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Games Buying Guide

Ah, the joys of entrapping your opponent within the snares of your strategic manipulation! The thrill of flipping over that card that completes your winning hand! The excitement of working with other players to reach a common goal! Games can be the last defense against long, car-trip monotony or the first thing you reach for on a fun Friday night!

Wherever or whenever you play them, games serve up a cornucopia of developmental benefits and life skills. Playing games can teach kids to lose with grace, think strategically, cooperate with others, play fairly and plan ahead. The best games are the ones that kids want to play again and again, challenging them to develop strategy to improve performance or compete against others in a fair, calm manner, whether they choose to play an ancient strategic puzzle, like Chess or a simple and fast-paced challenge, like Uno.

But before you gather everyone around the kitchen table to break out the fun, take the time to find the perfect game for your family! We’ve put together this guide to help you make the most out of your playtime together!

Features to Consider

Children’s games bring together players of various ages and abilities. It’s important to find games that are simple enough for children to learn, yet involved enough to be fun for for older children or adults. There are a few other key things to consider when shopping for the perfect game.

Games for Boys Time
  • Consider the attention spans of your players and how long they’ll be able to focus on playing the game.
  • Many games on our site list approximate playing times at the end of the product descriptions.
  • Think about the difficulty of the game play, as learning the rules takes time as well.
  • If the rules seem too complicated for the youngest player, it’s probably not the best fit.
Number of players
  • Games should accommodate the number of players in your family or group - whether individually or in groups.
  • Some games can be modified for single players, which is useful for travel and times when the primary player doesn't have another interested player.
  • Adults can explain rules to children who are not yet reading, but some games involve reading game cards and other text in order to play.
  • Many games for younger children feature only images and no words, making those games more age appropriate for those younger groups.
  • Some games are even designed to help develop reading skills, so they are appropriate for beginning readers.

Some Age Group Suggestions

3 to 5 year olds
  • Matching games like “Bingo” and “memory” help children make connections between images, colors and numbers. With many new themes and unique versions, playing these traditional and beloved games can be a fresh, new experience!
  • Throwing games like ring tosses and beanbag tosses give kids the chance to practice hand-eye coordination and gross muscle skills.
  • Preschoolers and young children enjoy finding things. Searching and finding objects gives them a sense of accomplishment and the pursuit is exciting. Look for games that incorporate hide and seek games and you’re sure to have a winner!
  • Cooperative games are a great introduction to game play, where the emphasis is on players working together to wing the game rather than competing against one another.
6 to 7 year olds
  • At this age, children are able to understand more complicated rules and play board games that require longer attention spans and increased competition and memory.
  • Games of chance are still a favorite. Rolling the dice, flipping the next card or flicking the spinner are favorite activities of kids this age.
  • Basic word games can help children practice their spelling and reading skills in an fun and "non-learning" environment.
8 and up
  • Strategy games help kids learn about logic and planning. These are games where strategy influences the outcome more than chance and the roll of a die. Strategy games are also fun for adult players and make great family games.
  • One-player brainteasers offer a fun challenge for older players, help kids develop logical thinking, and are convenient to play when they have downtime or are alone.
Games for Girls

Top Developmental Benefits

Verbal Learning Benefits
Kids practice verbal expression through game play because most card games, board games, and sports games require communication between players. Reading rules and game cards can also further verbal learning; and with word games - think Scrabble - the reading and spelling are built right into the action!

Logical Learning Benefits
Many games require strategy, logic, and planning. The more kids practice these skills, the sharper their minds become! Of course, there are games of random chance, but even these require kids to make decisions and guess at probabilities.

Interpersonal Learning Benefits
Playing a game is a perfect opportunity for kids to practice cooperation! By their very nature, games incorporate the rules and structure that teach kids to be patient and play well with others.

Types of Play

Active Play
Our outdoor games and sports games encourage active play for the whole family. Run around and get dirty with badminton, soccer, hockey, croquet and even some new and original games that you’ve never heard of before!

Cooperative Play
Playing games teaches kids to cooperate with other players and follow a set of common rules. Disputes and cheating are handled by a group consensus. Kids learn to play well with others by taking turns, and anticipating the actions of their opponents!