We likely won’t be jetting off anywhere this summer. But Ethan has finished nursery and I’ve been on the hunt for games we can play on a picnic blanket in the back garden that are entertaining for the little man, but doesn’t involve me having to waddle my heavily pregnant backside around playing hide and seek, chasies and the like. The following is made up of some existing favourites and some that have found their way into my Amazon basket, I figured that this roundup of games would be perfect for anyone travelling with kiddos over the summer break.
I’m also secretly hoping that our growing collection will help keep my four year old occupied during the copious amounts of imminent breastfeeding of the new bub. Wish me luck!
A firm favourite in our house are the beautifully Illustrated card sets, Magma for Laurence King. Ethan loves playing Match a Track, illustrated by Marcel George, which encourages you to match the track with the animal (it’s actually quite challenging for me too!). Dog-loving families would love the equally beautifully illustrated (by Polly Horner) Dog Bingo. I’m thinking of expanding our collection with Bug Bingo and Ocean Bingo too. They are just too gorgeous not too.
Taking advantage of this stunning spat of summer weather, outdoor card games are great for getting little ones to open their eyes to the world around them. I’ve added Go Find It and Mindfulness Scavenger Hunt to my online basket. I’ll be doing quite a bit of walking by the canal over maternity leave and these portable little card sets seem perfect for engaging my four-year-old tag along. The cards encourage your kiddo to pay attention and look for textures, colours, shapes in nature and one of my favourites “Find something you enjoy looking at.” So sweet.
When Ethan was a toddler, I invested in a My Quiet Book for him. I paid a whole lot more for essentially the same thing from a handmade vendor in Australia, but luckily you lot can grab this Amazon bargain. It was a worthwhile investment for us because even at this stage and age, Ethan still gets great joy out of it. He’s now mastered most of the fine motor skill tasks, except tying the lace. But it’s a great travel activity because it’s light, easy to pack/carry and fosters concentration and problem-solving. It’s also the kind of thing that could be passed on to other littlies in the family.
I’m a massive fan of the compact board games by Orchard Toys. I was also delighted to see my local Lidl selling some of them recently! Ethan currently owns and loves Tell The Time and The Rocket Game. But the array of games they have for all ages is fantastic.
I’ll definitely be buying more.
And of course, I can’t mention card based kids activities without the fabulous Play Hooray Prompts cards (currently £2 off throughout July!). Although most of the prompts require props, it could be worth sorting through some of the travel-friendly activities in the deck that could keep kids entertained if the mercury rises too high on holiday. Or if like me, you’re stuck at home with school free kiddos to occupy, the entire deck is gold dust.
Lastly, while most of the above can be purchased quick smart online for anyone flying out imminently (you lucky ducks), if you are keen on a good spot for picking up super cheap kids games, I highly recommend perusing your local Flying Tiger. Unfortunately, I can’t link to any of the games we’ve picked up there, they don’t have an online shop. But they had an excellent game of “What is it?” that we played after dinner last night. I kid you not, Ethan’s mime for ‘going to a petrol station’ had me laughing lemonade out of my nose.
Do you have any family games that always get brought along on holiday?
Or any in your collection that your little ones love to play over and over?
Image from Alexa and Sebastian’s Stylish Bedroom Tour