“Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”…sound familiar?
We have put together a list of learning games for various ages that will not only keep your little restless ones entertained, but the learning games will develop your child’s cognitive skills too. Everyone’s a winner!
The following games keep your little ones entertained or help to wind them down, with a mix of silly and entertaining games, and simple games that help develop skills for calculation, comparison of sizes and lengths, learning colours, letters, learning new words, analysing & guessing the attributes of objects, memory and attention!The silly games will provide mental relaxation for your child between the cognitive ones! For the little travellers’, there is a lot of fun to be had so let’s go with the long journey with simple travel games for kids!
1. What letter is it? – 4 year olds
Practicing with letters can be more fun than just improving your child’s learning; even if your child is not reading yet it’s a great method to help them learn phonetics. So, let you’re your little learner correct you if you pretend the object begin with the wrong letter – …a Train begins with T, Dad begins with F… they’ll enjoy laughing at silly mamma!
2. Talking friend – Baby to 1 year olds
Take a scarf, a cardigan, yours or your child’s. Wrap your hands with this so that your thumb and fingers make “a mouth”. If you move your fingers towards and away from your thumb – the mouth opens and closes. Make the mouth “talk” with a funny muppet voice! Talk to your child as if it’s an imaginative animal. Ask how he’s doing and what’s upsetting him. The mouth can kiss the baby, tickle or even tell them how to get to the bathroom! Enjoy the imagination mum, no matter how silly you feel, you are helping your child’s development without knowing!
For more games for 0-1 year olds look up at our Free PlayMama 0-1 Lite app
3. Inventing a story – 3+ year olds
Story-time with kids made exciting! Mum or Dad to start with a few then ask you child to say what happens next. If you feel that your little one is challenging their imagination by inventing new twists in the story, then start with provocative questions. For example, “and then Little Red Riding Hood saw … a hedgehog? A lion? What if she meets a lion? Do you think she would run away or offer him a cake? So, what animal do you think she meets in our story?”
With little bit of practice this can become a favourite for your child with the stories opening limitless imagination!
4. Car Counting & Colours – 3+ year olds
Easy game for all the family to enjoy – everyone picks a colour of car to count and when it passes by you win a point! Surprising to learn the most popular colour of car in your town or your journey, however, in our experience its usually the colour car your child counts that is the most popular 😉
5. What’s in common? – 3+ year olds
This game develops the skill of categorising; name 4 objects and ask your child what’s different. If you’re in a car, it can be A Tree, A Road, A Car, A Bus. If you’re in a plane, it can be The sky, the sun, Clouds, a Boat. Or a snack or lunch that is packed – a cucumber, carrot, juice, napkin. If you choose items that are visible around you – if gives them more opportunity to discuss why!
6. How things help – 6+ year olds
This a game for little physicists. Choose any event, natural phenomenon or just a live object, animal or insect and name the benefits or importance of it. It can be positive (Sun makes flowers grow, gives energy to the sun batteries, warms up the atmosphere, dries up the washed clothes, helps berries to grow, gives light) and negative (dehydrate the grass, burns the forest). Rain (Fills with water, washes away the grease, cool down the temperature, makes muddy puddles and also, makes so many things boring…). Eating food. Snowing. Spiders… get your thinking hats on parents!
7. For the youngest…
If your baby is at their first or second year, play easy learning games for development:
- Touch their body parts and count how many of them they have out loud (one knee, second knee, one ear, second ear, one nose and … just one nose!)
- Finger games or just naming and counting fingers (please see our PlayMama app for 0-1 and 1-2 for finger games)
- Moving a 2-finger character walking along their body that sing songs, sniffs or comments on what “he” sees, perhaps counting the objects around the car, naming the colours, calling the names of people in the car. Really… try sniffing shoes or socks – a great way to make the kids laugh and keep them entertained!
8. Palm Drawings 3+ year olds
Draw a circle on your child’s palm and say “It’s a Circle.” Then ask your child to draw on your palm when your eyes are closed. Then guess what they have drawn – helps children’s attention and memory when practicing shapes letters or anything imaginative they want to draw!
9. Finger Theatre! 3.5+ year olds
Roleplay game with only your fingers? A fun and easy learning game…Let’s try! Hold your two fingers against their two fingers and create characters, hold funny discussions with each other, offer to take a seat, pretend to jump and play together and even look through the window – the sillier the better – let them run free!!! Finger theatre a convenient game when there are no toys around – just you, your kids and your fingers!
10. Catch my fingers – Babies to 1+ year olds
Make a character with your 2 fingers and “walk” along your child’s body. Tease him or her to “catch me”. You can make this a lot of intrigue and fun when the finger character runs away or shouts loudly if caught. If your child is 4 or 5 – you can swap the roles!
11. Measure the body! – 3.5+ year olds
This is great if you need to calm the kids down during the journey; show your child you’re measuring their legs using your fingers in steps. How many steps are your fingers “walking” – up the whole leg? If your child likes the idea, take their hand to “measure” the length of your arms. Any other objects handy? It’s great fun for kids measuring the length of the front seat or a car window with a child’s shoe, hand or fingers!
12. Name the Place!– 6 + year olds
This game refreshes children’s cognitive skills – by encouraging them to remember names of towns cities or countries, you’ll be surprised how well this improves their memory and attention; and pre-geography training! If they are advanced help them to differentiate cities and countries; “Let’s name towns beginning with M – Manchester, S Spain etc!
Or alternatively, one can name the town on A, the second person – on B, the third on C and so on.
If your kids exert competitiveness nicely, let’s add some rules for them to win – you or your early learner can win if the last player can’t name the place!
13. Noughts & Crosses – 5+ year olds
If you have a pen a paper, this is an exciting game for kids on long journeys and helps develop their