Like many parents, one of my goals at the beginning of every year is to get my kids to spend less time staring at a screen. So I'm always on the lookout for games and activities that will engage my kids and keep them busy offline and off tech. Here's one list of seven fun screen-free games for elementary kids that will give you ideas for helping your kids have fun without a device.
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The best thing about puzzles is that everyone can enjoy them. Be sure to choose puzzles with the right amount of pieces to make it a bit of a challenge without making it too hard for your children. A minimum of 24 pieces and up to 100 pieces is best for elementary-aged children. Or consider this family puzzle that comes with 20 big pieces for little kids and 40 pieces for big kids (and adults!). It's challenging enough for two people of vastly different ages and experiences to enjoy.
The Matching Game
Play the matching game with the kids. It strengthens their memory skills and can easily pass the time. There are lots of different versions of this game! One of my favorites is this one by eeboo (shown above).
OR you can consider downloading and printing one of my themed lotería sets to add a cultural twist. Then just print two copies of the game boards and cut them into cards.
Do you use board games to supplement your lessons? There are so many games on the market now teaching everything from fractions to geography that you can find one to use with almost any subject. Even some old fashioned checkers, chess, or backgammon can be really fun for young kids.
I find these games to be valuable tools because they make learning fun, and they serve to reward my kids for their hard work. And the best part is that you can find board games in Spanish, too!
Here are a few games that I highly recommend for kids 5 and up:
- Ready Steady Sloth
- La Cucaracha (The Cockroach Travel Game)
- Candy Land - Dora The Explorer
- Rapid Rumble
- Wild Kratts Race Around the World Board Game
We have stacks of cards in our home. From Uno to those card decks you get in a kids' meal at Chick Fil-A to regular playing cards. And the number of card games that you can find instructions for online seem endless!
Our favorites for kids ages 4 to 8 are:
Also, I recommend using this card holder to help little hands hold their cards in order.
Crossword Puzzles & Word Searches
Have fun testing skills with word puzzles! Kid-friendly crossword puzzles are free to download online from a variety of sites. But you can always find these game books at your local bookstore or online. They come with lots of themes and even in Spanish!
|© Can Stock Photo serrnovik|
Homemade Obstacle Course
It's hard not to love an obstacle course. Children love the physical activity and the challenge. So consider making an obstacle course at home using different items, such as plastic rings, cones, pool noodles, cords or ropes, and so much more! You may have most of the supplies you need at home, but if not, here's a simple obstacle set from Imagym.
Hide and Seek
Enjoy a fun game of hide and seek! If you have an only child, you may have to get in there and play, too. You will be amazed how much fun it is to actually play this game with your child (I get the giggles while hiding from my 5yo). But if you aren't available to paly, your child can still have fun by turning the game into a treasure hunt. You can pick out any item (plush dolls work best), and hide it for your child to find.