Here at Philly & Friends HQ, we love engaging with other parents, carers, educators and those interested in child development. We are firm believers of the African proverb which says "It takes a village to raise a child".
Since I published my first children's book, Who Do I See in the Mirror?, I have met so many amazing women (and men!) doing remarkable things. We have shared tips, ideas, hugs (virtual and physical), encouragement and much more. There's such a great online community of men and women championing each other's lives, businesses, achievements, and so on. To celebrate this, we will be featuring articles from some of the lovely people we have met on our journey.
However, our next feature is one of my best friends, Dami Ajibade, founder of Crownbury. They make the most adorable and absorbent baby towels. We met at university and have been through various life stages together. Currently, we are navigating the mumpreneur life together and I’m so glad to have her on this journey with me. She's mum to two adorable kids, a 6 year old boy who is my godson and a 3 year old girl. You will often find them playing lots of board games when they aren’t riding their bikes or going on hikes. In this post, she takes us through their favourite boardgames. Enjoy!
My best memories growing up include family time and playing games with my cousins. My parents chose to raise us with our extended family, which meant we spent a lot of holidays in each other’s homes or congregating at our grandparent's house. The easiest way to keep us occupied was to get us involved in games. The games ranged from ‘hide and seek’ and impromptu talent shows for the adults, to board games. As we got older, our love for board games has remained, and my cousins and I play monopoly at least once, whenever we have the opportunity to meet up these days.
As this quality family time was so beneficial to me, I have introduced my children to board games early on. My son is six and can keep up with all the games I will be suggesting below. My daughter is three and is not quite able to play along yet, but I let her throw the dice and help with counting. However, most of the time, she ends up playing on “my team” just to keep her involved and interested.
As adults, it is tempting to be impatient because we want a more mentally stimulating opponent while playing. I will encourage you, however, to invest the time to teach them and you will see that the more they play, the better opponents they become. Soon, they will be winning without you letting them!
Below is a list of five of our favourite family games. These games are fun, educative, assist in promoting excellent quality family time, and will help your little ones develop social and cognitive skills.
Sorry! | Age 6 and up | 2 – 4 players
Sorry! by Hasbro is one of my son’s favourite board games. In this game, each player picks a colour. The aim is to get your pawns home before your opponent does. Instead of throwing a dice to determine how far to move your pawns, you draw a card from deck. The cards also have the ability to send your opponent moving backwards instead of forward. I know my son absolutely loves it when this happens, as he knows it increases his chances of winning.
2. Chess | Age: debatable | 2 players
Little confession, I did not learn how to play chess until my son, at age 5, learnt how to play in kindergarten and wanted to play at home. We bought him a board for Christmas, and we learnt as a family. We are not prodigies, but we enjoy playing a game together.
There are several benefits of teaching your kids to play chess and playing with them. It increases their problem-solving skills, helps them focus, teaches them to strategise and exercises both sides of their brain. Some say children are ready to learn the game from age 4, while some say from age 7. I personally think that from age 5, children can begin to pick up the skills required.
3. Monopoly Junior | Age 5 and up | 2 – 4 players
Monopoly Junior is a condensed version of the adult game. It is faster and simpler to play. There are also single bank notes - instead of bank notes in different denominations, it is in just one denomination, ($1 as an example).
This game could help teach your children the value of money. I know with my son, I have heard him say things like, “I can’t afford that property, I don’t have enough money”, or “I am saving my money because I do not want to run out”. It is a fun way to teach them the concept of money.
4. Connect 4 | Age 6 and up | 2 players
Connect 4 is a simple and fast game for kids. It is great for their attention span as it doesn’t take too long to end. This means, they will often want to play the game over and over again. The more they play, the more they are able to strategise, improving their overall game experience. This game encourages kids to plan ahead, detect patterns and also improves their problem-solving skills.
5. Go Fish! | Age 3 and up | 2 – 5 players
There are a lot of variations to this game, and they are all enjoyable. However, I suggest that playing this game with younger kids is more fun when a deck of cards with pictures is used instead of a standard deck of cards. Five cards are dealt to each player. The remaining cards can be left stacked or scattered face down between the players. Each player takes turns in asking another player for a particular card to help them make a pair – e.g. “Do you have any dolphins?’. If the opponent has a card with dolphins, they have to give it up and the person who asked for it makes a pair. If the opponent does not have a dolphin, they would say “Go Fish.” The person would then pick a card from the deck or from the scattered cards. The player with the most pairs at the end of the game, wins.
Ideally, the game should be played with each player holding their cards so that no one can see them. However, when playing with younger kids, say age 3, you could encourage them to grasp the concept of the game by playing with your cards showing, making it easier for them to “fish”.
If you do not already play any of the games listed above, I hope you will give them a try and enjoy them as much as my family and I have enjoyed them!
If you have a lovely story to tell or would like to write up on a topic close to your heart at the moment, send us an email hello(at)phillyandfriends.com, and we would be happy to feature you on our blog.
Philly & Friends is a children’s brand that publishes diverse children’s books and creates products and media content. Our books and products are designed to instil confidence and positive values in children. Our debut children’s book is titled, Who Do I See in the Mirror? You can see more by clicking the picture below.