Holiday Boredom Busters! Best indoor board games and activities for early years children (age 3 - 6)
The first week of summer school holidays is the best. It's so nice to be spending quality time with the kids isn't it? Because we really do miss their little faces when they are away at school all day.
But as much as we'd love to make their holiday special, days out are not always possible due to bad weather, budget worries, sickness or just simply needing a quiet day in!
And while it's fun to do crafty activities at home with young children, we can't always summon up the energy or have the right materials at hand. Inevitably, during days spent at home, we will hear these three phrases: "I'm bored", "I'm hungry", "Can we watch TV?".
So these are my go-to, easy to set up, no fuss games which I highly recommend for ages 3 -6 years.
1. Play-Doh Cookie Creations
I know everyone has tonnes of Play-doh already but this was given to my 3.5 year old daughter by a pre-school friend and it surpasses any of her other Play-doh kits. She spends a lot of time at our kitchen table; rolling out the dough, pressing it into the moulds, decorating cookies and arranging her creations on plates. The colours are all mixed up now but in the early days the batches she made were really pretty. Friends always play with this kit when they come over and my 5.5 year old son enjoys it too (although not as much). PLAYTIME: 40 minutes.
2. Shopping List Game
Most of my friends with 3 - 5 year olds have this game and for the small price I think it's so worth it. We have all remarked how addicted our kids have become. My daughter has brought it out to play so many times already these holidays - it now lives permanently in the lounge. It's a very simple concept: each player is given a shopping list and if they turn over a card that matches an item on their list, they add it to their cart. The first person to fill the cart wins. My daugher's memory has improved by playing this over the last week! You can also buy extras if you want to add more shopping items and different lists. I urge you to buy this if you haven't already. PLAYTIME: 20 minutes.
3. Magnetic Tiles (Playmags or Magnatiles)
We have already written about our love for magnetic tiles at Five Little Stars and I have to say, it's the toy that just keeps on giving. I can particularly recommend Playmags and Magnatiles. They are not cheap - but still cheaper than a big day out with the family and they are played with almost daily by my children (aged 3.5 and 5.5). PLAYTIME: Up to an hour if you're lucky!
If you haven't heard of Kapla, you need to! I discovered them in France and they are so great that I've already written a blog about them. They are the next step up from basic building blocks. Yes, they just look like planks of wood (which they are) but each piece is perfectly measured and identical in weight. So they balance really well. My son built the construction above when he was 5. Every family I know who owns a box of these say that they are played with a lot (espscially if your children like Lego, then they should like these). PLAYTIME: Up to an hour, depending on the age of the child.
5. Bus game
From the same makers as the shopping list game, this Little Bus Lotto (memory game) is so much fun and will be played with over and over. Simple instructions, easy to set up and easy to understand from the age of 3. My nearly 5.5 year old is just about too old for it now as he finds it easy but he joins in happily. I have to admit that I actually love playing this game with my youngest! PLAYTIME: 20 minutes.
Five Little Stars is an Amazon affiliate but this hasn't influenced my opinion of the products. Links have been included for your shopping convenience.