Do your kids love playing games and get excited at the thought of a new activity to explore?
They can learn so much through play and the interactions it brings, so it’s great to encourage them. If you’ve already worn out all the games you have and want to inspire creativity within your child, it may be time to make your own games from scratch!
Here are a few games you can make with items you can find around your house. No fancy supplies or specialized equipment needed!
Index Card Memory Match
You’ll need 26 index cards and a permanent marker to make this game. First, pick a topic for your game. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sight words and a picture of each
- Addition problems and an answer
- Rhyming words
- Equivalent fractions
- A picture of an extended family member and their name
Use your imagination, or think about a skill your child needs a little extra help with. Games are a fabulous way to learn!
Whatever you put on each card, make sure you make it large enough to see easily. You don’t want to have to squint to see the card from a short distance.
When your cards are ready, shuffle them all together. Then, spread them out face down. Each player takes turns flipping over two cards, trying to get a match. When the cards are all matched, whoever has the most cards is the winner!
The Story Bowl
This game helps your child build essential language skills and creativity. You’ll need a large mixing bowl and 20 random, small objects from around the house. You can use an assortment of:
- LEGO® minifigures
- Toy vehicles
- Plastic animals
- Small kitchen gadgets
- Paper cups
Plus, anything else you or the kids can think of can be added. Put all the objects in the bowl and scramble.
When you’re ready, select one person to go first. This person closes their eyes and reaches into the bowl. They pull out five objects.
After they have five objects in front of them, they can look at them all. Now, they’re going to make up a story, using those objects as props. The storyteller must incorporate all five objects into their story.
Give the player a couple of minutes to plan, and then listen to their story. When they reach the end, they can put the objects back in the bowl and shake it up.
Then someone else can take a turn. Let their imagination fly!
Laundry Basket Toss
For this active game, you’ll need:
- A laundry basket
- Three rolls of toilet paper
- Masking tape
Using a small piece of masking tape, carefully tape each roll of toilet paper closed. This way they don’t start unrolling on you as you play.
With another piece of masking tape, mark a line on the floor. Then, take ten big steps forward and place the laundry basket on the ground.
Hand the toilet paper to the first player. This person should stand behind the line on the floor.
Aiming carefully, the player tosses each roll of toilet paper into the laundry basket. Make sure they don’t step over the line!
After tossing all three rolls, gather them up and have another player try it.
For variety you can:
- Change the height and distance of the basket
- Add more rolls
- Throw with your non-dominant hand
- Turn around and throw over your head
- Throw like a football snap
Make Your Own Video Games
Just like your child can make their own games with household items, you and your child can also make your own video games with a free program called Scratch from MIT. All you’ll need is your computer and an internet connection. With Scratch, you don’t need any prior coding knowledge. It doesn’t use any complicated programming languages. Instead, you drag and drop programming blocks and snap them together.
Does your child want to create video games? You should check out the Dallas summer camps from Club SciKidz. Their Jr. Video Game Maker summer camp is a week-long, full-day camp. Your child will learn to use Scratch to create a maze, customized sprites, a Pac-Man style game, and much more. Register today for a summer experience that’ll help your child learn coding basics!