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  • 25 Parent-Approved and Screen-Free Games to Play With Your Kids!

    Refer to this list whenever your child asks for screen time!
    by Kitty Elicay .
25 Parent-Approved and Screen-Free Games to Play With Your Kids!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • “Mom, I’m bored!”

    We’re sure every parent dreads hearing this sentence, especially during summer vacation when kids are stuck at home. The quick fix is to give in and let them watch TV or play with their gadgets. But no one wants their child to stare at screens all day. So why not think of some fun games for kids?

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    25 fun indoor and outdoor games for kids

    Moms and dads who follow Smart Parenting’s Facebook page have many suggestions to make playtime with kids more interesting. We asked, “What’s your favorite game to play with the kids that do NOT involve gadgets?” and they answered with their favorites! Take your pick from simple games like peek-a-boo, board games, and traditional Filipino games!

    1. Peek-a-Boo

    Easily the most popular games for babies! Did you know it’s also the most popular way to make babies laugh? And research actually found that babies learn better when parents interact with them using humor, so this is a straightforward but rewarding game for your little one.

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    2. Rock-Paper-Scissors

    Many parents answered this, but one mom put an interesting spin to this classic game: “Ang ilalaban ay mga superhero characters!” Wow, wonder what actions they used for that? Interestingly, you can also play this game to resolve sibling fights. Winner!

    3. Tickles

    Kids love being tickled, so it’s the perfect distraction for the little ones! It’s also an excellent way to shower your children with love and affection.

    4. Sawsaw-suka

    “Sawsaw-suka, mahuli taya!” Another classic that never fails to entertain kids and one that can gradually develop motor skills and alertness in babies, too.

    5. Sungka

    We’re happy some parents still play this traditional Filipino game! The sungka “board” has six cups on each side along with a home cup. The goal is to distribute each player’s number of shells along the entire board and “eat” or get the other person’s shells. It’s a great way to flex your child’s strategic thinking skills!

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    6. Uno cards

    Even as an adult, I still enjoy playing this card game, especially if it involves a large group. It’s easy to play — play by matching color or number, or retaliate with an action card. Then yell “UNO!” when you’re down to one card. Watch out — your child might get competitive!

    7. Jenga

    Your kids will have fun trying to guess which blocks won't make the tower collapse!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Lazada
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    Who doesn’t get thrilled at the sight of a wobbly tower? This game will hone your kid’s mental and problem-solving skills, plus help him learn more about cause and effect. If you have the budget, look for the life-sized Jenga blocks! Expect a lot of squealing and screaming from kids and grown-ups alike.

    8. Snakes and Ladders

    Jungle Ludo Snakes and Ladders, Toy Kingdom, P429.75
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Toy Kingdom
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    Parents mentioned board games, but this is a great starter game for young kids. It helps improve their problem-solving skills and teaches them to take turns.

    9. Monopoly

    This is a game of strategy, and it’s a nice way to introduce the concept of math and money to kids.
    PHOTO BY Smart Parenting archive
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    Have younger kids? Make them play Monopoly Junior, which is a simplified version. Still, nothing beats the original version!

    10. Scrabble

    This board game not only helps expand your child’s vocabulary and hones her language skills, but it also encourages basic number skills. It also cultivates strategic thinking (which word can get the highest score?) and healthy competition.

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    11. Charades

    This game sparks creativity, helps your child think out of the box and allows your child to express himself more freely. Come up with challenging but funny categories to make it even more exciting!

    12. Memory game

    It’s a fun brain exercise that improves concentration and increases both short-term memory and attention to detail. One mom shared she makes her own for entertaining her baby!

    13. Building blocks

    Building blocks expand the imagination, plus it develops your child’s problem-solving skills and encourages creativity.

    14. Coloring books

    Ang INKredible Coloring Book for Big and Small People By Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan; Published by Anvil Publishing P275Pumplepie
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    The American Academy of Pediatrics claims that this is one of the most ideal toys for children because it allows opportunities for interaction between you and your child. Coloring is also a good way to calm kids down — there’s something about it that relaxes the mind that even adults find it fun!

    15. Reading

    No matter what age, reading together will always be a great opportunity to bond with your child. Make read-aloud sessions more enjoyable by engaging them in question-answer exchanges and using different voices! Looking for books for your child? Here’s an age-by-age guide.

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    16. Lutu-lutuan

    Playing with pots and pans never gets old, and that’s because pretend-play influences many areas of growth like cognitive, social and emotional, language and communication, and problem-solving and creativity.

    17. Role-playing

    “One of the most important kinds of imaginative play is pretending to be somebody else,” according to BabyCentre, and we love that parents are encouraging role play, even going the extra mile to act out scenes and situations with their kids.

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    18. Chores

    Asking your kids to filter rice grains can be a form of sensory play, too!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Odette Cerio

    Why, yes, chores can be fun! It’s also a nice way to foster independence and self-reliance, teach kids to be more responsible, and instill empathy.

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    19. The Floor is Lava

    In this game, players pretend that the floor is made of lava and should be avoided at all costs. It’s exhilarating to play indoors and outdoors, and best of all, it gets the kids moving!

    20. Hide and Seek

    It’s one of those games that will never go out of style because the fun is endless! It also builds your child’s stamina, develops muscle development, and improves balance, coordination, and motor skills. Who knew?

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    21. Tumbang Preso

    Traditional Filipino games are so exciting that we should ensure that our kids learn to play them, too! Children will surely feel the adrenaline rush as they try to topple the can using their slippers, plus, nothing beats outdoor fun!

    22. Chinese Garter

    This game will test your child’s stamina, but it will improve their flexibility, balance, and coordination as they try to successfully jump over the garter as it goes higher and higher.

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    23. Badminton

    This is a relatively easy sport to learn, but younger kids just play this for fun. Still, it will keep them fit and will definitely improve their eyesight, concentration, and focus.

    24. Piko

    This is another game you can play with your kids if you want to keep them physically active. It builds body strength, balance, eye/hand coordination, and teaches kids to master body control.

    25. Patintero

    It is another traditional Filipino game that develops strategy, patience, and alertness. Because kids play in teams, it also hones their social skills and teaches them about teamwork.

    What other games for kids do you like playing with your own children? Tell us in the comments!

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