The One Where I Hate Candyland

Image by hannah.rosen via Flickr

I love my girls. I love their smiles. I love to spend time with them. I love to hear their giggles. I love to watch them grow & learn & play.

I just don’t like to do it with them.

Most children’s games are mind-numbingly boring for grown-ups. I prefer to find childlike ways to include them in my grown-up activities. I’m teaching my oldest to cook. I take my middle child to the grocery store—skipping through the parking lot, racing our carts & playing games along the way. I’m introducing my youngest to all the classics—Star Wars, especially.

But board games? I can’t wait until they’re old enough for Taboo, Catch Phrase & Risk. In the meantime, though, here are a few of our favorite children’s games that don’t completely suck:

  • Jenga: Even the youngest children can enjoy stacking the wooden blocks. As they grow, you can teach them the actual rules & get competitive with the towering blocks.
  • Hullabaloo: This is my all-time favorite children’s game. It’s combination Twister, Simon Says and totally goofy! Lorelai has been playing this game (solo, frequently) since she was only 2—and she can usually get Stacia to play with her. It’s honest to goodness fun for all ages.
  • Yahtzee: There are junior versions of the game designed for preschoolers, but they can have a lot of fun rolling the dice even if they don’t get the full concept. We’ve been playing Yahtzee for years, and my kids actually prefer the regular edition to their Disney Princess game.
  • Whoonu: I guess I could have just listed Cranium games because they’re always a lot of fun. This one is for older kids, but it’s a great way to get inside their heads and learn about them.

What’s your favorite game to play with the kids?

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Article by justheather

Heather Sokol is the married mother of many amazing, active children through birth, adoption, and foster care. They have created in her a Sports Mom, Scout Mom, Band Mom, Dance Mom, Allergy Mom & avid coupon clipper. Is that miscellaneous enough for you? She shares her deals & tips at and reports progress on learning to be a grownup at justheather tagged this post with: Read 94 articles by
4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Michelle says:

    Ha! As I read this, my mom is patiently playing Candylnd with MaM (and a few of her Littlest Pet Shop critters). Candyland & Trouble are both ” only at Grandma’s” games. At home, I taught her how to play War & Uno. She also likes dominos, and honeslty, the older I get, the more I find Memory more challenging!!

  2. Malia says:

    LOL! So glad my tweeting could inspire this! I’m just like you when it comes to this stuff.

    One game my son likes (he’s 5, entering K in the fall, and a pre-reader) is Zingo. It’s not as terribly mind-numbing as some of the other offenders. Plus, it doesn’t have any twist endings that could send you back to the beginning of the game (I’m looking at you Chutes & Ladders and Candy Land!)

    We just watched all 6 episodes (in order) of Star Wars with our kids, they loved it!

  3. Our family favorite is Dancing Eggs by Haba. It comes in an egg carton and has 9 rubber eggs and 1 wooden egg. You roll two dice – once tells you where on your body to stash the egg, the other dice gives you an action (run around the table, jump, etc). You continue to stash eggs on your body and do crazy things until you drop your eggs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly peed my pants laughing while playing this game! Fun to play with the kids, fun to play with friends after a few margaritas – now that’s a seal of approval!

  4. […] Our collection of board games, video games, and movies will make for free family nights all year long. The only trick is come up with games the teen will enjoy that are simple enough for our 6-year-old to understand. It’s a bit of a challenge with such an age range (not to mention that most kids’ board games basically suck). […]

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