We used to travel a lot when we were younger. Train journeys of 48 hours used to become so cumbersome and of course a tad bit annoying for parents of three hyperactive girls. Just to keep us busy and to make sure we enjoy the ride (which we tried to) papa used to invent new games for us to play. One of my favourites was counting the seconds our train passed a tunnel. These simple games used to be great fun and we used to enjoy them so much. Our childhood was spent playing indoor games like “*ghar-ghar*”, “*raja mantra chor sipahi*”, “*office office*” etc.
But times have changed and so has the attention span of kids. It was time for us to reinvent new games when we became parents. Few of the games we actually live by are below. Read on.
Our family’s favourite being **Dumb Charades**; which we can indulge in at anytime whatsoever. We started out by picking out birds and animals for him enact, and then extended the difficulty level by asking my son to enact simple sentences like “*I am very hungry, I need food*”. This turned out to be so much fun. We later realised that playing this game improved the verbal expressions and also helped him to express his thoughts freely.
Another sit down game we just adore is **Jenga**. This game has proven to be one of the best in improving mental and physical skill. For some reason my son avoids to play this, his hyperactivity comes in the way. But after regular sessions we saw him channelizing his energy easily and made him more balanced.
Few **card games** also are fun and that’s also one of our preferred choices. Card games like Uno or playing memory with a standard deck of cards can remove boredom on a boring summer or rainy day. This enhances concentration in kids and also improves memory.
My son’s personal favourite are solving **puzzles**. It is a great exercise to shape up the creative and problem solving muscles. Start with 10-15 piece puzzles for toddlers whereas kids up to the age of 5-6 can be introduced to 50-60 piece puzzles.
By far this is the best indoor/outdoor game which we just can’t stop playing at any age. **Hide and seek**. Hiding under the dining table chairs, under the bed, behind the curtains. I just love the adrenalin rush associated with this game. Plus we always have a hearty laugh while playing it.
Usually, when we are outdoors with the cousins and the whole gang, we carry our **Cricket kit** along to the park. Playing a structured sport like cricket brings in a lot of discipline in kids.
Besides enjoyment, fun, release of energy playing games also develops the creativity, problem solving, concentration, communication skills as well as mastering new concepts. It instils the habit of sharing, taking turns and playing the game by the written down rules. Make sure you read out the rules to the children before starting.
So let me know what games you play with your children. For now, it’s Jenga time for us!!
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