I have found it a challenge at times to find quality games to play with my kids that we can all enjoy together, especially with a wide age range (6-16). I was so excited when my youngest was able to play a card game, UNO with the rest of us.

, Kids Activities, However, it can be hard for little hands to hang on to 6 or seven cards at a time, and be able to see the numbers on them. I found this solution a while ago, and it works great.

All you need is two recycled plastic lids (from butter tubs, cool whip, larger size yogurt….). Staple them together in the lower middle with the lips facing in, and you have a card holder.
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This truly makes it easier for young ones to hold, and adequately see all their cards, and it’s so simple too!

On vacation this year, we stayed at a rental house where a number of games were provided for our enjoyment. One that I had never heard of before was called Bananagrams and my kids had so much fun with it. It’s similar to scrabble, but faster moving, which helps the excitement.

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If you team up a grown with a younger child, the adult can help them with their spelling skills too.

On this same vacation, at a novelty store, I found a game that will help my kids with their states, capitals and geography.

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This Melissa & Doug License Plate Gamelets two play at the same time, by flipping the squares which are attached to the board, when you see a state’s license plate. They can also practice learning each state’s capital, which are included, at the same time.

 

We have also ordered these Live Butterfly Gardens a bunch of times now, and the whole family enjoys watching the transformation of the larvae to butterflies, and then letting them go outside.

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We are trying a new kit this year, a Grow a Frog Kit.

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When you buy these kits, the larvae or tadpoles do not immediately come with them. A coupon is included in the box to send away for your live creature. Apparently these frogs can live for years and years. Will keep you posted…

I will be the first to admit that my children love their Nintendo DS’s way too much, but I have found a game that I believe truly helped my youngest with reading and spelling, starting when he was 4-5 years old.

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It’s called Super Scribblenauts, and it works by creating whatever your child can spell, and it gives them options if they spell it incorrectly. I do admit, if your child is a very beginner reader, you will be helping them a lot at first, but it’s worth it, because it really did speed up and reinforce my son’s reading and spelling skills.

It’s always nice when learning and fun can be combined!
Hope this gives you some ideas, and I would love to hear about any of your fun and educational ideas!