Connect Through Games 

One of my favorite childhood memories was when my entire family played games. We would play Old Maid or even a board game like Hi-Ho Cherry-O. I also loved outdoor games like Hide and Seek or Mother May I. It was so much FUN!

These games became a real connecting moment for my parents, siblings and I. It also became a tradition to continue with my own family. Now is the perfect time to try an “old school” game or learn a new game with your entire family. Here are a few of my favorites.

Let’s Play

mother and daughter dancingFreeze Dance

Select some music to play, ideally with breaks of silence. When the music starts, everyone dances. But when the music stops, the dancing stops too. Everyone freezes in their position. Silliness is encouraged!

Hot & Cold

Decide on an object to hide (a shoe, a ball, anything will work). Everyone but the person hiding the object leaves the room. Once the object is hidden, the hider calls everyone else back to the room. Give clues to find the object by telling people whether they ares hot or cold. Remember, as a person gets closer to the hiding place, they get warm, warmer then hot when they are right next to it.

Shape Game

This game can be played inside (use painter’s tape) or outside (use chalk). Make various shapes. You can also use different colors if available. One person directs the others with various tasks like run to the square, hop to the triangle, slither to the circle, walk on your tippy toes to the diamond. If colors are involved, add that to your directions – dance to the blue circle.

Duck, Duck, Goose

This game is best with a large family or group. One person is the tagger while everyone else sits in a circle. The tagger walks around the circle saying either “duck” or “goose” while touching each person’s head. Things continue if the tagger says “duck.” If they say “goose” the person who is the goose and must try to catch the tagger as they round the circle.

girl making a silly faceMirror, Mirror

Stand (or sit) face to face with another person usually about a foot apart. Now have one person attempt to copy all the movements of the other person. Be goofy and creative. Reverse roles.

Bean Bag Toss

For this game you can use bean bags, socks rolled into balls or whatever is handy. Make your “targets” by decorating 5 paper plates with number values (10 points) or shapes / happy faces. Set the targets in a vertical line or in a pyramid. Now you’re ready to play by taking turns tossing the bag at the targets and adding up points.

For family-friendly reads, check out these stories.

View complete list

You’ll find more game ideas in these books.

View complete list

Sherry Hess

As the Early Childhood Learning Coordinator, Sherry is focused on engaging young children and their families in play-based early learning experiences. The Learn & Play Bus and its service are at the heart of her work. Sherry has a background in early childhood education.