Throwing it back old school (mostly) with games even parents will like

Non-screen games kids today actually like!

My kids love their ipads. They are old, barely have any memory and MomMom is buying them new ones for Christmas. I am not a screen snob by any means. However, I do love it when they pull out games from the shelf so we can play and interact together. It helps that my kids love the same games I used to play when I was little (with a couple newbies thrown in). So in case you are looking for more in-person play time, here are a few my 5 and 6.5 year olds like.

Oldies but Goodies


The giggles that are produced when Mommy is trying to contort herself into a human pretzel are priceless. My son needs a little help with the whole left foot/right foot thing, but both kids love it. The new version has a couple added spaces on the spinner that allows the players to remove that particular appendage from a spot but what fun is that?


Lite Brite

My kids had so much fun making pictures out of the colored pegs. It’s not as bulky as it was in my day (I’m an 80’s kid if that helps) so it’s easy to stow away on a shelf. The only problem is it comes with only a few templates. I ordered more on Amazon (they sell more pegs too), but the kids were disappointed that we had to wait to make more pictures. I recommend buying more templates to go along with the original set if you are giving it as a present.



Holy cow do my kids love Uno. And my daughter has been a card-shark at it for about 2 years now. I know most people let their kids win… it is not necessary with her. The color and number relationships are easy for kids at pre-school level, but the concepts on some of the special cards (Reverse, Skip, etc) may need a bit more explaining. If you do decide to get Uno for your kids, I highly recommend buying card holders too. Card HolderTheir little hands might not be able to hold all the cards when that wild card seems to be eluding them. I haven’t tried Dos yet, but I am intrigued. If you’ve played it and want to add your two cents, let me know!



Again, my kids enjoy this game so much. There are tons of sets out there to match whatever character/genre your kids like. The best thing about Memory is you can regulate the number of matches you want to play with. As the kids get better at it, just add more. Nothing thrills my kids more than picking up a set I whiffed on.


Hot Potato

The increasing tempo of the music and anticipating it to stop is almost too much for the kid (and me too if we’re being honest). The giggles, the throwing, the catching… it’s too fun to miss.



New favorites


Pop the Pig

A perfect gift for any child who knows colors and counting. The game play is simple and leads to the pay-off of the pig’s belt popping open. It’s a fun surprise and the best part is, all game pieces can be stored in the pig, so you can recycle that box and save some room.



Yes, I know there’s an app for that, but the pure delight the kids get from wearing and seeing others wear the headbands is a kick. Fair warning, my kids don’t really “get” the whole yes/no questioning process, but they have fun giving each other clues. My son’s favorite thing to do is to tell you everything BUT the name of the thing on your head.

Me: Is it an animal?

Son: No, but it IS something you sleep in.

Who cares if it’s not in the rules… we have a blast every time.


LOL Game

I know… LOL dolls are the bane of my existence in many ways. I don’t get them, they are all over, and are pretty much just another hundred things cluttering up my house. Having said that, the LOL game is actually pretty cute. Coins with different colored items are placed into balls that sit on the game board. You get cards and have to collect all the accessories and outfits of the first doll’s coin you collect (think Cooties but with an LOL theme… also my kids like Cooties too). It’s a simple concept and if your child likes LOL she’ll love this. And best of all, you may not mind playing this and there’s not a thousand things to unwrap and forget about. You’ll get some entertainment out of this.

I have not been asked to endorse any of these… I just thought I’d throw it out there. If anyone has any other games to throw into the ring, please do so!

Hopefully, if you are wondering what else to get for the younger kids in your life, this has helped. If not, good luck and Godspeed!

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