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6 Fun Family Games to Build Connection

Okay so I'll admit it, some of these are a little retro, but I think they still stand up in this high-tech era. I considered putting Monopoly on the list because I have played it lots with my children, but in the interest of honesty, I used to cheat to lose so I could finish in less than 3 hours!

Adults joining in games with children is a great opportunity for connection and laughter but also for adults to model some vital life skills such as:

  • how to win and lose respectfully

  • being patient

  • waiting for and taking turns

  • noticing small details

  • concentration

  • playing fair

Dealing with cheating and losing

Always agree on the rules each time before starting.

This is important because then everyone is clear about what will happen if the rules are not followed. No-one can complain they didn't know. If you have a child who often cheats to win (normal for young children) or becomes upset or angry if they do not win, you might like to talk to them about this before starting the game. Acknowledge it is ok to feel upset or disappointed if they do not win but not ok to yell, scream, cry, hit, throw equipment or accuse everyone else of cheating. Teach them to STOP (talking and moving), BREATHE, THINK (about what is ok to do or say next) DO (EG: congratulate the winner and help pack up).

The Games

  1. Uno - great for when you have children of varying ages.

  2. Snakes and Ladders - simple to learn and doesn't take too long.

  3. Pictionary Kids Edition - played in teams; a cross between drawing and charades.

  4. Guess Who - two players; great for helping children learn to look at small details and think carefully.

  5. Connect 4 - two players; very simple to learn but requires concentration and a little forward thinking.

  6. Jenga / Tumbling Towers - Make sure you play on the floor or on a table that doesn't 'accidentally' rock. This game is much like life - sometimes you need to move slow and carefully, sometimes you just need to take a risk and see what happens.

Did You Know?

Natural Growth Childhood Counselling is an outdoors counselling service for parents, teachers and children.

Therapy incorporates nature, walking, talking and for children, playing with toys and playground equipment.

Interested in strengthening the connection you have with your child or students? I invite you to contact me -


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