You’ve built a fort, cleaned rooms, watched Netflix, and started a daily schedule. Now what? What else can you do with your kids to keep them happy and maybe even learning something? Dig out those old board games from the back of the closet and find a deck of cards.
Team Rogers are big fans of tabletop gaming and card games. Not only are we all together, but we’re engaged in the 4C’s (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity) without feeling like it’s school or learning. I’m always amazed at the strategy, humor, and language that sneaks into our home when we’re playing games together at our dinner table.
Here are some ideas to help you get started or extend your current gaming experience:
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Use the games you have. Play by the rules.
- Deck of Cards: Bicycle Cards has a great resource of card games you can play with kids. Our family loves games like Rummy that requires kids to use critical thinking, logic, and sequencing skills.
- Common Card Games: Games like Uno, Skip-Bo, and Phase-10 reinforce skills like pattern recognition, turn-taking, and communication with other players.
- Common Board Games: Dust off Monopoly, Candyland, Scrabble, Connect 4, or Chess & Checkers to get kids using their negotiation, language, and logic skills.
Change the rules of common card/board games. Try something new.
- Add Rules to Common Card/Board Games: Take the card and board games you already have and challenge each other to add a new rule. Each family member could take turns justifying and persuading the others before a family vote.
- Try Free Print and Play Games: PNPArcade.com keeps an updated list of free print and play games for you and your family to try. Potions Class was created by nine-year-old kid named Owen who also created an online tutorial to teach the game rules.
- Connect and Play Card/Board Games Online: Brooklyn Game Lab is hosting a live stream and providing print and play sheets so families can connect through gaming. They shared on their website that “Most of the content will have an element of participation. We will play games with you. Tell stories. Share interests. We will draw and dance and try our damnedest to bring some levity and joy into your homes. And the homes of anyone who needs it.” Team Rogers is really excited about giving this a try!
DELIVER THE FUN
Add a game to your next grocery pick-up or package delivery. Set up a porch swap game trade with friends.
- Quick and Inexpensive Games: No matter which store you’re ordering from, you can’t go wrong by adding Qwirkle Rummy, Patchwork Doodle, or Sushi Go. All three games are quick plays and will engage families in pattern recognition, critical thinking, spatial reasoning, and creative expression.
- Trade Games with Friends: Our family uses a site called Board Game Geek to keep track of our game collection. If you’re already a big fan of tabletop gaming, why not set up a game trade. You can keep your social distancing by setting up a porch swap of games and share reviews with each other later.
- Purchase with Content in Mind: If you really want to focus on a topic, you can reach out to your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) and ask about content specific games. (Our FLGS is providing curbside pick-up and delivery right now!) Here’s a list Gina Rogers and I created last spring for teachers with content connection ideas. I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Hargrave’s game Wingspan, which has lots of facts about bird species and habitats, and any of the Fluxx games like Anatomy Fluxx, Chemistry Fluxx, Math Fluxx, and Nature Fluxx.
Bottom line, get out a card or board game and have fun! Playing games together creates a sense of safety and belonging which both parents/caregivers and kids need right now. And you might just sneak in a little learning, too, if that makes you feel better.
You can also check out this Wakelet with Card and Board Games Resources. I will continue to add resources as I find them.
Feel free to contact Corey Rogers (@corey_rogers) or Glen Rogers (@glitglatglen) on twitter for game recommendations or to set up a game trade in the Iowa City area. #bettertogether
~ Corey Rogers, Digital Learning Consultant