• By Amanda Blackburn.

Best Board Games For Children!

Well with Autumn here and with winter sadly on its way, more days spent inside are approaching. I work as a full-time registered childminder and have worked in schools and nurseries over the last 25 years. During my time spent with children ages birth to 10 years, I have gained great insight into what makes them smile and what they enjoy. As I work with such a mix of ages it is hard to find something that they can all play together. The games listed below have helped me to achieve this and along with being educated, it has also encouraged the children to communicate, share and take turns with each other. I really rate these games so I thought they deserved a blog about!

Scaredy cat-for 2-6 players age 4-10 Includes 41 bird cards, 3 cat cards, 6 scarecrow cards and 1 instruction leaflet.

This is a fun counting game where you have to collect as many birds as you can before the scaredy cat appears.If you turn over a scaredy cat card you loose all of your bird cards and have to pick again to get as many as you can before the scarecrow is complete. When the scarecrow is built the player with the most birds wins. The children laugh so much at this game wondering if the scaredy cat is coming to eat their birds, even the 2-year-old sits on one of the other children's knees and helps by turning the cards and counting the birds. They can even play this on their own if I am busy making dinners and it takes very little setup

Shopping List- for 2-4 players (I purchased an extra booster pack which contains 2 more shopping baskets and 2 lists) therefore 2-6 players can play.

It is aimed at ages 3-7 but my younger children join in by turning cards and matching items and the older children like to help the younger ones.

Includes 4 trolleys(6 because of extra), 4 shopping list cards(6 because of extra),32 item cards(48 because of extra) and 1 instruction leaflet.

All the cards are placed face down and each child has a shopping list and a basket. The first to fill their trolley with all the items on their shopping list wins. It encourages observation and memory skills and teaches turn-taking. I also talk about the food on the lists and what is healthy and what food groups they belong to and talk about what foods they do and don't like. In our booster pack, it has a shopping list of different items of clothing so the younger children can also name the items and can talk about what type of clothing to wear for the different seasons.

The game is easy to set up, I get the children to help by placing in rows of 8, this also helps them count.

Crazy chefs-for 2-5 players age 3-7 years Contains-5 chef boards, 5 plate cards, 5 meal cards, 35 cards, 1 spinner and 1 instruction leaflet.

The 35 picture cards are placed face down on the table, each player picks a chef board of a dish they would like to make. The players then have to collect all the ingredients and utensils to make their meal. Once they have collected all their ingredients and utensils on their next turn they can spin the spinner, first they need to spin for their plate and once they have this they must wait till their next turn where they can then spin again to collect their meal. The first to complete their meal wins the game. This game encourages observation, helps with memory skills and by playing together develops their personal and social skills. All the dishes show what ingredients are needed to make the 5 meals so this also helps them learn what makes pizza etc. They can choose to make, pizza, cupcakes, shepherds pie. prawn pasta and chicken on skewers.

Tummy ache- for 2-4 players age 3-10 Includes- 4 jigged place setting boards, 20 food cards, 10 tummy ache cards and 1 instruction leaflet.

Each player has a place setting board that fits together to make a cup, plate with knife, fork and sundae dish. The 20 food cards are placed in two piles of 10 on the table face down. Each player turns over a card and places it onto their meal, some cards have bugs on them, they must place the card down on their place setting until they collect a card with no bugs on, they can then swap it for an edible food and place the discarded card to the bottom of one of the piles. They love shouting out tummy ache when they have a yucky card. The winner is the first to fill their place setting with foods that don't contain the yucky combinations that cause a tummy ache.

Greedy gorilla-For 2-4 players age 4-8 years Includes- 4 playing boards, 24 healthy food cards, 8 junk food cards, 1 gorilla posting box (requires 3xAAA 1.5V batteries, included) and 1 instruction leaflet. The children love this game, especially when the gorilla burps when he is fed the junk food cards. All the cards are placed face down and you need to find the correct healthy food cards and fill your board first to win the game. This helps children recognise what foods are healthy and what foods are junk, teaches turn taking, communication and helps with memory skills.

Younger children can also be involved with all of these games by helping to set the games up and can turn the cards over for the older children. I encourage the younger children to name the items on the cards and also ask if they can recognise what colours they can see. If my younger child goes for a sleepover at his grandparents I always pack these to play, as they help pass time and keep him quiet for them, well at least for a while anyway. They make lovely birthday presents for friends parties as they are such great value, and are great as a Christmas gift to play together on Christmas day. A simple way to make memories together!

All these games can be bought from Here.


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