So, I popped into Target last week to grab a shirt for my son, walked around a bit, blacked out and woke up to a bag full of kids games and toys I didn’t intend to buy.
But, you know the drill. *Insert over-used Target taking all my money joke.* I don’t need to explain any further.
And, I don’t know if it’s because I work with kids, have a kid, or am just a kid at heart, but I can never pass up the kids games and toys aisle. It’s like a moth to a flame. Bear to honey. Mom to a glass of wine. I always want to know what’s new and how I can incorporate a toy or game into a fun learning activity. So, I picked up a few things to use with my clients and son and to share with you. I also bookmarked a lot more I’d love to see on my (okay, my son’s) toy shelf shortly.
I bought everything from Target, so if you love to shop, head to your local Target to see if these are there. BUT, if you like to shop from the convenience of your couch, I’ve linked to them on Amazon, and a few from Target. (Target online isn’t as robust)
Here are the kids games and toys I bought:
Monkey May I Game
“Monkey May I” is a great little card game aimed at preschoolers to help teach motor imitation skills and making good choices. When students or kids follow directions and imitate the action on the card, they earn monkey money. When they answer “stop and think” cards or they make a good choice in the game, they earn even more money. The richest little monkey is the winner. But really, aren’t we all winners for playing this awesome game? Get it here.
Meme The Game – Disney Addition
I love “Meme the Game” and have been searching for a kid-friendly version for a while now. Enter Meme the Game – Disney Addition. Yay! This game is great for teaching social skills, emotions, and flexible thinking to grade school children. Players are required to match a caption to a Disney character picture–which helps teach kids how to read facial expressions and to understand some sarcasm and humor. Meme the Game is great for practicing social flexibility as well since players will have to accept the judges answer for the “best meme.” Get it here.
Highlights Jumbo Pad of Puzzling Fun
“Highlights” are still around, kicking butt and taking names. I have always loved and still love Highlights. They have a Jumbo Pad of Puzzling Fun that is one of my new favs! There are many different language, problem-solving, and conversational activities that will keep your kids entertained. The best part is each page tears out quickly, and you can take it on the go! Road trip or just dinner out with the kids, these puzzles will be great to work on as a family. My personal favorites are the Brain Game Maps because they target a variety of skills on a cute little map that kids work their way through. These activities are best with grade school age kids, but some puzzles could be modified for younger children if you get creative. Get it here.
Super Me Card Game
Super Me = super cute. Are you looking for ways to help your little one with emotional intelligence? Then this might be an excellent tool for them! It is simple and easy to play. Excellent for preschool age children. Simply put, players match problem cards to their appropriate solutions. You can also make the game a bit more challenging and have players verbalize possible solutions to situations when they immediately turn over a “problem card.” Open up a dialogue during the game about what real-life problems have occurred lately. How did or how can your child solve the problem? Get it here.
Here’s what’s on my wishlist:
Cut the Wire
Cut the wire immediately caught my eye because our clients at the clinic have enjoyed “escape room”-like challenges as of late (No our clients aren’t actually locked in a room. It’s pretend.) In “Cut the Wire” you mostly get to be MacGuyver (minus the cool hair) and defuse a bomb before it goes off. Again, it’s not actually a bomb. Calm down. The game gives hidden clues to help players decide which wires to cut to save the day. I foresee kids loving this action-packed adventure and parents will love that it promotes problem solving and teamwork. Get it here.
Disney’s Eye Found It
Eye Spy meets Disney meets board game. This game stuck out to me because of the many language and vocabulary opportunities. There are several questions you can ask about the objects/characters that kids need to find. “What’s it made of? How are they feeling in the picture? What other objects are also in the same category?” Save the questions for the end of the round because in this game you race against the clock to find items. Kids love to race against time, and the clock takes out some of the competitiveness against each other. Get it here.
The 12 days of Preschool
12 Days of Preschool is a cute little book that follows the 12 days of Christmas format. And, it’s all about sharing. The book mentions favorite items that kids may need to share and take turns with at preschool. A fun story that opens up a dialogue with your child about kindness and cooperation with others. You could ask what is easy for him to share and what is harder for him to share? What solutions can he think of when he needs to share with a friend (ex: use a timer, play it together, find something new together?) Get it here.
Silly Street Game
Oh my gosh! This game looks awesome. Kids draw cards to move around the game board. They have to complete the direction (often silly) to move forward. Some of the example cards include sing row your boat in a hippo voice, dance like a monkey, grab a friend and try to make them smile before you. “Silly Street” looks perfect for practicing social skills, following directions, and expressive language. Not gonna lie, just moved this one to my cart – it’s ready to order. Get it here.
Stem Jr. Tornado Tower
The Tornado Tower looks excellent for little scientists. Kids can experiment with household ingredients to make a twisty tornado or a lava creation. Language opportunities are abundant here! Have your child tell you the sequence of steps required to complete the experiment. You could also ask your kiddo to predict what might happen when he adds the final ingredient. At the end of the experiment, ask him “wh” questions (who, what, when, where, why) about what happened during the activity. Get it here.
Okay, confession. This game is something I want. It’s an adult party game. I actually don’t know too many details about it, but it has unicorns. So, it has to be awesome, right? I mean, if you play this game with a bottle of wine and a couple of friends, how could it not be fun? Someone go ahead and buy the game and then send it to me. Ship a bottle of cab, too. Thanks. Get it here.
What’s on YOUR kids games and toys wishlist?
Some other kids games and toys ideas: