of the toy store reading labels for age guidelines and choking hazards to be sure any new game brought into the house won’t be a health hazard to the youngest child.
Perhaps, instead of paying out money for new games to have on hand, mom should leave the money in her bank account and search for game options in the memory banks of her own family.
Games that have been around for generations are the perfect solution for family fun. The game known as Hide the Thimble is a perfect example.
In this game, one person hid a sewing thimble while the other players either covered their eyes or left the room. Once the thimble was in its hiding place, the race was on to see who could find it first.
One of the variations of the game became known as Hot and Cold. The person who hid the thimble could tell the searchers who were getting closer to the thimble that they were getting warmer. If they moved away from the thimble they were getting colder. Shouts of ‘hot’ were given when the hidden thimble was right under their noses.
Fewer single moms have a sewing thimble available in today’s world, and even if one was available in the sewing basket the size would make it hazardous for young children. Luckily, simply by changing the name of the game, mom can choose any treasure or object to use, depending on the age of the children playing.
Toddlers will enjoy searching for a hidden building block or stuffed animal. Borrow an action figure from an older child. Balls roll and can often spontaneously give up their secret location, bringing that round of fun to an end. On the other hand, the hidden ball suddenly dropping from its hiding space could bring more excitement and fun to the game.
Like all good games, the important thing is that everyone is included and that they are all having fun.
Family games are responsible for building childhood memories that last a lifetime. Games not only help your child develop socially but most games are educational in one way or another. Whether the game is a physical activity in the back yard or a board game at the kitchen table, the child will learn lessons by winning, by losing, by following the rules and by waiting for a slower player. Some games offer the opportunity to work on reading and math skills and still others polish memory skills.
Many parents have a hard time finding the game that is suitable for all members of the family, whether it’s because of a gap in ability or a difference of interest. Some games have such complex rules that they become more burden than fun.
Not to worry. These are games. Adapt the rules and make the game work for you. Be careful how you go about it, though. Even though it’s fun to make up the rules of a game as you go along, every game can’t be played like that. Sooner or later the child has to know that rules have to be set out in advance and followed consistently throughout the game.
As you start experimenting with the game to adopt rules to make it work for your family, let each child make suggestions. If the suggestion doesn’t work, laugh and cross it off the list. Be flexible and enjoy the process.
Encourage compromise when establishing new rules. Let each child have a certain number of vetos on the rules suggested. This will help keep disagreements from escalating into major conflicts.
Make sure that the kids understand that these new rules for the game are unique to your family. Other kids may have the same game, but the rules will be different because your family has adapted the rules to fit your needs. Let them know the importance of setting out the rules before they start playing any game so that it’s a fun experience and doesn’t lead to arguments.
As the younger kids mature, try to incorporate as many of the official rules of the game into your family game night as possible. This will make it easier for your kids to play the games with others as their social circle expands.
Don’t forget that the best games are not only educational, they’re fun for everyone.