Keeping the kiddos busy is a job all on its own. Even after a whole day of school, they whiz off the school bus with a fully charged battery!
But rather than turning on screens (‘cause let’s just admit, Netflix is a good babysitter), we’ve come up with a list of fun, educational games to keep their brains learning, developing, and exploring!
To bring out the natural explorer in your kiddo and soak up some Vitamin D before winter, the great outdoors is your perfect playground.
1) I Spy Neighborhood Walk
Taking a walk may not seem like a game, but for a kiddo on the hunt for “something blue,” it’s a great way to challenge they’re growing brains in a fun way. Make it educational by introducing them to new words and including a mini lesson.
For example: “I spy something with bark. Bark is brown and protects trees from the outside world.”
You can play this game while:
- Heading to the bus stop
- Checking the mail
- Gardening or doing yard work
You could even play this game indoors while waiting at restaurants or doctor’s offices.
2) Alphabet Hunt
Here’s a fun way to teach your kiddos the alphabet! Use any alphabet letters, for example refrigerator magnets, wooden letters, or make your own with poster board and markers. Once you have your letters, hide them around the yard and let your little one search for “the letter A, okay, now the letter B” and so on.
It’s like an educational Easter Egg Hunt! You can also do this to teach your kiddos spelling, numbers, and even important information you’d want them to memorize such as:
- Home address
- Parent’s phone numbers
- Mommy & daddy’s names
3) Counting with Bubbles
Bubbles have a unique magical power to make anything fun – even math! So rather than sitting them down at a desk, head outside with your bubbles and make learning fun.
There are lots of ways to use bubbles to learn math. Here are a few:
- Have your kiddo count each time you blow a new bubble
- Blow a bunch of bubbles all at once! Then let them count each time they pop one
- Give them a number (ex: 5) and have them blow that number of bubbles remembering to count each one
Sensory games are a type of play that engages the 5 senses. At first thought, it may not seem educational. But remembering how our toddlers try “tasting” everything helps us realize that senses are how they explore their world. Sensory games support cognitive development, language development, and motor skills. They also encourage learning, creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving!
4) Taste Test Challenge
This is one game that’s equal parts educational, fun, and delicious! First, have your kiddo cover their eyes or wear a blindfold. Once you know they’re not peeking, choose a handful of healthy snacks or fruit (cut up if necessary) and let your little one taste each one. See if they can use their sense of taste to guess what food they’re eating.
But don’t just stop there! Encourage them to use their words to describe the taste, feel, and smell of each of the foods.
5) What’s That?
Perfect for a school-aged kiddo that’s full of questions – but this time, they’re the ones giving the answers. “What’s That?” is a game that uses the sense of hearing to help them guess the object.
It’s easy – find an object that makes sound, such as crinkling paper or a bouncy ball. Keep the object out of sight and see if your kiddo can guess what it is.
Bring science class home with educational games about physics, chemistry, geology, and biology!
6) Racing Ramps Game
This is a great game to learn about physics. Your kiddo can see the effects of velocity, friction, and weight by building and racing objects down a ramp.
To build your ramps, use objects with different textures to create friction such as cardboard, cloth, and blankets. Now for your racing objects, use items of differing shapes and sizes like balls, blocks, and dry beans. Race each object down the different ramps and see who wins!
7) Gravity Balloon Game
Back in science class, we learned that gravity creates a form of potential energy. So help our kiddos learn about the power of gravity with this balloon game.
Air up a few balloons and see how long your kids can keep their balloons in the air without touching the ground. Whoever keeps their balloons in the air the longest wins!
This is a fun way to learn that gravity is the force that’s pulling their balloons down.