10 games to play with your children… From the busiest to the most relaxing! (3- 5 years)

A list of 10 funny and entertaining gaming activities to do with your kids

by Marianna Pappalardi

Games are one of the most desired by children, even more if shared with other children or, better yet, with mom and dad. Through play, children experience, grow up, have fun, communicate, learn. Games are a more effective socialization tool. Parents playing with their children have happier children and, sure enough, the games are good just for the sake of themselves.

To quote Pablo Picasso:

“In my house I had assembled large and small toys, without whom I could not live. The child who does not play is not a child, but an adult who does not play has lost forever the baby that was inside him and he will be greatly missed.”

Be prepared, none of the tasks that are described below require that you be comfortable on the sofa watching your children play; the goal is to share the joy of play and have fun together!

This list is structured so that there are games that require less and less physical effort as you go down the list, to meet your energy resources … and to limit your guilt.

If you are already tired, you should start with the number 6!!

1. Make a playlist and dance as you can

You have to admit there is nothing more fun! You can choose the music you prefer, the one best suited to your children by choosing the classics (like the “dance of quacks”) or cartoon songs (in our House lately is fashionable “I like to move it move it” from the animated film Madagascar), or you can enjoy unbridled dancing to themusic of the ’80s and ’90s. Often I’ve come home and found my husband and my two daughters dancing to “Balooba Shake”!

2. We do gymnastics

If you have not already done so, you should try it out at least once in their life, I assure you it’s a hoot! It happened to me, about wanting to seriously try, misled by those wonderful videos of her athletic and slender mom who trains the tender daughter that mimics without interfering … For us it was a disaster! But it was perhaps one of the most enjoyable days of my life.

3. Hide and seek

Timeless ally of parents: when you think of another, and seek always works.

4. One two three star

I admit that explaining it to children is not easy, at least for us it wasn’t, I needed the collaboration of father, but in the end, maybe it was more fun to play when you don’t respect the rules!

5. Those seeking… find!

This game contains more than one version: you can play the classic water/fire or use an alternative version and a little more stimulant that is to ask the child to find objects with one or more characteristics that you require (for example you can ask him to try to find things that red, white or smooth things).

6. I draw, you guess

Here, at this point I guess you’re a little stanching. In the words of Forest Gump, why don’t you sit back, relax for a moment, and take out a pen and paper.

This game, my girl loves it, it’s kind of a Pictionary kids DIY. We have a small erasable board, butnormal sheets of paper are equally fine: you will need to draw something (work of fantasy, no matter that the drawings are not perfect) that your child will have to guess and then draw himself (here, your imagination will be working even more).

7. Clay (timeless)

Playdough or even salt dough or, better yet, pastry with which together make cookies, depending on how you want to do, just that you have something to smoosh, cut, and touch (or spaccicciare, as Bowler!).

8. We interpret a book or a nursery rhyme

Here I am assuming that you are mildly tired, but not too much. You might then choose a set of books of stories or rhymes and interpret them as if you were the characters in the story. Alternative version that requires less expenditure of energy is to replace the names of the characters with those of your friends or family, I assure you that you will be having fun!

9. App for kids

Thank goodness there is technology, which comes to us in many and countless ways during the day (for example, I’m writing this article on my cell phone while I’m in bed … I felt inspired!). In the store, there are entertaining and educational apps that you can explore with your children, you will find it fun and relaxing and they will be more than happy to share this with you.

10. Who fall asleep first WINS!

When you just can’t take it anymore, this is the only game I can advise you! Taught to my husband by his mother, now has been handed down from generation to generation and I share it with you … I’m pretty sure that in this game you will always win!

Assuming that each game has, as already mentioned, a role in the child’s cognitive growth, there are also more educational games and gaming activity aimed to develop certain skills, such as vocabulary building (click here to find out which) or logical skills (for these games click here) to thus combine the pleasant with the useful.

Whatever gaming activities you choose, don’t forget the rewards, whether they were or not attentive to the rules of the game or that they have won or not (but we know that, somehow, they will always win!) kids always need bonuses, be sure to congratulate them warmly!

For the rest, there are no rules, or rather there is only one: have fun! This implies not being too strict in running the game, no matter if what comes out is a complete disaster, as long as it is a pleasant time to spend together. And don’t do as John when he plays soccer with the baby in the movie Three Men And A Leg. ;)



About author Marianna Pappalardi

Marianna Pappalardi is a proud mother of two spicy girls, a speech therapist and co-founder and creative director of Marshmallow Games.