If you grew up in the 1980’s to 1990’s you probably remember playing games like kho-kho, marble games, langdi, snakes and ladders, name place animal thing, hopscotch, cards etc and during travel it was always the good old antakshari.
But most of these require two or more people. Back in the days, practically all neighbors knew each other, many families were joint and play time meant being out of the house with other kids. However with growing number of nuclear families with both parents working and an alarming rise in concern for safety of children, we often find them cooped up at home most of the times. Also there has been an upswing in not just nuclear families but also families with only one child.
One child or more, we can’t deny that sometimes we run out of ideas to keep them busy/engaged so that their creative little minds can take a detour from moments of boredom (which are also necessary). Moreover, with our busy on the run lives, we seldom have much time or patience to play with them.
So in order to keep my little one creatively engaged, I started to search for games that would deter her from using any gadgets and keep her company not just at home but also when we traveled. Here is a list of games that I have compiled for children from age group 3-10, which can serve both at home as well as when on vacation. They are easy on the pocket except for number 5 and also easy on the load when travelling.
Brainvita– Ideal for children age 7 and above, come rain or shine, this can be played anywhere. This game improves concentration and problem solving skills. Why just kids, even adults can play this wonderful game.
Pattern Play- This game is suitable for children ages 3 and above. My daughter who is 7 enjoys this game and it keeps her busy for hours. It is particularly great for enhancing creativity and develop spatial perception. If you have the time and want an outlet for your creative juices you can even make one by following this link.
Geoboard- This game is great to enhance mathematics skills, learn about different geometric shapes and also improve fine motor skills.
Wood labyrinth- Great to take when travelling. This one is particularly good for hand eye co-ordination.
Boogie Board– Good for all ages, this one is an electronic writing tablet. It can be used to play tic tac toe, learn spellings or even just doodle. This is one piece of gadget I carry along with me whenever I travel with my little one. Although the pricing is a little steep compared to other options like the magic drawing slate, it lasts much longer than the simple magic erase slates. She uses it regularly for the past three years.
Wooden Puzzle Blocks– These are great for children 3 and above and it helps them learn color, pattern, shapes and improves their hand eye co-ordination. Moreover being made of natural non toxic material, they are absolutely safe for children.
The Good Old Books and Activity Sheets- Books/Activity sheets can be the ultimate travelling companion, be it adults or even kids. Apart from story books, engage them with coloring, word search, spot the differences and similar activity books. Here is an example of a fun scratch and draw coloring sheet.
Cross stitch/Weaving/Sewing kits- Great for both boys and girls, because who says only girls sew? Most of our tailors are men isn’t it? These kits are great for hand eye co-ordination and can prove to become a great life skill as well.
Rubick’s Cube- This is one thing that has survived the ravaging influence of time. And I think it will for generations to come.
Origami- This needs no introduction and is a particular favorite of the creative kinds. It can be carried anywhere and needless to say can keep one busy for hours.
Clay dough- Where was clay dough when I was growing up? This is probably one of the most versatile things to play with. It can become whatever you want. For more ideas click here.
PS: If you have some more to add to this list, please do so in the comments section below.
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